Composite vs. Component? Is there a Huge Difference?

C

corytrib

Enthusiast
#1
I recently got into a argument with my Cable technician because he says there is not a huge difference in quality between composite and component! I on the otherhand dissagree. I think Component quality is superior. My problem is this! The cable company is really small and doesn't have component outputs on the cable box. They don't have a cable box with HDTV and component outputs. Does anybody know if Direct T.V. has HDTV and does there boxes have components outputs? I have a nice plasma t.v. and would hate to just have composite hooked up to it! I think it would be a waste of a Plasma. What should I do?
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#2
Yup, component is superior to composite and the difference can be dramatic on large widescreens. However, in a demo showroom I visited once, I was truely shocked to find out that the magnificient images and colors being displayed on a Toshiba HDTV plasma was coming from a composite connection from a flagship Denon DVD player as the dealer probabaly didn't know any better. So maybe composite won't be that bad at all on a great display from a good player.

From cable companies, I'm not sure if they support individual component broadcasting over those cables. I think each would occupy a separate cable channel which cable companies are maximizing the use of. I've heard of some HT receivers that can upscale an s-video or composite connection to component, but cable top boxes, I am not aware of. Maybe there are.
 
markw

markw

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,626 5 19
#3
composite video is at the bottom of the food chain. S-video offers a noticable improvement over composite. Component offers a slight improvement over S-video and then it's only really noticable on large screen TV's that are properly set up.

As faras "upscaling" goes, it's more a matter of hookup convenience as poopsed to an improvement in picture quality. i.e... if it's composite going in, the output may be component but the picture quality won't be any better than composite.
 
goodman

goodman

Full Audioholic
Ratings
13 1
#5
With a quality display, there is a big difference between composite and component connections from a cable box, as I have observed in my own home. There is also a big difference in quality from a DVD player as well.

As far as the satellite providers, it depends upon the box that you buy. For HDTV you need a special dish pointed at the satellite that carries HDTV, and you need a receiver with component outs, which should be readily available.

For your new plasma, anything less than a component feed would be a waste.
 
H

hopjohn

Full Audioholic
Ratings
55
#6
Slow down people

With component video, the T.V. is less intrusive on the original signal resulting in increased quality. The difference will be most dependent on how well your television handles each connection type. With analog/interlaced sources the differences between the connection types will be minimal though noticeable, particularly when you know what to look for ( combing for example). A component connection will only look increasingly better than a composite connection when the signal being fed it is of a higher quality, like digital cable, or from a DVD ( even when not using progressive scan ). In the case of ED or HD a composite connection cannot even be used, unless there is some kind of down conversion.

It might be a bit exteme to say your plasma is a waste w/o that sort of connection, It's just not meeting its full potential. You won't be able to meet it until you have HD anyway.
 
rgriffin25

rgriffin25

Moderator
Ratings
68
#8
I would like to say that not all cable tv techs. are experts. Obviously if they make outrageous claims that don't make sense it would be pretty easy to assume they don't know much. Why waste your time arguing with someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. Especially when you can spend about the same amount of time testing this out for yourself. Doing this is the best way to learn.

I would also say that it is safe to say smaller cable companies will be the last to make the change to HTDV. So if you are anxious to get HD buy an OTA set-top box (if HD is available in your area.) Or call one of the satellite companies. Directv, Dish, and VOOM all offer HD programing with receivers that use component video connections. Voom offers the most HD programing and usually they have specials for equipment with no upfront costs.

Good luck with your quest!




:cool:
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#9
Yo....Corytrib

The Samsung HDTV tuner/receiver, model SIR-TS360 has a component video output as well as two composite outputs.
 
M

Mort Corey

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
29
#10
AFAIK you can't push an HD signal over a composite connection anyway. Most of the HD dish receivers will give you the option of component, DVI or HDMI output....the latter two probably the best for the application.

Mort
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#11
Go with Directv. They do give you DVI which will be better than even the component. Go with the samsung HDTV receiver. It tends to be more reliable than the hughes that I tried. Never listen to any cable company, small or large. I had a large cable company tell me that there was no difference between composite or dvi...tells me how much they know.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#12
While I agree that many of the cable companies have people that don't know what they are talking about, its not automatic that DVI will always be better than composite.

There are lots of variables. On SD signals, composite often bests Component or DVI.
 
D

docferdie

Audioholic
#13
"On SD signals, composite often bests Component or DVI"

What is your basis for this?
DVD with a resolution of 720x480 is classified as an SD signal. Can you come up with a reputable DVD player (sony, panasonic, samsung,etc.) that has better picture quality over composite than component. Please read the excellent cable articles on this site before making an uninformed comment such as this.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#14
Hate to break the news to you Doc, but there is alot more than DVD players to worry about. SD signals can be digital or analog and come from sources other than DVD players. But you didn't consider that, now did you?

You can't make a case citing only one type of source and one signal format.
 
D

docferdie

Audioholic
#15
"SD signals can be digital or analog and come from sources other than DVD players"

Again another uninformed comment. I see that you still have not read any of the excellent articles on the site. I believe that you do not have any understanding of video transmission.
Please research the terms dot crawl, moire, luminance, chrominance, and sharpness. Once you have understood those terms then you should be able to appreciate the advantages of the other cable formats over composite.

Why don't you go ahead and name specific examples of when composite beats component or DVI. I'm sure that if you can then cable manufacturers will be banging down your door to hire you. :rolleyes:

If you don't want to read the excellent articles on this site then read this then.

http://videoexpert.home.att.net/artic1/227yc.htm

If you are still not convinced then there is really not much that this site can do for you.
 
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U

Unregistered

Guest
#16
docferdie said:
Again another uninformed comment. I believe that you do not have any understanding of video transmission.
Pretty strong words for someone who is speaking in absolutes and is not considering any of the extenuating circumstances. You seem to believe that DVI is better than Component is better than S-Video, etc regardless of the myriad factors that interplay to make that not always the case. Next you'll say that digital is always better than analog.

I guess you've never seen any of the countless threads on other forums where people ask why does my SD cable signal connected to my DLP, LCD, etc look worse on component than composite. Why don't I notice any difference between component and DVI. Why is it sometimes better to use interlaced mode from my dvd player even though I have it connected to a digital tv using component cables. And on and on...

The simple fact is that you can't make a poor quality signal look phenomenal regardless of the type of connection and the more conversions that have to take place on the path from source to destination, the potentially worse it can get.

docferdie said:
Please research the terms dot crawl, moire, luminance, chrominance, and sharpness. Once you have understood those terms then you should be able to appreciate the advantages of the other cable formats over composite.
This quote exemplifies the fact that it is you that has no understanding of video (please do define moire for me - bet you can't and by the way moire could be manifest regardless of connection type). None of those terms are relevant for supporting your contention that DVI will ALWAYS be superior to any other type of connection. Luminace and chrominance perhaps in a tangential way as the different connection types handle them in a different manner. Just throwing around terms to show you are conversant in the vernacular.

docferdie said:
Why don't you go ahead and name specific examples of when composite beats component or DVI.
Simple. Analog SD cable signal from cable box connected via component to analog tv. The signal arrives over the RF connection in COMPOSITE format; ie the luminance and chrominance are already combined. The cable box now has to separate out the luminance and compute the color difference and send it to tv over the component connection.
Do you think there was some magic that made that composite signal better because it was split into its component parts? The quality of the source signal is paramount. Likewise, if your cable box can separate the Y and C, convert analog to digital and send it over DVI to the tv where the tv will then do any processing like scaling, noise reduction, etc and convert it back to analog for display. I guesss all those conversions have no affect whatsoever, right? Wrong.

I suppose hooking up your cable box with composite cables to a receiver that upconverts to s-video will automagically make that signal look better because after all s-video separates the luminance and chrominance and that is technically better.

To you these points are surely moot because in your ideal world everyone has pure digital devices and digital connections with pristine digital signals that maintain their purity all the way from the source device to the display without a hint of degradation. The real world is just a bit more complicated.

docferdie said:
If you are still not convinced then there is really not much that this site can do for you.
It's not that I'm not convinced that DVI or Component can't be better. It's that there are a large number of different source devices, display devices, and all the other types of equipment in between the path from source to display that can and do have an effect.

Anyone who states as a matter of fact this type of connection is ALWAYS better than another is uninformed. Please spend some time over at avsforum in the video area and you just might find that you don't know as much as you think you do.
 
D

docferdie

Audioholic
#17
"Next you'll say that digital is always better than analog"

Hmmm remind me again what the FCC is mandating regarding the phase out of analog broadcast TV in favor of digital? :rolleyes:

"Likewise, if your cable box can separate the Y and C, convert analog to digital and send it over DVI to the tv where the tv will then do any processing like scaling, noise reduction, etc and convert it back to analog for display. I guesss all those conversions have no affect whatsoever, right? Wrong"

Again you don't seem to understand how cable companies transmit video or how digital TV's display video.

For digital cable the signal is sent as an MPEG stream not as an RF signal so the multitude of signal conversions that you are trying to portray simply does not exist at the level of the box. In fact if you feed a DLP TV from a digital cable box through a composite input you will get digital to analog conversion to make the MPEG signal composite, then you will get analog to digital conversion so that the TV can scale the analog image to its native resolution then the TV has to convert this back to analog for viewing. :rolleyes:

The complaints that people have with "digital TV" and standard cable are related to these TVs being fixed pixel devices and natively progressive. For the most part content that is natively interlaced should be viewed interlaced.

"Why don't I notice any difference between component and DVI"

Discussed thoroughly on another thread on this site. Again garbage in is garbage out no matter what the connection.

"Why is it sometimes better to use interlaced mode from my dvd player even though I have it connected to a digital tv using component cables"

Only if you have a really cheap DVD player that doesn't deinterlace properly because remember none of the so called digital TV's that are fixed pixel devices can display interlaced signals. And how does this support your argument that composite is better than component :rolleyes:

I asked for specific examples and the only one you could give was not even correct. Please stop misleading our other forum members. The proof is in the pudding. Have you actually seen these various connections and if so what type of cable box and television set did you use it on?

"Anyone who states as a matter of fact this type of connection is ALWAYS better than another is uninformed"

Again did you read the other posts on this forum or the excellent cable articles? Remember on this site physics and precise measurements always win so if you can find any article done with reputable methods supporting your contention of composite as a connection being better than component then I would be happy to give that a read. :)

Did you read the link I posted? ;)
 
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U

Unregistered

Guest
#18
docferdie Again you don't seem to understand how cable companies transmit video or how digital TV's display video. For digital cable the signal is sent as an MPEG stream not as an RF signal so the multitude of signal conversions that you are trying to portray simply does not exist at the level of the box. [/QUOTE said:
All of your prior points simply reinforce what I said. This statement is absolutely ludicrous, however. You consistently maintain that I don't understand video transmission, implying that you do and then you make this statement.

That MPEG stream is most certainly sent over the RF connection. It is not an RF signal and I didn't say that. It is a digital signal modulated on a carrier frequency. Whether you use composite, s-video, or component outputs the digital to analog conversions must occur. When you receive a SD signal, it won't in any way be improved by using component cables.

Enough with the 'cable articles on this site'. They are good if you want measurements of actual cables. They say nothing about various combinations of source signal and interconnects although you imply that if they did they would also come to your same conclusion.
 
D

docferdie

Audioholic
#19
"All of your prior points simply reinforce what I said. This statement is absolutely ludicrous"

You're being too hard on yourself :D

"When you receive a SD signal, it won't in any way be improved by using component cables"

It will if chrominance and luminace were kept separate prior to MPEG encoding which is how most channels have been doing it. Look for the presence of dot crawl on composite and its absence on component.

Have you actually seen premium channels like HBO, Starz, etc? which are mostly SD by the way. Again I am interested in the actual set-up where you claim the superiority of composite over cable. We could even perhaps try to set up a review so that your claims may be validated ;)

"They are good if you want measurements of actual cables."

So am I to understand that this superiority that you claim for composite cables over component in the cable box application is not measurable? Do you also believe that a battery hooked up to a cable improves its sound? Cable elevators perhaps? Or wait maybe composite is better because you only have one cable to break in? :D
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#20
Just keep changing your arguments to obscure the topic.

I have never said that composite is always better than component or any other connection type. You said component or DVI IS ALWAYS SUPERIOR.

I've simply pointed out that is not always the case. You believe otherwise. Good for you.
 

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