hdmi .vs. component cables..

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by IOTP, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. IOTP

    IOTP New Member

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    Aug 7, 2001
    Desert...

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    Recently hooked up an HR10-250. Believe this, on the FIRST call into Tivo, it downloaded the new 6.3a. WOW..

    I hooked up the HDMI cable into my new LG 42" LCD. On some channels OTA ones, and some satellite channels, the HDMI picture really wasnt that clear.

    I plugged in the component cables and it was better so it appeared.

    Could this be a flakey HDMI port, a bad HDMI cable, or what? Now, the HD channels on the HDMI look great, about the same on the component side of the house.

    I am using the STOCK HDMI cable that shipped with the HR10-250.

    Ideas?
    Comments??
    Suggestions???
     
  2. Ein

    Ein New Member

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    Jul 7, 2004
    What resolutions are you outputting to the TV: 480P, 480i, 720p or 1080i?

    Keep in mind, only HD channels would look great on your TV.
     
  3. IOTP

    IOTP New Member

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    Aug 7, 2001
    Desert...
    720p...
     
  4. ctromp

    ctromp clownfish daddy

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    Sep 25, 2006
    I have a 44 inch Panasonic LCD micro projection and I agree that the component output looks better from the HR10. I started with HDMI to the TV and the overall picture just doesn't look as good as the components. I'm running mine at 480p out to the TV.
     
  5. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Sep 6, 2004

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    Assuming the cables are good, the only real technical difference is that the HDMI cabling depends upon the DAC in the display to convert back to analog, and component uses the DAC in the STB. Generally speaking, there should be no noticeable difference one to the other, unless the DAC in one is superior, which is unlikely, yet not impossible.

    So although the path is slightly different, the process is nearly identical, which means there would have to be some technical problem with your HDMI path to cause this issue. A cheap HDMI cable will not give a degraded picture, it will just either not work at all or will work intermittently. WHEN it works, PQ should be identical, even on a cheap cable, to PQ on a high-dollar cable. The stock cable appears to be a high quality cable anyway.
     
  6. coachO

    coachO New Member

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    Nov 25, 2004
    near...
    Tyrone. simply put: I thought HDMI and dvi were digital and component was analog. I can not really tell a difference in the picture but still use HDMI for my tivo thinking digital should be better.

    I have my upconverting DVD player connected via hdmi to dvi thinking the quality should be better also. My component is relegated to my hacked xbox.

    Is there a dac using hdmi when outputing 720P to a 720P monitor?
     
  7. MikeNorman

    MikeNorman New Member

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    Mar 31, 2001
    Okla City,...
    Component is far better then HDMI on my HR10-250. Many of the HR10-250's made before last November had a problem with the HDMI interface. In my case I get pixelations and drop out's I believe is cause by the HDMI board in the HR10-250. My HR10-250 is connected to this year Pioneer PDP5070-HD plasma. I have connected the PDP5070-HD to the Oppo 971 DVD player with the DVI to HDMI cable with perfect results. My component connection on the HR10-250 is set to 1080i and 720P options. I like 1080i better on the Pioneer plasma. When you plug the HDMI cable into the HR10-250 you lose component output so I cannot switch back and forth for further testing without pulling the equipment which is some trouble. However I did this on three occasions and always got pixelations on the HDMI interface and steady picture on the component interface.
     
  8. ericlovestivo

    ericlovestivo New Member

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    Sep 25, 2001
    Brookeville,...
    The HDMI port just crapped out on my 2 yr hold HR10-250. We had to switch to component. I definitely see the lower quality in component. Enough so that we're getting a replacement HR10-250 through D* so I can go digital again.
     
  9. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    3,604
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    Sep 6, 2004
    Yes, it has no relationship to the resolution format or when rescaling one format to another.

    HDMI and DVI are indeed digital protocols, and component does indeed use an analog protocol. But either protocol will carry video over a short cable without degradation, and in this application using a digital protocol to deliver the video from STB to display has no real advantage over delivering it via an analog protocol.

    The dirty little secret of digital video is that at some point in time it must be converted back to analog in order for our human analog reception system (vision) to be able to make any sense out of the signal.

    All displays therefore convert to analog at some point. And most convert before processing (hue, brightness, contrast, gamma, etc.) because processing video in analog is cheaper and can ironically contribute less artifacts to the end product than the rounding errors of digital manipulation might contribute. In short, it just works better to convert to analog before processing.

    This is exactly why almost every display's internal architecture connects a DAC directly to the output of the HDMI receiver chip (which is just after the HDMI connector and provides the handshake with the HDMI transmit chip in the STB) and then converts the video to analog immediately. The signal is then routed internally exactly the same as the component signal, which is already analog and doesn't need conversion.

    Choosing between component or HDMI then doesn't really change the overall technical process, just where the conversion takes place--in the STB (component), or in the display (HDMI/DVI). That means that both are usually identical in quality.

    The best rule to follow is to try what's available and use what works best in a particular scenario. If you have both HDMI and component available, try them both, and use whatever looks better to you or whatever is most convenient. Don't assume that digital is better, because that depends greatly on the application. Sometimes analog is better.
     
  10. heaphus

    heaphus Geaux Tigers!

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    Aug 30, 2004
    SE. Louisiana
    I thought that the digital displays, such as lcd, dlp, etc, were just that. Digital all the way through. Why does a lcd monitor need to convert to analog to turn pixels on and off? I thought only crt based displays, both tube and rear projection, converted to analog, as they are in fact analog devices.
     
  11. bpratt

    bpratt New Member

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    Nov 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    I have my HR10-250 mounted in a wiring closet and connected to 2 HDTVs. I had originally intended to connect one TV using HDMI and the other with component. With the HR10-250 sitting next to the TV, I could see no difference between HDMI and component. However, one TV is 30 feet from the wiring closet and the other is 55 feet. I ordered a good quality HDMI cable that is 30 feet long and connected it to the one TV. The component cable to the other TV is 60 feet long. The HDMI connected TV has problem displaying a picture and I later found out that HDMI has distance limits that don't exist with component. HDMI was not designed to be a superior interface compared to component. HDMI was designed so what we record could be controlled. I finally solved my problem by purchasing a component distribution amp. One input and four outputs and a supported distance of up to 300 feet.
     
  12. rcbray

    rcbray New Member

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    Mar 31, 2004
    There is another potential issue. Many TV's provide for individual calibration of each input. The HDMI and component inputs could require different calibrations (or they have been setup differently). The one with the best calibration could be providing the best picture.

    However, with my SXRD the HDMI definitely provides for a "sharper" picture despite the fact that both inputs were calibrated during my ISF.
     
  13. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Sep 6, 2004
    That is a very easy and common conclusion to be led to, and you can thank the hypemasters from the display vendors for most of that school of thought. Most other people also believe that, but what most people believe doesn't automatically make it true. I'm sure Panasonic and others would want us to believe everything is "all digital" and that their products are superior for that reason, but the actual facts do not support that line of thinking, or the hype surrounding it.

    Any display of those you mentioned can have a hybrid of analog and digital portions of the various signal paths, and most of them actually do. The reason for that is just what I posted earlier, which is that sometimes digital works better for a particular sub-application, and sometimes analog works better. Designers use what works the best, hopefully, dependent upon the application.

    For example, the imagers in HD cameras are all analog devices. They are meant to collect an analog signal (light), so there are no truly digital imagers. Of course A-to-D happens immediately after the imager in most cases. But being analog for portions of the acquisition and production process is normal, and doesn't automatically imply inferiority to digital.

    But the light that comes out of the screen of any display is also an analog signal, meant for analog eyes. About the closest you could come to having an actual "digital" display would be the few displays that pulse the pixels on and off at different duty cycles for different brightness levels, but that is not truly digital, and is technically a "digital to analog" conversion as well, using the persistence of human vision to essentially dither a pseudo-"digital" signal into an analog one. And if that were the best way of doing things, most displays would be doing that, and those that didn't would appear inferior to those that do. Most don't, and they don't.

    As it turns out, using all digital for the circuitry before the actual light engine does not really improve things, specifically because some of the tasks done to get there can be done in the analog domain both better and easier.

    And A-to-D or D-to-A conversion gets a bad rap as well, probably because at the consumer level it is not done expensively. If done properly, you will never know, even if done multiple times. It is very common for signals to be converted numerous times, well before they are broadcast. One conversion during the display process is usually necessary, and usually not a problem.
     
  14. DoubleDown

    DoubleDown New Member

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    Feb 16, 2004
    Minnesota
    so.............. If I get a PS3, and use the HDMI for the PS3 and switch the DIrecTivo to Component cables there is really no difference on a SXRD XBR1?

    anyone? Thanks
     
  15. rcbray

    rcbray New Member

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    Mar 31, 2004
    I have a PS3, HD Tivo, and SXRD XBR1, along with a Denon 2910.

    I am using HDMI for the HD Tivo and PS3. I moved the Denon 2910 to component and am using 480p for it. In the case of the SXRD, 480p over component provides a picture comparable to the Denon's upconverted 1080i over HDMI. Just don't send 480i/480p over HDMI because the SXRD's input is "over filtered" for these resolutions.

    You didn't mention what you are doing with your second HDMI input on the SXRD. I would definitely use one HDMI for the PS3 (Blu Ray movies are definitely better than DVD). However, if possible, I would use the second for the HD Tivo. The "sweet spot" for the SXRD (per my ISF tech) is 1080i over HDMI. However, if you move the HD Tivo to component, you can still have a good picture (even better picture at times if you prefer outputting 480i for standard definition channels).

    Finally, be sure you properly calibrate each input for the specific component that's "feeding" it. In the long run, that is more inportant that which input (HDMI or component) you choose to use.
     
  16. DoubleDown

    DoubleDown New Member

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    Feb 16, 2004
    Minnesota
    Thanks for the reply rcbray, I actually have a Sony DVD (NS70H), in the other HDMI. Reason being is that apparently the PS3 does NOT upconvert standard DVD's to 1080i (yet).
    However, I don't know if I am just noticing it more but it seems more new releases are being released in Blu-Ray.

    Also, no ISF Tech, just the Avia DVD. I know it is not the best, but I doubt I could find an ISF Tech 150 miles north of Minneapolis.
     

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