Originally Posted by Huey
HD1000u does not like 720p via VGA but does like it via DVI->HDMI. A good upconverting DVD player like Oppo 981/970, Bravo D1, LG DVB418 will look just as good if not better (depending how powerful your HTPC and video card are and how many software filters you use) with much less tweaking. Of course HTPC offers DivX, MP3, gaming, net surfing, WMV, WMV-HD, HD files playback, DVR, etc. I personally use both and swap HDMI cables (you can get a mechanical, passive, HDMI switcher from Monoprice for $30). STB DVD player will ALWAYS beat HTPC on video type DVDs like anime, TV shows, concerts, etc. HTPC is very good on film based DVDs and with appropriate tweaking with software filters using FFDSHOW and appropriate software decoders like Purevideo by Nvidia or free Dscaler5 codecs, it can be unbeaten. Unfortunately you need a powerful HTPC to beat a cheap, good, upscaling DVD player.
I have to strongly disagree with you here. 720P from the VGA port of my Radeon 8500 looks fantastic -- almost as good as from the DVI port of my TI-4200. VGA from the TI-4200 looks good as well. 720P component from the same Radeon 8500 looks worse on fine desktop text.
One thing I did find is I had to fart around with the 8500 video card settings to get it to actually output 1280x720p, but once it did it looks great.
The component input on the HD1000 looks very good as well. In an A-B comparison between HDMI out and component out from my Sony HD DVR *component* came out on top.
For me the analog inputs look good enough that I don't think the extra expense for HDMI switchers is justified. Plus, I can share the component signals much more easily with the bedroom than I could with HDMI.
I've got my setup hooked up as follows:
2 Sony HD-DVR + Samsung T-150 via component switch
HTPC via VGA
Bravo D1 via HDMI
All the cables to hook this up plus a 120" electric 4:3 screen (16:9 108") cost just a little over 240 bucks shipped. Gotta love Monoprice. I'm hoping I like the screen, at $147 it may be a steal.