Once again we are being told there is some amazing new development that will help us improve the performance of our expensive audio visual components, it is called HDMI and is a new way of connecting your components together with just one simple connection that handles audio and video signal in one convenient plug. Certainly it would be great and far easier to wire up a dvd, foxtel, set top box, amplifier and television if there was just a single lead between the different components.
Another claim is that the performance of these leads are better than other types including component video leads even if they do cost a fair bit more initially.
The claims are fantastic but are they really true, is the performance better? Is it simpler to get your components running this way?
Lets start with the performance, on the many trials we have conducted with HDMI vs component it is not clear that component has all of a sudden been superseeded, in fact most would say they prefer the colours and image depth from the component over the HDMI connection. Like a bottle of wine this of course is open to interpretation and opinion however after we conducted over 50 comparisons where customers were asked which picture they preferred well over 80% preferred the component video image over the HDMI image, without knowing which was which beforehand.
Another problem customers are experiencing with HDMI seems to be when the cabling is used between different brands of equipment and also video products like projectors. There seems to be some real issues in getting the equipment to communicate properly and some type of issue with copy protection data inhibiting the flow of information between the products resulting in many frustrating sessions of cursing and swearing to try and get the system operating smoothly.
Ideally a single connection would be awesome and hopefully the bugs will be ironed out of the HDMI system as times moves on but i certainly wouldnt be rushing out to trade in your component switching equipment or leads just yet. Another point of contention could be for those running a long cable run like you would for a projector for instance, a lot of manufacturers state that HDMI is best not run over long distances whereas component video suffers less from this scenario.
Happy listening. aussiehifi