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  1. #1
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    HDMI vs. Component video cable question

    I'm going to be buying a 42" or 50" plasma TV. I'm most likely going to do video switching through a home theatre receiver between my DVD player and HD cable, for convenience's sake. I don't want to have to pay for an top of the line receiver that has HDMI video switching. Will I really notice a difference in picture quality on this size TV if I'm using component video cables instead of HDMI cables? I'm thinking that the difference in picture quality would be very minor or undiscernible, but I'm open to hearing otherwise.

    Thanks in advance.

    Darius

  2. #2
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    I'd agree--generally minor or undiscernible. When a discrepancy is evident, however, it can go in either direction. Sometimes HDMI is implemented poorly enough that component looks better. Theoretically, however, HDMI has the advantage of circumventing the A/D conversion that component requires, and it is better equipped to handle high frequencies. But I personally wouldn't go out of my way to spend oodles of money to get it on a receiver at this point--aside from the problems that people sometimes experience when they go that route. You could wait until the next generation of DVD player and/or other digital transmission requires it for copy protection and hi def audio. But if using HDMI appeals to you now for, say, an upconverting DVD player and/or TV tuner, you could always bring the feeds directly to the TV. Incidentally, you don't have to spend $100 + on an HDMI cable to get the full benefit of it.

    Ed

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    I'd agree--generally minor or undiscernible. When a discrepancy is evident, however, it can go in either direction. Sometimes HDMI is implemented poorly enough that component looks better. Theoretically, however, HDMI has the advantage of circumventing the A/D conversion that component requires, and it is better equipped to handle high frequencies. But I personally wouldn't go out of my way to spend oodles of money to get it on a receiver at this point--aside from the problems that people sometimes experience when they go that route. You could wait until the next generation of DVD player and/or other digital transmission requires it for copy protection and hi def audio. But if using HDMI appeals to you now for, say, an upconverting DVD player and/or TV tuner, you could always bring the feeds directly to the TV. Incidentally, you don't have to spend $100 + on an HDMI cable to get the full benefit of it.

    Ed
    Ed is right, of course. HDMI wasn't intended to replace component video (though it may end up doing that in all likelyhood). Most people I talk with insist the picture quality difference are very minor or non-existant between the two. The few I know that do use HDMI use it for the sake of being tidy and convenient, not picture quality.

    I've heard a lot of grumblings that most modern set top boxes/satellite receivers aren't very flattering to HDMI yet. I guess I've been fortunate, but again, the picture quality wasn't any better on my set when I switched.

  4. #4
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Its mostly about less cables,right?
    Look & Listen

  5. #5
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    It's mostly about copy protection, then about cables, and then maybe about PQ and, down the road, the new audio schemes from DD and DTS. To be fair, however, HDMI and DVI are the only formats allowing for upconversion of DVD signals to the native resolutions (or something close) of microdisplays. Since DVD players stand a better than average chance of scaling better than TVs, this mode of upconversion may well bring an improvement to how DVDs look on fixed-pixel displays--and I'm not just whistling Dixie. The added sharpness that sometimes occurs is measurable on test screens. The uncertainty of whether someone in particular will notice or even get the benefit of this function, let alone care about it, may be enough to let the sleeping dog lie.

    I should add, to avoid seeming too abstract, that I use this function between a Sony ES player and a Sony display. I prefer the player's scaling to the TV's, even though they're both Sony's. Go figure.

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