Extra cables to make Hi Def TV work.

April 15, 2007

Time was that normal television was enough.  I’ve watched television my whole life and the tube hasn’t changed much.  Now I’m spending every free dollar to migrate to HDTV.  It’s crazy how complicated it is.  There are so many different ways to get signal to the television.  My plan has been to use an Xbox 360 with Xbox Live and the HD DVD drive in addition to the cable company’s box to get content into the TV.  It turns out that, right now anyway, the Xbox needs a VGA cable to send 1080p signal to the TV and not all TVs do well with this.  It looks like mine will.  We’ll see.  The cable company provides component cables but also will accept HDMI.  For neatness sake, I’m opting to buy the HDMI cable.

Not only did I have to do intense research just to pick out the right TV, but I had to dig deep into reviews on my planned set up just to get the most out of it.  As it is, the cable box won’t do any better than 1080i.  I have been on an irrational quest for 1080p.  We’ll see if I can tell the difference.  Also, we’ll see if these exotic cables are really better than the component cables I already have.  At worst, I’ve spent an extra $50.

Had I gone the PS3 route, much of this heartache would be unnecessary.  I can add the PS3 later if I want.

Of course, the TV won’t be here right away.  I have nothing else to do except be patient.  Books help.  Arguably, if I just stuck with books, I’d be better off and I wouldn’t need to spend money on silly television paraphernalia.

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5 Responses to “Extra cables to make Hi Def TV work.”

  1. -mikeT Says:

    Well, enjoy the TV and good luck.

    I’ve found that the quality of the production stage of content development makes a bigger difference than the source (HD or non-HD) and certainly the cable. My eye is fairly well trained since I work for a company that develops digital display components.

    Watch out though. You can only get 1080p to the TV via HDMI. It was a deal struck with Hollywood to prevent high quality copying. All 1080p content is encrypted on HDMI and down-res’d for other cables.

    If you’re still researching, you might try Crutchfield’s tech articles.

    Enjoy!

  2. thaed Says:

    I’m told that flag hasn’t been activated and that you can get 1080p through the Xbox 360 VGA cable.
    http://www.engadgethd.com/2006/09/21/xbox-360-hd-dvd-playback-maximum-1080i-via-component-1080p-vga/

  3. mikeT Says:

    Interesting! I can’t seem to find any MS documentation that states the same. Have you?

  4. thaed Says:

    Well, Microsoft is quoted in this article as saying as much:
    http://gear.ign.com/articles/735/735860p1.html

    There are numerous other sources that say the VGA cable can do 1080p:

    http://www.coldforged.org/archives/2006/11/10/xbox-360-high-definition-and-hd-dvd-faq/
    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/xbox-360-dashboard-update-hits-still-doesnt-fix-1080p-problems-218493.php
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Microsoft_Xbox_360_HD_DVD_player/4505-6463_7-32138037.html

    If it’s undocumented, so be it. Either it’s real or many reliable sources are wrong. I will personally test it and post my results when I get the TV and cable.

  5. Minderman Says:

    I had a tough time trying to find the a plasma hdtv but I finally found it and bought it online from http://astore.amazon.com/50-inch-lg-hdtv-for-sale-20


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