AVS Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry, but I am just old school and ignorant. I am in the market for a new receiver and I'm not sure what to do about this whole HDMI thing. I really don't even understand it. I do plan on getting a nice HDTV and all that, but does that mean I have to use the HDMI? I know this is a big task, but could you guys maybe explain all this to me? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,326 Posts
Having HDMI gives you the ability to use optimal video / audio connection for HD sources.



Not sure exactly what you want explained though.


HDMI is a digital audio / video connection that has HDCP built in. Right now my HD Sat box, my HD-DVD player, and my Blu-ray player are all hooked up to me HDMI AVR and the HDMI output of my AVR is hooked to my display.
 

·
Read the FAQ!
Joined
·
36,603 Posts
WIKIPEDIA is your friend. (grin!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI


The introductory material in that article is likely all you'll really want to read.


----------------------------------------------------


The important thing to know is that the home theater industry has clasped HDMI to its bosom due to its copy protection features. This copy protection stuff, which rejoices in the name of HDCP, provides *NOTHING* for you, and in fact is frequently a pain in the neck. But the industry just loves it dearly.


And because of this, the industry is trying hard to find ways to force all home theater buyers to shift to HDMI as rapidly as possible. HDMI is the wave of the future (for at least the next few years).


For example, to get the full quality of audio digitally from new HD-DVD or Blue Ray players you *MUST* use an HDMI connection (V1.1 or higher). Any other method of sending digital audio from such players will result in audio quality which has been intentionally and deliberately reduced from the best.


HDMI comes in different versions. Right now the industry is touting V1.3 which hasn't really shipped yet on most styles of device. There's a sticky thread at the top of this forum which discusses V1.3 and why you need to watch out for the hype surrounding it. Practically speaking, a device with a well implemented HDMI V1.1 (or higher) will do just fine for you.


The copy protection stuff means that HDMI works a little differently from other styles of cabling you might have used in the past. For example you can't cable a DVD player with HDMI to your TV for video and also HDMI to your receiver for audio. You have to run the HDMI from the DVD to your receiver for BOTH audio and video and then HDMI from your receiver to your TV. Splitting an HDMI cable (sending it to more than one device) is also a pain in the neck.


Many currently shipping HDMI source devices have bugs which keep them from working reliably, if at all. Most of these revolve around that copy protection stuff.


For example, many cable TV boxes will simply give up the moment they discover their HDMI output is not DIRECTLY connected to a TV -- i.e., if there is a receiver in the middle. This is a bug in the cable TV box (in its implementation of HDCP) -- not in the receiver or TV.


Because of this, HDMI is far from "plug and play" at this point. With some patience, users find ways to use their HDMI stuff that works most of the time, and with relatively simple workarounds when the signal fails -- such as power cycling one device.


The reason users put themselves through this pain is twofold: First a properly calibrated HDMI connection can yield really wonderful video and audio. And second, the new HD-DVD and Blue Ray players force folks in that direction.


Installers on the other hand, hate HDMI with a passion because it dramatically increases the number of support calls they get from customers confused as to why things stopped working just because they changed which TV channel they were watching.


HDMI cable handles some pretty high bandwidth signals, and many folks have discovered that not all HDMI cable out there works for the highest resolution signals. Given variations in cable quality, and the fact that some devices (cable TV boxes are, once again, a big offender) have crappy HDMI output circuits, finding cable that works reliably with YOUR devices can be a bit of a challenge. This is particularly bad for folks with in-wall wiring. This should get better over the next couple of years as the industry has finally decided they need to put some standards around HDMI cable quality as part of their V1.3 push.

--Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you guys very much. Let me ask a simple question. Say I buy a plasma TV, get Direct TV HD, hook up my surround sound system. Can I watch TV/Movies in HD and listen to music in surround and have it look and sound great without using HDMI? If the answer is "yes" then should I still buy a receiver with HDMI just to play it safe for the future; is it neccessary?
 

·
Read the FAQ!
Joined
·
36,603 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by HP666 /forum/post/0


Thank you guys very much. Let me ask a simple question. Say I buy a plasma TV, get Direct TV HD, hook up my surround sound system. Can I watch TV/Movies in HD and listen to music in surround and have it look and sound great without using HDMI?

Yes. Use Component video cables for video and Optical digital audio cable to your surround sound system.

--Bob
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top