Composite, component and SDI cables – What’s the difference and what cable should you use when transferring videos?
Composite, component, and SDI cables are all types of video cables that are used to transmit video signals from one device to another. The main difference between them is the quality of the video signal that they transmit.
Composite cables use a single cable (the yellow one) to transmit the video signal, which results in lower quality video compared to component and SDI cables. Composite cables are typically used for standard-definition video and the most common type of cable you’ll find on most consumer camcorders.
Component cables use three separate cables to transmit the video signal, which results in higher quality video compared to composite cables. Component cables are typically used for prosumer and high-definition video.
SDI (Serial Digital Interface) cables are primarily used in professional video production and broadcasting, and they transmit the highest quality video signals compared to composite and component cables. They are also the most expensive among the three cables.
In summary, composite cables are the lowest quality, component cables are higher quality, and SDI cables are the highest quality. You should always use the highest quality cable available to you when transferring your films. All professional video decks are equipped with SDI cables but you may find if you are using equipment at home that you only have composite connections available.