In response to that quite ignorant statement that "data is data", I've got some news:
Digital information is comprise of a set of ones, zeroes, and blanks, of which a unit can translate into a waveform (back to light waves for us humans to see) That being said, if one figure gets screwed up, your picture can be severely compriamised. This can happen with noise in the line or interference caused by some outer source. Also, digital is still pulses of electricity travelling on a metal conductor: the surface of the condutor can affect the signal as well. Impure copper will have a rough surface (have you ever felt the surface on the Statue of Liberty? very rough, very contaminated by Oxygen and very impure), thus causing deficiencies in the transmission. This may result in tiling, loss of sound, or compltee loss of picture. As for Monster, their consumer line is so-so, AR costing less and being comarable, but their pro line is a force to be reckoned with. As for practicality, decent cable to run Component Video (maybe by Analysis-Plus) will give you the picture the director intended you to see, not what Oppo, Panasonic or Toshiba intended you to see. The purity of the signal can only be kept with proper cables and a DVD player that doesn't **** with the signal. HD Upconvert player screw with the signal in more ways than just line doubling. I will leave this up to you, though. I recommend you purchase an upconvert player for around $200 (a Harman Kardon with Burr Brown Processors comes to mind - also comes with mediocre HDMI cable (DVD-38)) and see what difference it makes. Keep in mind that if you are simply using the cables out of the box from your standard player, then you will not get a quality image, which is why I also recommend a decent pair of component Cables (Monster Video 3 (pro) or Analysis-Plus Black Component Video Cables) so you may go back and forth to see the difference. The colors may be more vivid, the screen may be brighter, but look at fleshtones on the HD player as they turn to pink or orange, and look at other colors turn to the 8-pack of crayolas we had as kids, watch smooth edges on the standard player look digitized and rough on the upconvert player. A signal is not a signal is not a signal! Cables will make or brake your system! ****** cables have bandwith constraints which kill pictorial dynamic peaks in brightness, contrast and color. Also, for upconvert, let me put it this way: it is like playing the game telephone (in case you're not familiar, its a children's game where the kids are sat down in a line with the objective to pass a message along from beginning to end in an unmodified form. The problem is, is that what went in is definitely not what came out. The processors are the same way). Also, a nice quote from the Analysis-Plus website:
"Using conventional cable is like pouring fine wine through a lead pipe. What comes out is definitely not what went in"
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