HDMI vs component connections....I'm really confused now....can someone please help?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by marcus_h, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. marcus_h

    marcus_h Agent

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    Hi everyone,

    I've read a couple threads here and their links about upconverting and scaling and what not, but now, I'm more confused than ever.

    I bought a Toshiba 34 inch cinema crt which is high definition and it comes with hdmi ports on the back. I also bought a toshiba progressive scan player which does not have an hdmi port, so I connected it using my component cables. So...with a 34 inch crt based tv, if I upgraded the dvd player to a toshiba SD5970 with an HDMI out, (which upconverts the signal to 720p or 1080i supposedly), will I notice a difference or not, especially when dvds are only 480p anyway.

    I'm so confused right now, its giving me a headache...thanks for any info in advance.

    Marc
     
  2. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    I doubt you'd notice any difference at all, but then again you could always buy the toshiba SD5970, try it out, and if there isnt a benefit you can take it back within 30 days, then at least you could see if the hdmi ports is an improvement. Are you unhappy with the way it looks now, or you're just curious if it could look better? IMHO I think people are too picky, S-video looks fine to me, but what the hell do I know anyways my TV is a rear projection so its not really critical to me. I was just thinking maybe you would notice a difference if you were watching HDTV? Im thinking that might be the only way to take advantage of it.
     
  3. Tom Kay

    Tom Kay Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Vince

    This is a follow-up of Vince's reply.

    It's hard to see that one signal is better than another unless you see them side-by-side.

    That's exactly what I did at my local electronics store. The sales guy set up a demo where we were using a Sony TV, something like a Vega, I think, and he used split screen to give us two identical pictures, both from the same DVD player.

    One signal was sent on an S cable, and one was supplied by component video cables. We were watching Star Wars, and I could NOT BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE between the two types of cable, sending the same signal at the same time, to the same TV. GIANT DIFFERENCE. With the S cable, you could see very few background stars, all the blacks were washed out in the shadows, and in some scenes, you literally couldn't tell that Liam Neeson had ears ! No exaggeration. With the component cables, the stars were crisp, shadow detail was clear and full of subtle shades, and the big guy had his ears back.

    So, this was a real eye opener for me. I am just in the process of running some cables from my receiver area, to where I hope to have a projector hanging one day, and I bought an s cable, plus a set of Monster-3 component cables. I know which I'll watch if I have a choice.

    I'd like to see the same demo with different grades of component cables, to see which has the best insulation and copper wire, but I think it would be hard to see a huge difference. But I cannot overstate the difference between S-cable and component cables.

    Cheers, Tom.
     
  4. marcus_h

    marcus_h Agent

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    Well,

    Previously, I had a loewe planus 30 inch tv which stated that it was "digital". What that meant was that the tv would upconvert any signal to 480p, the highest resolution it could display. And the tech support guys said that because this tv upconverted signals and had a line doubler, not to use a progressive scan dvd player.

    Well, this planus tv got rave reviews, but it blew up on me over the weekend, and it was only 3 years old. So, now I have the new Toshiba tv, and a progressive scan player, and the picture blows away my old Loewe planus.

    So, now I'm thinking if the tv is this impressive, can it be more so by watching an upconverted signal. I mean, right now, with just the dvd player, am I using this tv to its full potential? I don't plan on buying digital cable or a digital tuner, I use it to solely play DVDs...I can't stand watching commercial tv.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i'm assuming this is a hd tv? if so, then i say "yes".

    i had a similar setup (upconverting dvd player to my 65" hdtv). the pic quality improved. it was somewhat subtle, but there. i can only imagine on a crt-based tv, the pic quality would be even better.

    heck, go for it. if it doesn't work out or you're not happy, just return it.
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I would say the difference of upconversion is subtle initially, but once you know what the improvements are, going back and looking at non-upconverted, it's more dramatic. The test for me when I first got my Bravo D1 was to look at text. Even before I bought the player I was bothered by the fuzzy edges of text/graphics that always reminded me I was watching video. The Bravo took care of that and overall made the purchase worthwhile.

    I echo Ted's suggestion of just giving it a try. The size of your display MAY not make it worthwhile, but who knows until you see it with your own eyes?
     
  7. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    HDMI is just one of the digital connections. If either your DVD player or your TV doesn't have it, you need to use component video or S-video.

    Component video is analog and the DVD player converts digital video to analog to come out as component video. If the TV does any of scale to 1080i or de-interlace or display on LCD/DLP/LCOS/plasma, the video has to be digital (again) and each analog to digital conversion loses a wee bit of quality.

    Was there some other gadget used to get a split screen for the test?

    I am not ready to buy the argument that component video gives inherently better shadow detail. Perhaps the TV's brightness, contrast, etc. were calibrated to favor the component video feed, there is no assurance that the S-video and component video would both come out best with the same calibrations.

    The chief advantages of component video over S-video is that it gives smoother more accurate color and supports the reproduction of narrower details in different colors, (for DVD source) 1/360'th the screen width best for component or HDMI or DVI connections, 1/160'th the screen width best for S-video connection. Also S-video is not defined for progressive scan or HDTV.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  8. marcus_h

    marcus_h Agent

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    Hi Allan,

    But what about component vs HDMI? Does my toshiba hdtv do the upscaling to 1080i or 720p with a progressive scan dvd player using component? Do the hdmi dvd players that upconvert/upscale the picture to 1080i or 720p via hmdi worth the extra money, or is all of that already happening in my tv? Or, would I even notice a difference between component or hdmi?
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    When you have DVI/HDMI and upscalling available from your DVD player, the best is usually when you allow the DVD player to upscale to your display's native resolution, and you connect via the DVI/HDMI connection.

    It can be different for various displays too. And not always obvious in the display doccumentation.

    So.. In short, experiement with it, and see which you think is best.
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    not positive, but i think most of these upscaling dvd players do it *only* via the digital connection (dvi/hdmi). i think the zenith 318 used to do it via component, but they did some sort of firmeware fix.

    check the stuck thread in the av sources forum.
     
  11. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    (copied from another post)

    Almost all HDTV's display only in 720p or only in 1080i. All incoming video of different scan rates, whether HDMI or component or S-video, are converted to what the TV displays. Note: Some 1080i HDTV sets will not accept 720p, so the set top HDTV tuner box or whatever is supplying a 720p program has to convert that to 1080i.

    I cannot say whether a DVD player that converts to 1080i is worth it since I haven't auditioned any such players. It depends on the quality of the 480p to 1080i conversion and also the quality of the de-interlacing (480i to 480p; the first stage in DVD playback always yields 480i) in the TV versus in the player.
     

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