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How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

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Regular Contributor

How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

So, I just returned from my In-Laws after a week. I went to their basement TV to watch and was blown away by how clear that picture was. To my surprise, Their 6-year old Samsung TV and their ancient Scientific Atlantic HD cable box were hooked up via component video cables! When I got home, I dug out my old component cables and hooked my RNG150 to my 3-year old Samsung TV and it looked the same as HDMI (and not as good as his.) I am baffled. How can this be? Notes… his TV connects component video by RCA female jacks while mine uses RCA-to-1/8” plug adapters. His cable system is Spectrum. I double checked all my settings to get the best possible picture but it does not look as good as his. It’s hard to describe but it’s kinda like when you watch in 3D – things in the foreground have a definitive depth from the background on his TV. Is this a case of simply older gear being built better than the new stuff? Any ideas / suggestions?

Diamond Problem Solver

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

The X1 RNG150 is almost 10 years old, so maybe an update is in order? Did you check what the best resolution is set at? It’s hard to compare 2 totally different cable boxes and 2 totally different home entertainment setups.

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Valued Contributor

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

At resolutions up to 1080p you shouldn't see any difference between component and HDMI connections.

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Regular Contributor

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

Thanks for the reply! I left out some info on my original post, but my RNG 150 is for my second TV in my media room setup - it works great for channel surfing on a second set while my X1 DVR is my main set - but the 150 is old enough that it DOES have component outs. My Arris X1 DVR does NOT.  So I used it to see what the component out looked like. But it  was NOT as good as my In-Laws'. I realize picture quality is subjective but trust me - his old gear looks incredible using component compared to my 150 with component or my Arris with HDMI. Everyone says HDMI is better but there is something about their setup that looks awesome compared to mine! I've checked ALL TV and cable box settings but no luck! Just wondering if any experts have any theories. Thanks for any replies!!

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Valued Contributor

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

Technically, the connection type is unlikely to be the source of the quality difference.   Samsung makes TV models across the quality range and some of their older ones were pretty good. Sometimes you can find reviews on https://www.rtings.com/ to compare models.   They may also suggest the best settings to improve the video.

 

Most Xfinity content is going to be broadcast at 720p, except perhaps local stations that might still be 1080i.  Either your X1 box or the TV will upscale this to 1080p for display.  One or the other might be better at it, so you could try setting 720p output on the X1 vs 1080p for comparison.

 

You might also visit an Xfinity store to see what kind of pictures they are getting out of their HDMI ports on the screens there.  Yours should be the same.

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Expert

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?


@lesmikesell wrote:

Technically, the connection type is unlikely to be the source of the quality difference.   Samsung makes TV models across the quality range and some of their older ones were pretty good. Sometimes you can find reviews on https://www.rtings.com/ to compare models.   They may also suggest the best settings to improve the video.

 

Most Xfinity content is going to be broadcast at 720p, except perhaps local stations that might still be 1080i.  Either your X1 box or the TV will upscale this to 1080p for display.  One or the other might be better at it, so you could try setting 720p output on the X1 vs 1080p for comparison.

 

You might also visit an Xfinity store to see what kind of pictures they are getting out of their HDMI ports on the screens there.  Yours should be the same.


when a new HDMI device is attached to a TV via HDMI, the TV should be set up for the best image (TV picture menu: brightness/contrast/gamma/sharpness, etc). these are stored by the TV per the device 'id'. If you replace an X1 set top box just review the settings to get best image. youtube and netflix have various testing videos. note that the videos train in the first minute or so increasing bit rate and resolution. after that time has passed proceed to follow the adjustment process.



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Regular Contributor

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

I am embarrased to admit, but it had nothing to do with the component connect. After seeing the consensus that HDMI will always be better, I re-dug into my settings and found that having the Samsung TV picture on DYNAMIC, (along with sharpness high and backlight & brightness in just the right place,) the image really "jumps" out at you! I know that I tried every combination of settings when I first setup the TV, but the dynamic image will look great on only certain channels so I must have missed it at first. Sorry for the error and thanks for the replies!

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Diamond Problem Solver

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?

I’d still upgrade your old equipment.

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Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?


@CCAndrew wrote:
I’d still upgrade your old equipment.

Except... the X1 set-top box (my X1... XG2v2-P) doesn't have 5-connector Component jacks on the rear panel, only 3-connector Composite jacks... and, of course, an HDMI jack. <Edited> I wish Comcast would explain that decision.

 

I would never have "upgraded" from my RNG150, if Comcast hadn't stopped providing On-Demand services to it (or so the Comcast technician explained to me). Don't get me started on the X1 Guide...

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Valued Contributor

Re: How Can Component Video look better than HDMI?



Except... the X1 set-top box (my X1... XG2v2-P) doesn't have 5-connector Component jacks on the rear panel, only 3-connector Composite jacks... and, of course, an HDMI jack. Talk about ruining a "wet dream"! I wish Comcast would explain that decision.

 


Hardly any recently-designed set top boxes provide component cables these days.  Aside from the extra cost for something rarely needed, content owners really want to lock things down to the content protection scheme that HDMI provides or scale back the resolution with composite output.