Video signals (also called “video inputs”) come in many flavors

Video signals (also called “video inputs”) come in many flavors and they’re not always so easy to distinguish. There are both analog and digital video signals, with different characteristics, advantages, and limitations. We have provided this guide to help you decipher the different types of video signals and their applications, and thus determine which will best suit your requirements.


Composite video connector

Composite*: Composite input is the commonly seen yellow RCA** cable. In composite video, the luminance, chrominance, and sync information are combined into a single signal. Composite signals have to be decoded before they can be displayed. This can lead to video errors because the luminance and chrominance signals overlap and are often difficult to separate, resulting in “dot crawl” and “rainbow” effects. These carry low definition video signals only. Composite video is displayed in varying standard formats, such as NTSC (National Television System Committee, prevalent in North America), PAL (Phase Alternating Line, predominant in Europe), and SECAM (Sequential Color with Memory, principally in portions of Africa, the Middle East and other select regions) depending on the region in which you live.

Maximum Resolution: 720 x 576 @ 50 Hz, 720 × 480 @ 59.94 Hz

Benefits: As one of the first video signals, it was the best you could get from its introduction in 1956.

Limitations: Low resolution, not globally adaptable, demodulation losses.

Typical uses: Older televisions, DVD players, VHS players, older video game consoles, Single Board Computers.

Cable Length: Signal degradation increases with cable length, but should be acceptable up to at least 300 feet.

*For component and composite connections; white and red RCA cables accompany these types of cables. The white and red cables are used for audio signals. Typically, the red RCA cable delivers the audio signal for the right channel, and the white RCA cable delivers the audio signal for the left channel.
**RCA (“Phono” or “Composite” Connector): RCA is the type of cable used for component/composite connections. RCA derives from “Radio Corporation of America”, who introduced the cables originally in home radios/phonographs.

S-Video connector

S-Video (Separate Video): S-Video signals carry standard definition video. Picture clarity is improved over composite because S-Video transmits the luminance signal and the chrominance signal over separate channels. S-Video is still carried through the same NTSC, PAL, and SECAM signal formats, but displays a higher video quality.

Maximum Resolution: 720 x 576 @ 50Hz, 720 × 480 @ 59.94Hz

Benefits: Separate video signals for higher picture clarity.

Limitations: Low resolution, not globally adaptable.

Typical uses: DVD players, VHS players.

Cable Length: An acceptable maximum distance to run S-video cable would be 150 feet to prevent signal degradation.


VGA connector

VGA (Video Graphics Array): A color VGA signal comprises 5 signals: two synchronization signals (HSYNC and VSYNC) and three video signals (R[ed], G[reen], and B[lue]). Screen resolution is determined by the two synchronization signals. Color, on the other hand, is determined by the combination of the R, G, and B signals. This port allows the television to be connected to a computer for use as a monitor. However, because its signals are analog in nature, VGA video signals experience weaknesses in fidelity. There are a multitude of ways to send the sync signals through the cables, as well. Separate sync is when the horizontal and vertical syncs are each carried on different wires. Composite sync mixes the vertical and horizontal syncs together on one wire. Sync-on-Green (SoG) uses a composite sync overlaid on the green signal.

Maximum Resolution: 2048 x 1536 @ 85 Hz

Benefits: Introduced universal analog interface.

Limitations: Analog signal, no audio.

Typical uses: Older computer monitors.

Cable Length: Dependent on resolution. As resolution increases, length decreases. XGA resolution should display well up to 30 feet, while UXGA will reach only acceptable levels at around 3 to 5 feet.


Component connectors

Component* (YPBPR): Component connections are easily recognized as the Green (Y), Blue (PB), and Red (PR) RCA** cables. The luminance (brightness) is sent through the green cable, while blue and red chrominance (color) video signals are transmitted separately to maintain clarity, resulting in a higher resolution and better color quality (green chrominance is found using the difference between brightness and the other color signals). Component cables carry low/high definition video signals and are designed for high-end television production.

Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz

Benefits: Provide non-interlaced video, no signal separation/encoding.

Limitations: Analog signal, no audio.

Typical uses: DVD players, VHS players, video game consoles, consumer electronics.

Cable Length: 100 feet should provide minimal signal losses, but a low-loss cable can run up to 500 feet.

*For component and composite connections; white and red RCA cables accompany these types of cables. The white and red cables are used for audio signals. Typically, the red RCA cable delivers the audio signal for the right channel, and the white RCA cable delivers the audio signal for the left channel.
**RCA (“Phono” or “Composite” Connector): RCA is the type of cable used for component/composite connections. RCA derives from “Radio Corporation of America”, who introduced the cables originally in home radios/phonographs.



DVI connector

DVI (Digital Video Interface): Developed to create an industry standard for the transfer of digital video content, DVI can be configured to support multiple modes such as DVI-D (digital only), DVI-A (analog only), or DVI-I (digital and analog). DVI also offers single and dual link connections. Single link connections send data over a single twisted pair, while dual link connectors double the number of twisted pairs, which doubles the bandwidth. Much of DVI’s widespread use in the PC industry is attributed to its interoperability with VGA, giving it an advantage over other digital standards.

Maximum Resolution: 2560 × 1600 @ 60 Hz, 3840 × 2400 @ 33 Hz

Benefits: Compatible with VGA/HDMI, digital format.

Limitations: No audio, large bend radius.

Typical uses: Newer video cards, computer monitors.

Cable Length: No degradation up to about 30 feet.


SDI connector

SDI (Serial Digital Interface):SDI is the standard for broadcast video. There are many standards for the timing of video formats, known as the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers). As the bitrates and video formats increase, the standards clarify the different types to be named SD-SDI, ED-SDI, HD-SDI, Dual Link HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI.

Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (dependent upon SDI standard)

Benefits: No compression, long cable runs.

Limitations: Licensing prohibiting commercial use, expensive.

Typical uses: Professional video equipment.

Cable Length: High-definition video signals should be able to run 300 feet without loss, while SD video signals may tolerate up to 1200 feet.


HDMI connector

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface):  HDMI cables carry both video and audio signals. Because of this, they reduce the amount of cables needed for transmission. As an equivalent to DVI signals, HDMI is the current industry standard for high quality video signals and is preferred by the digital market for high-definition media delivery. There are multiple versions of HDMI standards, including 1.0 through 1.4, with 2.0 scheduled to be released in the future. HDMI 1.0 was released as the basic video/audio signal. HDMI 1.1 included DVD-Audio. HDMI 1.2 allowed for One Bit Audio. HDMI 1.3 increased bandwidth to 10.2 Gbit/s. HDMI 1.4 increased the resolution to its current maximum, allowed for an Ethernet connection, and supports 3D formats.

Maximum Resolution: 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz

Benefits: Home theater video standard, audio/video on same cable, high resolution.

Limitations: Length of cable.

Typical uses: HD televisions, Blu-Ray players, video cameras, video game consoles, PCs, tablets (micro-HDMI), mobile phones (micro-HDMI).

Cable Length: HDMI cables are typically compliant up to 50 feet, but can go farther based on quality.


DisplayPort connector

DisplayPort: Used primarily to connect a video source to a display device (e.g., a computer monitor), DisplayPort was designed to replace VGA and DVI. It can also be used to transmit audio, USB, and other forms of data. Backward compatibility to VGA and DVI display devices is achieved through the use of adapt0r dongles, thereby eliminating the need to replace existing equipment. Like HDMI, DisplayPort can be used to transmit both audio and video simultaneously, though each can be transmitted without the other. Though similar to HDMI, DisplayPort is targeted toward computer interface rather than home theater interface.

Maximum Resolution: 2560 x 1600 @ 75 Hz

Benefits: Computer Video standard, audio/video on same cable, high resolution.

Limitations: Length of cable.

Typical uses: Graphics cards, displays, notebook computers

Cable Length: Designed to pass quality signals up to 50 feet.



STANAG 3350: STANAG is a NATO standard, which is used in low tolerance video-capable sensors. This standard sets the vertical and carrier frequencies, but leaves the horizontal resolution to be defined by the display. There are three different versions of the code (A, B, C), which are based on different civil standards.

RS-343: RS-343 is a standard signal used for high resolution monochrome video.

RS-170: RS-170 is the standard used for color television. RS-170 is also known as the NTSC color television standard.

SMPTE Timecode: The SMPTE timecode is a set of standards to use with video and audio as a way to allow the video and audio to sync correctly with each other. This is used to synchronize, edit, or identify audio with video.

Replacing legacy 20.1″ LCD monitors (1600 x 1200 resolution 4:3 aspect ratio) with a direct replacement 19.6″ LCD system


Most OEM liquid crystal display manufacturers of a very popular size, 20.1” LCDs, ceased production a few years ago.  Lucky, a new 19.6″ LCD is available to take its place.  The viewable area is almost identical, within a few millimeters, but the new 19.6” offers superior image quality over the older 20.1” models.

This new AbraxSys 19.6″ series meets a growing demand for high resolution (UXGA, 1600 x 1200 resolution) 4:3 aspectratio and offers an unparalleled 700 nits (cd/m2) brightness panel.  DVI-I and D-Sub inputs offer compatibility with PCs equipped with digital and analog graphics boards. Composite video (CVBS) and S-Video inputs which support NTSC, PAL, and SECAM are also also available.  Additionally, the series is offered in a Daylight Readable, High-Brightness configuration for direct sunlight applications.  Mechanical configurations include:  NEMA 4 (IP65) Panel Mounting and 19″ Wide RETMA Rack Mounting.  This harsh-duty series also features high contrast, wide viewing angles, and IPS (in-plane-switching) technology, further providing stable luminance for a long period of time with a unique luminance stabilizing circuit.  By calibrating color temperature, luminance, and gamma characteristics, reproduction of colors consistent to the original image are possible.

The rugged rear enclosure and front mounting panel are fabricated of high-grade aluminum which has been zinc-chromate dipped and then treated with corrosion resistant thermoset UV-stable black powder-coating.  Various add-on features can also be incorporated into each model including:  Sunlight Readability Technology, Extended Operational Temperature Ranges, Alternate Video Input Interfaces, Optical Bonding, Touch Screen, and much more.  This rugged model offers exceptional shock and vibration safeguards and, is very ruggedly built, and features long-life displays. Incorporating the latest LCD and control electronics you are assured a display the will perform reliably in harsh industrial environments.

For More Information:
NEMA 4 (IP65) Panel Mount, Standard Brightness:  Model PM-196
RETMA 19″ Wide Rack Mounting, Standard Brightness:  Model RM-196
NEMA 4 (IP65) Panel Mount, High-Brightness Brightness:  Model SRD-PM-196
RETMA 19″ Wide Rack Mounting, High-Brightness Brightness:  Model SRD-RM-196

AbraxSys Multi-Touch Projected Capacitive Touch Screens

Human Machine Interfaces (HMI’s) are increasingly using touch screen technology to control operations previously managed through mechanical dials, buttons and levers. Rugged, industrial grade touch screens are intuitive to use, and with the right choice of touch technology, can be robust, waterproof, and hygienic. AbraxSys’ projected capacitive touch technology (PCAP) is an ideal choice for a wide range of industrial-grade applications, such as process control terminals, medical displays, mining vehicles, marine monitors, COTS military systems, and agricultural vehicle telemetry systems, as the touch performance in unaffected by scratches, dirt and dust on the screen. They can also be operated by a user wearing heavy gloves, and can be sealed to extremely high IP rated systems making them suitable for challenging or outdoor deployments.

AbraxSys takes interactive display technology to the next level by combining uncompromising multitouch performance, brilliant high-definition graphics, wide viewing angles and elegant product design into a fully-integrated, easy-to-use multi-touch device. These touch systems are designed, manufactured, and supported in the USA. Constructed as an all glass solution, our PCAP touch screens provide extreme durability and superior optics. We offer a standard product line from 15” to 19”, as well as custom solutions to meet your application requirements. AbraxSys’ PCAP technology is the perfect choice for your harsh-duty application.

AbraxSys’ Projected Capacitive Touch Screens consist of two ITO/Glass circuits and an Optically Clear Adhesive that is used to optically bond the two circuits together. For Sunlight Readable applications, this touch screen is then optically bonded to the frontal face of the LCD to achieve high light transmission and low reflectance. A touch event occurs when a finger or conductive stylus interferes with the electric field projected above the surface. This change in capacitance is detected by the controller which interprets the X and Y coordinates of the event. Multiple fingers can be tracked simultaneously and the controller supports common multi-touch gestures.

Local Support:                          Designed, manufactured and supported in the USA
Multi-Touch Functionality:         Supports multi-touch gesturing – flick, pinch, expand, tap, click and rotate
Rugged Design:                        All glass solution with ≥ 9H surface hardness
Enhanced Sensitivity:               Effortless input with finger, glove or conductive stylus
Accurate and Reliable:              No linearity calibration required
Custom Tuning:                        System tuning to meet your custom application requirements
Optical Bonding:                       Achieves high light transmission and low reflectance

AbraxSys Optical Bonding Benefits

Increase TFT AMLCD readability-at-a glance capability by specifying an optically bonded TFT display from AbraxSys. Combine LED backlight enhancement, optical coatings, or touchscreens to meet your human interface requirements. AbraxSys’ optical bonding facility provides proven quality systems, extensive in-house optical test verification capabilities, a certified clean room and other environmental controls. Standard LCD displays are fine for most indoor applications, but they are challenged in outdoor, rugged or environmentally extreme applications. For these applications, commercial displays are all but useless. The choices are either make the display washout less, or make the display brighter; and in some cases, both options. The OEM display manufacturers are not focused on these extreme markets and applications. This is where AbraxSys helps the display customer. AbraxSys’ line of high performance optically bonded displays are ideal for outdoor or rugged environments where top performance is required.

Key Benefits
• Improves contrast by eliminating mismatched reflective layers
• Improves readability without increasing backlight wattage
• Increased Sunlight Readability by up 400%
• Increased Shock and Vibration Durability
• Strengthens the overall integrity of the LCD
• Increased scratch resistance up to 300%
• Enables resistance to extreme temperatures
• Eliminates the “Greenhouse” effect and going isotropic
• Optical coatings reduce specular and diffuse reflections
• Less power required for battery powered devices while attaining
   excellent readability
• Certified clean room and environmental controls
• Fast, responsive manufacturing in U.S.A.

AbraxSys Rugged LCDs Tested to Extreme Temperatures

Harsh real-world applications that are designed for vehicles or outdoor applications have special demands.  Extreme environmental conditions – operation in high or low temperatures, thermal shock and/or vibration, high humidity, or startups in low temperature – account for most of these demands. Since system failures often result in high costs, the system must be very reliable under every possible operating condition, and it must provide the highest level of failure tolerance. Wide Temperature Testing ensures the system’s reliability under extreme operating environments.

Many customers are known to work under some decidedly extreme temperature ranges, but using an LCD or even a touch screen systems in temperatures as cold as -20°C (-4°F) or as high as +60°C (140°F)….or even higher?  Absolutely!  If you’re called upon to work at such extreme temperatures, there’s an ABraxSys solution that will survive those conditions far longer than will you.

When reading industrial computer specifications, it’s easy discount the likelihood of real-world applications that would test to those limits.  However, they may not be as rare as you might think. Take, for example, that low extreme of -20°C (-4°F). Food products stored in commercial walk-in and/or drive-in freezers are generally maintained at -18°C (0.0°F) and below. Many of these are huge facilities with a number of workers performing extended duty within the freezer units.

Examples are common at the other extreme as well. The World Meteorological Organization accepts as the highest ambient surface temperature that of 56.7°C (134°F) recorded on July 10, 1913, in Death Valley, California, USA. Of course, there’s not a lot of work being done during Death Valley summers, but that’s not the case in other parts of the world where temperatures are almost as dramatic. Witness the conditions endured by troops stationed in Iraq where on August 2, 2011, temperatures at the Ali Air Base reached 52°C (125.6°F) – outside … in the shade! Temperatures inside of non-airconditioned logistics facilities climbed even higher and, despite these extreme conditions, massive real-world logistical challenges continued.

Fortunately, most of us will never be called upon to work under such extreme temperature conditions, but if we are, it’s nice to know that AbraxSys supports products capable of operating in such conditions.  Most of AbraxSys’ LCDs configured in the following sizes (8.4″, 10.4″, 12.1″, 15″, 17″, and 19″) have operational temperature capabilities of -30C (-22°F) to +70C (158°F); some even further, -40C (-40°F) to +80C (176°F).

AbraxSys Announces New 21.5″ WIDE Video Format NEMA 4 IP65 Panel Mount LCDs

AbraxSys announced today the release of a new series of wide video format rugged NEMA 4 (IP6) rated panel mount LCD monitors.  These 21.5″ models meet a growing demand for high resolution 16:9 aspect ratio displays.  This newly released series offers such features as 1920 x 1080 resolution, 1080P high-definition, extended operational temperature ranges, true industrial grade TFT panels, a multitude selection of inputs including VGA, DVI, S-Video and Composite, and a host of possible configurations; inlcuding standard brightness (500 nits, model PM-215) as well as a sunlight readable model (SRD-PM-215).

More info:

AbraxSys Corp selected for the 2014 Best of Baton Rouge Manufacturer’s Award in the Liquid Crystal Displays category

Abraxsys Corp has been selected for the 2014 Best of Baton Rouge Manufacturer’s Award in the Liquid Crystal Displays category by the Baton Rouge Award Program.

Each year, the Baton Rouge Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Baton Rouge area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Baton Rouge Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Baton Rouge Award Program and data provided by third parties.

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