DVI vs. HDMI

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  • 10-06-2006, 02:02 PM
    DVI vs. HDMI
    I recently upgraded my HT room with an Outlaw amp/pocessor combo. I was a little worried about the DVI-only posture that Outlaw was taking, but everything else was so good, I didn't want to pass it up. But now it seems that DVI is going by the wayside. I'm still using component video, but I'm seriously considering replacing my TV with a Plasma, so:

    - Is DVI with an HDMI adapter going to be HDMI v.1.3 compatible. I know sound is not included, so is there anything in the 1.3 spec I will need anyhow?

    - What TV manufacturers are still including DVI adapters?

    - Will any generic brand (Dayton?) of adapter/cable do? Or is this like the component cable debate of a couple of years ago that better cables will look better on-screen?
  • 10-06-2006, 02:14 PM
    ericl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    I recently upgraded my HT room with an Outlaw amp/pocessor combo. I was a little worried about the DVI-only posture that Outlaw was taking, but everything else was so good, I didn't want to pass it up. But now it seems that DVI is going by the wayside. I'm still using component video, but I'm seriously considering replacing my TV with a Plasma, so:

    - Is DVI with an HDMI adapter going to be HDMI v.1.3 compatible. I know sound is not included, so is there anything in the 1.3 spec I will need anyhow?

    - What TV manufacturers are still including DVI adapters?

    - Will any generic brand (Dayton?) of adapter/cable do? Or is this like the component cable debate of a couple of years ago that better cables will look better on-screen?

    All good questions I should have thought of before I ordered that DVI-HDMI cable that is in the mail. Hopefully I will be able to use it with my cable box for a good while.
  • 10-06-2006, 03:15 PM
    edtyct
    DVI is all but dead, and it will not be able to accommodate the video enhancements envisioned for HDMI 1.3. However, backward compatibility will cover DVI for some time. The wider color gamut that 1.3 allows won't become a going concern overnight, anyway. Think about it: Even though digital evolution is raging in the lab, the buying public is hardly keeping pace. As posts on this board testify over and over again, technological inertia is rampant among consumers--and this is supposedly an enthusiasts' site. The rumblings of a new format don't mean that it will come into play any time soon. Many professionals already scorn manufacturers' attempts to circumvent standard color schemes. A wider color gamut that is not a universal platform will meet with great resistance from the video police. I wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers who implement a wider color gamut before its time won't also have to make it defeatable. But I'm way ahead of myself. Most people don't even know what HDMI is at this point.
  • 10-06-2006, 05:39 PM
    Ed,

    So as far as video is concerned, the 1.3 spec just has a larger "color gamut?" Any other things I'll be missing out on?
  • 10-07-2006, 01:21 AM
    drseid
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    DVI is all but dead, and it will not be able to accommodate the video enhancements envisioned for HDMI 1.3. However, backward compatibility will cover DVI for some time. The wider color gamut that 1.3 allows won't become a going concern overnight, anyway. Think about it: Even though digital evolution is raging in the lab, the buying public is hardly keeping pace. As posts on this board testify over and over again, technological inertia is rampant among consumers--and this is supposedly an enthusiasts' site. The rumblings of a new format don't mean that it will come into play any time soon. Many professionals already scorn manufacturers' attempts to circumvent standard color schemes. A wider color gamut that is not a universal platform will meet with great resistance from the video police. I wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers who implement a wider color gamut before its time won't also have to make it defeatable. But I'm way ahead of myself. Most people don't even know what HDMI is at this point.

    It will be interesting to see if the wider color spectrum of 1.3 will actually result in a picture that looks noticeably better... I have read (but not verified with my own eyes yet) that the new spectrum will be essentially a nothing, as most, if not all people wont notice a difference in actual viewing (even though obviously there will be one). I don't know if this is really the case, but if so, then 1.3 would have little going for it over DVI and HDMI 1.2 on the picture side of the equation in my book...

    ---Dave
  • 10-07-2006, 04:47 AM
    edtyct
    Dave and Night,

    As Steve Winwood (whom I saw the other night) sang, "Who knows what tomorrow may bring?" but, so far as video is concerned, HDMI 1.3 will double the bandwidth, allowing much higher speeds. The "immediate" benefits will be Deep Color--up to 48-bits as opposed to the current 24 bits--billions of colors (rather than millions)--higher contrast, greyscale without a hint of false contouring--more versatile frame rates, automatic lip sync, and certain kinds of control that are only hardware-based at present.

    These changes certainly have the potential to make a distinct visual impact, whether in side by side viewing or in the general awe factor. As it stands now, many of us weren't aware of the limitations and flaws in the NTSC system until the new technologies highlighted them--interlacing problems, geometry aberrations, limited color and greyscale, etc. Likewise, improvements to HD standards may reveal "all that we've been missing until now." How many times did people write on this board and others, in the face of impending HDTV or hi def DVD, that the standards at the time were good enough and that the so-called advances were just the industry's attempt to make consumers spend more money. I think that it's safe to say that HD in all of its guises has made even the most confirmed conspiracy theorists take notice of the differences.

    It may well be that many of the changes will take place at such a pace that we'll notice them mainly in hindsight and in the breach, much the same way as we look back to the long-gone days of the early PC and wonder where the time went. Such is evolution. But I don't doubt that the day will come in the life of HDMI when we'll regard those few stragglers still shackled by the limitations of HDMI 1.1 with a combination of pity and knowing satisfaction.

    Ed
  • 10-07-2006, 10:34 AM
    cam
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Dave and Night,

    As Steve Winwood (whom I saw the other night) sang, "Who knows what tomorrow may bring?" but, so far as video is concerned, HDMI 1.3 will double the bandwidth, allowing much higher speeds. The "immediate" benefits will be Deep Color--up to 48-bits as opposed to the current 24 bits--billions of colors (rather than millions)--higher contrast, greyscale without a hint of false contouring--more versatile frame rates, automatic lip sync, and certain kinds of control that are only hardware-based at present.

    These changes certainly have the potential to make a distinct visual impact, whether in side by side viewing or in the general awe factor. As it stands now, many of us weren't aware of the limitations and flaws in the NTSC system until the new technologies highlighted them--interlacing problems, geometry aberrations, limited color and greyscale, etc. Likewise, improvements to HD standards may reveal "all that we've been missing until now." How many times did people write on this board and others, in the face of impending HDTV or hi def DVD, that the standards at the time were good enough and that the so-called advances were just the industry's attempt to make consumers spend more money. I think that it's safe to say that HD in all of its guises has made even the most confirmed conspiracy theorists take notice of the differences.

    It may well be that many of the changes will take place at such a pace that we'll notice them mainly in hindsight and in the breach, much the same way as we look back to the long-gone days of the early PC and wonder where the time went. Such is evolution. But I don't doubt that the day will come in the life of HDMI when we'll regard those few stragglers still shackled by the limitations of HDMI 1.1 with a combination of pity and knowing satisfaction.

    Ed

    Hey Ed, after my big move at the end of this month I was going to purchase the Sony 60a2000 sxrd. I do believe that the HDMI is 1.2 on the Sony. Now my Motorolla box only has DVI out. Am I going to get the best this TV and STB can offer using a DVI to HDMI cable or should I just stick with a good quality component cable. Thanks and sorry for the hyjack.
  • 10-07-2006, 03:59 PM
    edtyct
    Hi Cam,

    DVI to HDMI is the way to go. Component will look good, too, but the digital connection has more going for it. You're in for a whopping good time. Congratulations.

    Ed
  • 10-07-2006, 05:28 PM
    cam
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Hi Cam,

    DVI to HDMI is the way to go. Component will look good, too, but the digital connection has more going for it. You're in for a whopping good time. Congratulations.

    Ed

    Thanks Ed. I'm counting down the days.
  • 10-08-2006, 01:24 PM
    Just out of curiosity, and keeping in mind that DVI is the dominant format for computers, any chance that there might be an upgrade coming for the DVI spec?
  • 10-08-2006, 02:04 PM
    edtyct
    Nope. HDMI is creeping into the computer industry as well, given all the budding convergence with consumer electronics.
  • 10-09-2006, 06:48 AM
    westcott
    Using only one connection like HDMI also makes it easier for the computer and motion picture industry to control digital content (at least that is what they are hoping!)

    It just seems crazy that their are better cable designs for high bandwidth applications yet it seems once again, video and audio quality are not the first priority when setting standards.
  • 10-09-2006, 10:45 AM
    ericl
    This is all very exciting stuff. I just wish the technological evolution would slow down for a second so I can catch up. I want a new 1080P hdmi1.3 tv TV and get a next gen player, but I don't want my gear to be obsolete in a year.. Why can't the industry settle down and agree on standards, and then start implementing them? That's how they were so successful with DVD, i thought that they might have learned something there.
  • 10-09-2006, 10:48 AM
    ericl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Hi Cam,

    DVI to HDMI is the way to go. Component will look good, too, but the digital connection has more going for it. You're in for a whopping good time. Congratulations.

    Ed

    I've got a DVI-HDMI cable in the mail to replace the component cables that came with my comcast cable box. I'm curious to see if it will make an improvement. What can I expect?
    Most of the flaws with HD cable seem to be related to the feed itself, but I am excited to try the digital connection nonetheless.
  • 10-09-2006, 02:24 PM
    edtyct
    Eric,

    In all honesty, you're not likely to notice much difference. On good material, you may see a slight increase in sharpness, which might make the colors pop a little more, but unless the component feed is really compromised, not even a test screen is likely to show a drastic improvement. But you might see fine detail more distinctly, with less noise around the edges--that is, if the DVI ouput is implemented well. Sometimes digital noise is apparent but not usually.

    Ed
  • 10-09-2006, 04:00 PM
    ericl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Eric,

    In all honesty, you're not likely to notice much difference. On good material, you may see a slight increase in sharpness, which might make the colors pop a little more, but unless the component feed is really compromised, not even a test screen is likely to show a drastic improvement. But you might see fine detail more distinctly, with less noise around the edges--that is, if the DVI ouput is implemented well. Sometimes digital noise is apparent but not usually.

    Ed

    Thanks Ed. I am not expecting much, but I am curious. I am just happy to be reducing the amount of cabling back there. The component/stereo audio cable that comcast gave me is about nine feet long! totally unneccesary as i only need about three feet. If i there's any improvement, bonus.
  • 10-09-2006, 05:21 PM
    N. Abstentia
    I wonder that if they ever get HDMI ironed out if Outlaw will make the change over?
  • 10-09-2006, 06:20 PM
    edtyct
    I'll bet Outlaw's next wave carries HDMI. Lingering support for DVI will be hard to justify because of the advances, whether implemented immediately or not, that HDMI 1.3 represents.
  • 10-10-2006, 11:08 AM
    I don't know Ed. Last time I spoke to Outlaw (about a month ago), they were still defending DVI and saying that they don't have any upcoming plans to redesign their pre/pros with new ports. Which is also what leaves me with the hope that DVI isn't dead - maybe they know something I don't.

    Fact is, there isn't a single PC video adapter shipping with HDMI. Although many pre-built systems from the big manufacturers are now including it, mostly for Media Center PC's, most of these systems also includes DVI - it is just the prevalent connector in the PC world. You could almost argue that DVI is creeping into HT again because of Media Center PC's.

    And to piggy-back on what Westcott was suggesting, the seperation of video from audio, may just be what the PC crowd wants, if only because they don't want HDCP/DRM in their audio. I'm going to guess that they are tech-savvy enough to realize that HDMI is not in their interest. The vast majority of compressed & downloaded content is still HDCP/DRM-free, and while I don't have the numbers in front of me, I'm going to suggest it still beats iTunes in Internet bandwidth by a vast margin. Another factor is that much of the content downloaded from iTunes is then hacked to remove the copy protection. Apparently this is a pretty comon phenomenon. As P2P fades away, most young people are sharing their files directly, iPod to iPod, and this is not possible in an HDCP/DRM world. To complete this picture, young consumers have less & less money to spend because of rising costs, so free music is finding new avenues.

    Long story short, I would not presume that all consumers fall into the convenience-no-matter-what-the-cost crowd. Today's young consumers are completely misunderstood by the big media companies, hence the reason they are so hell-bent on killing free music downloads. I've maintained for years that a low-quality version should be available for free, but they can't bring themselves to do that. This is the short-sightedness that is making consumers bend the law. It is also what is making consumers try harder to find ways to make what they already have (in my case DVI) last just a little longer. I just don't want to have to upgrade my receiver every two years, hence the reason I went with seperates. At least my amp will be good for 20+ years.
  • 10-10-2006, 12:30 PM
    edtyct
    Night,

    Hell if I know, really. But from my perch, I see convergence as encouraging a single standard rather than two formats that overlap in certain ways. HDMI can always serve as a video conduit without the further complication of audio--as I have used it for some time myself--and DVI-D, as we all know, is perfectly compatible with HDCP, creating a rather uneconomical redundancy with HDMI. DVI-A, of course, is the type of DVI that pertains exclusively to the computer world, and, though it avoids digital copy protection, it really doesn't represent a challenge to what digital transmission can accomplish in other respects. The media PCs might just be the precursors to a universal standard when the dust of the older formats finally clears for new sales. The PC makers don't want to be left in the dust, and the whys and wherefores of copy protection aren't the first things on their agendas. If the world of entertainment and information goes HDCP, they can hardly avoid following suit.

    In this brave new world, I personally don't see much of a future for DVI. Nor can I come up with a technical excuse for what you've learned to be Outlaw's position. Sooner or later, HDMI will overcome the kind of lingering connectivity problems that I thought were behind Outlaw's choice. The only other reason for Outlaw to continue supporting DVI at this point, at least that occurs to me, is that it cannot allow consumers to think that its current line is a lame duck, treading water before the HDMI dam breaks. They need to sell their inventory. And this would not be a dishonest policy, since DVI is hardly dead in the water yet. I'm perfectly happy with my current DVI-D equipment, though I foresee a time when its limitations will become painfully obvious.

    I am not making a pitch for HDCP or the ICT when I say these things. The digital future is exciting in its own right, quite apart from the politics of copy protection. But, complain as we may, a galloping format that protects the assets of the entertainment/ information industries is going to be difficult to stop. I don't believe that DVI-D represents a viable alternative in any sense, since it's compatible with HDCP, less robust than HDMI, and is destined to fail if merely considered a way to keep copy protection out of the audio realm.

    Ed
  • 10-10-2006, 11:34 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Interestingly enough though DVI still seems to be the regular format on things like Computers and Projectors...I don't know that I have seen a Projector that takes HDMI in, although you can use a HDMI/DVI cable, but still.