S-Video Definition & Meaning

Short for Super-Video, a technology for transmitting video signals over a cable by dividing the video information into two separate signals: one for color (chrominance), and the other for brightness (luminance). When sent to a television, this produces sharper images than composite video , where the video information is transmitted as a single signal over one wire. This is because televisions are designed to display separate Luminance (Y) and Chrominance (C) signals. (The terms Y/C video and S-Video are the same.)

Computer monitors, on the other hand, are designed for RGB signals. Most digital video devices, such as digital cameras and game machines, produce video in RGB format. The images look best, therefore, when output on a computer monitor. When output on a television, however, they look better in S-Video format than in composite format.

To use S-Video, the device sending the signals must support S-Video output and the device receiving the signals must have an S-Video input jack. Then you need a special S-Video cable to connect the two devices.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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