HDMI vs Component

Last week helped a friend set-up his new Sony LCD XBR 40" TV and Sony $200 DVD player. Enquired at 3 different stores about which worked better, component or HDMI, and got evasive answers but everbody was willing to sell $200 +/- $100 hookup cables. I had previously found that my home-made from bulk cable Ultron 5 conductor was much superior to Monster Cable $100 component set. Audio quality in this case is not an issue as he has a cochlear implant which cuts off low freq at 270HZ. I volunteered to make him a component/audio hookup for just the cost of 10 RCA connectors (about $50 for good quality). Meantime he used a spare Ultron 16 ft. I had with Radioshack audio cables. At the electronics store (Metro, Sacramento) I noticed a Calrad brand HDMI cable, very light weight, for $20. I purchased the Calrad cable only and we tried it out today. Guys, this works just as good as the Ultron cable component with separate audio cables...........is this normal? or is this just a case of cheaper DVD player working with any ol' thing?
Thanks, Mike.
For video, HDMI will usually outperform Component. Componet is an analog connection, which means that your display has to reprocess the signal to digital in order to do its thing. With HDMI, you skip that conversion step. There's more to it than that, but it's always worthwhile to try it both ways and see which you prefer.
I made a tentative purchase last week (DVR/DVD burner combo) and was blown away by how good HDMI is.
Connected player to my 30" Sony HD CRT via provided HDMI cable (How cool is that? Next best was $95 two-meter "budget" cable from Best Buy/Acoustic Research which I bought but didn't use).
Player (Toshiba) upsampled everything (even regular TV) to 720p/1080i.
Watching DVDs at 1080i was revelatory. Any scene with smoke or clouds instantly demonstrates why we need HD TVs. I can't wait for HD-DVD and movie producers who can exploit it correctly (There is a new Riddick movie coming out soon ISN'T THERE?).
Didn't keep the Toshiba, unfortunately.
The remote was a real work of fart.
Might give one of those 400 disk Sony combo players a try ($400 for DVD, CD and SACD multi-channel).
Has HDMI for DVDs but not SACD.
The remote was a real work of fart.
Now that I'd like to see.
I use both HDMI and componant with my Marantz DVD and Philips Plasma.
I agree HDMI usually gives the better picture but you have no or limited choice on aspect ratio which is chosen by the componants talking to each other.
This sometimes is set wrong with no manual override, then I use the componant input.
I much prefer a slightly reduced quality to a distorted picture.
Since your source is digital it makes sense to keep the information digital as long as you can. So DVI and HDMI make the most sense unless you are using a high-end external scaler at which you will want to take that (now) analog signal and sent it to your display. I have an NEC 50XM5 plasma and it's internal processors are rated as good or better than almost all external processors. It has a DVI connection which is fine by me as I loop the audio through my Audio Aero Capitole DAC. It is interesting that I can run the same feed to my plasma and split the screen and compare component and DVI at the same time. The DVI has more detail and the High Definition picture quality seems more three dimensional than component. the colors are also a bit more red which i think I can address when I get around to it.