Different Types of Coaxial Cables Explained

Different Types of Coaxial Cables Explained

If you’re anything like us, you’re probably spending a lot more time at home. That usually means that you’re dusting off your old TVs and trying to bring them back to life again––or maybe you already have an entertainment setup. Regardless, you need to ensure that your cables are in good shape along with your devices. One of the most common cables you’ll find behind your television is a coaxial cable. It’s usually a relatively stiff, durable, round cable with a copper pin at the tip. The tip also has a threaded cap that allows you to screw the cable into a TV or satellite box. In other words, you’re going to need a coaxial cable somewhere in your setup. Continue reading so you can learn the different types of coaxial cables explained.


Many professional television installers reach for an RG6 coaxial cable any time they’re installing satellite TV. If you want to get the job done right the first time, an RG6 is the way to go. There are a few reasons that RG6 cables are superior to their coaxial counterparts. First, the cable is an all-around heavier-duty cable. The core is much thicker, which provides a stronger and more reliable connection for your entertainment needs. Additionally, RG6 cables have a thicker insulation and higher-quality shielding. Both of which help reduce external interference (or noise) and protect the core from damage. However, it’s important to note that since the materials manufacturers use for RG6 cables are thicker, they’re much less flexible, so try not to buy more than you need.


Another common coaxial cable is the RG59. While this cable is similar to the RG6, there are some key differences. First, let’s talk about the applications for an RG59. You can certainly use an RG59 cable to connect your television to a satellite box, especially if you’re connecting an older television. However, RG59 cables are commonly used to connect CCTV systems. Anytime you’re in a brick-and-mortar store location and you see cameras inside and outside the building, they’re likely using RG59s to connect. There are two main reasons an RG59 cable is better for CCTV systems over traditional television setups. First, the shielding, insulation, and core are all thinner than an RG6, making the RG59 cable less susceptible to interference. Second, because all the materials are thinner, that makes an RG59 cable much more flexible than its RG6 peer. Installers prefer working with a more flexible cable when installing CCTVs because they often have very little room to work with.


After all this talk about older televisions, you’re probably wondering how coaxial cables changed with the technology in TVs. Well, there’s a relatively new cable that some companies are using more and more—that is, the RG11. While the design is similar to RG6 and RG59 cables, the big difference is that RG11s are better for high definition (HD) and longer runs. Back when manufacturers designed the first two coaxial cables, high definition wasn’t around, and even when HD was becoming more common, it wasn’t readily available to many. However, RG11 cables do have one advantage over the other two: consistent connection over greater distances. Both RG6 and RG59 cables begin experiencing a deteriorating connection after 100 feet, while you can usually get about an additional 100 feet out of an RG11 cable.

Coaxial cable connectors

While there are more RG series cables than the first three, the first three are by far the most common. However, there are several different connectors that you can find on coaxial cables for different applications. Of course, there are male and female plugs that go with each option, but there are six types of connectors in addition to the standard SMA:

  • BNC
  • TNC
  • SMB
  • 7/16 DIN
  • QMA
  • MCX

While there are only a few of these connectors that are regularly used, a brief explanation of each will give you a sense of the wide applications for coaxial cables. To start, the Bayonet Neil-Concelman, better known as simply BNC connector was primarily for military uses such as transferring radio and video signals. Similarly, the Threaded Neil-Concelman (TNC) is essentially the BNC only threaded since the BNC connector had a quick connect and disconnect design.

The subminiature version B (SMB) connector has a simple snap-on design and is best known for its uses in telecommunications. Similarly, the 7/16 DIN is a German design for industrial uses such as antenna systems. The QMA connector is similar to the SMA cable only it comes with a locking option. Due to the locking mechanism, QMA connectors are commonly found in industrial settings since it’s required to have a more-permanent connection. The MCX is the smallest connector of all the options available making it the best for applications that have size restrictions.

In other words, between the different types of coaxial cables and the connectors, you have plenty of options to help you get the perfect connection. However, if you’re setting up an entertainment space at home, you’re probably only going to need an RG6 with an SMA connector. If you have an old television, you might need an RG59 instead, but most applications will require an RG6. On the other hand, for a business or office building that’s setting up CCTV systems, you’ll likely need RG59 cables, so many choose to use BNC connectors. Regardless, make sure you’re getting everything you need during your order. If you’re trying to get a perfect entertainment center setup at home, assuming you have a modern television, you’re going to need an HDMI cable. Alternatively, an older television might require an RCA cable.

At CableWholesale, we’re proud to say we offer everything from connectors and RG6 cables to Ethernet cables and everything in between. Of course, we won’t let you forget everything else your setup will need like a 75 ft. HDMI cable and more. We pride ourselves on offering our customers only the highest-quality cables. In fact, we believe in our products so much that we offer lifetime warranties on most of our merchandise. If you have any questions, our team of experts is ready to offer you the top-notch customer service you deserve. Contact us today for more information.

Coaxial Cables Explained

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