03-23-2010, 06:53 AM
HDMI vs VGA
Originally Posted by dougthoreson
Thanks bobtomay. One last thing: Is there an advantage to going through the HDMI port instead of the VGA?
The simple answer for your 22" screen, use HDMI if you have a free HDMI port. If both your HDMI ports are being used, or will soon be used by other devices, then I'd go with the VGA.
It's not really that simple a question. I could get into 1:1 pixel mapping and all sorts of technical stuff, but I won't. I'll provide the basics of what most really want to know, not only for your specific case, but also in general for future readers as it relates to connecting to a HDTV.
Also of note: I am a hobbyist, not a professional. I personally moved to DVI upon it's initial introduction and believe that maintaining a digital signal throughout the chain is the best course. I have not used/tested a VGA connection in my home for many years, so I can't provide a response based on my own experience related to some issues.
With HDMI, the first issue you'll have to deal with is overscan. (See post #2, item #2.) Any TV that provides the capability of turning overscan off, I'd go with HDMI. Those TVs that do not have this capability built in... for a TV under maybe a 42", I'd recommend VGA... at 42" and over go with HDMI and live with the overscan issue or spend the time creating a custom resolution to take care of it.
For dealing with overscan, it's time to pull out the owner's manual, or just start going through the video menu to find it. Your TV does provide the option of turning overscan off in the Picture menu.
First hurdle resolved.
The next issue for most is the appearance between the two connections. You'll find some users that report no discernable difference between the two connections. However, a lot is going to be dependent on the electronics they used for each port in the individual model. I tend to believe that most of them would be using the better electronics in the HDMI side than they are with VGA. Primarily because a VGA connection for most manufacturers is an after thought along with the fact that VGA is dead.
The vast majority that have actually spent the time comparing them have found several improvements with HDMI over VGA... primarily brighter colors vs washed out colors, deeper blacks and less tearing of the picture while watching fast motion scenes such as sports. However, much of the tearing is going to depend on the quality of the display.
While I have no empirical evidence, I would say the difference in appearance between the two connections would be more noticeable with LCDs and Plasmas built in the last 2-3 years and not so much on the first 2-3 years worth of HDTV models on the market.
For others considering using VGA, before
you go out and purchase that new adapter/cable, open up the Owner's Manual and check to see which resolutions your model TV handles through VGA. There are a great many HDTVs on the market that do not accept even the TVs native resolution through VGA and there are some that will only accept a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Hopefully this will give you (and others) a brief rundown, at least enough to make your own decision as to which will work best in your situation.