First off, I am new to HD so in the past month I have learned about DVI, HDMI, etc. but the problem I have is with my two Samsung devices.
I have a Samsung 1080p LCD and a Samsung HD (upconvert) DVD player, if I set both the TV and DVD at 1080p it will not display at all or very garbled. I presently have the TV setting at 1080p and the DVD at 1080i and this will work (or below 1080i).
The question is, why can I not have both at 1080p, seems like that would be what is needed.
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Without answering you question, let me just say, that you will want to experiment with the DVD player set to different settings (480P/720P/1080i) and see which setting looks best. Your TV will automatically scale any video input to the screens native resolution, so you are testing which scaling hardware (player or TV) performs the function better. In most cases, the TV has better hardware and an upscaling DVD player is unnecessary.
Aside from that, it's not uncommon for TV's and other hardware to not function correctly / communicate at different resolutions.Google is your Friend
Could it be because I have a cheap $5 HDMI cable off of eBay? I read an article in Popular Mechanics that all HDMI cables are equal and to get the cheapest one, thus I didn't spend $60 at Wal-Mart. The cable I got is rated 10.2 Gbps and is the 1.3 version.
It could possibly be a cable issue, not necessarily because it's cheap, it could just be bad. However, since it is working at 1080i, I highly doubt it's a bad cable.
And like I stated earlier, upconversion likely isn't necessary anyway.
On a side note, you may want to check your TV specs, it may not accept a 1080P input. Many don't, espeicially older models.Google is your Friend
Your problem sounds like a bad cable. Note that the first generation of HDMI did not include 1080p (only 720p and 1080i) -- 1080p requires twice the bandwidth of 1080i. Many cables will run at 1080p but not all. You don't need a $60 cable but it may be that your $5 cable isn't good enough. I connect my HTPC to my Samsung LNT4665 with a 10 foot DVI->HDMI cable at 1080p60. The cable cost me about $10 from NewEgg.com.
It was the cable, even though it is rated at 1080p it's just cheap and junk.