Are you unhooking your component cable from the Hitachi and hooking it up to the Sony with the same cables? Have you checked you connections to make sure that they are tight? If so, then a cheap scaler may be the culprit in the Sony, that would be my guess. I have a $1600 Sony DVP-E9000ES DVD/SACD player and coupled with my Fujitus P50XHA10US plasma the picture quality is almost high def looking. My wife even commented how great the picture looked and asked if it was high def. I'm sure that you have the Sony switched to progressive output and not interlaced. Have you looked at the picture quality with interlace output from the Sony? Sometimes if you have progressive going out and then you scale it again it can look grainey whereas if it went out interlaced and the display device scaled it then it might look better because it was only scaled once.