A "Comcast gentleman" told Shari26 to replace her HDMI cables with component ones. She asked the HDTV & Home Theater forum for advice.

You don't need HDMI to get a great-looking HD signal from a cable box or DVR. Both connections are perfectly capable of handling the 720p and 1080i signals that television stations now broadcast. So, for that matter, is coaxial cable.

If you're already using any of these three, there's no reason to bother switching to another one.

That isn't the case with a Blu-ray player. A Blu-ray player needs HDMI for its copy protection, and to display a full 1080p signal.

If you're not sure with what type of cable you should use to connect your cable box or DVR to your HDTV, consider these issues:

Available ports: What can you most easily spare, an HDMI or a component port? My guess is your television has more HDMI ports.

Ease of installation: One HDMI connector carries full video and audio signals. Component video requires three plugs for video alone. You'll need other plugs--possibly on other cables--to connect the audio.

What kind of cable do you have sitting around, unused: Why buy a new cable if you already own one that will do?

You'll find the original forum discussion near the bottom of this other forum discussion.

Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema. Email your tech questions to him at [email protected] , or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum . Follow Lincoln on Twitter .