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Advice on HD connections

Discussion in 'TVs' started by Grobnic, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. Grobnic

    Grobnic
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    Over the next few months I expect to buy Sky+HD, Xbox 360 and a HD TV. This is posing me a number of dilemmas (So many choices on the TV front.. :confused: ) but the one I wanted ask today was about connections.

    I already have Sky+ & my Xbox routed to my 5.1 sound system via an optical splitter. This works really well as I can put either through the sound system at the touch of a button. The splitter has 3 inputs so adding Xbox 360 is no issue from the sound point of view.
    I'm going to need either two HD inputs into the TV (not very common at the moment) or some form of splitter for the HD fed.

    So finally my questions... :)
    Am I better with DVI (vision only) inputs on the TV as I have sound under control, or is HDMI better in the long run? Can you put just the video through the HDMI? Do you lose picture quality if you go via a splitter for HD video.

    Any thoughts, answers or comments are welcome and will build the knowledge I need to make my purchase.
     
  2. drdavewatford

    drdavewatford
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    Exactly my question (or similar at least) - see the "Multiple HDMI sources " thread.

    Dr. D.
     
  3. Grobnic

    Grobnic
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    I've had a look at you other thread. If the switching option is £200+ then I think I'll hang on until I can find a DLP TV with two HD inputs.

    the reason I started a diiferent thread was my question about DVI verses HDMI.

    Are you about to Buy a TV or have you already got one with 1 input?
     
  4. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Xbox 360 doesn't have HDMI, so no worries there, Sky box in HDMI, Xbox360 in component.

    PS3 has HDMI though, so you'll get stuck there.
     
  5. Grobnic

    Grobnic
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    That's interesting, Maybe I should follow this up in the Xbox or HD forum. But I'll start here.

    If Xbox 360 has no HDMI how does it get HD pictures onto the screen? Can you put them through other inputs? :lease:

    I had assumed HD pictures had to go through either a DVI or HDMI input, if this is not so my choices become less complicated. :clap:

    I'm not planning to get PS3 as I'm an Xbox fan, so if I can have both Sky+HD and Xbox HD running into my tv with only a single DVI or HDMI input I'll be a happy bunny. At least until I get a HD DVD, which won't be until the format wars have died down (I bought a betamax video recorder once :suicide: , once bitten twice shy)

    Thanks for the help guys
     
  6. Grobnic

    Grobnic
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    Hi Richard Plumb :hiya:

    That's interesting, Maybe I should follow this up in the Xbox or HD forum. But I'll start here.

    If Xbox 360 has no HDMI how does it get HD pictures onto the screen? Can you put them through other inputs? :lease:

    I had assumed HD pictures had to go through either a DVI or HDMI input, if this is not so my choices become less complicated. :clap:

    I'm not planning to get PS3 as I'm an Xbox fan, so if I can have both Sky+HD and Xbox HD running into my tv with only a single DVI or HDMI input I'll be a happy bunny. At least until I get a HD DVD, which won't be until the format wars have died down
    (I bought a betamax video recorder once :suicide: , once bitten twice shy)

    Thanks for the help guys
     
  7. cerebros

    cerebros
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    It will use component connections. These are video only cables (for the most part, I'm sure someone probably makes ones with left & right audio too) cables with 3 phones coloured reg, green and blue.

    Component is the most widely available form of connection that can carry HD signals. Unfortuantely, becuase it's analogue in nature and the Hollywood studios are paranoid about film priacy, they're making every effort they can to force broadcasters and the respective Blu-Ray and HD-DVD camps to ensure that their playbakc devices (i.e. HD STB's or DVD players) only output HD over HDCP compatible connections (i.e. DVI-HDCP or HDMI).

    However, for playing games on the X-box 360 this shouldn't be a problem and you should be able to get a component cable output option for it (otherwise the number of households in the US who'd be able to take advantage of it's hi-def resolutions would be severely limited).
     
  8. jont

    jont
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    Microsoft have implied that there will be an xbox 360 hdmi connector sometime in the future but as they have said "hi-def is not an issue for gaming" it will not be a priority ... I guess the circuitry is there in whatever proprietary socket they use - guess we may have to wait on a third-party solution for launch but I don't know how they might activate the hdmi pins ??

    Jon
     
  9. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Well I guess if HDMI and DVI are closely linked in video terms, and if the XBox is using something related to a PC graphics solution (and since most graphics cards come with DVI outputs these days), then it would be entirely possible for MS to include DVI/HDMI style digital video on their no-doubt proprietary connector.

    In fact they could use a system a bit like DVI-I - which carries analogue and digital video, and could just flip between VGA, Component, S-video and Composite on the analogue pins depending upon the output mode the box has been configured for? They'd need a few extra pins for analogue and digital audio as well I guess.
     
  10. Grobnic

    Grobnic
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    all these replies are helpful, thanks, but just to be clear....

    The best answer I could get to me question is that Xbox360 can transmit it's HD content into a HD TV without using DVI or HDMI, without any lowering of the quaility. This would mean that I do not need to worry about having 2 such inputs on the TV when I buy it.

    I think this is the answer you guys are giving me. What I've understood here is the critical element to DVI / HDMI is the copyright protection involved and that this is not an issue for Xbox360 games.
    I was under the mistaken belief that HD could only be transmitted via DVI / HDMI, please excuse my ignorance.

    Glad I asked the question though.... :)
     
  11. jont

    jont
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    Grobnic ... it's a moot point but arguably you could say that as the HD will need to pass over an analogue video component connection it *could* be of marginally lower quality than if you had passed a direct digital video connection ...

    As MS have said they will be looking to sell with HD-DVD drives at some point in the future the HDCP issue will probably come in to play and then they will have to pass the HD over HDMI ... assuming that it will be HD-DVD films that the drive will be used for ;-)

    Jon
     
  12. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Current X360 is supposedly an analog only output device. No HDMI or DVI onboard, due to the display chip being used. this also means presumably that you will not be able to watch DVDs in 720p or 1080i because there is no protection - these will probably default to 480p (hopefully not 480i).

    No mention of what will happen with WMV-HD discs, or WMV streamed from your PC - I don't think there are such restrictions, so 720p stuff like T2 should be OK.

    The packed in cables (in the US at least) are 6 phonos - 3 component, one composite, L+R audio. Hopefully thats what we get here too. They are also planning a VGA output and Svideo.

    Not sure yet how they plan to get optical digital out on the sound - whether its on the machine, or you need to buy an expensive accessory.

    *if* they popped a HD-DVD in there later on, they'd need a HDMI port, which would require modifications to the system, effectively a new revision.
     
  13. pjskel

    pjskel
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    I believe optical is from the machine itself, not like the current Xbox's method.
    As for HDMI/DVI-HDCP, it's entirely possible part of any potential upgrade to first launch Xbox360s would involve having the graphics output a digital signal on their connector. Then an Xbox-HDMI/DVI-HDCP cable would be required (and available).
    A few alterations to the board would allow the signal to bypass the D/A convertors even if they were on-chip. The GC doesn't dictate the connector, it's how the D/A process is implemented, and whether proviso in design allows for a relatively straight forward modification and BIOS upgrade to make it work with a HD-DVD mechanism, as well as output HD signal for movie playback.

    I reckon there's going to be updates (downloadable or on disc) that'll let MS evolve the Xbox360 into the media centic unit it's been planned as. Just not from the word go, more a progressive thing over a couple of years. I believe there's redundancy in the design to allow MS to watch what the PS3 does and/or to execute an aspect of the Xbox that'll boost its appeal when sales start tailing off. And I guess the PS3 will be similar in that aspect as well.
    I don't believe we've been informed as to what the Xbox360 can really do, when let loose!
     
  14. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    only problem with bypassing the D/A is that apparantly its the D/A chip thats also doing the scaling to the target resolution - eg 1080i or 480i - from the base internal 720p buffer. So not such an easy replacement.

    I think a lot will depend on whether HD-DVD takes off.
     
  15. pjskel

    pjskel
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    Ah, but if true, then the TV should be able to do the scaling. That or an outboard scaler if you must have 1080 into your 45" Sharp Titanium!
    If you can afford a £4500 telly, you can afford the £1-1.5K on a proper scaler, surely.
     

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