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View Full Version : Just Got a New TV and Now...


DrHerbertWest
02-21-2009, 02:37 PM
A couple of nights ago, the wife and I purchased a 42" Sony Bravia LCD TV at Best Buy (it was $999 on sale and usually $1399 so we went for it) and got it all hooked up. I have an Elite XBox 360, an upconverting Philips DVD player and a pretty nice Harmon Kardon receiver. My question is... What should I use to hook all these together to maximize my picture quality? I have high grade A/V components hookups but every one is telling me to get HDMI cords. Problem is I don't know which ones are worth the money and which ones are just duds. Any recommendations?

ekent
02-21-2009, 03:10 PM
You should definitely go with HDMI wherever possible, it is nice to have the audio and video all in one cable. I get mine from Sam's Club, they have the most reasonable prices I've seen in a brick and mortar store. Definitely do not go to one of those high end stores because you'll pay $50+ for a stinkin' cable.

Mutilated Prey
02-21-2009, 03:21 PM
HDMI all the way. If your Harmon Kardon receiver doesn't have HMDI, then see what kind of digtal audio in's it has (Coax or Optical - and you need to see what your HD TV Receiver has for digital audio outs). Since I have older receiver with digital ins (no HDMI) that's the route I go and it's great (HDMI from DTV Receiver to TV and Optical Audio from DTV Receiver to Stereo Receiver).

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON BUYING MONSTER HDMI'S. Places like BestBuy love to screw people on cables because all they offer is the most high end distributors (and most folks don't know the difference). You can buy HDMI's cables from no name companies off Amazon for MUCH cheaper. Luckily, DTV gives you an HDMI (most cable companies do not). I'm sure those cables are bottom of the barrel, but it's looks friggin sweet. The beauty of digital is that it's either gonna work or it ain't. The Monster cables are more built for durability and sheilding.

eric_angelus
02-21-2009, 04:36 PM
Go to monoprice.com for great deals on HDMI cables. I bought 2 from them over a year ago for less than $30...and they are great.

MorallySound
02-21-2009, 04:55 PM
Yes, if you can go HDMI, it's your best option. And yeah, depending where you go, they screw the hell out of you for the cost of cables as noted. You shouldn't pay more than $10-$30 for an HDMI cable, and should be able to find them online for cheap cheap cheap.

Dave
02-21-2009, 04:56 PM
Go to monoprice.com for great deals on HDMI cables. I bought 2 from them over a year ago for less than $30...and they are great.

Ditto on the recommendation; love the HDMI cables I got from mono.

Odin
02-21-2009, 06:41 PM
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON BUYING MONSTER HDMI'S. Places like BestBuy love to screw people on cables because all they offer is the most high end distributors (and most folks don't know the difference). You can buy HDMI's cables from no name companies off Amazon for MUCH cheaper. Luckily, DTV gives you an HDMI (most cable companies do not). I'm sure those cables are bottom of the barrel, but it's looks friggin sweet. The beauty of digital is that it's either gonna work or it ain't. The Monster cables are more built for durability and sheilding.

yeah thats pretty much it...hdmi is digital and no matter how thick the cables are and no matter how shiny that gold plating is...it wont make a difference

KR~!
02-21-2009, 09:07 PM
For high end cables, the best is BJC and they cost way less and are far and away better than Monster or other even more high price cables, Monster is cheap compared to some of them! I got my HDMI cable for my playstation 3 from them. Awesome service! The cable looks like it cost a few hundred dollars but it was very cheap (I paid $12.50) http://www.bluejeanscable.com/

If you want some good cables for 95% of the gear out there and you don't need high end cables then MonoPrice is pretty damn awesome and just as good as Monster and in some ways far better, they are even cheaper than BJC, here is their website: www.monoprice.com

Reverenddave
02-21-2009, 10:20 PM
In the past I've always recommended Monoprice. And it's probably still the best place for buying multiple items.

But lately Amazon has had some great prices on cables through their 3rd party sellers. You can get an HDMI cable for under $5 shipped ($1-$2 for cable + $3 S&H). Usually the S&H is added to each cable so it's only a good deal if you're buying one.

Katatonia
02-21-2009, 10:47 PM
HDMI definitely, but as others have said, don't get fooled into thinking an expensive cable is going to make the A/V any better than a cheaper HDMI cable will.

DrHerbertWest
02-22-2009, 01:59 AM
Thanks for all the input. At work we sell a 3 foot Philips HDMI that would cost me $4 a piece and I'd need two (XBox and DVD player)... We also sell Coby which makes me nervous because they don't make good products but they claim to be gold-plated.

Roo
02-22-2009, 03:34 AM
Ditto on the recommendation; love the HDMI cables I got from mono.

Mono-price is a great place to buy cables and other A/v items. I purchased my LCD wall-mount from them and it's perfect. Their HDMI cables are very well made and priced reasonably, a lot better purchase than anything from monster cable. The nice thing about HDMI over component is, you have one cable compared to three component video cables. Also, HDMI also takes care of your audio, unlike component where you need one or two additional cables for audio. BTW, my father-in-law has a Bravia and loves it. Damn good TV.

DrHerbertWest
02-22-2009, 05:40 PM
Now another thing... While browsing @ Monoprice, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all the different brands and styles. Does any one recommend any certain models or brands over any others?

Mutilated Prey
02-22-2009, 06:35 PM
Why not just go with the $4 Phillips cables you got at work? Done! Although you might need a 6 foot cable somewhere, but I'm sure you have those too.

X-human
02-22-2009, 06:55 PM
Beyond the HDMI cables (I also highly recommend Monoprice.com) you may want to consider getting an antenna now for HD OTA. It's higher quality than anything you can get over cable/satelite, and free to boot.

rxfiend
02-22-2009, 06:59 PM
HDMI all the way, and from monoprice. I picked up 2 the other week and they work great.

BTW, I too just picked up a HDTV here recently. Got a 42" Philips 1080P LCD. Looks great. I have my x360 hooked up via component (it's an older model), but my HD-DVDs look awesome at 1080i. I also bought a philips upconverting DVD player (1080p) and regular DVDs look great as well.

rxfiend
02-22-2009, 07:07 PM
Now another thing... While browsing @ Monoprice, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all the different brands and styles. Does any one recommend any certain models or brands over any others?

This is what I bought when I purchased my cables:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024007&p_id=5214&seq=1&format=2

Unfortunately these seem to be out of stock. From my experience with other purchases from them, I usually just go for the cheapest. I never understood why people pay outrageous amounts for cables. Hell, for component hook ups, I use the typical RCA cables (Red / White / Yellow) and just make sure to match up the colors correctly from the player and tv set. It works just as good as these "expensive" cables you see elsewhere.

KR~!
02-23-2009, 12:21 AM
The free 99 cent cables are NOT up to standard specs, which is why they suck ass. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone for any reason.

DrHerbertWest
02-23-2009, 01:17 AM
Beyond the HDMI cables (I also highly recommend Monoprice.com) you may want to consider getting an antenna now for HD OTA. It's higher quality than anything you can get over cable/satelite, and free to boot.

How does the antenna work? I've seen things like that but didn't figure it would help reception. We get Comcast and it's included in our rent, so I can't really change/upgrade it unfortunately.

And getting those $4 Philips cables would really be a good deal? I don't need long cables at all.

Roo
02-23-2009, 01:32 AM
How does the antenna work? I've seen things like that but didn't figure it would help reception. We get Comcast and it's included in our rent, so I can't really change/upgrade it unfortunately.

And getting those $4 Philips cables would really be a good deal? I don't need long cables at all.

In order to get OTA HD, you need a outdoor directional UHF/VHF antenna (optimized for upper VHF and UHF signals). We live very close to the TV towers in our area, so a small antenna is all it takes to get clear, uncomressed HD feeds. ON our sets, you can tell the difference between Dish local HD and OTA local HD channels. It might be something to consider, if you're locked into the current Comcast package. OTA is free and the only expense is the price of an antenna, the cable from the antenna to your set & mounting the antenna on top of your home. BTW, I think it does, but does your TV have a built-in tuner?. You'll need that to get OTA channels.

DrHerbertWest
02-23-2009, 01:46 AM
In order to get OTA HD, you need a outdoor directional UHF/VHF antenna (optimized for upper VHF and UHF signals). We live very close to the TV towers in our area, so a small antenna is all it takes to get clear, uncomressed HD feeds. ON our sets, you can tell the difference between Dish local HD and OTA local HD channels. It might be something to consider, if you're locked into the current Comcast package. OTA is free and the only expense is the price of an antenna, the cable from the antenna to your set & mounting the antenna on top of your home. BTW, I think it does, but does your TV have a built-in tuner?. You'll need that to get OTA channels.

It probably does but really, we don't watch a lot of TV so I'm not extremely worried about getting beautiful quality as opposed to normal reception right now. I am mainly focused on hooking up the DVD player and XBox as appropriately as I can, haha.

Roo
02-23-2009, 03:27 AM
It probably does but really, we don't watch a lot of TV so I'm not extremely worried about getting beautiful quality as opposed to normal reception right now. I am mainly focused on hooking up the DVD player and XBox as appropriately as I can, haha.

Totally understand. I think you'll really enjoy the new TV. It'll bring new life to your old DVD's and the Xbox will look incredible. :banana:

DrHerbertWest
02-23-2009, 05:01 AM
Totally understand. I think you'll really enjoy the new TV. It'll bring new life to your old DVD's and the Xbox will look incredible. :banana:

Haha thanks! It'll totally rock as long as I can just figure out what cable I want! :)

Roo
02-23-2009, 06:11 PM
Haha thanks! It'll totally rock as long as I can just figure out what cable I want! :)

If you go with monoprice, I'd get the following.

3ft HDMI (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10243&cs_id=1024003&p_id=3991&seq=1&format=2)

6ft HDMI (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10243&cs_id=1024004&p_id=3661&seq=1&format=2)

DrHerbertWest
02-24-2009, 02:44 AM
OK, NEW INFORMATION...

Just discovered our Harmon-Kardon receiver does not have any HDMI inputs or outputs. That's what we use for audio/video on our DVD player and XBox. Is there anything I can get that will allow us to use HDMI cables? If so, will the quality be the same as a direct hook up? Egads...

Paff
02-24-2009, 04:51 AM
I'd say just use the HDMI to carry the video signal, and use a separate audio cable (coax or optical) to carry the digital audio to the receiver.

My DVD player does not have HDMI, so I use component outs with the audio on a coax cable to the digital in of the receiver. For the U-Verse box, I have HDMI out going to the plasma, but the optical out goes to the receiver.

In a lot of ways, this gives you multiple options. You can watch TV or a movie with the TV's sound if you don't feel like cranking up the Harmon Kardon. Then when you really want to get into a movie, fire up that sound system.

horrorlover
02-24-2009, 06:16 AM
I bought an HDMI cable on amazon for $7 and it seems to work perfectly. I forget the name, as I threw the box away, but it was some company I had never heard of before. I can't understand why some cables are so expensive.

DrHerbertWest
02-24-2009, 03:14 PM
So basically I could leave everything the way it is but unplug just the video component cable in exchange for plugging in the HDMI?

Paff
02-24-2009, 03:23 PM
So basically I could leave everything the way it is but unplug just the video component cable in exchange for plugging in the HDMI?

yup!

X-human
02-24-2009, 05:16 PM
In order to get OTA HD, you need a outdoor directional UHF/VHF antenna (optimized for upper VHF and UHF signals).

Yes and no... Originally I just used rabbit ears and that worked perfectly fine. It's so easy and cheap to do and it's noticeably better. I know "this is fine" but you've got HD, you might as well utilize it especially when it won't cost you a penny just to check it out some day. Keep it in mind.

Also if you have Comcast there is a digital signal of all the local channels, including the ones Comcast doesn't keep in their listings, on the cable line itself. I would recommend running both the cable box and a second cable line to the TV. This way you do get what you pay for. :D

For example NBC locally has a 24hr weather channel that I like to watch, but Comcast doesn't list it. I like to watch that over the Weather Channel because it's literally just city after city of local weather data, not "On the 8s" but every second.

captain_brandon
02-24-2009, 05:45 PM
I also bought a philips upconverting DVD player (1080p) and regular DVDs look great as well.

Yeah, I got one frm a Best Buy here about two and three months ago, right before Christmas for myself, and my up-convert theater system player is so cool. Love how my DVDs look on it ...

DrHerbertWest
03-11-2009, 02:11 AM
Ok, so an update... I plugged the HDMI cable into the DVD player and plugged the other end into the TV. I did NOT unplug the component cables and now I see I can either watch this on Input 1 (which shows as 480p) or on HDMI 1 (which shows as 1080i HD). I paused a DVD and flipped back and fourth between both inputs but don't see a large difference between the two. Is that the way it is or is having both plugged in at the same time detracting from the quality? Since they are 2 separate inputs, I figured it wouldn't matter.

DrHerbertWest
03-12-2009, 05:39 AM
*bump bump a re-bump*

Paff
03-12-2009, 06:17 AM
I wouldn't expect a major difference. The resolution on the DVD is fixed. Upconverting may make the signal more friendly to the HDTV, but it won't add anything that isn't already there. Personally, I think if you just go with the progressive scan, you'll get standard definition DVDs to look about as good as they can.

HDMI just makes it all a lot less messier cable-wise. Now, if it were a Blu-Ray player...