Thursday, July 23, 2009

Really Cheap HDMI Cables from CD-R King

We recently deployed a digital signage at our store using a Sharp 32" LCD and my old Philips DVP-5166k DVD player. I used the DVP-5166k because it supports USB video playback and has a feature to infinitely loop a file or folder. Since the signage needs to keep repeating a video clip throughout the day, I did not want to use a regular DVD disc and risk wearing out the spinning mechanism. At least with USB, there are no moving parts to wear-and-tear.

So our master bedroom has been without a DVD player for more than a week. I had to contend plugging our Sony portable DVD player via regular composite video to the Samsung LCD, and well, its not really a fantastic solution. I decided to go to Western Appliance Greenhills today to get a new player -- the DVP-5996K. Its an "upgrade" from the old 5166k and has the ff. new features:
  • HDMI output with 1080p upscaling
  • Support for Microsoft Windows Media WMA/WMV formats
  • Ripping of audio CD to MP3

I don't really care much about the latter 2 features. Its more of the HDMI output that I've been intrigued with. Since our Samsung is Full HD 1080p capable, I felt that I wasn't maximizing it with a low-end player connected via standard component video. Granted that even though this is not a Blu-ray player, I thought the HDMI upscaling would at least result to better output than regular component connections.

Since the player did not come with HDMI cables, I went to nearby Virra Mall's CD-R king to get one. Original Sony HDMI cables at appliance stores run for around Php3k. Amazingly, the 3 meter HDMI cable at CD-R only costs Php300. I did some Google research prior to buying it and nobody seem to have any complaints about it. (I was actually looking for just 2 meters, but there were no stocks available.)

When I plugged the player at home and connected it to the Samsung using the el-cheapo CD-R King HDMI cable, it worked perfectly fine. I played the Pixar Shorts for the kids and it looked pretty sharp. Although to be honest, I really cannot tell much the difference between upscaled 1080p vs. progressive scan on regular component video connectors.

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