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Component VS HDMI

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I was in my local Home Theater company store the other day and the person working there was trying to convince me that using component video was preferable to HDMI and that the eye could not detect differences between 720p and 1080p and definitely not between 1080i and 1080p. Is this guy just nuts?
post #2 of 32
Well - all other things being equal - there really is no difference between the two up to the point where component can't go (1080p, etc.). With that in mind - go with what ever works for you. HDMI is convienient in that you only need 1 cable for both audio/video.
post #3 of 32
On another forum, I was told that HDMI was better quality than component. In fact, I relied on his advice when I hooked up my TiVO to my PC monitor (iow, I'm using the HDMI output port for it.)
post #4 of 32
I've got both running to my 50" plasma, and I can't tell the difference.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zindar View Post

On another forum, I was told that HDMI was better quality than component. In fact, I relied on his advice when I hooked up my TiVO to my PC monitor (iow, I'm using the HDMI output port for it.)

With a perfect analog connection, Component will equal HDMI (it will NEVER be better since both rely on the same digital data to generate the picture). For an analog display, HDMI delays the conversion from digital to analog to the last possible point. For a digital display, it does the conversion using the screen itself (your eye is an analog device).

With a wee bit of noise in the system, HDMI will do better.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zindar View Post

On another forum, I was told that HDMI was better quality than component.

That is incorrect.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAP View Post

With a perfect analog connection, Component will equal HDMI (it will NEVER be better since both rely on the same digital data to generate the picture.

Not necessarily.

There are HDTV's that have poorly designed digital input circuits, and component does look better.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well the same person also told me that I should never use a receiver to do digital decoding and that I should use the source (Blu-Ray player, etc.) to decode the signal. He also said that the PS3 is a terrible choice for a Blu-Ray player. So really, everything he said became suspect to me. Either that or I have drank the Kool-Aid of the masses and what he is saying is actually true.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zindar View Post

On another forum, I was told that HDMI was better quality than component. In fact, I relied on his advice when I hooked up my TiVO to my PC monitor (iow, I'm using the HDMI output port for it.)

There is no right or wrong answer to the HDMI vs Component discussion. It entirely depends on the implementations of both.

Component analogue will require D/A conversion in the source and these days (with the exception of some CRTs) will require A/D conversion in the display. Both of these can cause a quality drop if the analogue processing and implementation isn't excellent (poor termination can cause reflections, poor quality routing can cause crosstalk, poor quality output/input stages can cause HF filtering, noise etc.)

However - just because HDMI is digital - doesn't mean that display implementations of HDMI inputs will be better. With HDMI and DVI you also have issues with levelspaces and subsampling potentially.

Whilst analogue component (as a consumer format) has a single level standard (unlike composite where the North America has a different level standard to other territories - even other NTSC territories!) whereas HDMI / DVI have a number of different options (RGB vs YCrCb, 4:2:2 vs 4:4:4, 0-255 levels vs 16-235 YRGB/16-240CrCb levels) so HDMI/DVI can potentially cause more issues with poorer quality pictures than Component if not set-up properly.

Often - but not always - HDMI is the better choice - though there are exceptions. In many cases there may not be a noticable quality difference - and the lack of HDCP negotiation with Component may make it preferable in some situations.

Personally all my kit is connected HDMI - mainly because I use PCM 5.1 audio over HDMI for a number of sources. However when I've used component sources they have also been excellent.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDonoughDawg View Post

I've got both running to my 50" plasma, and I can't tell the difference.

Agree^^^, had HDCP issues with my StarChoice sat box after it upgraded itself over night, Super Bowl Sunday night. I was po'd to say the least. Long story short, I wound up going from the DVI/HDMI to component... I honestly could not see a difference in picture quality and eliminated the HDCP problem on my HD channels.

I also have my whole house video system running off of component, again, I cannot see a difference in pq when compared to my direct HDMI stuff. The only place you may see a difference where component and HDMI come into play is maybe on some BD stuff. But even then, I doubt most people would be able to tell if they are watching 1080p or i.

I would say go with what is the simplest for you. And you can buy HDMI cables all over the internet for pennies a foot. In many cases cheaper than component cables. Either way, with a good source, you will be fine with either cable setup.

Mike
post #11 of 32
Every TV is different.

For me, HDMI is noticeably better than component using cable box ( SA 8300-HD ) as source. Also, my HDMI is far superior than PC RGB input when used as a computer display.
post #12 of 32
Mentioned it earlier somewhere here, that on my setup YPbPr displays better HD resolution than HDMI. Hooked up a new 65" plasma, Panasonic's TH-65VX100U , recently with HDMI (high-end 9') to take advantage of plasma's all-digital processing/display. Measured the resolution using HDNet's test pattern , with this technique , via a 8300HD STB and NYC's TWC. Since the YPbPr showed ~1424 vs ~1335 HDMI maximum resolvable horizontal resolution I switched from HDMI to YPbPr for cable STB viewing. Vertical resolution from YPbPr reads ~900 lines providing the 8300HD DVR isn't in freeze-frame mode. Published reviews indicate the 1080p plasma does show 1920X1080 with the right signal sources.

In the process of finally adding Blu-ray, so test discs and Sony Blu-ray disc 'hidden' resolution-wedge patterns might reveal different results of HDMI vs. YPbPr. (My cable STB and potential rate-shaping/requantization with cable delivery may be trimming nearly full 1920X1080 test pattern resolution; a few AVSers have reported close to full test pattern resolution from HDNet and/or HD test discs.) -- John
post #13 of 32
HDMI has to do its digital handshaking so it takes a few seconds to come up when I turn the TV on. Component is instant. HDMI is one cable where with component you need 4 or 5.

Also I believe component does allow 1080p. It is just that the sources of 1080p will not output 1080p over component and as a result many TVs do not decode 1080p component.

Rick R
post #14 of 32
hdmi is digital and component is analog.

your sat/cable box is digital as well as your DVD player and TV.

using a component connection makes a digital to analog conversion at the source and then another analog to digital conversion at the tv. That's a lot of chips the signal goes thru possibly impacted the video signal.

In theory, keeping it all digital with a calibrated TV one should see better picture, especially seen on calibration DVD test frames.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMO1938 View Post

hdmi is digital and component is analog.

your sat/cable box is digital as well as your DVD player and TV.

using a component connection makes a digital to analog conversion at the source and then another analog to digital conversion at the tv. That's a lot of chips the signal goes thru possibly impacted the video signal.

In theory, keeping it all digital with a calibrated TV one should see better picture, especially seen on calibration DVD test frames.

In real world use, neither is always the best choice. You must see which is best, or at a minimum equal.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_R View Post

HDMI has to do its digital handshaking so it takes a few seconds to come up when I turn the TV on. Component is instant. HDMI is one cable where with component you need 4 or 5.

Also I believe component does allow 1080p. It is just that the sources of 1080p will not output 1080p over component and as a result many TVs do not decode 1080p component.

Rick R

Correct.
post #17 of 32
I was having difficulty with an intermittent black screen with a 8300HD over HDMI to a Panasonic PT AE3000 projector. I connected a component cable and that got rid of the problem. I was also surprised to see that the picture looked better, brighter, better contrast. I could not see a real difference in detail although this is difficult to tell switching from input to input.
post #18 of 32
^^^If you have access to HDNet's Saturday am test patterns (search HD.net for schedules), it's easy to measure maximum resolutions using the method I outlined earlier above. Need to factor in potential limitations of your source channel, such as rate shaping for cable TV, but HDNet's, or other patterns, provide a means of measuring YPbPr/HDMI final resolution differences. -- John
post #19 of 32
I just bought a new projector so have been "obsessing" over the HDnet test patterns recorded on my Sony DVR. Looks the like the resolution wedges for horizontal detail merge at just over the 7 mark - so I take it the formula would be something like 7.2 X 100 X 1.78 = 1280 lines?

Does this seem "typical" for a cable company?
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tustinfarm View Post

I just bought a new projector so have been "obsessing" over the HDnet test patterns recorded on my Sony DVR. Looks the like the resolution wedges for horizontal detail merge at just over the 7 mark - so I take it the formula would be something like 7.2 X 100 X 1.78 = 1280 lines?

Does this seem "typical" for a cable company?

Yes, that's just about what lots of others here measured and posted a few years back. Since a few have measured nearly 1920X1080, possible reasons might be rate shaping by many cable companies (or perhaps a centralized source such as Headend in the Sky, or HITS, used by some but not fully by all), or limitations of some STBs and the amount of memory in use. -- John
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Yes, that's just about what lots of others here measured and posted a few years back. Since a few have measured nearly 1920X1080, possible reasons might be rate shaping by many cable companies (or perhaps a centralized source such as Headend in the Sky, or HITS, used by some but not fully by all), or limitations of some STBs and the amount of memory in use. -- John

There are only 22 HD channels on HITS, and HDNet is not among them. There are no other like systems, at least that I'm aware of.

http://www.comcastmediacenter.com/hi...ing-lineup.asp
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Yes, that's just about what lots of others here measured and posted a few years back. Since a few have measured nearly 1920X1080, possible reasons might be rate shaping by many cable companies (or perhaps a centralized source such as Headend in the Sky, or HITS, used by some but not fully by all), or limitations of some STBs and the amount of memory in use. -- John

Many thanks for confirming this - I am relieved to hear that what I am getting is "typical", probably from Charter trying to squeeze as many HD channels in as they can. Thankfully the SMPTE RP-133 test pattern on blu-ray Digital Video Essentials looks perfect so I was able to confirm my projector can display every last one of those 1920 glorious pixels across the screen. I now have a new appreciation of what blu-ray can deliver, given good source material.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tustinfarm View Post

Many thanks for confirming this - I am relieved to hear that what I am getting is "typical", probably from Charter trying to squeeze as many HD channels in as they can. Thankfully the SMPTE RP-133 test pattern on blu-ray Digital Video Essentials looks perfect so I was able to confirm my projector can display every last one of those 1920 glorious pixels across the screen. I now have a new appreciation of what blu-ray can deliver, given good source material.

Glad to learn the DVE showed full resolution. Is 133 a resolution-wedge type pattern similar to HDNet's? Reviews indicate my new 1080p plasma can resolve 1920X1080, too, although the 'benchmark' test Blu-ray I just acquired doesn't seem to have 1920X1080-numbered resolution patterns and I'm getting what looks like periodic grayish aliasing bars with the highest-res test patterns using a Sony PS3 player with HDMI output. Using YPbPr (gives better rez than HDMI) with my cable STB, but Sony's PS3 requires a special unique-plug component cable to check whether the HDMI is causing those vertical aliasing bars. Haven't updated my PS3 firmware yet but hard to believe that's causing the apparent aliasing. Motion video looks fine. -- John

EDIT: Turns out, I'd forgotten, or somehow changed the setting, for 1:1 pixel mapping, so the grayish aliasing bars were caused by scaling taking place. The 'extra' bars vanished with a 1:1 pixel mapping for my HDMI cable input used with my new Sony PS3 machine.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Glad to learn the DVE showed full resolution. Is 133 a resolution-wedge type pattern similar to HDNet's? Reviews indicate my new 1080p plasma can resolve 1920X1080, too, although the 'benchmark' test Blu-ray I just acquired doesn't seem to have 1920X1080-numbered resolution patterns and I'm getting what looks like periodic grayish aliasing bars with the highest-res test patterns using a Sony PS3 player with HDMI output. Using YPbPr (gives better rez than HDMI) with my cable STB, but Sony's PS3 requires a special unique-plug component cable to check whether the HDMI is causing those vertical aliasing bars. Haven't updated my PS3 firmware yet but hard to believe that's causing the apparent aliasing. Motion video looks fine. -- John

The RP133 pattern on the DVE disk does not have the wedges pattern like HDnet but rather has some pixel blocks where alternating rows or columns are black or white (it has both horizontal and vertical blocks). Therefore it is very easy to confirm that the display is capable of the full 1920 across or 1080 up and down. It also has lettering and numbering patterns where the characters are a single pixel wide. With my projector (Optoma HD20), I can get perfect pixel resolution through HDMI, whereas when I switch to component input there is a reduction in the resolution. While I can still discern the individual pixels in the block patterns, for rows running horizontally there is marked darkening of the white pixels, which are essentially gray, while the vertical columns of black//white are unaffected, as one would not expect loss of vertical resolution. This smearing is also obvious when viewing the characters in the pattern also. Turning up the projector "sharpness" setting does suppress the smearing, but at the extreme leads to the classic over-sharpening artifacts (halos, etc). That said, I do not know whether it is the fault of the blu-ray player output or the projector input, or the quality of the video cable. As long as I stick to HDMI I can get perfect res. from blu-ray disks. On the other hand with my Sony DVR the HDMI output has odd line artifacts visible, resembling a loss in vertical resolution (!), while the component output seems OK.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tustinfarm View Post

On the other hand with my Sony DVR the HDMI output has odd line artifacts visible, resembling a loss in vertical resolution (!), while the component output seems OK.

I've posted for years that technical implementation of HDMI or component video can make or break HD image quality.

There is no one best way to connect hardware. You have to try all options and pick the one that looks best.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tustinfarm View Post

I can get perfect pixel resolution through HDMI, whereas when I switch to component input there is a reduction in the resolution. While I can still discern the individual pixels in the block patterns, for rows running horizontally there is marked darkening of the white pixels, which are essentially gray, while the vertical columns of black//white are unaffected, as one would not expect loss of vertical resolution. This smearing is also obvious when viewing the characters in the pattern also. Turning up the projector "sharpness" setting does suppress the smearing, but at the extreme leads to the classic over-sharpening artifacts (halos, etc). That said, I do not know whether it is the fault of the blu-ray player output or the projector input, or the quality of the video cable. As long as I stick to HDMI I can get perfect res. from blu-ray disks. On the other hand with my Sony DVR the HDMI output has odd line artifacts visible, resembling a loss in vertical resolution (!), while the component output seems OK.

Detailed reviews of displays often indicate a YPbPr falloff at higher frequencies, as you're no doubt aware. Probably doesn't apply, but you might note my edited update to my post just above. Thought I had 1:1 pixel mapping on universally, but it was only for my YPbPr input. So, with 1:1 OFF for my Blu-ray HDMI input, I was getting aliasing bars, vert. and horiz., due to scaling at the highest frequencies (even with 1080 to 1080). Setting 1:1 from OFF to ON for HDMI fixed the test pattern aliasing problem. -- John
post #27 of 32
Quick question on this topic. If you hook a blu-ray and cable box to a receiver (in my case a Denon 1910) via HDMI cables, can you have the receiver output to the component ports or does it just output to the HDMI port?
post #28 of 32
I would read the manual you have for your Denon for the best answer.
post #29 of 32
So Component & HDMI the is same

The only thing is one is Analog & the other one Digital
post #30 of 32
Since one is analog and the other is digital it takes electronics comnponents to convert between them and their different video protocols and cable connections. Also component video does not include audio and HDMI does. The only thing that is "the same" is that they both support the ATSC digital resolution standards. Depending on the type of HDTV you have you may get better color quality with one then with the other.
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