An RF cable, derived from “radio frequencies,” is a basic cable primarily used for carrying audio-visual signals. It is a type of coaxial cable, designed to protect the signal from interference. The coaxial design involves multiple layers to shield the signal effectively.
The four circular layers of an RF cable, from the inside to the outside, include:
- The wire carries the signal.
- An insulating material, typically solid plastic.
- A metal shield.
- A plastic casing that protects the internal components.
What are RF cable’s Drawbacks?
Despite its common use, RF cables have notable drawbacks. They can only transmit sound in mono, lacking the capability to carry stereo signals. Additionally, they cannot convey surround sound information broadcast in Dolby Pro Logic™, preventing the transmission of true surround sound audio even with a decoding receiver.
While the coaxial design theoretically blocks interference, practical challenges may arise, especially with cheaply made cables. Magnetic sources or power cables can introduce interference, resulting in visible picture issues like ghosting.
Although RF cables are typically the cheapest option, better-quality cables are often available at an affordable price. Using an RF cable may be necessary only when no alternative is feasible due to the absence of suitable inputs on the TV set or VCR. It’s important to note that this guideline doesn’t apply to the cable connecting a TV aerial, whether rooftop or indoor, to the TV equipment.
How To Test RF Cable?
Testing an RF cable is a straightforward process that requires basic equipment: a multimeter, also known as a volt-ohm meter. This device measures current, resistance, electrical voltage, and other performance details. Both analog and digital versions of multimeters are available in the market for conducting such tests.