Electronic Cable Connectors Types, Overview – Plugs for electronic devices such as a TV, computer or digital decoder can be purchased in all shapes and sizes. Do you know which plug you need for which device? We list the most common data and video connections with corresponding plugs.
Data connections: USB
USB (which stands for ‘Universal Serial Bus’) is a standard for connecting peripheral devices to computers. You probably know the term of the ubiquitous memory sticks that you connect to the computer using USB. It’s not for nothing that those memory sticks are often called USB sticks. You can also connect various (peripheral) equipment to the PC using USB. For example a keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner, external hard drive, digital camera, smartphone, ereader or speaker.
USB has displaced the older ports (parallel and serial) from the computer. The first makes a much faster data transfer possible. In addition, the device can be connected to the PC via USB without having to restart the computer. (This principle is called ‘hot swapping’ or ‘hot plugging’). Another feature of USB is that it can power devices. For example, you can charge your smartphone by connecting it to the computer. And you can connect different brands of external hard disks to the computer without an adapter. The required power simply draws the disk from the PC.
The current USB connections on computers are USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. The difference is that 3.0 is about ten times faster than 2.0. USB 3.0 offers advantages in particular for transferring data (on an external hard disk) or photos (from camera to PC).
As the cable connectors types there are four types of USB plugs for the USB connections of 2.0 and 3.0:
This is the side that you connect to the PC. This always looks the same. You probably (re) know this plug from the well-known USB stick. usb-a
In addition, there are three variants, all of which fit the device in question:
– Mini USB
The newest USB type is the USB-C. The new standard uses one plug type. Moreover, the plug is such that it always fits. So it is no longer necessary to study with a magnifying glass how to connect the plug.
Advantages USB type-C
The new USB standard has many advantages:
-The plug always fits because it has no top or bottom.
-The plug is on both ends of wire; so there is no difference between input and output.
-The transfer speed is much higher. Speeds of up to 1.25 gigabytes per second are possible. Copying a DVD becomes second work.
-The power is higher so that devices are charged faster. The capacity is so large that even laptops can be charged via USB-C. Goodbye power adapter.
Apple’s newest MacBook is equipped with USB-C. As well as the newest Chromebook from Google. And manufacturer LaCie has already introduced an external hard drive with USB-C. Google has also announced that the connection will soon also be placed on Android smartphones. The newest smartphones, tablets and laptops from Microsoft with Windows 10 are also equipped with the new USB type-C. But it will take some time before the new standard becomes common. Until then it is possible to work with older devices via adapters with USB-C.
Data connections: Firewire
Data connections: RJ
Connector RJ stands for ‘registered jacks’. You will mainly know them from your internet connection and telephone connection.
There are two types of RJ connections:
– RJ-11 plugs: for telephone, modem and fax
– RJ-45 plugs: for Ethernet and ISDN
Data connections: COAX cables
Connector COAX cables are best known for cable television. The cable consists of a copper wire wrapped in plastic with a (braided) shield and a plastic exterior around it.
Video connections: Composite
Composite video cables can be recognized by the yellow tulip plugs. With a composite video cable you can connect a DVD player or camcorder to your television. They provide image information. Composite also occurs in a SCART connection.
Video connections: S-Video
Video connections: SCART
Video connections: VGA
Video connections: Component video
Video connections: HDMI
HDMI is the most common cable connection between HD devices. HD images and sound are transmitted via HDMI. If HDCP protection has been added to the HDMI signal, only approved devices can play the HDMI signal.
Audio connections: Tulip (cinch)
A tulip connection is common on equipment for image and sound, for example to connect a television with a stereo set or home cinema set. Color and inscription indicate which image or sound signal is meant. For example yellow for composite video and red and white for stereo sound.
More of Electronic cable connectors types, on the website of the Consumers’ Association you will find more information about connections for audio, video and data.