Understanding the Purpose and Use of S-Video Cables and Connectors

Photo of author

AVFive, your guide to the immersive world of high-fidelity audio. With a passion for sound that transcends the ordinary, AVFive is your trusted source for all things home theater speakers and equipment. 

In some AV configurations, having an S-Video cable is helpful. But what exactly does it do, and when would you want to make use of one of these? This manual details the circumstances in which an S-Video connector should be utilised.

Connecting various audio-visual components can typically be accomplished in a brisk and uncomplicated manner using S-Video connectors.


You might know them since the colour code for them is sometimes yellow. However, this is not always the case; therefore, you should not rely on it, as a composite connection is frequently yellow as well.

In that case, what precisely is an S-Video connection, and when would you want to use one? And finally, is it possible to connect a composite input connection to an S-Video output?

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about S-Video connections.


What Kind of Appearance Do S-Video Connectors Have?

The following is an example of what an S-Video connection on your device will look like:


This 4-pin mini-DIN connector, which can be seen in the previous picture, is by far the most prevalent form.

On the other hand, you can also come across others that have 7-pins like the one that is seen below.


The seven-pin variant is more popular on desktop and laptop computers, and the additional connections allow for the transmission of an RGB video signal.

A cable with four pins can be plugged into an S-Video connection that has seven pins; however, it is impossible to plug a cable with seven pins into a port that only has four pins. Despite the fact that the connection is circular, there is only one direction in which the plug can be inserted because of the location of the holes for the pins.

Because of how easily the wire could become damaged if you exert too much force before you have it properly aligned, you should avoid doing so.

How Does the S-Video Cable Appear to Be?

An S-Video cable looks like how it has been pictured above. This model comes equipped with a male 4-pin mini-DIN connector. When you are inserting the plug, you need to be careful because it is rather simple to bend the pins.
In the event that the pins become crooked, you can typically straighten them out with the help of a thin screwdriver or a pair of long-nosed pliers.

However, you must exercise caution since too much motion will cause the pins to get dislodged. We’ve been there and completed the task. Because a straightforward and well-made S-Video cable should be sufficient for your needs, you won’t have to shell out the additional money for a so-called “high-performance” connection; nevertheless, you are free to do so if you so choose.

Because the cable transports analogue video, it is necessary that the cable has a robust shielding, particularly for longer runs surrounding other electrical equipment. A reliable signal ought to be provided by something like this S-Video cable:


The most important thing to check is that the connection on your device uses a cable that has the same number of pins as the cable in question. The cable seen above contains a total of four pins.

What exactly is S-Video’s Purpose?

S-Video connectors are used to transfer an analogue video signal of average quality from one device to another. It is only capable of transmitting photos in standard definition, and it does not send any audio.


S-Video is a fairly common interface that can be found on a variety of consumer audio-visual products, including video cameras and video game consoles. If you choose to connect the picture using this form of connection, you will be required to utilise a different type of connection for the audio.

When would you need to connect using the S-Video cable?

In most cases, you will need to use an S-Video connector in order to connect your television to your video camera, an older generation of video game console, or any other consumer electrical device that does not have access to more up-to-date connection choices.

S-Video connections aren’t generally used for high-definition video playback devices like Blu-ray and DVD players. In most cases, such devices come equipped with superior connectivity choices, such as an HDMI or component video connection. Here’s a video that explains how to connect via S-Video

In addition, the overwhelming majority of these electronic devices do not come equipped with an S-Video output. On the other hand, this type of video connection ought to deliver an image of superior quality when compared to a composite video connection. If you are forced to select, you should experiment with S-Video first before trying the other alternative.

What more you should know about S-Video?

It is essential to make a distinction between S-Video and the standard component video connectors that are utilised in home theatre and audiovisual (AV) equipment.

s-video-connection-4-pin (1)

This format is commonly referred to as “component” since the video signal is broken down into its luminance (brightness) and chrominance (colour) components. Disentangling the signal, as opposed to employing a composite signal, is the preferred method for producing a more distinct picture.

Will Converting to Composite Video Work with S-Video?

The correct response is “yes.” Consider the implications. What should you do if the only type of video input that your TV (or other display device) accepts is composite video, yet the source of your video has S-Video output?

That is a piece of cake. There is an abundance of widely accessible converter cables that can transform RCA composite video signals into S-Video signals.
After you have configured your output device, connect the S-Video end of the adapter cable to the device using the appropriate plug.


The adapter can be connected to the screen with the use of a regular composite video cable that has RCA connectors.

Q&A: Most Typical Inquiries

What Is S-Video?

S-Video, short for “Separate Video,” is an analogue video transmission format widely adopted by consumer electronics, especially video devices like VCRs, DVD players, and game consoles. Instead of sending a single composite video signal, the S-Video standard sends two individual signals for luminance (brightness) and chrominance (colour).

s-video-connection (1)

When compared to composite video, the picture quality produced by S-Video is generally higher due to the superior video signal it transmits. Popular in the late ’90s and early ’00s, it has since given way to more modern digital video standards like HDMI and DisplayPort.

What is an S-Video Cable?

When transmitting visual data, an S-Video cable is employed since it divides the signal into luminance (brightness) and chrominance (colour) (color). Each end of the cable features a mini-DIN connection designed to fit into the S-Video slots found on most modern video devices.


There are four pins on one end of the S-Video cable and seven on the other. To connect to the source device, use the 4-pin end, and to connect to the display device, use the 7-pin end. If you’re looking for a sharper, more detailed picture than what you get with composite video, consider upgrading to a signal with separate luminance and chrominance signals.

S-Video cables are used to transmit video signals from older devices like VCRs, DVD players, and gaming consoles to a modern television set or other display device. S-Video cables were once widely used, but have since been mostly superseded by more contemporary, flexible cables due to the proliferation of digital video standards like HDMI.

How to Use an S-Video Cable?


Making use of an S-Video cable is easy and intuitive. To accomplish this, follow these steps:

  • Collect your tools: It is necessary to have both the source device (such as a VCR, DVD player, or video game console) and the display device (such as a TV or monitor) equipped with S-Video ports in order to use an S-Video cable.
  • Find the S-Video port, which is often a 4-pin mini-DIN connector, on the source device. Find the S-Video port, which is often a 7-pin mini-DIN connector, on the display device.
  • The S-Video cable must be plugged into the source device’s S-Video port, which is typically a 4-pin connector. Connect the S-Video end to the display’s S-Video port using the 7-pin plug.
  • Turn on the gear: activate the source and the screen.
  • Switch to the S-Video input by using the display device’s remote or on-screen menu. This will make sure that the video signal is being sent from the source device to the display device.
  • Changing the display’s picture settings (such as brightness, contrast, and colour) to optimise the image is recommended.
  • Watch the video and have a good time: The video from the source device should now be visible on the display device.

If your TV doesn’t have speakers built in, you’ll need to connect the audio cords in addition to the S-Video wire. Typically, red and white RCA audio cables are used for this purpose.

Is there sound in an S-Video?

No, S-Video doesn’t convey an audio signal. It only supports video.

v4-460px-Connect-an-S-Video-Cable-Step-3-Version-2.jpg (1)

Finally, video signals can be transmitted from a source device to a display device via S-Video cables and connectors. When compared to composite video, the clarity and depth of the picture achieved by separating the video information into luminance (brightness) and chrominance (colour) components is striking. S-

Video cables are still widely used with older video devices like VCRs and DVD players, although they’ve fallen out of favour due to the rise of digital video standards like HDMI. If the display device doesn’t have speakers built in, connect the audio wires in addition to the S-Video line. S-Video may be an ancient standard, but it’s still sometimes used to get video from an older device to a newer display.

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Meet the Author

Discover the world of high-fidelity audio with Ashwin, your go-to expert at AVFive.com. With a deep passion for home theater speakers and equipment, Ashwin offers insightful articles and reviews, helping both newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts craft the perfect audio experience. Join the quest for sonic excellence today!

Leave a Comment