Component "switcher" question (my first post)

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Chris PG, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. Chris PG

    Chris PG Auditioning

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    Hello all. I've known about this site for the longest time, but have never had to use it, until now. I'm glad to be aboard.

    For my first post here, I have question about a component switcher box that I saw.

    I have an Xbox, dvd player and a HDTV cable box that needs to be hooked up to my HDTV which only has two component inputs. I have seen two items that will resolve this problem, both do the exact same thing(or so I think), but one is much cheaper than the other.

    EDIT
    I just found out that I cannot post any URL's as of yet. I've had to take away my links to the websites I wanted people to see. Now you will have no clue to what I'm trying to ask of the board unless you search for it yourself.
    EDIT

    Here is the first one that was recommended to me. It's made by JVC and it's a component switcher. It was found at the etronics.com website, product # JX-S111.

    Here is the second one which is located at the Madcatz.com website. It's under the "universal accessories" and it's called a HDTV component switcher.

    The first one is a JVC model which retails anywhere from $75-$100, depending where you look. The second, manufactured by Madcatz, retails between $30-$40, again depending where you look. On paper, they look to be the exact same and function the same way. At least that's what I'm hoping.

    My question for the board is, do you think that the Madcatz product supports a true HD signal like the JVC does? I had e-mailed their tech support two days ago asking this very same question and have yet to hear a response from them.

    I'm leaning more towards a yes(it does support a HD signal) because it clearly states that it is a HDTV component switcher. I'm just a little hesitant about it until I have a definitive answer. I have asked on other boards and some say yes, while others say no.

    Thanks for your input and help guys.
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Welcome to the forum Chris.

    If there is a difference (aside from the quality of the components and of the manufacturing) it will be in the bandwidth that each unit passes. Some switch boxes are more restrictive than others.

    This is the place to make your comparison.


    Good luck.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Chris, I went out to the Mad Catz WEB site and could not find a ‘universal accessories’ section.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Chris, I found the Mad Catz boz in question, but I was unable to find any technical specifications at all.

    The JVC switch box claims to pass 30Mhz, which will be fine for your HD component connections. Ask the technical guys at MadCatz for the same kind of info. If they can’t supply the data (or you can’t find it listed somewhere you consider reliable), I’d give it a miss and go with the JVC.

    Of course, it is not my money.
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Don't waste your money. You can pick up any composite switcher and use it. As long as it is not powered by anything it will pass any and all freqs. given to it. I have used them successfully for a few years now.

    Glenn
     
  6. Chris PG

    Chris PG Auditioning

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    Thanks for your input.

    Glenn, do you mean if I use ANY type of switcher box, it'd still convert a HD signal?

    I did see another Madcatz product that is exactly like the one I'm trying to ask about here, but it only uses S-Video and RCA cables for the input and output. If I were to use this type of box, that is hooking up the component cables into the red/white/yellow, would the signal be HD? I know the signal only needs to have the electric current running through it to "work", but I don't see how the HD signal would work if it's not meant to be HD when it "hits" to pass through the switcher box and then onto the HDTV in that same HD signal. I'm starting to even confuse myself here!

    The only reason I'm trying to use the videogame type switchers is cost. They do the same thing(without going into the hundreds of dollars and top of the line stuff) as the A/V brand-name products, but are much less in price.

    If it is true that I could use ANY type of switcher(red/white/yellow) and NOT have to use a component switcher to get the same HD signal I want as long as the HD signal passing through it remains HD when it is finally hooked up to the HDTV, then I'd be willing to buy something better than a Madcatz switcher and go with a brand-name.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    This link to a Inexpensive HD Switching thread discusses the pros and cons of buying a generic switch vs one rated for HD video.

    Some gamers have gotten away with the L/R/Video switcher from Radio Shack for about $40. I assume the MadCatz is about the same. While they will appear to work, I would not use one of them if I was serious about video quality.
     
  8. Chris PG

    Chris PG Auditioning

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    Thanks alot Bob. That thread was a little much to read and take in. I did figure out what was being conveyed though.

    I guess I'll have to go with the JVC or another equivalent model type then.
     
  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    A switcher (like one in a receiver), converts the signals and sends them over, but with a box with just sockets and wires (inside), there is nothing to convert. Some of the smaller switchers don't even have any wires, just a circuit board. so the signal just passes through from the proper input to the output.

    Glenn
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    True, most switchers are passive devices. But all the components need to be selected and hooked up to:

    - preserve a 75 ohm impedence to avoid reflections
    - allow a 100 Mhz signal to pass through with no more than a 3 db reduction in amplitude.

    These two issues make the difference between a cobbled-together switch and one that has minimal effect on HD signals.

    The ~$150 switch box's also have two very important features that make them much better canidates for a HT system:

    1) They learn IR control signals to switch inputs
    2) They also accept optical and coaxial signals, and provide BOTH types on the output.

    With these features you can hook up the STB, Progressive Scan DVD player and XBox into the switcher, (audio and video) and feed the TV the video and the receiver the audio. One button on your remote can toggle between these. The TV and receiver now see only 1 input.

    With the cheaper switches, you can solve your video issues, but now you have to come up with some other solution for the audio. Another switch box, more cables, .. you can get close to the $150 price just cobbling things together.

    The JVC switch box works well, but for $40 more I'd go with one of the more feature-filled units. A lot of good thought went into these.
     
  11. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Bob, I just got done reading through all of those 4 pages. Very interesting.

    People do have different needs. For me, Radio Shack did it, and quite well. Since I have my equipment within arms reach, I don't need a remote for it, but there are other things too.

    I have 2 Pioneer 07's, which are hooked up to each other (holding 600 DVD's) For the audio, I have the coax sent from the out of unit 2 into the in of the 1st unit, and it goes to the receiver.

    However, they didn't do this for component, so I ran them into a switch box and then to the TV.

    The other thing was that I had 2 component inputs on my receiver, but 3 digital audio inputs. The 3rd was meant for CD, but I don't use it that way.

    I have done the A/B test on several disks and didn't notice any signal loss on my 65".

    On a side note, I can't imagine why anyone would design something that is not in a (rack mount) sized width. Something in any size other than that would end up somewhere else,(like on the floor) and with the bigger component cables I can see the cable twisting it so that it ends up with only 2 feet on the ground. [​IMG]

    These units put out no heat at all, and should be built sturdy enough so they would be able to support the weight of any receiver out on the market, and be placed under it, or under anything else. Just my thoughts.

    Glenn
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Yes, without a power supply, switch-box's are fairly light box's. All those component cables will pull it off the shelf if you dont have strain-relief.

    In those pages on HD switching, several people were suprised at how large the rack-mount switch box was, but they admit it does match the size of the rest of their units are in their rack.
     
  13. Chris PG

    Chris PG Auditioning

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    Well, I have finally gotten my response from MadCatz to whether or not their product does indeed carry a HD signal all the way through it.

    Here is their response:


    The selector was designed to carry the HD signal through from any device that supports the signal into the TV, which is why we designed the selector. Most other selectors will only supply a standard analog, but the HD is made to carry all signals through.



    So, it does indeed carry the signal right through to the tv as I suspected. It looks like I may have found a cheap solution for those that aren't able to spend about $150-$200 such as myself.
     

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