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Need switch box advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Blake G, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Blake G

    Blake G Active Member

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    Hi there! I am more of a lurker than a poster, but enjoy reading all the info here... Usually all my problems are sorted out with other peoples postings.

    Here is my current problem (I haven't seen it addressed yet)

    I currently own the PS2, DC and XBox, with GC coming for christmas from my loving wife... however, she is tired of the controller cords being left laying across the room and we (she) has decided to move all the game systems to the back of the room.

    Cool for me, I don't have to buy controller extensions. However, I cannot find a switch box that supports toslink, stereo l/r, component and svideo -- I am thinking of cobbling 3 switch boxes together for a very Rube Goldberg-esque solution. I have even looked at the high-end Key Digital and Audio Authority ($300 and up) and they do not have the connections that I need! I would be willing to spend ~$300 on this mythical unicorn of a switch box.

    Am I insane? My wife (works in a University computer lab)is stunned and in disbelief that there is no single-box solution, especially now that all these advanced systems are out and popular.

    Thanks for reading this, I hope someone here can help,

    Blake Gentner
     
  2. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right Blake... there is little chance of finding this type of switch box. You can definitely get JUST digital, S or Component but not all at the same junction.
     
  3. Andre F

    Andre F Well-Known Member

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    I'd be interested in a component switch box. Anybody know where to get one?

    -Andre F
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Well-Known Member

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    For component switchers, using a regular old composite video switcher using the left and right audio RCA jacks for the other 2 video connections for Component loses signal quality. Component switchers should be capable of high-bandwidth (120 MHz) switching, which just means better shielding, fatter internal connections, etc...
    Here's a nice article from HT Mag that reviews some recent component switchers.
    Blake- did you ever think about using your tv as a switcher? my set happens to have the s-video input on input #1 and the component input on #4. So for all my s-video sources I could get a switcher just for that and route it to input #1, and the same goes for component sources to the other input.
     
  5. Andre F

    Andre F Well-Known Member

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    Scott,
    Thanks...those boxes are expensive. [​IMG]
    -Andre F
     
  6. Phil

    Phil Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,
    I was reading a thread not too long ago and I recall seeing a switch box offered by Radio Shack. Its a passive switch so no worries about signal loss of high def. signals. It is intended for composite signals but you can hook up component cables with no problems. The nice thing about this particular switch box is that is also had SVHS and toslink in/out. If memory serves me correct it was on their web site for $149.99 U.S.
    Phil [​IMG]
    Here's a link:
    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D1987
    By the way on another thread, a test of these types of composite switchers was done, and the general consensus was that they do pass high def. with no signal loss. The thread did mention to stay away from active switchers that use electric switches as they interfere with the signal. Use the passive style (push buttons). Also someone did say that they spoke to someone at the Shack and they said all their switchers were passive.
     
  7. jehelems

    jehelems Member

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    I just faced this dilemma with my brand new Onkyo 797 (only two component video inputs) and 3 progressive output sources--DVD player, Xbox, Gamecube. I did manage to find an affordable component switcher in the JVC-JXS111 ($100 at onecall.com), but decided to do some research on whether a generic a/v switch box could handle such "high-bandwidth" signal switching before spending the money.
    I was encouraged by info at http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/vidconn.htm#AvCable & http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/bandwid.htm which reports the following bandwidth requirements:
    --Audio: 20 KHz.
    --Ordinary composite or component video: 7 MHz.
    --Progressive scan component video or RGB 14 MHz
    --HDTV: 37 MHz.* (For today's TV sets you can get away with 22 MHz for 1080i but you really need all 37 MHz for 720p.)
    *The Pb and Pr (red and blue jacks) cables need half the bandwidth stated above. For RGB, all three signal cables need to have the full bandwidth.
    Note that Pb & Pr only require half the bandwidth (14/2 = 7), which equals the bandwidth required for ordinary composite video. Therefore, I picked up a cheap video game a/v switcher ($10 on clearance at WalMart) to compare with a bevy of more expensive connections.
    My initial setup was my Sony 700P prog-scan DVD player connected via $90 Monster Video3 to the Onkyo 797 connected to a Sony PFM42B1 with a quality VGA breakout cable from digitalconnections.com. I popped in Shrek, and observed the beautiful video quality. Then I connected the $10 a/v switch box to the receiver's 2nd set of component jacks via $30 Acoustic Research cables. I took a last good look at the beautiful picture, and then swapped the Monsters for the player's packed-in, unshielded, cheapo "component" cables which were connected to the switcher. Fully expecting a noticeable downgrade in picture quality, I was shocked that I couldn't notice a difference! I A/B'd this setup a couple more times to convince myself, and remained unshaken from the revelation that the cheapo switcher and cheapo cables were equal to the task.
    I then tried the Xbox with the $65 Monster Cable 400X connected directly to the receiver and with Microsoft's $20 "High Definition" AV pack and cheapo pack-in cables connected to the switch. Once again I saw no difference in video quality between the two connections.
    I'm not sure about HDTV, but I am convinced that a generic a/v switcher and affordable cables are fine for 480p. Good luck.
     
  8. Blake G

    Blake G Active Member

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    Thanks for all your replies, even though you are just validating my concern!!

    Is it odd that with 3 new high performance consoles out and HDTVs getting cheaper all the time -- but with limited imputs -- that some such switch box would be marketed? I am sure that it would be an expensive little bugger, but it sure would be elegant compared to the 3! boxes that I am going to have to use.

    I could hook them all up to my receiver (Denon 5800) if the systems used normal connectors. However, with those money-grubbing 'av-ports, it makes it difficult.

    I think that I might just use couplers in line and forgoe the switch box.

    Now on a related note, is it ok to run toslik ~20 feet using a coupler in the middle?

    Thanks so much for the advice,

    Blake
     
  9. jehelems

    jehelems Member

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    Oh I forgot about your digital audio connection issue. You can pick up a digital optical selector switch for $20 at Best Buy (the Recoton ADS1000). It is a manual 3 input, 1 output switch.

    Make sure you keep your receipt, since I tried two units, and neither would "see" my satellite receiver or my PS2. However it would pass the digital signal from my HTPC's SoundBlaster Live! audio card. I would hope that Recoton has resolved this issue by now, but make sure you keep the receipt. (Meanwhile I got fed up, and used it as an excuse to buy a new receiver with plenty of digital audio connections.)

    Speaking of Gamecube, another reason I went with a new receiver was the Dolby ProLogic2 programming in Rogue Squadron 2. It is sweet to hear those TIEs circling around you.

    Blake, one more thing to consider regarding your setup, is that the Xbox is the only game system that truly offers 5.1 digital audio gameplay. The DC and Gamecube don't even offer digital audio outputs, and the PS2's toslink jack only passes 5.1 during SOME games' cut-scenes and DVD playback. However the Xbox reportedly has superior DVD playback (though NOT progressive-scan). Therefore you would do fine to only connect the Xbox to that precious toslink input.

    That way you only need to worry about the video switching, and thus a simple a/v switcher.
     
  10. Michael Hudson

    Michael Hudson Well-Known Member

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    I have the same issue. Here is what I did. I have my PS2, Game Cube and X box into a switcher with componont in and out. I have a toshlink for the X Box and PS2 going to a toshlink splitter from Radio Shack. My DC is using my VGA in on the TV and the Game cube uses analog in for sound. [​IMG]
     
  11. Dave F

    Dave F Well-Known Member

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    Michael,

    May I ask what component switcher you are using, and how much it cost?

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  12. Michael Banks

    Michael Banks Active Member

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    Here is my solution inline model 3506 rgbs switcher:
    http://www.inlineinc.com/products/matrix/3506.htm
    Picked up 2 of them off of ebay. Just used bnc to rca adapters. I have the PS2, GNC, and XBOX hooked up to it. My reciever switches the audio between the three for me. My Dreamcast and Saturn use s-video and the reciever switches those also.
    Hurry and check ebay right now there are two up for auction. Just type in "inline switcher" in the search field. There is a 3510 and 3520 up for auction. They are older models but are basically the same as the newer models. They are high bandwidth and fully passive.
     
  13. David J Wang

    David J Wang Well-Known Member

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  14. Mike_G

    Mike_G Well-Known Member

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    Mike
    I just posted my thoughts on what I think to be the ULTIMATE switch box. It does S-Video, Toslink, Component, Component->S-Video conversion, Analog->Digital conversion, and can be switched with a remote.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=33023
    Mike
     
  15. Jon Diehl

    Jon Diehl Well-Known Member

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