Jump to content

Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.


Need switch box advice

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Blake G

Blake G


  • 26 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2001

Posted November 23 2001 - 07:44 PM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Rob Varto

Rob Varto

    Supporting Actor

  • 714 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 05 2000

Posted November 24 2001 - 07:15 AM

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.
1. Steal Underpants
2. ???
3. Profit

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Andre F

Andre F


  • 1,492 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2000

Posted November 24 2001 - 08:19 AM

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

-= Impossibility is a concept created by those unwilling to try... =-

My Home Theater

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Scott L

Scott L


  • 4,466 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 29 2000

Posted November 24 2001 - 12:24 PM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Andre F

Andre F


  • 1,492 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2000

Posted November 25 2001 - 06:54 AM


Thanks...those boxes are expensive. Posted Image

-Andre F
-Andre F

-= Impossibility is a concept created by those unwilling to try... =-

My Home Theater

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Phil


    Stunt Coordinator

  • 90 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 15 2001

Posted November 25 2001 - 03:56 PM

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 Posted Image

Here's a link:


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 of 15 OFFLINE   jehelems



  • 8 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 07 2001

Posted November 25 2001 - 04:37 PM

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.c...onn.htm#AvCable & http://members.aol.c...ejr/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 of 15 OFFLINE   Blake G

Blake G


  • 26 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2001

Posted November 25 2001 - 04:49 PM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   jehelems



  • 8 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 07 2001

Posted November 25 2001 - 05:50 PM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 74 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 13 2000

Posted November 26 2001 - 05:23 AM

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. Posted Image

Video Game Tracker DVD Tracker DVD Profiler CD Tracker

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Dave F

Dave F


  • 2,891 posts
  • Join Date: May 15 1999

Posted November 26 2001 - 10:53 AM

Michael, May I ask what component switcher you are using, and how much it cost? Thanks, Dave
DVD List

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Banks

Michael Banks


  • 25 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 20 2001

Posted November 26 2001 - 04:12 PM

Here is my solution inline model 3506 rgbs switcher:


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.
My addiction

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   David J Wang

David J Wang

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 50 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 01 2001

Posted November 26 2001 - 04:29 PM

Check this thread out:

Component Video Switch Thread

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Mike_G



  • 1,446 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 01 2000
  • Real Name:Mike

Posted December 18 2001 - 07:16 AM

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.



#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Jon Diehl

Jon Diehl

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 72 posts
  • Join Date: May 19 2001

Posted December 18 2001 - 08:58 AM

I'm using a $14.99 switch and it works perfectly for switching between my Xbox and HD receiver. More details here:

Jon - XBL GT "XBoxJon"

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users