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HDMI cable vs. HD Cable card (better picture quality)

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HDMI cable vs. HD Cable card (better picture quality)

Old 01-04-06, 10:08 PM
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HDMI cable vs. HD Cable card (better picture quality)

OK...I got some feedback about the DVI/HDMI cable vs. component cable...
thank you to the few of you that answered. I'm still not clear, but its worth a shot (got one from monoprice for 12.00 shipped).

Here's an even bigger quandry...my TV has a digital cable card slot. If I can finally get a cable card to work (see the cable card story below if your interested about what happened with that) should that produce a clearer picture than a component or HDMI cable running from an HD cable box?

I would figure being there is no actual cable to degrade the signal...this would produce the best quality picture...correct????

*** OK...for those of you who have a Samsung plasma (or plan on getting one) and Optimum Cablevision (or plan on getting it)...here's what you should know about the HD cable card and a Samsung plasma.

The cable card when inserted stated it was updating the card's firmware. After three hours of this with no end in site, the Cablevision tech tried a new card. It took the him 2 days and a total of 9 hours (no exaggeration...though during that time he did make other house calls while the card was "updating the firmware" the total process from beginning to end took 9 hours total.) only to realize... after calling Samsung...that some cable cards don't work. Not some brands of cable cards...some cards themselves. The tech at Samsung said that the cable guy should try like 6 or 7 cards before one may work. Cablevision wasn't going for that so I contact Samsung again about what to do. As of yet I haven't heard back from them. It wasn't Optimum's fault...Samsung should have fully tested everything on the television before going to market (though it is possible at the time of the televisons release the current cable cards were working).

Well that's my story. If it helps anyone with a Samsung plasma decide whether or not to make an appointment to have a cable card installed by Optimum Cablevision...think twice. Hopefully this problem will work its way out down the road with new cards or a firware upgrade to the TV (though I really can't see how this could be done..unless its done through the card slot).

Thanks again for any help you can give.

Last edited by jerkfacemike; 01-05-06 at 12:36 AM.
Old 01-09-06, 01:13 PM
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WOW...70 people read the thread but no one responded. I guess everyone is as stumped as I. Samsung didn't even know the answer. They pretty much were going to agree with whatever I said being no one there knew the answer either.

If anyone has the chance to compare picture quality between an HDCATV box connected with an HDMI cable to a cable card...please let me know. I'm wondering if its worth the trouble as to keep harassing Samsung and Optimum about the card or to keep the HD set top box.

**** By the way...the last thread I posted was concerning the Component (RGB) cables vs. the HDMI/DVI cable. I finally tested both and have come to the conclusion that there is no definitive difference. Though the HDMI/DVI cable should be better in theory (digital vs. analog), I guess because the signal is carried essentially the same way in both cables...you don't really see a difference. Or at least I don't.

******* ALSO...when you do acquire a digital satellite or digital cable receiver for a HDTV, it really only improves the picture quality of the HD channels (on Optimum [at least in my area] 702 is channel 2, 704 is channel 4, etc.). In addition to this...ONLY the programs that are on these channels that state "Broadcast in HD" really look perfect. If you are watching an old episode of "M*A*S*H*" or even something as new as "Friends" on one of the HD channels, it doesn't really look that clear from close up. It may as well be watched on one of the regular analog channels.

I've realized to get the best possible picture from broadcast TV with an HD television...you have to use the HD channels and watch an HD broacast program.

If this was insightful for anyone...I am happy to have shed some light on the HD situation. Being this is based solely on my own HD experience, I welcome anyone who disagrees or has alternate information to post. I'm a tech "junkie" and welcome as much information as possible.

Old 01-09-06, 01:25 PM
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The cable card should provide a better picture, particularly on non-HD channels. Of course, this somewhat depends on the quality of the set in question.

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