Quick Takes - BetterCables.Com Silver Serpent Component Video Cables - July, 2001
John E. Johnson, Jr.
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BetterCables.Com Silver Serpent Component Video Cables
75 Ohm Connectors
MSRP: 2 Meter Cable - $119.95; 5 Meter Cable - $169.95
Sold only on the Web
Now that more and more DVD players routinely have progressive scan component video outputs, and HDTVs have component video inputs (all home theater projectors have them), it is important to consider the cables to go with them. You can easily spend 4 figures on a good set of cables, and they are worth it. However, most of us can't afford $1,000 for the video cable. Enter BetterCables.Com, which is a new company that sells only on the Web. Brad Marcus (email@example.com), owner and cable designer, has come to the rescue of our billfolds with very high quality cables at affordable prices. Belden makes them to his specifications, and you just place your order at his website.
His newest model is the Silver Serpent, which is a component video cable. The conductors are copper with silver plating. You can choose between BNC or RCA connectors, both of which are 75 Ohm (very important). Although the basic price is $99.95 for 1 meter, it is unlikely that your projector or TV is only 3 feet from your DVD player, so plan on spending $150 to $200 if your TV or projector is across the room from the player like it is in our lab. We obtained an 8 meter (30 feet) set of the Silver Serpent for review.
Previously, we used a thick BetterCables set, and although it is very sturdy, it is also a bit stiff, so it was difficult to bend it around so that we could plug it into our Sony LCD projector. Also, it was too thick to put under the rug so that it was out of the way. The Silver Serpent is much less intrusive into the room, and easily went under our rug. The 3 meter and under versions have a silver mesh wrapped around them. Anything over 3 meters, including the one we got, does not have the mesh
Our Sony projector uses RCA input jacks, so we ordered the RCA version. The plugs on the Silver Serpents are 75 Ohm impedance. This ensures the lowest amount of electronic reflection of the high frequency video signal.
We found the Silver Serpent to perform superbly in our video setup. While the overall video quality was the same as our previous BetterCables component cables, the plugs stayed attached much more securely due to the flexible wires that they use (see photo below). Previously, every once in awhile, we had to readjust the connection of the RCA plugs because the cables were so stiff.
The picture with the Silver Serpents has remained completely steady over the past month since we have put them into our home theater lab. This is in spite of walking on top of the spot where they lie under our rug. So, it has been a substantial improvement. If you are buying a component video DVD player and TV, or already have them, but don't yet have a quality component video cable due to high prices, you need look no further than the Silver Serpent.
Looks: Picture: Build: Ease of Use: Value:
- John E. Johnson, Jr. -
© Copyright 2001 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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