Why is HDMI better

HDTV has shed off the nascent tag and is making inroads into the homes of entertainment enthusiasts. The component video works by sending an analog replica of the DVD’s digital output over the cables and then reconstructing it to a digital form for the television to display the content. This tedious construction, deconstruction and reconstruction leave their traces on the quality of the video content.

HDMI packs a punch in this regard and alleviates the distortions caused by component. HDMI uses special cables for the transmission that keep errors and distortions at bay. Having said this, it is also pretty safe to comment that the eventual image quality is not too different to the one that is dished out by component. The mismatches, though absent in HDMI, do not cause any serious irritation on the screen in the first place. Over this, there are a few issues with HDMI operation as well. Working at something like 720p or 1080i, HDMI is fed with an enhanced signal from the DVD player. But the television still needs some checks and alignments to be done on the signal. This re-clocking process could introduce distortions much severe than the ones introduced by the analog to digital conversion of component. The DVD player’s processor has to be pretty sophisticated to handle the transmission tasks efficiently. Also, the HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) requirements of the HDMI equipment stress the TV’s processor, thus diverting the resources to a process that has no benefit as far as image quality is concerned. Obviously, there is no such anti piracy technique in component, which means that the processor is dedicated to the task that matters to you – the enhancement of the image quality on the screen.

But all said and done, there is no denying the fact that if the resources are sufficient, HDMI does take the cake. If there are hints of frugality in the home theatre set-up, it might not be sufficiently worth the investment. If HDMI makes the movie buff inside you go weak in the knees, you’d better save some additional bucks to purchase a top notch home theatre system.