Early forms of coaxial cables – coax for short – have been carrying signals since the time of the telegraph. Initially, coax transmitted short, encoded messages across continents and oceans. Coax cables as we know them were first introduced in the 1930s. They transmitted television pictures and carried telephone signals. For decades, coax served as the de facto standard for TV cable. As time went on, people slowly began to realize the potential of coax cables and devise new ways to use them. In addition to telephone and video signals, coax cables now carry a heavy data load to provide internet service to millions of homes around the world.
If you own a television that is more than five years old, look on the back and you will find the familiar female coax jack. Similarly, coax outlets almost exclusively wire homes built between the 1950s through the early 2000s. Similarly, almost all high-speed internet modems connect via coaxial cables. In many cases, coax is the only means of connection for televisions and internet modems. It may be old technology, but coax is not going away – not while so many devices still depend on this simple, adaptable connection standard. Most people take this technology for granted, there are few places online that provide the best coax cables compared. We have endeavored to do just that.
Securing a strong connection from your wall to your television or from your DVD player to a monitor makes all the difference in picture quality. Likewise, a faulty connection from your cable modem to your router can seriously slow down or completely disrupt your internet connection. Using inferior coax cables can lead to snowy picture quality and less than desirable bandwidth. After much research, TopTenREVIEWS has selected the best coaxial cable comparison and reviews. Our top three choices, Cables To Go, Accell UltraAudio and Mediabridge all ensure that you will not experience any of these problems at the connection point. Also, check out our learning center articles about coaxial cable.
High-endurance coax cable is important for many reasons. Almost every television sold these days still has a female coax outlet on the back. Furthermore, it wasn’t so long ago that coax was the only means of connecting devices to televisions. Further still, coax remains the primary internet-wiring tool in millions of homes.
Coax has a prominent presence in the technology world. The best coax cable is highly durable, comes in a variety of lengths and colors, and uses high-quality components. Furthermore, the best coaxial cable distributors offer bulk supplies and tools to create custom-length coax cable. Because they are ubiquitously used, you should make sure you buy the highest quality coaxial cables possible.
We rated and ranked the best coaxial cable distributors and manufactures using the following criteria.
There are two different types of coaxial cable on the market: digital and analog. Digital coaxial cables transmit audio data in a binary stream that passes through a microchip. As long as the zeros and ones make it down the wire intact, the signal can reconstruct without any data loss. Despite being standardized, the quality of each digital coaxial cable is still somewhat variable, and you'll want to find a good one. As with analog coax cables, signal shielding remains critical. Digital data is more resilient than analog, but when interference causes data loss, audio output becomes blippy and spotty. A well-constructed cable can help to prevent this. Look for a pure copper conductor and braided shield guards with at least one layer of protective foil. These materials help to block out interfering signals from your other appliances.
For most of your audio systems – especially six-channel surround sound systems–a standard digital coaxial cable will do the trick. If you want more than six separate audio streams, check to make sure your digital coaxial cable can take the strain.
Also, remember to consider the setup of your audio system. If you plan to run your cable through the wall, choose one that is UL certified. If not, choose a discreetly colored cable that will blend with your décor.
We looked for coax cables with F-Type, BNC and RCA connectors. The best coax cables sport gold-plated terminals that provide the best connection to female coax outlets. Other considerations you should keep in mind when buying coax cable include wiring, construction, shielding and insulation.
Cable length options are essential because everybody has a different setup. Before you buy any cable, measure out your room to know how much you will need. Avoid purchasing cable that is too long. A little bit of good planning can save you a lot of time and money. For digital coax, look for cable length options between one to six feet; these lengths are ideal for connecting your DVD player to a receiver.
Help & Support
If you pay a premium price for your audio cables, expect a lifetime warranty. Most manufacturers are particularly good with cable warranties, but make sure you know what you are buying – it could mean the difference between having the cable for a year or for life. If you need help getting things wired up, it is always nice to have good customer support to fall back on.
Coaxial cable is the Clint Eastwood of connection cables; hardly anyone alive can remember a world without it, it is still going strong and we would sorely miss it if it were go away suddenly. Shopping for coaxial cable should get you connected as quickly and as painlessly as possible. With just a little bit of information, you can make an informed purchase that you will leave you satisfied.
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