Originally Posted by 3Dfx
Is there any disadvantage in using Component Video from the Pio BDP-HD1 to the Anthem instead of HDMI, and then Component from the Anthem to the Pio 1540HD?
Also, Component from the TiVo S3 to the Anthem, then Anthem to 1540HD via the same (single) Component cable.
My rationale is to avoid any potential HDMI issues yet still take advantage of the Anthem's scaler.
I've read the entire thread and remain somewhat confused.
Things to consider:
* You can't get the highest quality audio from the Blu-Ray player unless you use HDMI or multi-channel analog connections into the Anthem. The traditional optical or coax digital audio cables will only carry the lower quality "compatibility" or "core" audio track -- about the same quality as the best DTS tracks found on standard DVDs. This is not bad by any means, but it is not as good as you can get.
* Some Component source and/or display devices have gratuitous "filtering" on their Component outputs or inputs which you can't turn off. This lowers resolution a bit compared to HDMI. I don't know if that is a problem with any of the devices you mention. This can be seen with horizontal and vertical resolution charts on calibration DVDs for example. Since video from discs and from HDTV is inherently digital, and since video processing in TVs is also inherently digital, using Component connections involves a digital to analog conversion at the source's output and an analog to digital conversion at the display's input. In modern devices this is not usually as significant a problem as the gratuitous filtering mentioned above.
* Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray include a "feature" by which any given disc can prohibit HD output over Component cables. For such a disc, HD output would be limited to HDMI cables only. Despite threats to the contrary up until last year, no studio has yet started authoring any discs that work this way. It is not clear they ever will. But they could begin any time they think they can get away with it.
* Some newer Component source devices will not put out as high resolution a video signal on Component as they offer on HDMI. Such a device might top out at 1080i/60Hz on Component output while offering 1080p/60Hz on HDMI output for example.
* The Anthems limit Component output to 480p if they are being fed "Macrovision protected" Component input. Anthem HDMI output from the same Component source can still be scaled up however. Macrovision protection is, for example, imposed on the video output of some standard DVD players to keep people from copying standard DVDs to video tape. This is something the PLAYER does -- it's not in the content of the disc itself. However the disc is flagged for whether or not it is supposed to be copy protected at all. Most commercial, standard DVD discs are flagged to be copy protected.
* The Anthems also have a lower max resolution for Component input and output than for HDMI. The Anthems can input, process, and output up to 1080p/60Hz HDMI. The Anthem's can input, process, and output only up to 1080p/30Hz (1080i/60Hz) Component. The Anthems can "pass through" unprocessed 1080p/60Hz Component in to Component out. Note that since the Anthems can process up to 1080p/30Hz (1080i/60Hz) Component input, one of the processing things they can do is convert it to HDMI output, and the HDMI output can be frame rate raised up to 1080p/60Hz even though the input itself is Component and the Anthem's won't process Component output that high.
So these are the things to look out for.
Meanwhile, the HDMI side of things is probably about as low risk with the Anthem Statement D2 and AVM-50 as you are going to find ANYWHERE. Anthem tech support is very responsive to issues and is actively working to get improved HDMI software into people's hands on a case by case basis. I know of no other receiver or pre-amp/processor company that works this closely with their customers on HDMI stuff.
So although there are potential problems with HDMI, if you are tempted at all to go the HDMI route, doing it through the Anthem is about as close to a sure thing as you are going to find.