What is Blu-ray cable? Blu-ray technology brought HD movie quality to optical disc formats like CD and DVD.
But you can limit the HD viewing experience by using inferior cables to connect the Blu-ray player to your TV.
We’ll look at the Blu-ray cable types you can use to connect these players to give the best audio and video viewing experience. Let’s get right into it!
What Is Blu-ray Technology?
Blu-ray is a digital optical disc data storage format that superseded DVD.
The technology can store HD video (720p and 1080p) in the same disc size as DVD because it uses blue/violet lasers to read the disc.
DVD technology uses the longer wavelength red laser.
Blu-ray discs can store data at greater density (about five times more than DVD), and the short wavelength blue laser can read this data.
DVDs use RCA cables to transmit audio and video, with one channel for video and two channels for the right and left speakers (stereo).
This composite cable has a maximum transmission resolution of 480p, so you can’t use it to connect Blu-ray players to monitors.
An RCA cable
Well, you can, but the resolution won’t do you justice.
Component video cables can work, but having three lines makes them bulky. Therefore, Blu-ray needs better cables for HD transmission. Here are some options you can use.
Types of Blu-ray Cables
High-Definition Multimedia Interface cables are the most commonly used cables to link Blu-ray players to TVs or monitors.
This interface allows you to send high-res digital video and theater-quality audio, and you can get it in three sizes: standard, mini, and micro HDMI cable.
The cable also comes in different types, with some having a dedicated ethernet channel built-in to handle internet connectivity, especially on video game consoles.
A HDMI cable
When selecting a HDMI cable, check the version’s compatibility with your device. Newer versions have higher bandwidths that result in better video resolution.
HDMI Cable Advantages
- Supports high-res video (1080p and 4K)
- Transmits digital video and audio signals over a single cable
- Enables extra features like ARC (Audio Return Channel) and 3D support
Optical or Toslink cables only solve half the equation because they transmit digital audio data only. You have to look for a video transmission cable.
A digital optical audio cable (Toslink)
So, why use optical cables? They transmit audio signals using light pulses, making the channel immune to noise (electromagnetic interference).
Coaxial cables transmit digital audio signals using copper conductors that are more durable than optical cables.
But even though they support multi-channel audio formats, your audio system must be compatible with these cables to connect to the Blu-ray device. Also, you’ll need a separate coaxial or HDMI video channel.
A coaxial audio port
Although bulky, component cables can also work. They resemble RCA cables but transmit analog video signals using three channels: Y, Pb, and Pr.
Y or green transmits the signal’s brightness information, while blue (Pb) and red (Pr) transmit the blue and red components to form the colored picture. Combining all three forms the green picture component.
A component (RGB) analog video cable
This separation enables the cable to support full HD (1080p) video and progressive scan images, forming smooth pictures with more defined edges.
Component cables would be ideal if connecting the Blu-ray player to an old TV or display with no HDMI port. But you’ll need a separate cable for audio transmission.
It is vital to note that analog video signal transmission is more susceptible to interference, so be keen on the cable routing.
Composite or RCA cables have three channels: yellow for video, red for right audio, and white for left audio.
We don’t recommend using this cable for Blu-ray player connections because it can only transmit at 480p (standard definition).
A composite cable
You’ll get the video signal but underutilize your Blu-ray player. The only acceptable situation where you can use this copper cable is if you have an old TV or monitor.
These cables don’t connect the Blu-ray player to the TV or monitor. Instead, they link it to the internet to receive firmware updates, access online features like gaming, or stream videos.
Some HDMI cables have dedicated ethernet channels, eliminating the need for separate ethernet cables.
But these can only work on Blu-ray players that support HDMI with ethernet.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Blu-ray Cables
Consider these factors before picking the most suitable Blu-ray cable for your device.
The cable must fit between your TV or monitor and Blu-ray player. Therefore, the two devices must have similar ports to connect a compatible cable. This applies to audio formats, as well.
You don’t have to worry about audio if both have HDMI ports. But check the HDMI version compatibility.
But if the monitor is old, you might have to use component or composite cables.
Speaking of audio, check if the player and monitor support multichannel or surround sound formats like DTS-HD master audio and Dolby Atmos or TrueHD.
If both devices support these features, buy an optical cable for the best audio-quality transmission.
An optical-out audio port
Resolution and Bandwidth
Always go for the cable that transmits the best video quality your display can support. For instance, you should use a component or HDMI cable if you have a full HD TV. But if you have a 4K TV, get the HDMI cable.
And before buying a HDMI cable, check its bandwidth. If you plan to use high refresh rates for gaming, HDR, or 3D features, the cable should have the bandwidth to support these functions.
A HDMI cable plugged into a monitor
Long Blu-ray cables experience higher signal attenuation, resulting in a degraded output. Therefore, we recommend placing your Blu-ray player near the TV.
The alternative is to use high-quality cables with low signal losses. But these are costly.
The internal structure of this cable is the same, depending on the type. But those with gold-plated metal connectors are more durable (resist corrosion) and give a more reliable connection.
A gold-plated HDMI connector
The insulation is equally as important when considering the cable’s build quality. This skin should be sturdy and thick enough to protect the glass or copper wire inside.
Electromagnetic or radio frequency interference degrades signal quality, especially on analog-signal transmission wires like component and composite cables.
Digital signal wires like HDMI are not immune either. So, we recommend buying Blu-ray cables with a shielding layer to reduce signal degradation.
And try to keep the cables away from electronic devices like microwaves and Wi-Fi routers.
A high-quality HDMI cable
HDMI is the dominant Blu-ray cable. There’s no doubt about that. The cable transmits video and audio signals; some versions have a built-in ethernet channel for internet connectivity.
This multi-channel transmission makes the cable highly attractive and future-proof.
But you can also buy component cables if you have old equipment. Your choice depends on the available ports on the Blu-ray player and monitor.
There is the option of using adapters, and whichever hardware you pick, we can help you get the best quality cables.