Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Question about HDMI to VGA with a Projector

(Q) I have a question about HDMI to VGA with a projector.
My DVD player has a HDMI output as well as Component video output, and my projector has a VGA connection input. Currently I am using a VGA to component cable and the component output from my DVD player.
My DVD player is capable of up-converting my DVDs to 720p or 1080i, but only through the HDMI output. I am wondering if there is a way via a cable or adapter to connect my DVD player via HDMI to my projectors VGA input.

(A) Every DVD player that has HDMI output also has HDCP copy protection. HDCP equipped outputs generally cannot be converted to analog video without "down rezzing" the signal to non-HD resolution, when at all. DVI to VGA converters can convert various digital video formats to analog, including the typical HDMI output formats, but when the DVI output has HDCP it is typically not allowed to convert to HD resolutions. In any case these converters are around $400 and it is really questionable if you want to spend that much money to have your DVD player de-interlace and upscale the image, rather than let the display de-interlace and upscale the image. You also have to ask will the outboard converter box convert from digital to analog better than the DVD player will make the D/A conversion? What about the extra connections?
Try comparing the DVD outputting 480p to the projector and 480i to the projector and see which looks better. This will tell you whether the DVD player or Projector is better at de-interlacing. There are some good de-interlacing test signals on AVIA, DVE and the HQV calibration and test disks if you are interested in testing.
The real question would be, when do you plan to upgrade the projector? If you will keep it for some time and want the best DVD playback, consider getting a used higher end 480p DVD player, or one of the rare players with upscaling VGA output.

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