A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. No matter how excellent quality of your HDTV, 18" DBS receiver, or DVD/DVD-AUDIO player, it'll never see light (or sound) of day if
The interconnect (if there's a jack for it) which yields highest quality is not employed.
The cable isn't sufficient at isolating signal from other signals, or limiting signal loss through "leakage."
So here are a few basic tips you may or may not already be aware of, that will increase probability you'll extract highest quality your audio/video gear is capable of providing.
1. REPLACE ORIGINAL CABLES: Those "free" ones which come with most components may have a quality "look", (especially since manufacturers of generic interconnects started placing "gold" plugs on them), but beauty & quality is not just skin deep.
And you'll notice how shallow it really is as soon as sound becomes "fatiguing", or you get a "short" in one, or you begin experiencing degraded aural & visual quality, along with an increase in interference.
Use discretion though; it you have a $3500 HDTV-ready television, a $3.99 package of A/V cables from VIDEO-R-US should raise a flag.
Conversely, a $100 TV from Bill & Ted's Wild Appliances and $90/meter Monster S-VIDEO II cables might be a tad much.
And you don't have to replace all cables in your system at one time (which could be rather expensive!); do it as budget constraints permit. 2. USE THE INTERCONNECT TYPE YIELDING THE HIGHEST QUALITY: If your components provide output & input jack(s), use them, unless it prevents you from utilizing some particular function unique to your viewing/listening habits & hookup.
That means COMPONENT VIDEO (if available) or S-VIDEO for video, and RCA for audio. When S-Video isn't available, that means RCA for COMPOSITE VIDEO.
3. KEEP SIGNALS IN ONE FORMAT AFTER INITIAL CONVERSION: With COMPOSITE VIDEO, all color & b/w signals (3 signals total) are mixed into one signal. A "comb filter" in your video equipment must then "un-separate" them all to process picture.
With S-VIDEO, a separate color & b/w signals (2 signals total) are provided on one cable. When your video equipment receives an S-VIDEO signal, all it has to separate is color. A "comb filter" is not used when using S-VIDEO.
With COMPONENT VIDEO, 2 separate color-difference signals, & a b/w signal (3 signals total) are provided on 3 separate cables. When your video equipment receives a COMPONENT VIDEO signal, all it has to do is derive color from color difference signals.