Yesterday I just purchased an HDTV and was wondering what I should buy to go along with it. I hear you need HDMI cables if you use and HD console. I also have a digital cable box and was wondering if there was something I should know about connecting the two.
If by HD consoles you mean Xbox 360/PS3, then yes, you'll need one for each. Blu-ray players use HDMI as well. Your TV will probably have at least 3 HDMI input ports. I'm less familiar with how digital cable boxes work, but I suspect that if you're getting any kind of HD cable then you'll need another HDMI cable for that as well. Pretty much any modern a/v input will connect to your TV with an HDMI cable, even computers (though you might need an adapter).
Why not look on the back of your cable box and find out?
I thought component was limited to 1080i? At least, it always seems to be when I use it.
HDMI is indeed the ideal choice. It's digital and carries both video and audio through a single cable. Component works, but it carries an analog, video only signal.
Any reasonably modern device that you would connect to a TV will work best with an HDMI cable.
Otherwise, use HDMI for everything.
Let's play Mario Kart or something...
Component can deliver 1080p. Devices that adhere to AACS will not permit more than 1080i or 720p over component, at least for drm content.
No, it's not. Component carries 1080p from a device that's capable of doing it.
A component cable set also comes with audio cables, of course, but those are just your usual RCA stuff, so it probably doesn't match HDMI audio. But from every device I've had the chance to try, the difference between HDMI and Component at 1080p is pretty infinitesimal.
EDIT: Yup, Djeet summed it up better. HDMI is preferable, but if you're like me, you've got the same number of component inputs as HDMI, and I'm not about to waste any of them.
My HD Cable box uses HDMI or component, but will only output 1080i across component. My TV has exactly three HDMI inputs, which works out for me. One for the cable, one for the PS3 and one for the 360.
I've got an Xbox 360, a PS3, and my PC attached via HDMI, and my cable box via component. My cable box has an HDMI output, but can't do 1080p period (only 720p or 1080i), so component is more than adequate. When I had my old Xbox hooked up, I used component for obvious reasons--the old Xbox could "only" go up to 1080i (in rare games--still way ahead of the Gamecube and PS2 though).
The funny part? To output my PC, I use DVI to HDMI. It carries audio, and for my GPU, it's a bit faster than HDMI to HDMI.....over 35 feet.
You can get HDMI and component cables for every device you'll ever own for less than 25-30 bucks at monoprice