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I'm confused on why so many people are so concerned about HDMI on the HR10. The component cables give an equally good picture in my setups (CRTRPTV 65" and Mits HD1000U Front Projector on 110" screen)

Why is everyone so fixated on the HDMI port failures of the HR10? Why not just hook it up component? What is the big deal?
 

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HDMI works great for me. I haven't tried to closely discern if it is measurably superior to component cables. But I find having one thin cable for all audio and video better than 5 cables (or 2 thick cables collectively with 5 ends) for the same result.

Also, as others have said, I like having all the extra inputs. I use every single one into my TV so if they didn't offer the extra HDMI I would have to be splitting things or relying on having my receiver on all the time...
 

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Fish Man said:
HDMI produces a noticeably superior picture on some TV's...
There is one way that the picture could be better on HDMI, and that would be if the DAC in your display is significantly better than the DAC in the Tivo. But as it stands, the DAC in the Tivo is very hard to beat. Modern DACs, of which the HR10 circuitry includes, are all very good, and very much alike, each giving almost perfectly-equvalent PQ as any other. DACs in older (pre-2003) sets might be a little inferior, but then that would only make HR10 HDMI inferior to component on those sets. The only real improvement to consumer DACs in the last 5 years has been a reduction in the wholesale price, and there has really been no increase in performance.

But, there is still the widely-held misperception that because HDMI carries a digital signal, that it must be better. So a lot of folks are telling themselves that HDMI must be the best or only way to fly, and that PQ looks better over HDMI. The reality is, that it isn't, and it doesn't.

The path from DVR to display is very short, well-shielded, and is not considered a hostile or threatening environment to signals, whether analog or digital, meaning that neither signal will degrade perceptibly. The protocol used really then has nothing to do with PQ, which here is determined chiefly by the ultimate conversion process. Whether that happens in the set or in the Tivo makes imperceptible difference, if the DACs are equivalent.
 

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Fahtrim said:
Why is everyone so fixated on the HDMI port failures of the HR10? Why not just hook it up component? What is the big deal?
For me it’s the simplicity of HDMI - one wire is much cleaner and simpler than 4 (3 of which are quite thick). An all HDMI rack will be a thing of beauty. All HDMI components running to an HDMI receiver with one HDMI cable running to the TV is very nice.

That said one of my HR10's HDMI (which in not in my main viewing room) was faulty from the get go and after one swap out that did not cure the problem I just left it alone. It’s in a set-up that does not have a HDMI capable receiver anyway.

My main viewing room HR10's HDMI just went out (it was a pretty early model HR10 - near launch). I have both currently running through component and have no issue with picture quality. The question I have to answer -- is it worth getting the cards repaired given the limited life (for other than OTA) of the HR10?
 

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rcawood said:
...The question I have to answer -- is it worth getting the cards repaired given the limited life (for other than OTA) of the HR10?
I don't really view the shelf life of the HR10 as being prematurely foreshortened by the move to M4. Most PVRs don't live more than 3 or 4 years anyway. A few do, most don't.

Speaking as someone who gets 95% of my HD OTA (and 90% of all programming) I fully expect to keep my 3 HR10's running until the end of the DTV/Tivo support contract in 2010 at a minimum, even if it means HDD replacement. Of course if they start shutting off M2 earlier than that, which is not generally expected, I could be forced to retire them. But I just don't see a better option. I wish I did. I sure hope there's a better option by then, but I'm waiting it out with HR10's

That said, even under those circumstances I would never fix the HDMI, even for 1/4th what is being charged. I'd probably buy a component switcher first.

And I agree, fewer wires is better, esthetically speaking. Just not technically better.
 

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rminsk said:
Also, some TVs only have a limited number of component inputs that may be taken by other devices.
I find the limiting factor is now the HDMI ports - mine are taken by the PS3 and a oppo dvd player. The hdtivo and a roku share a single component connection.

If there was a picture improvement, there would be more motivation, but that would be to get an hdmi switcher.
 

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TyroneShoes said:
There is one way that the picture could be better on HDMI, and that would be if the DAC in your display is significantly better than the DAC in the Tivo.
There's another reason HDMI could be better.

It's the exact inverse of what you said, and that's this:

If the analog circuitry in the component path in your TV is crap.

That was the case with the TV I just replaced. The color balance on the component inputs was crummy, and bright flashes in the picture tended to make the TV lose sync on the component inputs.

So, on my old living-room TV (about to move it to the bedroom), HDMI was dramatically superior to component. (It was a Hisense 32 inch).

On my new living room set (a Visio 47 inch) the difference between HDMI and component is negligible.
 

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Fish Man said:
There's another reason HDMI could be better.

It's the exact inverse of what you said, and that's this:

If the analog circuitry in the component path in your TV is crap.

That was the case with the TV I just replaced...
Well, sure.

I think it goes without saying that the discusion so far is based on everything working normally as it's supposed to. Obviously, if something isn't, a different option would be better.
 

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rcawood said:
I realize your statement applies only to the HR-10 but for HD DVD and Blu-Ray you do need HDMI for the disc player to pass the advanced sound codecs.
Advanced? We need something more advanced than 5.1 now?

You do realize that this discussion has been about technical capability, and not about content access restrictions, which is what the BR limitation is all about.
 

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TyroneShoes said:
Well, sure.

I think it goes without saying that the discusion so far is based on everything working normally as it's supposed to. Obviously, if something isn't, a different option would be better.
Agreed. If you have all quality components, the difference is imperceptible. We've both said this.

However, the OP's question was, "Why is everyone so fixated on the HDMI port failures of the HR10? Why not just hook it up component? What is the big deal?"

And my answer was, In some situations (my old living room set being one example) HDMI may look noticably superior to component, and that would be motivation to use HDMI. If the reason is "inferior" engineering in the set in question, it's still a reason.

Also, I've never had an instant of trouble with the HDMI output of my HR10. (Or my HR20, for that matter.)
 

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Ok heres the deal. You receive a digital signal from the cable supplier. then it gets converted to analog and sent thru the component cables. Even though it is a HD signal it is still analog. At the TV it gets converted back to digital. Using HDMI the digital signal gets sent as a digital signal to the TV. So there is no converting back and forth as with component. If the converters and the cables are really good you shouldnt notice a difference. However, HDMI is still the best.
 

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SNJpage1 said:
You receive a digital signal from the cable supplier. then it gets converted to analog and sent thru the component cables. Even though it is a HD signal it is still analog. At the TV it gets converted back to digital. Using HDMI the digital signal gets sent as a digital signal to the TV. So there is no converting back and forth as with component. If the converters and the cables are really good you shouldnt notice a difference. However, HDMI is still the best.
Most TVs, even digital TVs, still convert the signal to analog internally to do the signal processing on them. It comes back to typically what device has the better D-to-A converter.
 

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SNJpage1 said:
Ok heres the deal. You receive a digital signal from the cable supplier. then it gets converted to analog and sent thru the component cables...At the TV it gets converted back to digital. Using HDMI the digital signal gets sent as a digital signal to the TV. So there is no converting back and forth as with component. If the converters and the cables are really good you shouldnt notice a difference. However, HDMI is still the best.
HDMI COULD be the best if your description of the signal path were accurate. But it was not, so it can't support your argument that HDMI is better than component.

If you just read rminsk's post and said "Whaaa???", he's actually right on. And here is the detailed version of why he is telling you the truth:

A digital cable signal is demodulated to baseband first (for simplicity I'll skip over HDD read/writes). Either immediately or upon PVR playback, the raw, compressed, MPEG-encoded digital bitstream is next decoded into a raw, uncompressed, decoded digital bitstream.

If you connect by component, the DAC in the STB/PVR converts that to analog FIRST, THEN it is piped into the display, and then it is processed as analog and displayed as analog in nearly every single case. That implies one digital-to-analog conversion in that entire process.

If you connect by HDMI instead, it is FIRST piped into the display, THEN the DAC in the display immediately converts that to analog, and then it is processed as analog and displayed as analog again in nearly every single case. That also implies one digital-to-analog conversion in that entire process.

So the process of moving HD files from your STB or PVR is electrically identical in either case. The only difference it WHERE in the processing chain the conversion to analog takes place. Since modern DACS the world around are virtually identical, the PQ using either method is virtually the same.

Many folks are under the impression that digital processing in the set either improves PQ or prevents it from becoming degraded by being analog. Shockingly, neither of those things are the least bit true. There is indeed a lot of digital processing in a modern display, but none of it other than the immediate conversion of digital signals to analog has anything directly to do with the signal or can impact PQ. 99% of the digital processing in a modern display has to do only with how the analog signal is handled, and so has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on PQ.

Other than that original conversion, modern displays process the signal exclusively in the analog domain, using digital handling (processing) techniques to do that. The reason for that is that processing video in the digital domain at the consumer level would either be prohibitively expensive, or create unacceptable artifacts, or both. Analog processing is inexpensive, effective, and creates imperceptible artifacts in this type of setting, so is universally used instead.

Of course if you read the manufacturer's literature it is cleverly crafted to make you think that all of that digital processing improves the picture, but actually all of that digital processing makes no difference at all, because it can't. The signal is already in the analog domain by then.

In almost every single case, the very first thing that happens to a digital unencoded uncompressed raw signal as it enters a modern display, usually either as DVI or as HDMI, is that it is immediately converted to analog, then processed and displayed as analog. On Sony's, for instance, which have arguably the best pictures out there, the HDMI receiver integrated circuit which is the first thing connected to the HDMI input port, has the DAC built directly into it. For video, one input (baseband digital HD video as HDMI), and one output (baseband analog HD video), plus audio outs, which may be digital or analog.
 

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Fahtrim said:
I'm confused on why so many people are so concerned about HDMI on the HR10. The component cables give an equally good picture in my setups (CRTRPTV 65" and Mits HD1000U Front Projector on 110" screen)

Why is everyone so fixated on the HDMI port failures of the HR10? Why not just hook it up component? What is the big deal?
The digital signal of HDMI is a bit more tolerant of cable vagaraties than component signals are. (read: cables can be cheaper) You can also use a repeater with no change in quality, if you need to send the digital signal some distance, or distribute it to a lot of sets.
 

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rjnerd said:
The digital signal of HDMI is a bit more tolerant of cable vagaraties than component signals are. (read: cables can be cheaper) You can also use a repeater with no change in quality, if you need to send the digital signal some distance, or distribute it to a lot of sets.
That's a great point. There are losses in analog cables that can affect PQ, color intensity, sharpness, etc., and there are also interference components that can creep in. None of that is relevant to well-made cables less than 16 ft long, however.

Digital signals are immune to most of that, so if you are running 50 ft or so from source to destination, HDMI might be the best way to go, even at it's high price. Digital signals are limited by distance also, but only by digital smear and jitter/reclocking issues, which do not affect PQ (the signal just doesn't lock up after about 300 meters or so).
 

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TyroneShoes said:
That's a great point. There are losses in analog cables that can affect PQ, color intensity, sharpness, etc., and there are also interference components that can creep in. None of that is relevant to well-made cables less than 16 ft long, however.

Digital signals are immune to most of that, so if you are running 50 ft or so from source to destination, HDMI might be the best way to go, even at it's high price. Digital signals are limited by distance also, but only by digital smear and jitter/reclocking issues, which do not affect PQ (the signal just doesn't lock up after about 300 meters or so).
I don't agree with that statement based on my experience. I have both of my HR10-250s in a wiring closet. One of the connected TVs is about 30 feet from the closet, the other one is about 60 feet. I tried 3 HDMI cables from different sources before I finally got one to work. The cable that did work came from the following and uses heaver gauge wires:
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/hdmi-cables.htm
Running component 60 feet is no problem. The picture quality is not degraded and the component distribution amplifier I use(CE Labs AV400comp) specifications say it will drive a signal 300 feet.

One difference between HDMI and component is that component uses shielded cable and HDMI does not.
 

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Quote....HDMI COULD be the best if your description of the signal path were accurate. But it was not, so it can't support your argument that HDMI is better than component...quote

What I dont agree with your way of seeing it is the fact that there are two different units involved. As long as the signal has to leave one box and travel to another digital will always be better. Digital has less problems with outside forces so the signal will be better.
 
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