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Which Cable - HDMI or DVI?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by .borg, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. .borg

    .borg
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    This might seem like a stoopid question but having read loads on the subject recently, I am now more confoosed than ever...

    My equipment will be used soley for viewing dvd\tv\sky\freeview\pc - xbox/ps3 gaming is not planned - but all the best laid plans get put to rest - so I should keep this option open shouldn't I?...

    I am installing a new panny hd8 into a dedicated home cinema room which is remote to my equipment cupboard approx 20m of cable would be needed.

    The video and audio is going to be routed through a yamaha rx-v1000 av receiver with s-vid and component video (apparently HDTV compatible). I am looking to buy the new sony rxr hxd910 HDD/DVD recorder with upscaling for viewing dvds.

    I currently transmit the s-video signal from the yammy to my 36" philips CRT tv via cat5 using muxlabs s-video baluns. Would Component baluns be better and supply the panny with the desired quality.

    Now as I understand it, HDMI carries audio and video to the panel and DVI only carries video information - if this is the case do I only need to install a dvi cable? and ignore the need for HDMI? As the sound is already being fed to the speakers via the yamaha.

    As the panel will be some 20m from the equipment can I use DVI over this length without loss of quality?

    Can I use DVI over CAT5 (As I already have thes installed - 10 spare cables in fact). IF this is possible does anybody recommend anything suitable which will do the job?


    My dilemma if not obvious is - which do I settle for/adopt and as I am unable to pull an new cable through easily, (it could be done though) can my CAT5 UTP be utilised...I really need to know which route to go down prior to placing orders and parting with my hard earned cash - realistically my budget is £3000 inc the panny hd8 and sony hdd/dvd recorder. So this leaves about £400 for baluns and boards.

    There another question which panny board do I buy???? oh so many unanswered questions.


    All prompts help and advise will be gratefully received.

    Thank you all in advance.



    How should I connect it all up? Wake's up in cold sweat....
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello .borg

    Quite an array of questions in one post.

    01. Video Up-conversion - be wary of relying on DVD Recorders to do a good job of Up-conversion; this is a 'convenience' feature on most of these units and produces a fairly 'soft' looking image once you show it on a large screen.

    02. Video over CAT5 - it is possible to run Digital video over CAT5. You need two runs of cable and the distance you need to run the signal over will decide which send/receive solution to use.

    Gefen supply a range of Digital Video extenders and the EXT-DVI-CAT5 (UK SRP £399.50) will work over your indicated cable run. See http://www.gefen.com/kvm/product.jsp?prod_id=2515

    03. Video Processor - have you considered adding a Lumagen (or similar) multi Input Video Processor to your system. Not inexpensive at £800.00 for an entry level unit (VisionDVI) but does offer you multiple Composite, S-Video, YUV, RGB analogue plus two Digital Inputs (HDCP compatible) and a single processed DVI Output to your Display. You can even hook your PC through it.

    In addition to simplifying everything down to one Output cable you gain a very high quality processor that is a big step up from what's inside the PHD8 Display.

    See http://www.lumagen.com/testindex.php?module=products

    If the Video Processor is out of the question (for now) due to budget restrictions then YUV and S-Video over CAT5 looks like your only viable solution if you cant pull Video Cables to your Display.

    YUV 'Component' is potentially going to offer you a better image over S-Video - though I'd be tempted to get a hold of a set of YUV baluns and try them in your set up (with the knew Display installed) before you commit to them.

    You look to have a fair few video signals to deal with and unless you go with the Lumagen or similar your going to require more than one connection into your Display as you have a PC plus Multiple Video sources - I'm guessing your PC is Outputting RGBHV on HD15(VGA) or DVI!

    A 20m DVI cable is relatively simple to supply - though its 'oversized' so not easy to pull through your busy cable way. The Gefen HDTV Extreme cable - CAB-HDTV-60MM (UK SRP £434.75) works well.

    See http://www.gefen.com/kvm/cables/hdtv_dvi.jsp#hdtvextreme

    If I were planning your system and didn't have restrictions on pulling cables (or budget) I'd be installing the Lumagen VisionDVI in your equipment cupboard to bring all your sources together and putting the Gefen DVI Extreme cable on the Output of the Lumagen into a DVI Input Board in your Display.

    The big problem being your budget would need to be £3.5k - not including the NEW DVD Recorder.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  3. .borg

    .borg
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    Joe

    Thanks for the informative advise. As an original audiophile turned videophile I believe you are correct. My first consideration should be quality and all the fancy recording stuff can come later -

    Because of this I will probably take the following approach:

    Install the Panny PH8D @ £2192 AVSALES; :D
    Connect to the yammy using my existing s-video baluns by muxlabs @ NO COST; :D :D

    Buy the dedicated Fibre Optic Gefen HDTV Extreme cable - CAB-HDTV-60MM you suggested @ £435 and pull this through in roof voids before the drylining is finished. :eek: (very expensive wall insulation!!!!) Where can I get this cable from - is it something you supply, being a retailer?

    This solution falls within budget at £2627, leaving me to upgrade to the Lumigen and DVD/HDD recorders next year. :smashin:

    Am I right in thinking I would not need Sky HD using this route? I don't watch sport anyway and If this is the case, I could then get Sky+ instead of HDD recorder! hmmm; :rolleyes: :confused: :suicide:

    I am really interested in the Lumegen VisionDVI as recommended, and having read various reviews, some of them point out that an audio delay devise may be needed in some cases due to the processing time taken to get the picture to the screen - IYHO do you think this would be a problem in my case? if so any advise on possible solutions and cost which I might need to build into the budget?

    Do you know anyone who could do a demo of the lumigen in action. I am in the south east - Essex to be exact. If I can show it in action to SWIMBO I might be able to get it a little quicker!!! LOL) ;)

    Once again I really appreciate your advice and can now "visualise" the way forward. :beer: Cheers

    Michael.
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello .borg

    You'll have to cancel your subscription to HiFi News - your not allowed to be a cross platform advocate :)

    Plan A sounds like a decent option to get you up and running at minimal cost!!! If £2k+ can ever be 'minimal'.

    The Gefen HDTV cables will work with the Lumagen kit and with an HDMI>DVI adapter you could plug the proposed SKY HD box (or any HDMI source) straight to the cable and the other end to the Panasonic DVI Input; I'll PM you re supply of Gefen kit.

    SKY HD will differ from the current SKY+ in that you'll have Five or more 'dedicated' HD Channels broadcasting material shot in HD (see http://hd.sky.com/).

    Using SKY+ in conjunction with a Lumagen processor produces very decent results; though keep in mind you'll still see variances between some channels. The movie channels look excellent though and apart from the dedicated HD channels a SKY+/Lumagen combination will outperform the SKY HD box on most channels.

    Another Option you can consider being to acquire (or modify) a SKY+ (Version One) box to Output SDI - this is a Digital Non Encrypted format Hollywood don't allow the hardware manufacturers to put on the back of Consumer kit.

    Adding SDI to the Source and specifying SDI Inputs on the Lumagen gets you as close to Broadcast signals going into the Lumagen as you can get.

    Most Lumagen dealers can organise an In-Home demo for you - I'll PM you details.

    I find quite often its not required to add Digital Audio delay to keep the sound and vision in sync when using a Lumagen - though folk are more or less tolerant to this phenomenon and worth keeping it in the 'plans' just in case.

    Felston offer a very decent external delay for sub £150.00; see http://www.felston.com/

    Best regards

    Joe
     

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