HDMI or part: Which is Best?

HDMI or part: Which is Best?

You’ve just bought a new HDTV, complete with HDMI connector and are delighted
that you had the foresight to buy a DVD player with HDMI interface a while ago,
already though you couldn’t use HDMI at the time.

So you can ignore those part outputs and inputs and plug an HDMI cable
between your two favourite bits of home theater kit. After all, HDMI, being all
digital, is bound to be better than part, isn’t it?

Well, no, truly. Not necessarily. It’s true that convering a DVD signal to analog,
sending it over part video and then switching it back to digital in the TV will
consequence in a slight degradation of picture quality. And it’s true that HDMI removes this
issue. However, the degradation in the signal over part is virtually
imperceptable and HDMI does introduce a few problems of its own.

Firstly, although DVD players “up-transform” video from 420p resolution to the native
resolution of the HDTV (720p or 1080i), the signal nevertheless has to be “re-clocked” in the
television before it is displayed. Some experts suggest that this re-clocking
introduces more artefacts than the time of action of digital-to-analog-to-digital
conversion. And the quality of the processor in the DVD player doing the “up-
converting” is important here, if it’s not up to scratch that could have a negative
impact on picture quality.

Secondly, any equipment with HDMI (or DVI for that matter) connectors must
sustain an anti-piracy measure known as HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content
Protection). This takes the form of a code which is encased into the digital video
signal when its sent from a content player, such as a DVD player, and must be de-
coded by the HDTV or HD projector. This puts additional pressure on the TV’s video
processor with no assistance to picture quality and so could, potentially, consequence in a
slight loss in picture quality.

Using part video connections method that no anti-piracy protection is

None of this method that you should avoid HDMI. However, it does average that you
shouldn’t take it for granted that HDMI will always be better than part. The
only way to find out which is best for your equipment is to try both and see which
one you prefer.

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