How to Properly Use "S" Video Cables: 11 Steps (with Pictures) (2024)

  • Categories
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Television

Download Article

Explore this Article

parts

1Choosing the Correct S-Video Cable

2Connecting Your S-video Cable

Other Sections

Tips and Warnings

Related Articles

References

Written byJack Lloyd

Last Updated: January 4, 2021

Download Article

S-video cables offer enhanced picture-quality on older television sets. They come with a series of pins at the end (either 4, 7, or 9) that plug into a circular slot. To properly use S-video cables, you'll need to choose the correct cable for your television / component pair, then connect the two properly.

Part 1

Part 1 of 2:

Choosing the Correct S-Video Cable

Download Article

  1. 1

    Make sure your television and component support S-video. S-video cables connect a component (something that generates video, like a DVD player) with a screen (like your television).

    • S-video input slots are circular with several small holes clustered around the middle of the port. Both your component and your TV must have S-video inputs for you to use S-video cables.
  2. 2

    Count the small holes in your TV and component S-video slots. This will determine which specific S video cable to buy and whether or not you will need an adapter.

    • S video inputs can be either 4, 7, or 9 pin.
    • If your component S-video input has 7 holes (a 7-pin configuration) and your TV S-video input has 4 holes (a standard 4-pin configuration), for example, you'll need a 4-pin to 7-pin adapter.

    Advertisem*nt

  3. 3

    Purchase your S-video cable. S-Video cables tend to be much cheaper than their high-definition counterparts.

    • A gold-plated connector won't oxidize over time (unlike a silver- or copper-plated connector), so while buying a more expensive cable won't affect your picture quality, it may make for longer cable life.
    • High-quality cables are usually cheaper online than in a store. Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy are reputable online providers.
  4. 4

    Purchase any necessary adapters at the same time.

    • If you have multiple components that need connecting, such as a VCR and a receiver, purchase an "S-video cable splitter" in addition to more S-video cables. Splitters should cost around $5.[1]
  5. Advertisem*nt

Part 2

Part 2 of 2:

Connecting Your S-video Cable

Download Article

  1. 1

    Turn off your TV. If you try to swap out cables with your TV on, you can damage your set.

  2. 2

    Unplug any video input from your TV. Your TV quality can suffer from having too many video inputs plugged in at once so it's best to start with zero.

  3. 3

    Plug one end of your S-video cable into your component. The S-video slot is round with a series of small round holes clustered around the middle, to match the number of pins on your S-video cable. The small pins on the cable should go in the top of the input.

    • If your TV requires a different number of pins than your component (or vice versa), count the pins first to make sure you're plugging in the correct end of the cable.
  4. 4

    Plug the other end of your S-video cable into your TV. Use an adapter if your setup requires it.

  5. 5

    Make sure your audio cables are attached. These could be red and white composite cables (in which case leave the yellow video cable unplugged) or a higher-end setup.

  6. 6

    Turn on your component(s). Your DVD player (for instance) should be fully on before you turn on your TV.

  7. 7

    Turn on your TV. If your DVD video appears, you plugged in the S-video cable properly!

    • You may have to switch your TV's default input channel after changing to S-video. To do this, press the "Input" or "Source" button on your TV or TV remote.
  8. Advertisem*nt

Community Q&A

Search

Add New Question

  • Question

    Is there a way to run S-video through another device and then into your TV if you do not have it on your TV?

    How to Properly Use "S" Video Cables: 11 Steps (with Pictures) (16)

    Community Answer

    If you do not have an S-video input in your TV (for example, perhaps you only have composite input) but your DVD player does have an S-video output, you can purchase a converter to match the input (in the case of our example, you would need an S-video to composite adapter). There are converters for pretty much any kind of cable TO any kind of cable you can imagine, so this should be applicable to most scenarios.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 3Helpful 16

  • Question

    I have a new flat screen TV but an old SNES system. The SNES systems has a (female) s-video cable, but my flat screen TV has no place to put the s-video cable in. I'm trying to buy a converter, but where on the TV would I plug it into?

    How to Properly Use "S" Video Cables: 11 Steps (with Pictures) (17)

    Community Answer

    You can purchase an S-video to HDMI converter for around $30, and you probably have an HDMI cable that came standard with your TV (though you can also purchase one of these for under $20). You would then plug one end of the S-video cable into your SNES system, and the other into the converter. Then you would plug one end of the HDMI cable into the pertinent slot on the converter, and the other end would plug into the HDMI slot on your TV. This same methodology should work for any cable type.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 6Helpful 10

  • Question

    Can I connect a computer (USB) to TV (S-video)?

    Some laptops or video cards have s-video. If this isn't the case, get a VGA or HDMI to s-video converter to use for your TV.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 1Helpful 1

See more answers

Ask a Question

200 characters left

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Submit

      Advertisem*nt

      Tips

      • S-video cables are generally used for achieving standard-definition--in most cases, 480i. If your TV is rated for 720p or 1080p, use an HDMI cable rather than an S-video cable.[2]

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful1

      • If you have to overhaul your cable collection just to make your components all link to your TV with S-video, consider purchasing a new TV rather than new cables.

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      • S-video cables don't support audio. If you don't have separate cables for audio, purchase them when you buy your S-video cable.

        Thanks

        Helpful1Not Helpful1

      Submit a Tip

      All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published

      Submit

      Thanks for submitting a tip for review!

      Advertisem*nt

      Warnings

      • Be gentle when unplugging you cables. It's easy to put a kink in a wire or damage the head of a cable.

        Thanks

        Helpful5Not Helpful2

      Advertisem*nt

      You Might Also Like

      How toConnect a TV to a DVD Player Without A/V JacksHow toMake a TV Antenna with a Potato
      4 Easy Ways to Turn Off TV Narration and Audio DescriptionsSimple Troubleshooting Steps for a Samsung TV with the Black Screen of DeathRestart an LG TV With or Without a Remote: Easy Reboot TipsHow toDisplay the Secret Menu in LG TVsThe Easiest Way to Clear the Cache on Your Roku DeviceHow toReset a Samsung TVResetting a Vizio RemoteWhy Is My TV Freezing and Pixelating? 12 Easy SolutionsHow to Hook Up a Smart TV to Cable (Setting Up Your Smart TV)The Easiest Way to Install Apps on a Vizio Smart TV

      Advertisem*nt

      About This Article

      How to Properly Use "S" Video Cables: 11 Steps (with Pictures) (34)

      Written by:

      Jack Lloyd

      wikiHow Technology Writer

      This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Jack Lloyd. Jack Lloyd is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. He has over two years of experience writing and editing technology-related articles. He is technology enthusiast and an English teacher. This article has been viewed 288,354 times.

      How helpful is this?

      Co-authors: 18

      Updated: January 4, 2021

      Views:288,354

      Categories: Television

      In other languages

      Spanish

      Russian

      French

      German

      • Print
      • Send fan mail to authors

      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 288,354 times.

      Reader Success Stories

      • How to Properly Use "S" Video Cables: 11 Steps (with Pictures) (35)

        Larry Crane

        Apr 30, 2017

        "I have never been a wizard when it comes to hooking up a component to a television or anything else. I have never..." more

        Rated this article:

      More reader storiesHide reader stories

      If you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

      Is this article up to date?

      Advertisem*nt

      How to Properly Use "S" Video Cables: 11 Steps (with Pictures) (2024)
      Top Articles
      Latest Posts
      Article information

      Author: Domingo Moore

      Last Updated:

      Views: 5958

      Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

      Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

      Author information

      Name: Domingo Moore

      Birthday: 1997-05-20

      Address: 6485 Kohler Route, Antonioton, VT 77375-0299

      Phone: +3213869077934

      Job: Sales Analyst

      Hobby: Kayaking, Roller skating, Cabaret, Rugby, Homebrewing, Creative writing, amateur radio

      Introduction: My name is Domingo Moore, I am a attractive, gorgeous, funny, jolly, spotless, nice, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.