There are several types of video connections that you can find on PC and consumer electronics (“CE”) products such as TVs, DVD/Blu-Ray players, video game consoles, cable TV receptors (“set-top boxes”), and video projectors. Even though they all serve the same purpose – to connect video signals from one device to another – the video quality obtained by each type of connection and/or the number of features available are completely different. Since you probably want to get the best video quality from your equipment, we’ve written this tutorial to explain the differences between each kind of connection and when to use each of them, with many tips on how to improve the video quality generated by your equipment.

The connection types we’ll cover are the following, listed from the worst video quality (the lowest number of features, as in the case of analog connections) to the best video quality (the highest number of features, as in the case of digital connections):

  • Radio Frequency (RF) (analog)
  • Composite Video (RCA) (analog)
  • Separated Video (S-Video) (analog)
  • Component Video (analog)
  • Red, Green and Blue (RGB) (analog)
  • Video Graphics Adapter (VGA) (analog)
  • Digital Video Interface (DVI) (analog or digital)
  • High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) (digital)
  • DisplayPort (digital)

In a nutshell, you should use the best connection that is supported by both your TV set and the device you want to connect to it.


Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.