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Selecting the Right Cables and Adapters

What are Cables & Adapters?

Cables are pre-cut cable assemblies available in specific or custom lengths and most are terminated at either end with connectors that are appropriate for a specific application. Adapters for a variety of audio, video, and control applications are available and offer increased installation options. For information on raw cable types, anatomy, performance characteristics, specifications, and termination, please refer to the introduction of the Bulk Cables section.

How are they used?

Cables and adapters interconnect electronic devices, carrying signals from a source to a destination. They are an important, but often overlooked, component in a display system. Poorly performing cables and adapters can adversely affect an entire system, which is why they are often called the weakest link in any chain of electronic devices.

For the best possible system performance, it is important to consider the construction quality, electrical performance, safety compliance, and handling flexibility when choosing a cable assembly. Installer-friendly features, such as flexibility and durability, translate into reduced installation time and effort. Superior flexibility makes a cable easy to roll and unroll as well as maneuver through tight spots. Durability, on the other hand, makes a cable less vulnerable to stress from frequent and fast-paced jobs, such as in rental and staging applications.

Applications that use short cables for equipment connection seldom represent high signal loss situations. However, quality shortcuts in the construction of the cable can have a significant effect in cables for high resolution or complex connections, such as found in VGA, DVI, and HDMI applications. Some low-cost assemblies do not fully shield the connector termination region prior to molding the connector shell. This often leads to increased noise sensitivity or signal radiation from the cable into other systems. Improper handling of ground connections may create signal reflections or degrade crosstalk between the signal pathways in the cable.

Cables used to connect components over long distances should utilize the best, low-loss cable construction and materials. High definition video signals are much more sensitive to signal loss than NTSC or PAL video signals, and require higher performance cable construction. Computer graphics or RGB signals also require low-loss materials and Best Practices installation considerations in order to maintain image performance.

For permanent applications, there are specific fire code requirements for your state, county, or city. While your local fire code ultimately dictates bulk cable and pre-cut cable safety requirements, a plenum-rated cable may often be run through open air spaces, such as those found above the ceiling, eliminating the cost of, and need for, electric conduit. Look for fire safety rating codes such as CL2P, CL3P, or CMP, on bulk or pre-cut cables.

Categories

Extron offers a wide variety of pre-terminated cables to meet the needs of every application environment. Most are available in a variety of lengths ranging from 3 feet to 100 feet, or 1 meter to 30 meters. For bulk cable information, see the Bulk Cables section of this catalog.

BNC to BNC Cables

These cables are available in single, five, or six conductor versions, and are terminated with 75 ohm BNC connectors. View BNC to BNC Cables

VGA to VGA Cables

These are extension cables with molded, or backshell, VGA 15-pin HD connectors. They are available with or without audio and in plenum or non-plenum versions. Some cables enable all pins to be passed through for ID bit/DDC – Display Data Channel communications, while others do not. View VGA to VGA Cables

Video, S-Video, and Audio Cables

Video cables are made with Extron SuperFlex RG6 Cable, our lowest loss, highest resolution cable. S-video cable passes Luminance (Y) and Chrominance (C) signals over two-conductor, plenum and non-plenum cable with male 4-pin mini DIN connectors at each end. Audio Cables are terminated with your choice of RCA or 3.5 mm connectors for transmission of line-level stereo signals. Extron also offers Audio Adapters for audio signal interfacing, for example, between RCA and captive screw connectors. View Video, S-Video, and Audio Cables

VGA Install Kits

These are cables with only one connector attached, so cable runs are easier to pull and maneuver. They are available with 15-pin HD or BNC connectors. View VGA Install Kits

VGA to BNC or SY VGA Cables

VGA to BNC-5 Female and Male cables use our Mini HR Cable, 75 ohm coaxial cable terminated with five, color-coded BNC connectors on one end and a 15-pin HD male or female connector on the other. For small spaces and high traffic areas, the 15-pin HD connector is also available with a 90° connector angle, enabling low profile, professional-looking cable connections. View VGA to BNC Cables

A/V UTP

Our Enhanced Skew-Free™ A/V UTP Cables are exclusively designed for systems utilizing Extron Twisted Pair transmitters, receivers, switchers, and distribution amplifiers. Enhanced Skew-Free A/V UTP Cable incorporates a design pioneered by Extron that eliminates the skew or time delay of signals commonly encountered with regular CAT 5e/6 cable. View Skew-Free A/V UTP

DVI & HDMI Digital

DVI and HDMI cables provide the necessary quality and connectivity both standards prescribe. Extron DVI & HDMI digital video cables maintain the integrity of the digital signal, ensuring a perfect image every time. These cables are designed specifically for connecting computers and other source equipment having DVI ports or HDMI ports. View DVI & HDMI Digital

Control

Our control cables are terminated with 9-pin D male or female connectors and are used to interconnect RS-232 controlled devices within a professional A/V system such as communications between the System 5 IP or System 7SC system switchers, as well as the full line of MediaLink® Controllers, and most RS-232 controllable displays. View Control Cables

Special Application Cables

A/V industry professionals regularly design and install systems that have unique signal delivery and control requirements. Special application cables are engineered and optimized for use in a variety of demanding environments, including control and audio cables, A/V slave cables, and configuration cables. View Special Application Cables

Adapters

Adapters are available for a variety of audio, video, and control applications. These products are indispensable for solving differing mechanical connectivity conflicts. Adapters typically feature a different type of connector on each end. View Adapters

Graphic Card Pin Configurations

CGA - 640 x 200, 15.7 kHz, 60 Hz
EGA - 640 x 350, 15.7/21.8 kHz, 60 Hz

CGA/EGA Pin Configurations

CGA/EGA uses a digital signal, referred to as TTL (Transistor-Transistor Logic), for the transmission of its video signal. TTL is a signal that operates in an on or off state only, thus limiting the number of displayable colors. Intensity bits are used to expand available colors up to four times the original number. Commonly used in low-resolution computers.)

Signal type: TTL

CGA/EGA Pin Configurations

Pin 1 Gnd Pin 4 Green Pin 7 Blue Int
Pin 2 Gnd/Red Int Pin C5 Blue Pin 8 H. Sync
Pin 3 Red Pin 6 Green Int Pin 9 V. Sync
ECL

Sun & Apollo Mono (black & white workstations)

ECL Pin Configurations

ECL (Emitter Coupled Logic) uses a high speed digital signal. It is commonly found in high to extremely high-resolution computers where the displays are generally monochrome.

Signal type: ECL

ECL Pin Configurations

Pin 1 ECL Video Pin 4 V Sync Pin 7 ECL Video Ret
Pin 2 ECL Video Ret Pin C5 5 Volts Pin 8 Sync Return
Pin 3 H Sync Pin 6 ECL Video Pin 9 5V Return
Mac II/Quadra/PowerMac

640 x 480 to 1152 x 870
35-68 kHz, 66.7-70 Hz

Mac II/Quadra/PowerMac Pin Configurations

Use of analog video signals allows for unlimited colors to be produced. Macintosh graphic cards are unique in a couple of different ways. The variety of sync formats is one of these unique features. In the past, sync has been available three different ways, and in some cases, all from one card. Those formats are RGsB, RGBS, and RGBHV. Macintosh graphics cards also offer multiple line rates and resolutions. These rates and resolutions are determined at boot-up by the manner in which the sense lines (ID bits) are terminated within the local monitor.

Signal type: Analog

Mac II/Quadra/PowerMac Pin Configurations

Pin 1 Red Gnd Pin 6 Green Gnd Pin 11 C/V Grd
Pin 2 Red Pin 7 Sense 1 Pin 12 V Sync
Pin 3 C. Sync Pin 8 N/C Pin 13 Blue Gnd
Pin 4 Sense 0 Pin 9 Blue Pin 14 H Gnd
Pin 5 Green Pin 10 Sense 2 Pin 15 H Sync

Macintosh Monitors

Model Resolution H & V Frequency
Mac 12" 512 x 384 24.5 kHz, 60 Hz
Mac 13" 640 x 480 35.0 kHz, 60 Hz
Mac 14" 640 x 480 35.0 kHz, 67 Hz
E-Mac 832 x 624 44.9 kHz, 67 Hz
Super Mac 1024 x 768 48.0 kHz, 60 Hz
Radius 1024 x 768 48.0 kHz, 60 Hz
Mac 16" 832 x 624 49.7 kHz, 75 Hz
Mac 19" 1024 x 768 60.2 kHz, 75 Hz
Mac 21" 1152 x 870 68.7 kHz, 75 Hz
VGA

VGA Pin Configurations

In 1987 IBM developed VGA as one of the first computer video types to use analog signals. The ability to display sharper images with high color depth is something that, even today, is being constantly expanded upon.

Signal type: Analog

VGA Pin Configurations

Pin 1 Red Pin 6 Red Ret. Pin 11 ID Bit
Pin 2 Green Pin 7 Green Ret. Pin 12 ID Bit
Pin 3 Blue Pin 8 Blue Ret. Pin 13 H. Sync
Pin 4 ID Bit Pin 9 No Pin Pin 14 V Sync
Pin 5 N/C Pin 10 Gnd Pin 15 ID Bit
IBM-XGA/XGA-2

IBM-XGA/XGA-2 Pin Configurations

IBM developed XGA/XGA-2 (Extended Graphics Array) to provide a means to offer higher frequencies and resolutions in the VGA domain. These standards utilize software and ID bit termination to achieve these changes.

*Many graphics card manufacturers offer super high-resolution modes that are not necessarily a standard (like XGA or VESA). Thus, a customer running one of these non-standard modes can be displaying a graphics resolution up to 1600 x 1200 at 117 kHz (horizontal).

Signal type: Analog

IBM-XGA/XGA-2 Pin Configurations

Pin 1 Red Pin 6 Red Ret. Pin 11 ID Bit 0
Pin 2 Green Pin 7 Green Ret. Pin 12 ID Bit 1
Pin 3 Blue Pin 8 Blue Ret. Pin 13 H. Sync
Pin 4 ID Bit 2 Pin 9 No Pin Pin 14 V Sync
Pin 5 Self Test Pin 10 Gnd Pin 15 ID Bit 3
VESA

VESA Pin Configurations

VESA is an international video display standards committee that was adopted in 1988 to create a better standard than IBM’s VGA version. VESA has offered more variety in video resolutions and it is still adopting more standards each year. To date, VESA has adopted standards that range from standard VGA (at 640 x 480) to super high resolution graphics (1600 x 1200 at 106 kHz). Most VESA graphics cards are capable of switching resolutions “on-the-fly” if you are using Windows® 95, 98, 2000 or through the set-up menu if you’re using Windows 3.1. For more on VESA, visit www.vesa.org.

Signal type: Analog

VESA Pin Configurations

Pin 1 Red Pin 6 Red Ret. Pin 11 ID Bit
Pin 2 Green Pin 7 Green Ret. Pin 12 ID Bit
Pin 3 Blue Pin 8 Blue Ret. Pin 13 H. Sync
Pin 4 ID Bit Pin 9 +5V DC Pin 14 V Sync
Pin 5 N/C Pin 10 Gnd Pin 15 Reserved
Sun Color-13W3

Sun Color-13W3 Pin Configurations

Sun manufactures high-end computers that are capable of very high resolutions. They are able to output these various resolutions from the same card; this is determined at boot-up by the manner in which sense lines (ID bits) are terminated within the local monitor.

Signal type: Analog

Sun Color-13W3 Pin Configurations

Pin A1 Red/R-Gnd Pin 3 Sense 2 Pin 8 Sense 1
Pin A2 Green/G-Gnd Pin 4 Sense Ret. Pin 9 Sense 0
Pin A3 Blue/B-Gnd Pin 5 C-Sync Pin 10 C-Sync Ret.
Pin 1 N/C Pin 6 N/C    
Pin 2 N/C Pin 7 N/C    
Sun Sparc-13W3

Sun Sparc-13W3 Pin Configurations

Sun manufactures high-end computers that are capable of very high resolutions. They are able to output these various resolutions from the same card; this is determined at boot-up by the manner in which sense lines (ID bits) are terminated within the local monitor.

Signal type: Analog

Sun Sparc-13W3 Pin Configurations

Pin A1 Red Pin 3 Sen 0 Pin 8 Sen 1
Pin A2 Green Pin 4 Gnd Pin 9 Sen 2
Pin A3 Blue Pin 5 C Sync Pin 10 Gnd
Pin 1 Serial Read Pin 6 H Sync    
Pin 2 V Sync Pin 7 Serial Write    
Dell/Hitachi-13W3

Dell/Hitachi-13W3 Pin Configurations

This connector is used by some Dell and Hitachi computers. Unique to this 13W3 connector is the ability to transmit DDC- Display Data Channel communications for retrieving display information from the monitor. This connector uses pins 1, 4, and 6 to retrieve the DDC clock, ground and data information.

Signal type: Analog

Dell/Hitachi-13W3 Pin Configurations

Pin A1 Red Pin 3 Reserved Pin 8 N/C
Pin A2 Green Pin 4 DDC Gnd Pin 9 Reserved
Pin A3 Blue Pin 5 C-Sync Pin 10 S. Gnd
Pin 1 DDC Clock Pin 6 DDC Data    
Pin 2 N/C Pin 7 V Sync    
SGI Silicon Graphics-1

SGI Silicon Graphics-13W3 Pin Configurations

Silicon Graphics manufactures high-end computers that are used in graphic rendering and CAD/CAM applications. This computer type generally operates at two different frequencies (48 kHz and 64 kHz), which is determined upon boot-up. This computer type outputs RsGsBs, RGsB, RGBS, and RGBHV.

Signal type: Analog

SGI Silicon Graphics-13W3 Pin Configurations

Pin A1 Red/R-Gnd Pin 3 C-Sync Pin 8 Digital Gnd
Pin A2 Green/G-Gnd Pin 4 H Drive Pin 9 Digital Gnd
Pin A3 Blue/B-Gnd Pin 5 V Drive Pin 10 Sync 2
Pin 1 Monitor Type 3 Pin 6 Monitor Type 1    
Pin 2 Monitor Type 0 Pin 7 Monitor Type 2    
Enhanced Video Connector-EVC

Enhanced Video Connector-EVC Pin Configurations

The EVC connector is a combination analog and digital connector designed to carry VGA/RGB, FireWire, audio, and USB signals. The EVC connector is essentially the same as the DVI connector, except it carries different signals. It was designed to simplify computer-monitor connections and to carry video signals with a greater bandwidth than is possible with a VGA connector.

Signal type: Analog and digital

Enhanced Video Connector-EVC Pin Configurations

Pin 1 Audio Output, Right Pin 19 1394 Vg
Pin 2 Audio Output, Left Pin 20 1394 Vp
Pin 3 Audio Output, Return Pin 21 Audio Input, Left
Pin 4 Sync Return Pin 22 Audio Input, Right
Pin 5 Horizontal Sync (TTL) Pin 23 Audio Input, Return
Pin 6 Vertical Sync (TTL) Pin 24 Stereo Sync (TTL)
Pin 7 Reserved Pin 25 DDC Return
Pin 8* Reserved Pin 26 DDC Data (SDA)
Pin 9 1394 pair A, data - Pin 27 DDC Clock (SCL)
Pin 10 1394 pair A, data + Pin 28* +5 VDC
Pin 11 Charging Power Input, (+) Pin 29 1394 Pair B, Clock (+)
Pin 12 Charging Power Input, (-) Pin 30 1394 Pair B, Clock (-)
Pin 13 Video Input Y or Composite In Pin C1 Red Video Out
Pin 14 Video Input, Return Pin C2 Green Video Out
Pin 15 Video Input, C In Pin C3 Pixel Clock Out
Pin 16 USB Data (+) Pin C4 Blue Video Out
Pin 17 USB Data (-) Pin C5 Video/Pixel Clock Return
Pin 18* USB/1394 common mode shield    

HDMI Type A Connector

The HDMI Type A connector (shown left) is a 19-pin connector and carries all required HDMI signals, including the TMDS link. The HDMI Type B connector (not shown) is slightly larger and carries a second TMDS link, which is necessary to support very high resolution computer displays requiring dual link bandwidth. The Type A connector carries only a single TMDS link and therefore is only permitted to carry signals up to 165Mpixels/sec. To carry signals greater than 165Mpixels/sec., the dual-link capability of the Type B connector is used.

HDMI Pin Configurations

Pin 1 TMDS Data 2+ Pin 11 TMDS Clock Shield
Pin 2 TMDS Data2 Shield Pin 12 TMDS Clock-
Pin 3 TMDS Data2- Pin 13 CEC
Pin 4 TMDS Data1+ Pin 14 Reserved (N.C. on device)
Pin 5 TMDS Data1 Shield Pin 15 SCL
Pin 6 TMDS Data1- Pin 16 SDA
Pin 7 TMDS Data0+ Pin 17 DDC/CEC Ground
Pin 8 TMDS Data0 Shield Pin 18 +5V Power
Pin 9 TMDS Data0- Pin 19 Hot Plug Detect
Pin 10 TMDS Clock    
Digital Visual Interface-DVI

DVI was developed by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). It carries the same type of signal as the DFP-Digital Flat Panel connector; however, the connector is not the same physically or in terms of pin out. The DVI connector comes in two forms — as DVI-D (Digital), a 24-pin version, or as a DVI-I (Integrated) 29-pin version. The 29-pin version allows an analog signal to also be carried.

Signal type: Analog and digital

Digital Visual Interface-DVI Pin Configurations

Pin 1 TMDS Data 2- Pin 16 Hot Plug Detect
Pin 2 TMDS Data 2+ Pin 17 TMDS Data 0-
Pin 3 TMDS Data 2/4 Pin 18 TMDS Data 0+
Pin 4 TMDS Data 4- Pin 19 TMDS Data 0/5 Shield
Pin 5 TMDS Data 4+ Pin 20 TMDS Data 5-
Pin 6 DDC Clock Pin 21 TMDS Data 5+
Pin 7 DDC Data Pin 22 TMDS Clock Shield
Pin 8 Analog Vertical Sync Pin 23 TMDS Clock+
Pin 9 TMDS Data 1- Pin 24 TMDS Clock-
Pin 10 TMDS Data 1+ Pin C1 Analog Red Video Out
Pin 11 TMDS Data 1/3 Shield Pin C2 Analog Green Video Out
Pin 12 TMDS Data 3- Pin C3 Analog Blue Video Out
Pin 13 TMDS Data 3+ Pin C4 Analog Horizontal Sync
Pin 14 +5 V Power Pin C5 Analog Common Ground Return (R, G, B Video Out)
Pin 15 Ground (+5 V, Analog H/V Sync)    

DVI Connectors

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