Home Theater Network

Bandwidth Requirements

Are cables with RCA audio, RCA component, RCA composite, or RCA coaxial interconnects interchangeable? The answer is it depends on the cable’s bandwidth limitation. Different signals require different bandwidth, and cables with specific interconnects are designed for that bandwidth. For example, a cable with a RCA audio interconnect is designed for 20 – 20,000 Hz audio transmission while a cable with a RCA component interconnect is designed to carry high frequency video at 30 MHz (1Mhz = 10^6 Hz). The lower the frequency, the easier it is for a conductor to transmit a signal without a loss. There is also a good chance the RCA audio interconnect does not have an impedance of 75 Ohms as the RCA component cable requires. Below is a table that shows different bandwidth requirements for different signals.

Cable Minimum bandwidth
Telephone 0.003 MHz
Analog Audio 0.02 MHz
Speaker cables 0.02 MHz
S/PDIF 3.0 MHz
Standard Definition Video 4.2 MHz
Optical (Toslink - plastic fiber) 5.0 MHz
Optical (Toslink - quartz fiber) 10.0 MHz
High Definition Video 30 MHz
XGA video 30 MHz
UXGA video 70 MHz
Cat 5 Ethernet 100 MHz
Cat 5e Ethernet 100 MHz
Cat 6 Ethernet 250 MHz
RF Coaxial 3000 MHz+

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