Originally Posted by jeam0202
so the comcast guy came today to install my cable tv, and he tried giving me an HD box without HDMI (the first box he gave me had hdmi, but the unit did not work). I told him i wanted HDMI but he insisted that HDMI and component were exactly the same. Pretty much, i told him to leave and called comcast to cancel. they offered me an hd-dvr and $20 of the installation so i agreed (i was kind of actually hoping for this).
anyway, anyone know if all the comcast hd-dvr boxes have HDMI? I'd prefer a unit that does. should i not care?
First, DVI video is the exact same as HDMI video. All the HD DVRs have at least DVI. You can get an inexpensive DVI > HDMI adapter or cable at Monoprice, and be good to go for video. Although DVI does not carry audio, you can run either coax SPDIF digital (single orange RCA connector) or optical toslink digital from the HD DVR to your surround receiver and get the exact same audio as HDMI carries.
Second, component video is technically the same quality as HDMI/DVI, and in most all cases they look identical. In a few rare cases HDMI may look better, in a few rare cases component video may look better. Again for audio, you'll need to run digital audio separately as above.
If you're just using the HDTV for audio (no surround system), use left/right analog from the HD DVR into the HDTV. It won't make any difference coming from the HDTV.
and can these boxes be switched by the user at comcast centers?
Yes, but it's a crap shoot if they have one with HDMI or not. I'd call 800 COMCAST and try to reserve an HDMI box if you really want one.