Hardware Connections

Connections you find on your entertainment devices at home

RJ45 Ethernet

Despite what many people will say, Ethernet cables are NOT always for internet used. It is merely a cable for transferring data from one place to another. The most common use for this cable is for connecting your PC to a router.

Optical

Optical cables are used for audio transfer between entertainment devices such as; TVs, Games Consoles, DVD Players etc. to your High-Fidelity (HiFi) equipment or home cinema system. It is basically a flexible transparent tube and flashes of light are sent from the source to the destination to create High Definition sound quality.

PS/2

PS/2 is a connector used for connecting a Keyboard and Mouse to a computer. It was invented by IBM a long time ago and is being slowly replaced by USB. These are only found on desktop computers now and will usually have, instead of two separate ports, a single port to combine Keyboard and Mouse.

USB

Universal Serial Bus or USB has three major types; 1.1, 2.0, 3.0. These are all different speeds, 1.1 being the slowest and with a  5 GB/s transfer rate, 3.0 is the fastest. There are loads of different connector types but the one above is the most common. Most computer peripherals you buy will be connected using USB. Some newer TVs also have USB ports to attach a Flash Drive or similar.

Firewire

Also called 1394, Firewire is an extremely fast interface. There are lots of different connection types. It is used similarly to USB, for data transfer. High end components such as Audio Interfaces use Firewire technology. The best way to think of it is as a super fast USB connection.

Memory Cards

Memory cards aren't really connections. They are a form of storage.There are loads of different types of Memory cards and I'm not going to go though them all, just the two most common. First there's SD, this stands for Secure Digital. This is the most common type of card and are mainly found in digital cameras. You can also get Mini SD and Micro SD versions for mobile phones etc.Next, there is CF, or CompactFlash. These are about twice the thickness and twice the length of SD cards and have much faster transfer rates. They also have the highest capacities, up to 256 GB!  A memory card reader does read memory cards but also writes to them.

HDMI

High Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI connectors are the updated versions of SCART, they provide up to 1080p resolution. These are beginning to replace SCART connectors on the back of your TV. Unlike SCART, HDMI is a digital interface, reducing the risk of interference.

VGA

Video Graphics Array or VGA is the most popular interface to connect your Computer Monitor to your Computer, this is also capable of producing a High Definition image.

SCART

A 21 pin connector, it is the most common connection between your Television and DVD player , VHS player or Games Console. Because SCART is analogue, interference is inevitable.