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I recently had Comcast HD cable installed because I can't receive NBC OTA on the San Francisco Peninsula and have not yet mailed my signal test request (a station in Sacramento denied my D* waiver). I figured for $6 a month I fix the NBC problem and get both INHD channels; no PVR yet, but what the heck.

You can guess what comes next - not enough high res inputs on the display's AV box. The temporary solution, move the DVD to S-Video, was most unsatisfactory; lost a couple of MHz of bandwidth, DVD looked like crap compared to previous configuration.

Lots of options here - component switch box, new DVDP with HDMI & switch box, transcoder to VGA input. I finally settled on the transcoder because I didn't want to deal with a manual or "automatic" switch, plus the good ones with IR control are pretty pricey; overall, DVD trancoded to VGA looked like a good option.

Well, it would have been if the DVD player didn't refuse to play when hooked to the transcoder - picture only briefly when eject is selected; some kind of content protection is my bet. OK, the cable box output will work for this, too.

Except that AudioAuthority has only just started shipping component/VGA transcoders with their color offset bug fixed, and the Mot 6200 box has sync on multiple pins - result => green picture.

Only one thing left to do - put the HR10 on the VGA; dang - give up my DVI? Oh well, it will have to do until I can replace the transcoder with an updated one. I pulled the crappy VGA cable off my PC, hooked it all up and.....

....Got the best PQ I had ever seen on this panel. Not just a little, but a lot. "Little people in a box", "you are there" PQ. That's not all; with a high quality VGA cable made for HD, it is even better.

How much better? Orders of magnitude. If you have an Hitachi PDP and $300 to spend on the transcoder & VGA cable (I used Monster M1000 component and an Ultralink UXGA cable), it could be the best investment in PQ since you bought your panel. With other PDPs, I have no idea how this will play out; a friend & I are going to try it on his 42" ALiS Fujitsu soon. I do know it's a winner on a 42HDT55.

Why does this work so well? If you look in the Hitachi Video menu in VGA mode, you see that there is nothing to control except brightness, contrast, and color temp; my bet is that going in on VGA cuts out a lot of circuitry, letting more detail & truer color through. BTW, the Hitachi manual is wrong; RGBHS does not give a stable horizontal sync. Use one of the other two mode settings for a stable picture.

It is indeed true that it is better to be lucky than smart.

regards, billb...
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