|S-video/composite combo cables|
Unlike composite connectors, which use a single plug to transmit video data to your television, S-video (short for "super video") takes a two-pronged approach. Look inside an S-video cable and you'll see four tiny pins: two pins carry gray scale data, and the other two take care of the color, effectively doubling the video bandwidth over a composite video cable. Not bad, huh?
So how's it look? See for yourself:
|Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (click for more detail)|
Some might argue that the composite image has a nice, smoothed appearance. However, when the sprites start moving, you'll notice a lot of blurring (especially when you're looking this close). S-video keeps those same sprites nice and tidy. The same holds true for on-screen text.
I definitely recommend giving S-video a try on your older consoles. Just about every modern flat panel TV has at least one S-video input, and quite a few CRTs support it, too. And heck--it's the best you're going to do on SNES, PS1, and Saturn.
Check out the slideshow below for even more examples (including that Donkey Kong Country I mentioned). Click any of the images for more detail: