I would like to play PC games on my Panasonic PT-50LC13 HDTV monitor.
November 15, 2004 9:23 AM   Subscribe

I would like to play PC games on my Panasonic PT-50LC13 HDTV monitor. Since it has two RBG connections, I assume that's my best option. How important is the quality of the RGB cable and any recommendations on where I should buy it from?
posted by tuxster to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Please feel free to correct me if RGB-RGB connection is not the best option (the laptop also has S-video output).

It seems like the RGB input on the TV accepts VGA, SVGA, and compressed XGA resolutions (per Amazon.com). In this case, how much should I spend for the RGB cable? There are $2 options ($2-3 through Froogle), $20 options (again $20 through Froogle), and $200 options.

What is a good store to buy such cables in general from a pricing standpoint?
posted by tuxster at 9:31 AM on November 15, 2004

RGB is almost certainly going to be your worst option in connecting to your monitor. As a general rule, the best options to connect, in increasing order of quality, are:

1) RGB
2) S-video
3) Component (Which is not RGB, but which your laptop almost certainly doesn't have. Most decent DVD players do, though.)
4) DVI (Which your laptop may or may not have, depending on its video card. Most PC laptops don't, I believe, although I think most newer Apple laptops do.)

So, basically, if you've got S-video, you should almost certainly go for that.

As for cable, you really shouldn't pay more than $20 or so for a decent cable, but a $3 cable is almost certainly going to hurt the image a bit. Just about any Radio Shack or Best Buy-type place is going to have decent S-video cables in that range.
posted by LairBob at 9:53 AM on November 15, 2004

Actually, it looks like that model of monitor actually has SVGA inputs, which your laptop can definitely connect to, I'm sure. It's not digital, so it's not going to look as good as DVI, but it'll also be better than RGB. Especially if you've got an SVGA connect cable lying around (or pick one up for a few bucks), you might want to compare it to S-video. I think they're both about the same range of quality, so one might just work out looking a little better than the other for your specific set-up.
posted by LairBob at 10:39 AM on November 15, 2004

These people recommend these people.
posted by grateful at 10:54 AM on November 15, 2004

Okay, I'm confused. When tuxster said RGB, I thought he meant component. But all the cables he linked to are VGA cables.

Now LairBob is saying VGA cables are somehow different from RGB. What gives?
posted by jjg at 12:06 PM on November 15, 2004

Whoops...my bad. The perils of whipping off an answer when you're half-distracted at work. I did confuse things a bit by being careless.

To go back to a clean slate:

1) I took "RGB" to mean the older, traditional jack you find on TVs and PCs (what's commonly called "composite" video, since it does basically collapse the R, G and B signals into one wire, I believe). No matter what, that's definitely the worst video image you're going to get.

2) S-video

3) VGA/SVGA/XGA -- apparently what tuxster meant by "RGB", this resource says that it's superior to S-video, so it should be a good bet.

4) "Component" or "YRB" cables--this is just about the best analog signal you're going to get for a high-quality image. It's what better DVDs and video games systems use to deliver a sharp, progressive-scan image. I don't know of any PCs that would have this type of connection without a honkin' workstation-type video card.

5) DVI--this is a digital signal, and definitely preferable if you can connect that way. Many higher-end PCs and laptops now have DVI (or mini-DVI) connectors that you can use to connect to a set like tuxster's.

Hope that helps a bit--sorry for the confusion.
posted by LairBob at 12:28 PM on November 15, 2004

I highly recommend AVCable.com

They have great prices, fantastic workmanship, and if you call them up they'll tell you exactly what you need for your application. Plus, they have the testing specs to back up what they say, unlike most cable manufacturers, who seem to rely on equal parts alchemy and hearsay.
posted by ba at 1:52 PM on November 15, 2004

Right, LairBob's last post is correct: I was indeed inquiring about RGB monitor extension cables (SVGA/XGA ). Since my laptop doesn't have a DVI connector, RGB seems to be the most reasonable choice.

By the way, I would never go to Bestbuy for purchasing a cable, I know for a fact (from other cables) that they have huuuuge mark-ups on cables.

The more important question I suppose is that I want good quality but price fluctuations on cables are so huge that it's difficult to get an understanding on where the optimum price/quality point is. If you look at my links, a cable that Belkin says is $22 is sold on Amazon for $10 and on no-name sites for $3 (for reference, BestBuy probably would sell this cable for $30). So, it's almost impossible to get a good idea what a good cable should cost.

At the same time, I'm never going to be paying $200 for a cable , so the last one is clearly out of the question. However, I gave that as an extreme point to show you the price range. There is like a zillion RGB cables in that range from $2-$200 and I have no idea which one is "good enough".

grateful, that site you gave does not have RGB cables.

I'm still looking for further assistance if anyone out there has anything to say...
posted by tuxster at 1:53 PM on November 15, 2004

Oh by the way, "composite" cables are also called RCA cables. Perhaps the similarity of RCA with RGB (damn acronyms!) is the reason for the confusion..
posted by tuxster at 1:59 PM on November 15, 2004

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