Utilizing Your System’s Graphics- 101

Posted on September 19, 2010


For many video game and media enthusiasts, great graphics is a must-have.

There are plenty of options to choose from: PC monitors, LED screen, LCD screens, plasma screens, projectors, etc.  The list goes on and on-especially when you need to consider finer details such as resolution, size, contrast ratio, and refresh rate.

Of course, don’t forget about the type of cable you’re using with your system.  The three most common types you can use to connect your system to your TV are AV, component, and HDMI.

AV (aka S-AV) cables are your basic 3-pronged cables that come standard with any system.  There are red, yellow, and white prongs/wires that plug into virtually any TV.  Current Systems: PS2, PS3, Wii, & Xbox 360 (some versions, like older Elites and Pros, came with component cables.)

Basic AV Cables-PS2/PS3 System

Component cables are your next step up and usually have an extra green, an extra red, and an extra blue prong.

Component Cable-Xbox 360

Arguably the best cable that you could use is the HDMI cable.  This cable utilizes different ports on your system and your TV. (NOTE: Nintendo’s Wii is not compatible with HDMI cables.)


And for those of you who aren’t too tech-savvy, you can take a look at the back and sides of your TV to see what cables it will support. (The ports are usually labeled.)

If you’re considering purchasing a new TV to replace that dinosaur that’s sitting in your living room, make sure you do your homework.  Know what you’re looking for in a TV (“specs”, specifically,) and browse the web to get different customer reviews along with prices.  Of course, think about what system you will be connecting to that beautiful, new TV, and choose the best cable for it.

In my opinion: The Wii is fine with its basic AV cable.  For the 360 and PS3, you really should upgrade to either a component cable or HDMI cable- especially if you’ll be using your PS3 to watch Blu-ray movies.

Once you have settled on your new TV, don’t throw your old one away!  Recycle that old dinosaur!

“What?! Electronics can be recycled?!”

You can either take it to a recycling event, like SeaWorld San Diego just sponsored, or to certain retailers who will recycle it for you, such as Best Buy.

“But don’t I have to pay for my electronics to be recycled? THAT’S STUPID!”

Most of the time, yes.  It’s usually a nominal fee to cover the expenses of the complicated process.  This is why when a community-sponsored, FREE recycling event swings around, it’s a great idea to take advantage of it.  Also, stores like Best Buy will usually reimburse you with equivalent store credit on a gift card.

“Why should I go through the hassle of recycling my old TV or other electronic devices?”

Answers can be found here: http://www.gcycle.org/ and  http://www.ecyclestlouis.org/why.php

Or to put it simply: Our old TVs and electronics don’t disappear once we get rid of them, and neither do the harmful materials that are in them.  The environments where some of these materials are being mined aren’t impervious to our consumption, and the environments where we’re tossing our old electronics aren’t immune to the toxins.