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HDMI vs Component

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by nheather, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. nheather

    nheather
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    I'm going to be buying a Pany PV500 and I have been reading the threads discussing what DVD connection is best to use and I am left a little confused.

    I appreciate that the actual DVD player quality with have a large influence but assuming we have two DVDs of equal technical performance (using today's DVD technology) ...

    Is it best to use HDMI or Component?
    Why, what are the benefits?
    Assuming the lower end of the DVD Player market (£100 ~ £200) is it best to let the PV500 do the scaling?

    Thanks,

    Nigel
     
  2. Jazz Monkey Jr

    Jazz Monkey Jr
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    I have just bought a PV500 - I m using an old sony DVD player through RGB SCART at the moment - quality is very good.
    But I have a HK DVD 25 coming today so I will be going in to the plasma through component using very good quality leads, I will let you know if I notice any difference, I am very happy with the PQ using SCART.

    I believe it is best to use component and leave the scaling to the plasma.

    See this thread:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217549

    Component cables:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104551&page=19&pp=60


    I think you will be very happy with the PQ no matter if you go through HDMI or component.
     
  3. kumamoto

    kumamoto
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    i have a pv500 as well and has connected my marantz dvd using HDMI amd components.
    Pictures setting are identical and boy the hdmi connection is slightly much better than components,cleaner picture,sharper and much smoother compared to components.

    The difference using HDMI is quite noticeable !!
    Shame i cannot do a side by side comparison as pv500 does not allow pip or pap when using progressive scan source!!!
     
  4. -Hitman-

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    HDMI is a digital video/audio connection, Component is an analogue video connection.

    The best connection is the digital one and will produce superior PQ to that of an analogue connection!
     
  5. Jazz Monkey Jr

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    I don't know if anyone has actually compared a GOOD component player to a HDMI player.

     
  6. Sulis

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    I'm afraid I'm more interested in a comparison of a cheap HDMI player (the S97, perhaps) with a cheap component player (ie. the ES-10 that comes with my screen).
     
  7. nheather

    nheather
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    Sulis

    That's exactly my angle. I did put a comment in to try to take technical performance of the equation so the comparison is like for like.

    Thanks for all the other responses.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  8. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    It's not a simple as the theoretical view would predict. All things are not equal, and anecdotes aren't evidence (though for what it is worth, I get a better picture overall with VGA than DVI, and the best picture I have ever seen was via component). There are lots of variables that affect picture quality, and it's difficult to arrive at a completely level playing field to make those sort of fair comparisons. Very good results can be obtained with component or RGB, and just because one person gets a better picture with HDMI, doesn't mean that everyone else will.

    One of the problems that DVI and/or HDMI have is that a particular combination of equipment may not be able to interface at either the source's or the display's native resolution, and the additional PQ degradation caused by repeated scaling operations may offset the benefit gained by eliminating an ADC/DAC stage. This happens a lot, especially with high definition displays. Analogue interfaces are generally much more flexible, and have fewer restrictions on video formats supported.

    However, there is no denying that HDMI is the interface of the future, and it would be futile to avoid it. It's just that current implementation doesn't necessarily take advantage of it's power and flexibility, and often does let in analogue as the preferred choice in many implementations.
    regards,
    Nick
     
  9. thornton

    thornton
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    I got my TH37PV500 wired up to an S97 yesterday with both component and HDMI and switched between the two to explore this particular issue.

    Frankly, with several DVDs, I was hard pressed to tell the difference. HDMI was perhaps slightly sharper and with better colour on a couple of more recent DVDs, but LOTR: Return of the King looked better on component. And this was from 4 feet peering at the screen! At sitting distance of about 12 feet there was little between the two inputs. A relative who watched me fiddling around for some of the time thought HDMI was more generally favourable.

    Prior to this test I was worrying about how I would need an HDMI switch box once I get SKY HD, or whether to splash out on an HDMI switching amp. I won't be in a hurry now and will let the SKY hang off HDMI and the DVD off component.

    Of course none of this says anything about other DVD players. Anyone want to lend me the DENON A1??!!

    I should add that both tests (assuming I understand the S97 output settings) were done at 720p. I could not see any difference at 1080i (this IS a 720 line TV). The one odd glitch was that on movies running at 2.35 or 2.4 to 1 in letterbox mode there was a one line downward pixel displacement downwards at the far right of the screen. It is not that noticeable from normal sitting distance. It occured with HDMI at 720p but NOT at 1080i! Did not check it out on component yet.

    All this faffing and playing with the PC input (which gives a good picture, albeit in "XGAish - Fattovision" mode) highlights one weakness of the TV. The Component, HDMI and PC inputs all share one interface slot. To switch between them you have to (a) go into AV mode; (b) scroll right to get to the yellow tab that control that trio of inputs; (c) cycle round the three. This is the user interface from hell, especially given that the soon to be redundant scarts all have their own slot! Still looking to see if there is a short-cut setup.....
     
  10. Sulis

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    Thanks, Thornton, that's very helpful (my 37PV500 arrives on Wednesday)...

    I'm curious as to why and how you connected the SKY to the HDMI input. Does this make a difference? Many people advocate connecting SKY via a DVD... Also, I'd be interested to know whether connecting the DVD through one of the RGB scarts had any adverse effects, as this would solve your UI problems...
     
  11. nheather

    nheather
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    Sulis,

    Thorton is talking about the HD Sky box (presumably to be released next year) which will use the HDMI.

    What he is saying (I think) is that when Sky HD turns up he will connect that to the only HDMI input on the PV500 and will happily leave his DVD on Component because there is a great deal of difference.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  12. braveknight

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    It's a nice theory, but (IMO) not something that really works in practise. Let's take an example, where you have a device (STB, DVD, XBOX, etc.) that is outputting a 720p signal via analog component connection. What choice has the display got apart from doing ADC at 720p? And if the display isn't 720p native, then it has to scale the resulting digital image - just as it would if it had been supplied with a digital signal.

    Whether you use digital or analog connection, there should be the same number of scaling operations - the exact number depending on source resolution, output resolution, and display resolution. And analog isn't really any more flexible in that regard - the devices still have to understand the format to use / in use.

    In terms of pixel resolution, HDMI / DVI should always be more accurate than an analog connection - just doing a couple of imperfect scaling operations being better than doing imperfect scaling operations PLUS imperfect DAC PLUS imperfect ADC.

    There are some caveats to that though. Firstly, colourspace - DVI and RGB HDMI is limited in the colour information it is capable of passing (compared to 10-bit YUV HDMI, or analog). Secondly, if you are comparing different hardware, then the scaling operations in the components with analog connections may be better than the same operations in all digital hardware. Thirdly, a slight softness introduced to the picture from DAC / ADC conversions may help to make the image look slightly more 'natural'.

    Absolutely agreed. Component or HDMI/DVI, either can achieve excellent results. So much depends on what is before (or after) the connection - a DVD player that isn't very good at reading discs, that isn't very good at decoding the MPEG2 stream, that isn't very good at scaling (if necessary) just isn't a very good DVD player, regardless of the connection used.
     
  13. thornton

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    Yep - that is what I was mostly trying to say, except that I will happily leave my DVD on Comp coz there is NOT a great deal of difference!

    Also I have just about learnt which bizarre combination of coloured button presses gets me quickly between AV1 (SKY for now), Comp, PC, and HDMI....it's still sub-optimal but not as bad as all that, though Panasonic's user-interface people need shooting IMHO. You really ought to be able to program a one-button switch but having finally read the manual I cannot see how to do it.
     

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