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HDMI Cable vs HD Component Cables

Last response: in Home Theatre
November 17, 2007 4:55:53 PM

In the next two weeks i'm going to be buying a the 32 inch Toshiba Regza, a very nice LCD TV i've found after months and months of searching, living in many Best Buy television areas and stalking the internet forums. I'm going to jump ahead and start buying components but i hit a small snag. What will get me the better picture, a HDMI cable or the 5 prong HD component cables? I've searched around and didnt wanna post here if i could find the answer in the forums but I couldn't. From asking around i hear both offer the same quality, then i hear HDMI is better cause it transmits both video/audio, then i hear getting gold plated HD component Cables will rival what a HDMI cable can do, to alot of other tidbits on the subject that has made my head spin. Price wise i've seen HDMI cables are hella expensive ranging from $50 to $100 bucks . But i don't wanna focus on price now, i want qaulity. So, what will provide the better picture? HDMI cable or HD Component Cables?
November 18, 2007 4:31:38 AM

HDMI. You'll need HDMI for HD DVD/Blue Ray or for an upconverting DVD player. For HD cable/Directv you won't notice a difference. If that's all you be using for now, save the $ and go component, but know when you make the step up to HD DVD/Blue Ray, you will need to make the switch to HDMI.

I bought a 35ft HDMI cable from here for my HD projector and it's worked perfectly. Prices make Best Buy's look (more) insane. A 3ft HDMI cable for $4.50. My 35ft was like $40w/shipping.
November 13, 2008 10:34:42 PM

I can't tell the difference either way .The circuitry in the tv may have a larger effect . The way the hdmi or the component input is processed may vary in different tv's so don't stress it
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November 15, 2008 4:18:59 PM

HDMI cables avoid the process of a digital video signal being converted to analog and then back into digital. Most TVs do not spend enough of you money on that process so in general go HDMI. You don't need expensive cables to get the benefit.
January 28, 2009 10:52:26 PM

If you are using a DirecTV DVR (or possibly other brands/models), you may want to hook up both types if you have enough inputs.

HDMI gives the best possible picture quality (1080i), but has one glitch: If the program you recorded has DRM (Digital Rights Management) encoded in it, an attempt to play it back using an HDMI output/input may show nothing more than a message stating the program is copy protected and cannot be played back. This situation is most likely with "Pay Per View" recordings; however I've also heard of it happening with shows recorded from premium channels such as HBO.

If you attempt to play the same recording through a component cable, it is more likely to play (even if an attempt to play it through HDMI failed due to DRM). Granted, component only sends a 720p signal, but it beats not being able to watch the show at all.
February 3, 2009 1:43:29 PM

Here is a FAQ on the different technologies of cabling:HDMI cable faq

In general, you should use HDMI if possible since it is all digital.