SDI stands for Serial Digital Interface – it sends video over a cable like a computer would. Typically a BNC type connector is used but SDI inputs cannot support analogue signals like Composite (CV/CVBS) or Component (YUV, YPbPr) signals.
High Definition Multimedia Interface – is another digital method of sending video over a cable. Be aware that consumer equipment may cause HDCP issues where video isn’t sent due to copy protection
Composite video is an analogue video signal – it can only support standard definition (SD) PAL or NTSC connections on a single cable with an RCA phone connector or a BNC connector.
Component video is an analogue video signal. It can support SD video and some HD video formats. It cannot support 4K or UHD. It requires three cables, one carries the Y or luminence information, the other two carry red and blue information.
S-Video / Y/C
S-video or Y/C supports SD analogue video signals. It can be sent on two BNC cables or one multi core cable with a mini din connector.
Consumer type multi core type video connector SD video only either composite or component video depending on the equipment used.
Video Graphics Array or VGA is typically a computer graphics card output on a blue D-Sub 15pin cable. It doesn’t usually output broadcast safe resolutions.
DVI-I / DVI-D
Digital Visual Interface or a DVI connector is typically a computer graphics card output on a white D-Sub 15pin cable. It doesn’t usually output broadcast safe resolutions. It can carry analogue as well as digital signals depending on the software running the graphics card.
USB mini –micro- B - A female & A male
Universal Serial Bus – These connections were once only for connecting drives under USB 1.0, 2.0 – typically used for firmware updates although USB 3 does open up some video capabilities with certain equipment.
First found on Apple devices now gaining acceptance on windows computers too. Can be used for power, data and video applications depending on the device and computer used.
Usually used in computer IP networks like office LANs. Can be used for video streaming, control or to power devices depending on the products involved.
XLR Balanced Audio
Analogue audio connector which locks in place. Two types of connector male and female depending on input or output. Usually found on audio mixers, Hi-Fi, PA systems, cameras and microphones.
RCA Phono Audio
Typically plugged into red or white sockets on the rear of consumer equipment like DVD players, camcorders and Hi-Fi systems. Also referred to as unbalanced audio.
¼” or 35mm / TRS Jack Plug
Tip Ring Sleeve or TRS audio connections can be balanced or unbalanced audio connections. Generally seen in two sizes, smaller 35mm stereo jack or larger ¼ inch TRS. If the ring section is missing then only mono audio signals can be passed on. These mono connections are usually called TS, or Tip Sleeve connectors.
AES / EBU Digital Audio
Typically supplied on a BNC single cable connection but can be supplied on XLR or RCA or TOS link (shown left). This digital audio connection can support up to 16 channels of audio ( 8 stereo pairs ).