Help out a TV newbie

I’ve never really paid much heed to the quality level my TV has offered, just having a decent size screen was always enough for me. I was out today picking up an S-video cable for my Wii and after I got home I wondered if I should have got component cables instead. The problem is I am really stupid as far as to what the differences truly are between composite, s-video, component, etc. I also have no idea if it is worth it to bother with component cables on my TV, even though it has the inputs for it. It is a JVC AV-32432, about 3.5 years old. I understand that the Wii outputs in 480p if using component cables, which I understand is ‘good’ but I don’t know why.

How do I find out if my TV supports 480p or has that capability? I can’t find the owner’s manual for it and the JVC website doesn’t have much info about this older model. I really have no interest in upgrading my TV right now. I’m just trying to see if I should open the box for this s-video cable or if I should take it back and spend more for component instead.

I have no idea if your TV supports 480p. If the information isn’t easily google-able and you lost the user manual, the best way to check would probably just be to feed it a 480p source and see what happens. Component is better than s-video which is better than composite. If your TV doesn’t support progressive scan, then the difference between s-video and component will be very minimal, but I’d still suggest taking back the s-video cables and buying component if the price difference and effort required are minimal, simply because then you’ll have component cables just in case you ever do upgrade your tv or pull the Wii over to a friend’s house who has an HDTV. Also, as a bonus, if you do use component cable on the Wii instead of S-Video, you could put the Wii in 480p mode and see what happens… then you’ll know for sure if your tv supports it or not.