Chapter 7. Connectivity

Hacks 55–59

So, you’ve purchased all this equipment, and now it’s time to hook it all up. That’s going to involve cables—lots and lots of cables. And because every component serves a largely distinct function, you’ll need lots of different cables. Some carry multichannel audio; others transmit video; still others work best for single-channel audio. Getting good sound and video, though, involves more than just picking a cable that fits into the desired hole and plugging it in.

Cable Basics

Understand what makes a good cable, and understand which is the best cable for the job.

The manufacturers include cables with their equipment, but I suggest using these cables only temporarily until you can pick up something of decent quality. I usually recommend the RadioShack Gold Series cables as a good starting point, but you can work you way up to higher-quality cables from there. Before you go out and purchase these cables, though, you need to know what types of cables you require, what they’re called, and exactly what they are used for. I’ll be describing these cables based on the type of connector used and the actual design of the cable itself.


You’ll notice that every cable shown in this section is from Better Cables ( Although you might choose to go with a lower-end cable, such as ones from RadioShack, I can’t recommend Better Cables strongly enough. That company offers amazing cables, at very fair prices, and they are the only kinds ...

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