Originally Posted by centaurus3200
it looks like the E55 worked and it was $30. but if there's no HDMI, i might as well hold out. unless 480i to the component input on my TV... then let the TV upscale to 1080p would look nearly as good as having a 1080p scaler in the dvd recorder to the hdmi input of the TV?
There's really no point in accommodating something the size of a DVD recorder if you aren't going to get HDMI out of it. Large plasma and LCD televisions prefer HDMI, period. In theory, connecting to their analog component inputs should give similar results to connecting via 480 HDMI, since you are relying on the TV's internal upscaler either way. In reality, these TVs just cannot stand analog input and only grudgingly accept it. Composte and s-video are barely watchable, component analog is notably better, but HDMI trumps component on most TVs. I have checked my various DVD recorders against all of my TVs, to see what gives the best results with a VCR input. In every case, patching the VCR to the line input of the DVD recorder and out to the TV over HDMI beats the same unit connected via analog component. You may of course see different results with your own TV: mine are all variations of LCD, which needs the fastest possible connection to avoid motion artifacts. A dvd recorder pre-converting to HDMI provides this. Plasma displays are inherently faster, so might not be quite as sensitive to analog component vs HDMI.
It's one of those "ghost in the machine" factors that for some strange reason are more prevalent in the digital era than they ever were in analog. With the old analog gear, strange interactions were sorta predictable and you could understand how it happened. Digital is just ridiculous with its harebrained inconsistency issues: we assume it is all locked down and standardized, but it isn't, and half the time makes no logical sense when you try to wrap your mind around what shouldn't work better (but does).
the TV listed for about $1,200 in 2010. might be better at scaling than a $200 dvd recorder? no idea.
The scaler in the TV is often not as good at processing direct analog input as the HDMI circuits in the better DVD recorders. Passing thru the recorder first avoids the TV jumping thru hoops processing analog, it does much better upscaling the pre-digitized 480 HDMI conversion from the recorder. Makes absolutely no sense, but that is how it works out for many of us.
Note all of the above assumes we're talking about playing VHS, SVHS, Beta, or LaserDisc to a large flat HDTV. Results are different when you have a pristine source like a commercial Hollywood DVD release: those play extremely well via component analog, very comparable to HDMI. The same connection just seems markedly worse when playing lo-fi analog sources. I personally was not too happy with how harsh LaserDisc looks on HDTVs: it was fantastic on standard-def 32" CRT televisions, but doesn't seem nearly as impressive on a 42" LCD.