CNET First Look
Ask Anything: HDMI versus component inputJohn Falcone explains the difference between the two high-definition connections.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV. Welcome to another edition of Ask Anything, the segment where there are no stupid question. John Falcone, senior editor at CNET dot com is here to tell us today the difference between component and HDMI. This is sort of the question everyone wonders, how do they hook up their cable box. Which one? >> Well, basically if you have a HDMI on both the TV and the HD video source, you pretty much better off going with HDMI these days. >> Now this one I see has three cables. This does just video, so it divides it into three different what? Sections? >> Yeah, this component was the original HD video standard. And the difference with this one is that it is analog even though it does full HD. And it was you know great when it first started, but the upgrade that HDMI offers is that it also does full HD video. But it also passes full surround sound through this single cable as well. >> Yeah, there's this you even need more cables than just this to bring through the audio. >> Right, you also need digit audio or analog audio cable along with that. This HDMI handles everything and it also is all digital whereas component is analog. >> Now I assumed when I was getting my cable box installed that they would just use an HDMI cable for my HDTV. And the guy pulls out one of these. And I was like oh, hold it. Can I give you this? So right now you could have it hooked up at your house if someone installed it for you with component over HDMI. Not necessarily do they use an HDMI right? >> Yeah. And with a lot TVs, you might not see a dramatic difference in the picture quality. And some people even prefer to still use component because especially with older TVs you can tweak the picture a little bit more. Whereas the digital input sometimes limits exactly what you can do. Also the one really bad thing about HDMI is that sometimes the HDCT copy protection can really make things a little loopy depending how you have things set up. There, you don't have any of those copy right protection issues with component. But generally speaking, if you can go with HDMI, go with it. >> Alright, real quick I'm going to throw you this one. You have one HDMI input and one component and you have a DVD player and your cable box. Which one do you hook to which? >> I'd probably go with the HDMI for the cable box and component for the DVD player. >> Alright, John Falcone demystifying component versus HDMI. This has been another edition of Ask Anything, where there are no stupid questions. I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV. See you next time. ^M00:02:45 [ Music ]