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Cables /Switchers/Power Conditioners- Discuss Them Here!!!

post #1 of 1162
Thread Starter 
Mod Note:

this is the place for cables/switchers/power conditioners talk (and related accessories)

Sorry: some posts got out of order!


Component vs. HDMI for plasma TVs
OK, somebody set me straight ...

HDMI is a totally digital wiring interface between (lets say) a DVD player and a TV (in this case a plasma). No analog-digital or digital-analog coversions whatsoever. Right?? So, HDMI should be *better* than component, which is analog. Better = sharper, clearer more accurate image.

Reading an article on the cobaltcable.com page, they say in their "choosing between component and HDMI/DVD" pdf that only LCoS and DLP sets are digital. Plasmas and LCD and CRT's, according to them, are all analog. WTF? Is this correct? Furthermore, they go on to state that HDMI might actually look worse on a Plasma and LCD when compared to component connections. Again WTF? Is this true? I thought that plasmas were indeed digital. Dont they allow EDID information to pass through to allow 2 way communication between devices? My plasma and DVD player suppport EDID. I am about to drop some $$$ on a couple of HDMI cables, but am kind of confused about all this now. Anyone know the straight goods on this subject???
post #2 of 1162
All digital: plasma, DLP, certain LCoS (such as eLCoS ). Mixed results with HDMI or DVI versus YPbPr just suggests varying effectiveness at implementing a complex circuit in different displays. -- John
post #3 of 1162
Like most people here....cant see much if any difference, it's just another input to use for whatever you want to hookup.
Theres alot of hdmi handshake issue's,my panny ed plasma has underscan issue's with hdmi, also i see green sparklies unless i set my black level to dark
It all depends on your panel, setup, needs and expectations.
post #4 of 1162
whatever minor advantage may be claimed for HDMI over component video is negated by the problems ascotiated with the HDMI interface and copy protection

component video just works all the time with few issues and it is easier to switch
post #5 of 1162
I had the panny ED for a while. I noticed a big difference using HDMI over component. Sharper picture, better face detail which is something I had a real problem with on the ED set. Upgraded to the HD. Havent' been able to tell the difference between HDMI and component on this set. Though I never did an extensive comparison as the HD set fixed the clayface issue that bothered me so much.
post #6 of 1162
Won't we be stuck with HDMI when BluRay and HD-DVD finally come along? Last I read, most of those players will output high-def signals over HDMI only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

whatever minor advantage may be claimed for HDMI over component video is negated by the problems ascotiated with the HDMI interface and copy protection

component video just works all the time with few issues and it is easier to switch
post #7 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boochie View Post

Won't we be stuck with HDMI when BluRay and HD-DVD finally come along? Last I read, most of those players will output high-def signals over HDMI only.

eventually Yes: I hope by then the HDMI mess is resolved and it works as intended

I think the first generation of these new players will still offer 1080i over component video (no one knows for sure)
post #8 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by stty0 View Post

Furthermore, they go on to state that HDMI might actually look worse on a Plasma and LCD when compared to component connections. Again WTF? Is this true?

There are instances where personal taste might make the component output look better than HDMI. Invariably the HDMI will be the more accurate image, but it certainly is possible that, although less accurate (and this accuracy would vary with the combination of display device and source), the 'alterations' that a component signal might produce, might actually look more pleasing to some. Just as with audio, 'accurate' is not always what looks or sounds best to many.

As Mark suggests (and we've both suffered through this), HDMI takes more work and more time when there are several HDMI sources involved. Some handshakes take far too long depending on the switcher, source, and display, or don't happen at all. You just have to experiment with these switchers. I'm currently having very good luck with a Gefen 4X1 HDMI switcher with discrete Toslink/coax audio switching. I tried a Gefen 4X2 HDMI switcher which can carry the audio with the video via HDMI (assuming your display supports it), but the switching time was far too long and for some sources I got PCM rather than DD.

HDMI is simply hit and miss depending on your device, your switcher and your display. Too many times these combinations don't play well together.
post #9 of 1162
TyTimp,

I believe that you are the one that I have been hoping to hear from ever since I found this forum. I have been wanting to put an ED Panny in my bedroom for the past two years, almost bought the PD50 until I saw the "Clayface" phenomenon and it stopped me in my tracks.

The TH-42PWD8UK (along with the TH-XXPHD8'S) advertise that if you feed the set via DVI or HDMI you get double the number of grayscale steps and vastly many more colors in the pallette. This is supposed to eliminate the false contourting artifact, ie. "Clayface", banding, posterization, et al.

Which ED did you have? It sounds like you could see an improvement in the image using HDMI but that it didn't solve the false-contouring issues. Could you tell that there was a smoother grayscale and there were more colors due to the 14-bit processing? If not, and you still experienced clayface, why would changing to the HD version make any difference, as it has the same processing depth both for component and the digital inputs?

Any insights that you can provide will be much appreciated ... I really want to get something quickly, but do NOT want to live with false contouring. Have considered a NEC because people seem not to see f/c on those sets, which are 14-bit both component and digital inputs.

Thank You for your insights!
post #10 of 1162
TyTimp ..... Where are you, Man?
post #11 of 1162
Figure out by your equipment, if certain ones have to use HDMI of course use them. Else go by picture quality, which ever one looks better to you, keep that one. It's also a good test to make sure all your jacks work, there are tv's out there with a defective component jack or defective hdmi jack without the owner even knowning because they never bothered testing it.
post #12 of 1162
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

All digital: plasma, DLP, certain LCoS (such as eLCoS ). Mixed results with HDMI or DVI versus YPbPr just suggests varying effectiveness at implementing a complex circuit in different displays. -- John


so are you saying that Cobaltcable is full of cr*p when they publish info that flatly states that plasma are analog and not digital?

Here is the link: http://cobaltcable.com/pdfs/component_vs_dvi_hdmi.pdf
post #13 of 1162
yes, he probably is, and rightfully so. it's a retarded statement.

unless you watch tv with 1s and 0s descending down the screen matrix-style, there's a digital to analog conversion going on somewhere in the chain, whether it's at the TV or somewhere before the TV.

the only question is which point in the chain is best to do that analog to digital conversion in your setup. maybe it's the TV if it can display digital inputs correctly. maybe it's before the TV if yours is one of the ones with a laundry list of HDMI issues that can't be solved by the end user.
post #14 of 1162
It would be more correct to say that the conversion in a plasma is digital to time.

A plasma can be thought of as a tiny fluorescent light for every pixel. The only way to modulate the brightness of a fluorescent light is to turn it on and off many times a second. This is the way dimmers for fluorescent lights work. So within the 1/60 of a second between changes of the image, the pixel turns on and off several times to create the illusion of a brightness level.

Sounds a lot more digital than analog.

Although, there is actually no such thing as a "digital" circuit. All circuits are made of the same components. It is just that in a digital circuit, we define some voltages as one and some voltages as zero (and some voltages as undefined).
post #15 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomboyter View Post

TyTimp ..... Where are you, Man?

Sorry, I only read this board while at work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomboyter View Post

TyTimp,

I believe that you are the one that I have been hoping to hear from ever since I found this forum. I have been wanting to put an ED Panny in my bedroom for the past two years, almost bought the PD50 until I saw the "Clayface" phenomenon and it stopped me in my tracks.

The TH-42PWD8UK (along with the TH-XXPHD8'S) advertise that if you feed the set via DVI or HDMI you get double the number of grayscale steps and vastly many more colors in the pallette. This is supposed to eliminate the false contourting artifact, ie. "Clayface", banding, posterization, et al.

Which ED did you have? It sounds like you could see an improvement in the image using HDMI but that it didn't solve the false-contouring issues. Could you tell that there was a smoother grayscale and there were more colors due to the 14-bit processing? If not, and you still experienced clayface, why would changing to the HD version make any difference, as it has the same processing depth both for component and the digital inputs?

Any insights that you can provide will be much appreciated ... I really want to get something quickly, but do NOT want to live with false contouring. Have considered a NEC because people seem not to see f/c on those sets, which are 14-bit both component and digital inputs.

Thank You for your insights!

I previously had the 42PD50, now I have the 42PX50. I regards to false contouring, I get just as much with the PX as I did with the PD. I find false contouring more to do with a digital source. I've compared scenes against my 13" CRT in my bedroom and get the same results. The bigger TV just makes it more evident. I watched "The Fog" on the weekend (terrible movie but it was free) that movie shows false contouring at its finest because of the massive amount of shades of fog. This would actually be an excellent test disc for comparing how each panel handles false contouring. Anything with lights under water would also be good, like "The Abyss" or "The Cave" (another crappy movie) One thing I never did but I'll have to di is compare the f/c over HDMI vs component. Didn't do alot on the PD50 though.
I'm not sure if my terminology is correct but the "clayface" that I speak of that was so evident on the 42PD50 was the lack of detail on peoples faces, not false contouring. I don't know if these two are related. HDMI greatly helped the problem on the PD50 but I still wasn't satisfied. Jay Leno was a great test for this as it is the worst show for clayface.
The last HDMI vs component test I did was from a scene from LOST and couldn't tell the difference on the 42PX50. I'll have to do more tests with problem shows and DVD's and report back.
post #16 of 1162
TY;

Your description of the "lack of detail" in peoples' faces is a perfect description of "clayface", and I believe that this is one in the same phenomenon as "banding", the visible transition from lighter-to-darker shades and vice versa (seen as contour lines going from lighter blue to darker blue in the sky or water, for example), and "posterization" (seen as abrupt changes in skin tone, also along contour lines). You are experiencing the same thing as me, only I just barely happened to notice it in the store before I bought it. There I was, checkbook in hand and looking at something that I knew I couldn't live with.

The PD50 and the PX50 should be the same with regard to false contouring, because they both are limited to 2048 grayscale steps, even when using HDMI/DVI. The commercial panels, the PWD8UK and the PHD8UK supposedly double the number of grayscale steps when feeding the signal via DVI/HDMI. Theoretically, this should reduce or eliminate false contouring. At this point, I have not found anyone who can say definitively that it works, or that it doesn't.

For some reason it appears that Panasonic chose to raise the number of grayscale steps in the new PD60, PX60 and PX600 all the way up to 3072.....which is 1024 steps below what the PWD8 and the PDH8's can do now. I don't understand this move at all. Are they saying that false contouring is eliminated at 3072 and that the 4096 level is overkill? If so, why is NEC doing the 4096 steps as they have for the last several years? I have even heard NEC owners say that they occassionally see "clayface", although they usually say that it is source dependent, not the set.

Unfortunately, comparing the HDMI and component inputs on the PD50 and the PX50 won't shed any light on the 14-bit processing capability or its efficacy. To compare the 2048 steps against the 4096 steps would require a consumer panel and a commercial panel, or comparing the component input against the HDMI input on a commercial panel. It seems like such an obvious comparison to me that all sorts of reviewers would have done it by now. CNET has reviewed the commercial panels, but has never commented on the difference between digital inputs and analog...I just don't understand it.

Anyway, thank you for your reply and I look forward to your continued input.
post #17 of 1162
Anybody know of a good cheap HDMI cable? I would prefer not to spend $150 on a monster cable when I know a much cheaper one will do the job. Thanks
post #18 of 1162
post #19 of 1162
Also try Radio Shack.
post #20 of 1162
monoprice,last nite at 12am i ordered a hmdi to dvi cable for $6 and when i woke up this morning it was shipped so far this is THE BEST service of any kind online usually it takes a day or two to process the order ..this was not the case here
post #21 of 1162
He said cheap. HDMI cable at Radio Shack is NOT cheap. I purchased one from Monoprice.com a few weeks ago and it works great.
post #22 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by imanoob View Post

Anybody know of a good cheap HDMI cable? I would prefer not to spend $150 on a monster cable when I know a much cheaper one will do the job. Thanks

Got mine from Monoprice also - it arrived within two days.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/se...=2412&x=0&y=11
post #23 of 1162
I want the male to male to go to from my Comcast box to my Plasma, same thing for DVD to Plasma... right..

No difference in quality compared to monster?
post #24 of 1162
I too got my Monoprice cables real quick. IF you buy the premium HDMI cable, it has some ferrite core at the end at each cable and my electrician had a hard time fishing it through the wall b/c there was some pipe obstruction. So I had to go with the $90 Monster. Oh well.
post #25 of 1162
I appreciate the help everyone.
post #26 of 1162
Depends on what you call cheap. Radio Shack looks and is cheap compared to Monster
andwith Radio Shack you get it that second. I think a got the 12' HDMI for $34.99
post #27 of 1162
I concur on Monoprice.... they shipped mine quick... and got a great price.
post #28 of 1162
By popular acclaim, monoprice officially rules.
post #29 of 1162
can anybody tell me where i can find a quality VGA to component cable?

the couple that i found on the internet were pretty crappy looking, i'd like a quality cable.

thanks.
post #30 of 1162
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