I took the plunge into the world of HDTV. From what I hear, my 42” LG Plasma should be here “soon.”
Now before I can drench myself in rich, 1080i splendor, I must purchase a new DVD player and all necessary cables. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, let’s start with the DVD player and then get right into navigating wires like slashing through dense vines in the Amazon. (No, not the store, the rainforest following the river.)
DVD manufacturers now offer “upconverting” players that “process” a standard DVD 480p image and increase it to an HD level 720p or 1080i. A pretty cool demonstration of the difference can be seen on this picture of Yoda. Tough call on whether the quality is worth it, especially since the “upconverters” are more expensive than progressive scan players.
Welcome to the Jungle
As sweet as my new plasma is, it has only one DVI input. DVI carries high resolution Digital Video, but is being replaced by HDMI which carries both high resolution Digital Video and Digital Audio. In order to receive HDTV from Comcast, I have to upgrade my set-top-box (STB), but the Comcast website doesn’t indicate whether their HD STB’s output the signal via DVI or HDMI. So, my STB may have HDMI and the “upscaling” DVD’s only upscale via HDMI. Um, looks like I need 2 HDMI inputs, but I have only 1 DVI input. What’s a boy to do? Well, after cringing at $250.00 HDMI/DVI converter boxes found on the net, I discovered one for $38.99! And… this bad boy can handle either two HDMI inputs, two DVI inputs, or one of each, then outputting (I don’t care if it’s not a word. Hang with me…) to either an HDMI or DVI output!!! Oh, and then there’s the cables… Very few manufacturers include them, but don’t pay $100.00 or more per DVI/HDMI cable. There are good ones here and here.
Got all that? Stuff like this is why “Home Improvement” was so popular.