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HDMI or Analog?


!!!ATTENTION!!!*Dish Network (DISH) is not affiliated with this website.*!!!ATTENTION!!!



Are you caught in a cross-fire between Analog and HDMI? What's the difference? Which is better? In fact many people do not understand the difference between the two technologies.

For example:

Sally connects an HDMI HDTV to an HDMI ready DVD player, using an analog cable (Yellow Red White). Unfortunately Sally isn't taking advantage of the full potential of either the HDTV or the DVD player. Many people make this same mistake. While others understand the new technology that HDMI has to offer.

In the end, like in any competition you have to make a choice between the two technologies. To help you out, here's a rundown on why HDMI supersedes analog interfaces in terms of power, speed, and video display capability:

When it comes to analog vs. HDMI the first thing that you will need to do is, understand the nature of these two video interfaces. There are many different types of analog cables to choose from. They range from composite videos, component, and S-videos.

Data Loss

Component Video

- Component video is superior to Composite Video and S-Video. Component video cables provide a very strong signal by using three RCA video cables: one green, one red, and one blue. Component cables are unable to carry audio signals, thus audio cables are still required. (Component video uses a total of 5 cables: 3 video and 2 audio)

S-videos (Super-Video)

- With S-video information is carried through a single cable by using two signals, color and brightness. This unique way of sending information through the cable allows for a crisper, cleaner picture than composite video. S-video does not carry audio on the same cable. (S-video uses a total of 3 cables: 1 video and 2 audio)

Composite Video

- Composite video is perhaps the most common among the three. Composite Video pass through a cable line and uses a single signal which mixes three colors, Red, Blue, and Green (RBG). Composite uses separate audio cables, for sound. (Composite video uses a total of 3 cables: 1 video and 2 audio)


- With HDMI the data starts out as digital and remains the same all throughout the signals transmission. This means your connected device such as your TV, receives a pure digital signal. HDMI cables also provide pure digital sound. Both the video and the audio signals are carried on a single cable. (HDMI uses a total of 1 cable: combined video/audio cable)

How it All Works

Analog interface it basically works like a modem. Everything starts out as analog, but in order to pass through the cables, the signal is converted into digital. The problem is that the signal is converted back into analog by the time it reaches the video components.

Thus, between analog vs. HDMI, you can already surmise that there's more data loss in an analog interface than in HDMI. There's a very good chance that the quality of your signal will be lost when using an analog cable. HDMI has the ability to retain a pure digital signal throughout the transmission without any loss or degradation of the data. This pure digital signal provides its users with life-like images and emerging surround sound.


So which video cable provides a faster transmitted signal; HDMI or Analog? When it comes to signal speed data transmission, HDMI is far superior. First of all, unlike analog there is no signal conversion process. Secondly, HDMI cables can transmit as much as 5 gigabits of data for every second, this allows for much better video and audio quality.

Simpler Setup

Between analog and HDMI, HDMI is takes the crown when it comes use and setup. Since video and audio data is transmitted through a single cable line in HDMI, you only have one line to attend to. Simply plug one end of the HDMI cable into your HDMI HDTV, and the other end into any other HDMI ready device; such as: a Blue Ray DVD player, or HD Cable box.

As previously mentioned all analog cables require 3 or more connection in order to receive both audio and video signals. Although these cables are very easy to install, setup does require a little more time. Another down side of analog is that more cables, equals more clutter. And nobody needs to add to that octopus of cables already living behind the television set.


HDMI has many advantages over analog, including its bandwidth. As a matter of fact, it has twice the bandwidth as an analog interface. What does this mean? Basically this means that there that as technology moves forward analog will become obsolete sooner than HDMI.

Clearly, in the war between analog and HDMI; HDMI is the winner! But are you ready to make the big switch form analog to HDMI?

Getting ready for the big switch

In order to take advantage of HDMI technology you'll need to have an HDMI ready HDTV and HD HDMI ready device; such as: a Blu Ray DVD player, or HD Cable box. You will also need to buy the right cables, which costs around $30.00. If you want to hook up multiple devices to your HDTV using HDMI, make sure you have enough HDMI port available on your television set. If your television only has on HDMI port, purchase an HDMI hub.

HDMI technology allows your televisions images and sound come to life right before your eyes. If your TV set offers HDMI capability and you're not using it, you are missing out on a lot. Remember you'll also need to get yourself an HDMI compatible equipment to utilize your HDTV's full potential.

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