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HDMI vs RCA (TWC HD DVR hum / Picture quality)

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Old 01-31-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
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Default HDMI vs RCA (TWC HD DVR hum / Picture quality)

SHORT VERSION: Does HDMI noticeably improve the picture over RCA?

Sorry if those aren't exactly RCA connects they give you, but that's what they look like so that's what I'm calling 'em.

Ahem - Hi, new to this forum, or at least first post - I've read quite a lot on here over the last couple weeks.

Anyway I have Time Warner satanic cable. Recently got an HD set and swapped out my old box for a Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC. I'm using the RCA cables they give you and there is an irritating hum. I tried my own RCA cable and that didn't help. I figure it's a ground issue, from what I gather, but wonder - if I go get an HDMI cable that will take care of the hum, obviously. It's kind of a lot of money just for a hum, if I can work around it more cheaply. However it will be worth it if the picture will noticeably improve. It seems like it should, but I'm not gonna experiment if you all can give me some guidance.

So that's my question again: Does HDMI noticeably improve the picture over RCA? T
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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If you're talking yellow/red/white then, yes, that's rca and those cannot carry an HD signal and look pretty bad regardless, so yes HDMI will be far better... As for the "humming" it could be unrelated.

As for HDMI cables; DO NOT purchase them in store... go to a site like monoprice and pick up a set for about 1/20th of what you'd pay elsewhere. Remember, HDMI is a digital connection, different cable materials will only help you out over extreme distances.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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If you're talking yellow/red/white then, yes, that's rca and those cannot carry an HD signal and look pretty bad regardless, so yes HDMI will be far better... As for the "humming" it could be unrelated.

As for HDMI cables; DO NOT purchase them in store... go to a site like [] and pick up a set for about 1/20th of what you'd pay elsewhere. Remember, HDMI is a digital connection, different cable materials will only help you out over extreme distances.
Thanks - No they're not red yellow white, they are green blue and red for the video and a separate set for audio that is the typical red and white. I definitely have an HD signal on the video ... Maybe the audio isn't HD? Anyway I have an HDMI cable hooked up to the PS3 and there's no hum there. Which makes me realize I can just plug it in and see for myself.

But with the audio, if I unplug them from the TV there is no hum. If I unplug them from the cable box, there's the typical attendant hum you get when you unplug something like that and it's still connected to speakers.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Duke McDice View Post
SHORT VERSION: Does HDMI noticeably improve the picture over RCA?

Sorry if those aren't exactly RCA connects they give you, but that's what they look like so that's what I'm calling 'em.

Ahem - Hi, new to this forum, or at least first post - I've read quite a lot on here over the last couple weeks.

Anyway I have Time Warner satanic cable. Recently got an HD set and swapped out my old box for a Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC. I'm using the RCA cables they give you and there is an irritating hum. I tried my own RCA cable and that didn't help. I figure it's a ground issue, from what I gather, but wonder - if I go get an HDMI cable that will take care of the hum, obviously. It's kind of a lot of money just for a hum, if I can work around it more cheaply. However it will be worth it if the picture will noticeably improve. It seems like it should, but I'm not gonna experiment if you all can give me some guidance.

So that's my question again: Does HDMI noticeably improve the picture over RCA? T
If you have more than one component cable connection try the others. Try another set of audio cables also. Worth a try.

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Old 01-31-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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I tried different audio cables and it still hums. Everything is plugged into the same power strip ...

Then I tried the HDMI cable and there's no audio at all. When the HDMI cable is hooked up to the PS3 it's fine, but hooked up tot he cable box there's no audio.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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Okay if anyone is interested, I went and bought a ground loop isolator from Radio Shack and it got rid of the hum.

Still don't know why there's no audio when I use the HDMI cable for the HD DVR, but I guess it doesn't matter now.

Last edited by Duke McDice; 01-31-2009 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Should have said DVR not DVD
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:45 AM   #7
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Okay if anyone is interested, I went and bought a ground loop isolator from Radio Shack and it got rid of the hum.

Still don't know why there's no audio when I use the HDMI cable for the HD DVR, but I guess it doesn't matter now.
Depending on what model DVR you have, you will have to get into the audio setup and tell it to route the audio out the HDMI.

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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As for HDMI cables; DO NOT purchase them in store... go to a site like monoprice and pick up a set for about 1/20th of what you'd pay elsewhere. Remember, HDMI is a digital connection, different cable materials will only help you out over extreme distances.
As for HDMI cables; DO NOT purchase MONSTER brand cables in the store. You can find a lot cheaper ones in the stores. You can order cheaper ones online if you want to wait days for them to be delivered and pay shipping costs.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:09 PM   #9
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As for HDMI cables; DO NOT purchase MONSTER brand cables in the store. You can find a lot cheaper ones in the stores. You can order cheaper ones online if you want to wait days for them to be delivered and pay shipping costs.
You can get a 6ft cable from mono for $8 total with shipping... The cheapest I've ever seen any HDMI cable in store was a 3ft cable for $15 and it was off-brand and open package, most are at least $25 in store and in the case of monster about $80-120. Of course if you see a good deal take it, but likely you wouldn't in person.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:14 PM   #10
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Still don't know why there's no audio when I use the HDMI cable for the HD DVR, but I guess it doesn't matter now.
You need to go into the setup on your box and tell it to use hdmi in the audio setup section.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:39 PM   #11
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You need to go into the setup on your box and tell it to use hdmi in the audio setup section.
Thanks for this and the other advice on this. From what I've read the components are just as good under the circumstances. TWC HD stinks anyway, but if I ever do get an HDMI I know I'll have to do battle with "the box"!
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