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H24 Component vs. HDMI

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by dewey, May 25, 2010.

  1. dewey

    dewey Cool Member

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    I just had an H24 installed and the installer used component cables instead of HDMI. I didn't notice until he left so I called customer service. They claimed that the installers always use component cables because the HDMI cables have caused "pink tinting" in some configurations. I have 2 questions:

    1) Is this true? Can HDMI cables cause "pink tinting"?
    2) Should I go ahead and buy the HDMI cable or will component cables provide the same HD signal?

    I have a Vizio 32'' TV.
     
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    I seriously doubt you will see any difference on a 32" tv. That said, in the future, its possible that your video output could be disabled when watching first run movies on PPV if you arent using HDMI
     
  3. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    1) there have been a couple of reports that HDCP hanshake issues caused a pink screen, resolved by an RBR. Haven't seen a report of that issue in a while

    2) You won't see any difference.
     
  4. dwcolvin

    dwcolvin Icon

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    It seems a little silly to take a digital signal from the satellite, convert it to analog, and send it to the TV on 5 cables so it can convert it back to digital. You may not be able to tell the difference, but the HDMI should be more 'accurate'.

    The installer should have left you an HDMI cable (retail packaging contains both component and HDMI cables).
     
  5. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    It's not converted back to digital at the TV. You can't see the 1's and 0's.
     
  6. dwcolvin

    dwcolvin Icon

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    It is if it's an LCD or Plasma. Each pixel is individually addressed.
     
  7. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    While that may be a common misunderstanding, there is no evidence whatsoever to support such a theory. And it may seem "silly" to those with a casual understanding of the aspects of and differences between analog and digital processing, but any judgment that it might be a wrong-headed approach to engineering could not be further from the truth. The dirty little secret of TV is that signals may be converted A/D and D/A numerous times before they leave the originator, basically because we are in a new digital world filled with tons of still-working completely-viable analog processing equipment. And that is just fine.

    Although there is a savagely-rampant false concept popular with lay folks that analog = bad, digital = good, and conversion = degradation, (the HR2x manual itself perpetuates this fallacy, which gives you an idea how widespread the misinformation is) the reality is that analog is just as viable and capable of providing excellent PQ, even better PQ than digital, in the right application, and that multiple conversions can be made without adding visible artifacts if done under the right circumstances.

    Professional engineers understand this and both use analog and convert multiple times between domains often with no issues, although we avoid it whenever possible, not because it causes degradation, but because keeping things in the same domain is simpler and has less potential for failure down the road.

    As a matter of fact, most top-shelf TVs convert HDMI back to analog immediately as soon as it gets into the set, specifically because it is easier to process HD and SD video without degradation in the analog domain. IOW, the losses from converting to analog are far less than the artifacts that would be created if processed in the digital domain. Hard to believe when surrounded by constant hype that seems to preach the exact opposite, but still completely true.

    These same TV manufacturers claim "all-digital processing", which technically is not a lie; all the systems can be digitally controlled, but most still process a signal that is in the analog domain. Regardless how we define "all digital processing", they can technically define it as referring to the control of the signal and not to the domain the signal actually exists in. And of course they do this because they know that most of us have bought in to the false concept that digital always = better than analog.

    As to the specific case of component vs HDMI, the real difference is where the D/A conversion takes place; if you use HDMI the conversion takes place in the TV, if you use component the conversion takes place in the DVR or STB. The end result is pretty much the same, because conversion takes place in either path, and the conversion stage used in one piece of gear is typically not at all unlike the one in another piece of gear (it could even use the same exact chip); at a consumer level they all work about the same and provide about the same end result.

    The path over component cables of reasonable length is a shielded, typically ingress-free environment, so there is little degradation (read: typically none) in a component connection.

    But the best scenario is to try both and see if you see a difference, as there can be impedance/reflection issues in component paths that can degrade the signal while HDMI is completely invulnerable to degradation (the signal being still locked into a digital domain). But that does not mean there will be, it is a idiosyncratic matter of how well certain pieces of equipment employ the available protocols and how well they work (or don't work) interconnected. So try what's available, and use what works the best for you in that case (most of the time there will be no difference at all).

    But not always. From personal experience, I have found that 30 ft component cables, from a HR2x, through a component switcher, connected to a TV, can show minor artifacts. The odd thing is that if I set the format output to 720p, I get a slight ghost displaced to the right just a bit. It is so small I didn't notice it for months after connection, but it is there just the same. Oddly, if I switch the box to 1080i, the ghost goes away. If I connect the same box via 30 ft of HDMI cable, the ghost is not there either at 720p or 1080i.
     
  8. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    And that may be a digital process, but it almost always (if not always) follows a process that handles a signal which is in the analog domain, specifically because that is a better way to do it than keeping the signal in the digital domain all the time.

    To actually change (process) a digital HD video signal (to for instance change even the littlest bit contrast, gamma, luminance, chrominance) in any way, implies performing a mathematical operation on each binary coefficient at a rate of 1.485 Gb/s. This implies lots of processing power and in a highly-quantized signal tons of rounding errors at 8 bits, which translates directly if not very quickly to increased artifacts. Compound those errors and resulting loss of PQ for every single digital operation performed.

    Equivalent processing in the analog domain imparts far fewer artifacts (so results in better PQ) and is much easier and cheaper to do.
     
  9. beer_geek

    beer_geek Legend

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    In most cases, don't you need hdmi to get 1080p? I thought most component outputs maxed out at 1080i.
     
  10. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I have not seen a HDMI in the box for a while
     
  11. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Installer packaging does not include cables, the installer is expected to bring the cables with him. The DVR box will say "HR2xNC". Retail packaging includes cables.
     
  12. Steve Robertson

    Steve Robertson Hall Of Fame

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    TomCat

    Thanks for the info and agree with what you have posted as I have had both setups and sometimes think one is better than the other but doubt very much that is the case. I will try my new Panasonic 65 V10 with both and see if there is a difference so far just using HDMI
     
  13. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I purchased a R22 at Best Buy last year and there were no cables
     
  14. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    Correct.
     
  15. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte New Member

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    Outside...
    Component can transfer a 1080p signal can't it? Just that most manufacturers limit it to 1080i?
     
  16. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    I don't think that 1080p is allowed to be transmitted via an analog connection (i.e. component). Pretty sure it's a licensing thing.
     
  17. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Well.... first of all, the overall pink or green tint on bootup over HDMI is still there. It's mostly confined to older TVs that were not HDMI 1.3-compliant. While DIRECTV receivers don't need 1.3, it's a tighter spec than 1.1 or 1.2 and it seems less prone to problems.

    Changing inputs seems to fix it, as does changing resolutions.

    As far as a difference on a 32" TV... I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it. I tested component vs. HDMI on my 32" TV and while picture quality was about the same from 5' away, there was a real difference in overscan. This is probably due to the TV but something to be aware of.
     
  18. qwsxz

    qwsxz AllStar

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    1080p can absolutely be transferred over component. For example, the XBox 360 does...now, you have to have a TV that will accept 1080p over component. My KURU does not, but there are Samsungs that do.
     
  19. dwcolvin

    dwcolvin Icon

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    If it came from Best Buy, be happy there was a functioning IRD in the box! ;)

    The retail Hxx's have HDMI cables (which I would think are a better choice than the cheap Component Video cables that are also included).

    Independent of what custom chips inside a late-model TV may do internally to transform the input signals to the native pixel resolution of its display panel (of which I have no personal knowledge), if encryption is enabled Component Video will be limited to 480p, and 1080P is never available on Component Video... reason enough to use HDMI.
     
  20. dewey

    dewey Cool Member

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Thanks all for the responses! As is usual... If you ask a question on DBSTalk not only will you get an answer you will probably get a few answers. And if you pay attention you just might learn something along the way.

    I will replace the component with HDMI as long as I don't see any abnormal (pink tinting) effects. I realize that I will probably not be able to perceive any picture improvement but it will "feel" better which is just as important sometimes.

    One thing I have learned from a similar thread is that I will NOT go out and purchase a Monster HDMI cable. :lol:
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=177827
     

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