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HDMI and component


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 twsarch

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Posted December 28 2010 - 04:36 AM

This is probably related to an old question but here it is. We are using a “temporary” cheap LCD 720p tv that has one HDMI input. When we got that TV (it replaced an old CRT that died) we got a new hi-def cable box and connected it with the supplied component cables. I noticed the picture wasn’t as good as I thought it should be so we switched to HDMI and this resulted in a big improvement. We just got a blue ray player (replacing an old DVD player that died, see a pattern here? DVD was connected via S video), would we get as much as we can out of the blue ray paired with our cheap TV if we connected it via component video, or would HDMI be better? Guess I should try both to see if I can see a difference. Component is the only thing available without adding a selector switch, (I don’t really want to add a selector switch). I am hoping the lower component quality from the cable box was the fault of the box and not the TV. A new TV is planed sometime soon so this is a temporary situation.



#2 of 6 Brian McHale

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Posted December 28 2010 - 06:51 AM

Just to be clear, when you say "component", you mean the red, green and blue jacks and not the yellow jack (which is composite), right?

There really shouldn't be that big of a difference between component and HDMI.  I'd be pretty tempted to try the cable box component outputs again and make sure there aren't any settings that can improve the picture. I'd rather use HDMI for Blu-ray. There is a flag that can be set on BDs that will cause a player to output SD over analog outputs instead of HD.This may not be a big deal, because I don't think the studios are implementing it, but it still would concern me a bit. You can always try the BD player with component outputs, though. It might be fine.


Brian

#3 of 6 twsarch

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Posted December 28 2010 - 07:04 AM

Yep, the red green and blue jacks. I can’t think of any settings that I haven’t played with to improve the cable box picture via the component connection. The main thing that was noticeable was the network logos on the lower corner where blocky and pixilated, went away with the HDMI connection. By the way, I will eventually mix up “component” and “composite” so it’s good to ask!



#4 of 6 twsarch

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Posted December 28 2010 - 07:22 AM

by the way, I am running audio to an old receiver that pre-dates HDMI via the optical inputs. What audio consequences will I be experiencing?



#5 of 6 Brian McHale

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Posted December 29 2010 - 04:47 AM

Did you try different component cables? With analog signals, cheap or damaged cables can cause degradation in the picture quality (whereas with digital it only causes dropouts). It's possible the cables might be to blame.


Using optical audio will cause a slight degradation in audio quality, since the latest lossless codecs can only be carried via HDMI (or 5.1/7.1 analog). However, you will still get better-than-DVD audio because the lossy DTS and Dolby 5.1 tracks on Blu-ray usually have higher bit rates than DVDs.


Obviously, the best solution is to get a new HDMI-capable receiver. However, you should be able to make what you've got work. If it turns out there's a problem with the component input on the TV, an HDMI switch can be a good solution. They have ones that come with a remote control and can be set up with Harmony or other universal remotes to automatically switch when you change inputs.


Brian

#6 of 6 twsarch

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Posted December 29 2010 - 05:41 AM

thanks for the input, I'll try switching the cable box back to component (with new cables) and use the HDMI for the blue ray. I forgot HDMI needs to be used to up-convert a DVD so that answers that, although I don't hold much hope I will be able to notice a difference between an up-converted DVD and the same that is not. audio wise, I am using "5.1" of my 7.1. the receiver is in my basement, the TV is .... and new player will be in the living room a floor above so I cant manage running all the 7.1 analog cables from floor to floor, but I can snake an optical cable thru with a pull line I put in when it was more practical to do that. The current DVD recorder (being replaced) is in the basement with the receiver, signal to TV via S video (I soldered on the connectors, lots of fun)




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