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HDMI vs. Component Cable

Old 04-16-07, 10:09 AM
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HDMI vs. Component Cable

For Christmas, I got a Westinghouse 32" HDTV, as well as a Samsung upconverting DVD recorder. I connected the DVD recorder to the TV via an HDMI cable, and it's worked flawlessly once I switch the TV to use HDMI. However, over the weekend, it no longer workd -- all I get are pieces of the picture. Something's broken: the TV, DVD player, or HDMI cable.

So I thought I would hook it up via component cables to a) make sure it's not the DVD player and b) so I can watch DVDs on my TV. Which made me wonder whether it makes a huge difference to use HDMI cables more than component since I don't have an HD-DVD player.

Any advice?
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Old 04-16-07, 10:42 AM
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HDMI provides the best possible picture quality. Try another cable, digital cables are screwy sometimes.
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Old 04-16-07, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
HDMI provides the best possible picture quality. Try another cable, digital cables are screwy sometimes.
The only problem with this is that HDMI cables are so expensive -- if that was the problem, I wouldn't worry about it, but I doubt Best Buy would allow me to return one if that wasn't the problem.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:23 AM
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Monoprice.com

Get a 6' HDMI cable for less than $6. Heck, get a few because they are so cheap and you will need others in the future.

As for the return, I am guessing you can return the cable (in less than 30 days) because a guy next to me at the customer service was returning one yesterday. But if it does work, do you really want a $150 dollar cable when a comparable on is available for 4% of the price?
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Old 04-16-07, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
Monoprice.com

Get a 6' HDMI cable for less than $6. Heck, get a few because they are so cheap and you will need others in the future.
NEVER buy an HDMI cable at a retail store, you'll just get screwed.
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Old 04-16-07, 02:32 PM
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My original HDMI cable was from Monoprice, but I needed something more quickly to test it out. Picked one up from the Apple Store, of all places, for under $20. Hopefully this will fix the problem. Thanks for the advice, all.
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Old 04-17-07, 12:14 AM
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I would question the statement that "HDMI provides the best quality." You can still view HD material over component cables. The only advantage I see is the smaller form factor and less physical cable to deal with.
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Old 04-17-07, 06:52 AM
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Well component can be good, but I don't think as good as HDMI. I am saying this because component is still an analog signal (3 actually) which can be prone to interference. Over short distances this can be negligible.

HDMI on the other hand is a digital signal. It get there or doesn't blah blah blah.

I think in the end, it all comes down to choice.

Originally Posted by Blue Jeans Cable
So, which is better, DVI or component? HDMI or component? The answer--unsatisfying, perhaps, but true--is that it depends. It depends upon your source and display devices, and there's no good way, in principle, to say in advance whether the digital or the analog connection will render a better picture. You may even find, say, that your DVD player looks better through its DVI or HDMI output, while your satellite or cable box looks better through its component output, on the same display. In this case, there's no real substitute for simply plugging it in and giving it a try both ways.
*


*This article was just the first hit on google for HDMI vs Component, and is no way an endorsement for BJC or a definitive answer.
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Old 04-17-07, 08:07 AM
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There is a pretty good difference for me between component and HDMI on my cable... When I have the cable box (TWC HD-DVR Exp 8300) hooked up through my Onkyo 604 with component to my TV, it looks dark, I can see red, green, and blue line from time to time, and just not as solid as when I have it hooked up through the HDMI. I only have 2 HDMI inputs on my reciever (and one DVI on my TV) so I originally had the cable box and the A1 hooked up until I got my PS3. Then I hooked up the PS3 and A1 through HDMI and moved the cable box back to component. It got to be pretty unwatchable (even my wife was complaining about the difference). So no I just switch the A1 and cable box back and forth. Its a pain, but worth it imo.
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Old 04-17-07, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I would question the statement that "HDMI provides the best quality." You can still view HD material over component cables. The only advantage I see is the smaller form factor and less physical cable to deal with.
This gives me a little hope because I'm going to have to use component cables to play DVDs at the moment. But would it be accurate to say that an upconverting DVD player won't actually upconvert via a component connection, only via digital?

Regardless, I bought a new HDMI cable, and it didn't fix the problem -- I'm not sure where the problem lies: in my DVD recorder (Samsung DVD-R145) or my TV (Westinghouse LTV-32w6). But whenever I switch to HDMI, the screen is a big mess, and I can't even see the menu from my DVD player -- whenever I switch to HDMI, however, the little highlight in the top right corner identifying it as HDMI is crystal clear, which leads me to believe it's the DVD player, not the TV, causing the problem. Unfortunately, I have nothing else in the house that uses HDMI so I can isolate the problem to one or the other -- without buying a new DVD player (and this one is not even 4 months old).

I appreciate all the input to my original question.
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Old 04-17-07, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bookcase3
This gives me a little hope because I'm going to have to use component cables to play DVDs at the moment. But would it be accurate to say that an upconverting DVD player won't actually upconvert via a component connection, only via digital?

Regardless, I bought a new HDMI cable, and it didn't fix the problem -- I'm not sure where the problem lies: in my DVD recorder (Samsung DVD-R145) or my TV (Westinghouse LTV-32w6). But whenever I switch to HDMI, the screen is a big mess, and I can't even see the menu from my DVD player -- whenever I switch to HDMI, however, the little highlight in the top right corner identifying it as HDMI is crystal clear, which leads me to believe it's the DVD player, not the TV, causing the problem. Unfortunately, I have nothing else in the house that uses HDMI so I can isolate the problem to one or the other -- without buying a new DVD player (and this one is not even 4 months old).

I appreciate all the input to my original question.
I don't think there are players that upconvert out of the box, but there are some hacks that allow it (Oppo 970HD for sure, and comes with a HDMI cable )
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Old 04-17-07, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
There is a pretty good difference for me between component and HDMI on my cable... When I have the cable box (TWC HD-DVR Exp 8300) hooked up through my Onkyo 604 with component to my TV, it looks dark, I can see red, green, and blue line from time to time, and just not as solid as when I have it hooked up through the HDMI. I only have 2 HDMI inputs on my reciever (and one DVI on my TV) so I originally had the cable box and the A1 hooked up until I got my PS3. Then I hooked up the PS3 and A1 through HDMI and moved the cable box back to component. It got to be pretty unwatchable (even my wife was complaining about the difference). So no I just switch the A1 and cable box back and forth. Its a pain, but worth it imo.
Depending on the amount of hassle you are willing to deal with, monoprice sells a switchs pretty cheap, ranging from $60 for a 3-to-1 to $79 for a 5to-1.
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Old 04-17-07, 12:23 PM
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HDMI is definitely, IMHO, better than component. HDMI gives a much smoother, film-like quality (especially for newer movies). Now I just feel like an idiot by buying my HDMI cable for almost $60 at Best Buy.
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Old 04-17-07, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
Well component can be good, but I don't think as good as HDMI. I am saying this because component is still an analog signal (3 actually) which can be prone to interference. Over short distances this can be negligible.
HDMI should be a better connection and give a better image. But not for this reason above. It is because of all the conversions that must go on using component introduces far more places to degrade the signal. Component can actually transfer perfect signal much farther than HDMI, assuming good quality cables for both.

That being said, it also depends on your equipment. I cannot for the life of me detect a difference between component and HDMI from my HDTivo. I am using HDMI for ease of hookup and switching with my current setup, but I used component for several months happily, too.

Also, many TVs take the digital input and convert it to analog anyway (and then back to digital for display). That's right! So even HDMI connections may have (theoretically) unnecessary conversions.
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Old 04-22-07, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by thursdaynighter
Now I just feel like an idiot by buying my HDMI cable for almost $60 at Best Buy.
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Old 04-22-07, 02:20 AM
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i know u guys in the US have been praising monoprice - HOWEVER - do anyone of you over there KNOW ANY ONLINE STORES that SHIP INTERNATIONALLY - specially down under to Australia ???

Running component video cable to my projector - and need quite a length of cable (dont wish to risk purchasing HMDI cable for such a length with some local high prices)
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Old 04-22-07, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
Depending on the amount of hassle you are willing to deal with, monoprice sells a switchs pretty cheap, ranging from $60 for a 3-to-1 to $79 for a 5to-1.
I picked the 5 x 1 up and it works perfect with my three hdmi sources (PS3, old voom STB, bravo D1). It also works perfectly with my Harmony remote for switching.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bookcase3
This gives me a little hope because I'm going to have to use component cables to play DVDs at the moment. But would it be accurate to say that an upconverting DVD player won't actually upconvert via a component connection, only via digital?
Yes and no.

When you get an upconverting DVD player, some only do it via the HDMI output and only provide maybe 480p via the component. So, you'll need to make sure the DVD player, by reading the specs, will upconvert to 720p via the component inputs.

You see the component inputs can handle just as much information as the HDMI inputs can. But the industry created HDMI so they could control the digital content. It was partially about smaller form factor cables, but it was also about controlling content. I've read many posts on the HDMI connections giving users problems because of HDCP, and the users changed their connections to component and didn't have a problem at all. And the picture was great.

Me? I'm getting an upconverting player which supports 480p and 720p via component.

I suspect when you hookup your connections via component, you won't have anymore problems.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Yes and no.

But the industry created HDMI so they could control the digital content. It was partially about smaller form factor cables, but it was also about controlling content.
I'd say it was MOSTLY about controlling content.

HDMI v. Component. There are to many variables to ever say "this is always better or that one is always better".

For a while I had both component and HDMI going to my 720p projector. Now I have a Bravo D1 and tried it both ways. Indeed it was not that great on component, but outstanding on HDMI. However, I don't view this as a fair test except in the context of this player. It is widely known the D1 does much, much better with the digital output. I just wanted to see it for myself. And you could see it!

My old Voom box for OTA HD has both digital and component. I was using component and switched to HDMI. I looked at both very closely and I simply could see no difference. I stuck with HDMI simply for ease of hook up and switching.

My I used HDMI on my PS3. I don't have a "break out cable" for the ps3 to use with component. I would be curious about that, especially on blu-ray. Don't know about being curious enough to actually go buy the cable though.
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Old 04-22-07, 11:04 AM
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I kinda need to hijack, how much better is a dvi than vga for a projector? I am going to use component for the xbox and cable(through receiver), and would like to use dvi for the upconverting dvd player, which would leave vga for the computer, and composite for the Wii.

Which would be better, xbox and wii composite, computer on dvi, cable box and dvdplaer on componet

or

Xbox, cable through componet Wii composite, Dvd through DVI and computer through vga?
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Old 04-22-07, 08:46 PM
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Don't use composite for anything. And if you have to write, "I kinda need to hijack", that would have been a perfect time for a new thread.

But I guess I'd pick the version you wrote 1st and 3rd.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaynighter
Now I just feel like an idiot by buying my HDMI cable for almost $60 at Best Buy.
Hell, yesterday Future Shop sold me 2 HDMI cables for nearly $120 each, but I opted to buy 4 on Monoprice.com last night for a total of $80.

I'm returning the cables I got from Future Shop for my refund this weekend.
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Old 05-04-07, 09:33 AM
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I've got a question about this...
For a length of 6 ft., is it better to go with 24 awg over 28 awg? Just bought my TV, so I'm looking for 3 hdmi cables. At monoprice, I can get 3 24awg cables at 6 feet for $50, or 3 28 awg cables at 6 feet for $15. Does it really make much of a difference?
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Old 05-04-07, 07:33 PM
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I would say 28-gauge is good enough. But I'm more than happy to hear arguments otherwise.
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Old 05-04-07, 11:06 PM
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At 6' lengths, 28AWG is plenty.
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