Buy Computer Cables - How to Ensure Adequate Connection

By: Ron King

Although almost all computer users dislike, even hate, the jumble of "spaghetti" that are the cables for computer, TV or other electronic equipment, the cables are the connecting link between your hardware. How to buy cables for computer equipment? Let's study the language of computer data cables so that you can make intelligent purchases, secure your data and purchase the right accessories and products for your equipment.

We all realize that computers come with a specific number of ports, yet we seldom consider that every port creates a connection point, generally via cable, of one piece of hardware to another. Take the PS/2 port, for example, which connects a mouse or keyboard to the computer. The cable might be flexible, have gold connectors, and be specially treated with foil and braid shielding to lower EMI/RFI interference, which might impair the mouse's ability to work properly.

An additional port that requires a connecting cable is the VGA port. This port connects the computer to the monitor and allows the operator to actually see the output. The cable needed to connect this device is a male to male extension and high resolution monitor cable with ferrite core to stop interference.

Yet, while computer cables utilized to connect printers, monitors, keyboards, etc. to the CPU are a fairly exchangeable, the more exotic uses of cables are still unknown to the majority of computer users. Look at the multimedia cable kits designed to connect the average notebook computer to a television set in order to install home entertainment systems. The cabling needed for this use includes an RCA (Composite Video) cable which offers direct connection ability to the RCA connector at the television itself. Also included in this kit would be an S-Video cable as the secondary backup, in case the television allows for the S-Video hook-up. The last cable in this kit is the S/PDIF digital audio cable which will serve as the connection for a digital audio device to produce top quality sound.

Another unique use of cabling is the construction of a connection between a projector and a computer. A noise-free video signal must be transmitted to produce a clear, highly defined, and natural looking image on a projector, which is extremely challenging. Cables utilized in this application are manufactured exclusively to diminish signal degradation and video noise that normally produces a blurry, poorly defined picture image, which will destroy the integrity of even the best picture presentation. The cables designed for this application are built with UL 2919 certified 30 AWG materials with double shielded braid.

When you purchase cables for computer equipment, decide first and foremost for the appropriate connectivity. A cable with a serial port connector will be unusable for a USB port and vice versa. Thus, in order to guarantee adequate connection of all hardware, please be certain to refer often to the user's manual that was issued with your computer and any new peripherals you may purchase along the way. In addition to the foregoing, it is best to choose high-end cabling for new additions to the system you may wish to purchase at a later date. Cabling is not that expensive, and you truly will get what you pay for. Or course, many a component will already come pre-packaged with a cable or two, and many of these cables claim to be the best possible solution for connectivity, but is this truly the case? Usually, it is best to invest a little extra money and purchase another set of cables, to ensure the highest quality output (or input) possible. Please remember, it is not a good idea to buy a high power graphics card or sound card, and then skimp on the quality of the cable and not get the full benefit of the upgrade. In this case, a higher cost should mean higher quality.

To conclude, while most instructions will point the user to the proper cable selection, the addition of peripherals will frequently require the buyer to do a little bit more homework to pick out the most favorable peripherals. Once you buy cables for computer equipment or cables for computer, TV or other digital media, be sure to appreciate the complexities of compatibility. Check the track record of the manufacturer. Remember that a computer system is only as dependable as it's weakest cable!

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