HD Component video inputs - how many are "enough"?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Hap C, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. Hap C

    Hap C Agent

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    In trying to decide between a B&K AVR-505 (3 HD capable component vid inputs) and a Rotel separates combo, which includes the RSP-1066 (2 HD component vid inputs), it struck me that while I thought the B&K had a slight advantage, it would be easy to need more than 3 HD capable component video inputs so that the B&K did not have enough. I currently have 3 HD inputs (HD terrestrial receiver, HD cable, prog scan DVD), but if I add anything else, say an HD digital recorder, even the B&K will not have enough inputs. Then you're off to using outside switchers, like the Audio Authority 1154. I'd like to avoid that if possible, and do all switching through the receiver or pre-pro.

    Here are my questions:

    1. How many component video inputs are "enough" taking into account all sources one might reasonably expect to use over the next 3-5 years? My vote would be for 5, but I know nothing about games, etc., that might require component inputs.

    2. Why do all the manufacturers seem to think 2 or 3 is enough? Am I missing some obvious logic there, or are they just way behind in understanding current consumer use? The only component I have found with 4 is the flagship Marantz receiver, the SR-9200.

    3. Finally, why do manufacturers persist in putting 6 essentially useless composite vid inputs and 6 S-video inputs on most of the better components? Is anybody really using that stuff? It takes up half the back of a receiver, and who knows what amount of circuity in side. Maybe it's just cheap to add it, and they do it for that reason. I have a VCR plugged into 1 composite input/output, but other than that they are all completely empty. Is this something done for foreign markets?

    Cheers, and looking forward to your comments.

    Hap
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    1. How many HD components MIGHT you buy in the next 5 years? Your answer is different from mine? (Personally, I'd get rid of the HD CATV system in favor of the sat solution. Do you really need both?

    2. 2 inputs is more than enough for the average user. But Hap, you are a member of HTF. We are not 'average' in terms of our needs.

    3. There are millons of composite-video sources in peoples homes today. Do you want to be the project manager for a receiver that does not support these (and gets a lot of returns)?

    These manufacturers pay for statistics that look something like this:

    Homes with Composite Video sources: 98%
    Homes with SVideo sources: 60%
    Homes with Component Video sources: 18%

    (I'm making these numbers up so dont quote me.)

    So when you build a receiver that switches video, what combination of inputs are you going to support?

    I know you did not like the idea of an external HD switcher, but the $200 investment makes a lot more sense than a $2,000 upgrade to a flagship receiver.
     
  3. JimC_A

    JimC_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob must be an accountant. I couldn't agree with him more on the savings.
     
  4. Hap C

    Hap C Agent

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    Bob, you're right on the CATV v. satelite, but unfortunately our house is in a heavily wooded area in Virginia, about 20 miles southwest of DC, and the line of site to the satelites is blocked by trees on our lot. Even if we cut ours down, the neighbors' trees would still block, so we are stuck with CATV for HD HBO, etc. Everything else HD I do over the air with the terrestrial receiver.

    You're also right, as is Jim, on the relative cost to add an external HD switch. It's about $200 bucks to do something that will give you 4 inputs, from what I can see. If I were doing it for that reason alone, it would be a no brainer. But I recently upgraded my main tower speakers and would like more power, so as long as I'm doing that I'd like to make the best decision possible re the number of HD inputs.

    But I disagree with your market analysis. Who knows what the real stats are, but I think you were guessing re the mass market rather than the high-end market. My guess for the mass market would be similar to yours. But for the limited production components aimed at the high-end market, my guess is the stats would show - especially in the last 18 months - much heavier use of HD inputs than anything else. Those manufacturers should be upgrading their products faster, and they're not doing so, not reacting fast enough to this rapidly changing use pattern.

    Finally, re the real question, how many HD component inputs is enough, I'd be interested in your number and how you calculate it. Perhaps if enough people contribute their wish lists that will be something high-end component manufacturers will find useful.

    Cheers,

    Hap[​IMG]
     
  5. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    I could go up to 4 inputs in the very near future

    1) DVD player
    2) PS2
    3) XBox
    4) HD Cable/Satellite

    and one thing I would also love to see is TWO component outputs. my setup will consist of a projector and a television, and I hate the fact that I will have to hook up my TV using s-video if I want to use component for my projector.

    I will therefore have to buy a switchbox that does what I want it to do. BTW, if anybody has a suggestion regarding that, I'm all ears, don't know where to start looking...
     
  6. Dwight Amato

    Dwight Amato Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Hap C

    Hap C Agent

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    Sebastion, add a HD Tivo to your mix, and a HD terrestrial receiver and you would easily be at 6 inputs. 5 at a minimum if the Sat or Cable HD satisfied you. I have found that the over the aid HD signal is far superior to the HD signal I get over cable, and use cable HD only for channels I can't get over the air.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  9. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    thanks Bob, noticed the thread right after I responded to this one...

    Hap, I am not aware of any over the air HD transmission in my region of Canada, and there are no HD PVRs available from either satellite or cable providers here.

    Besides, it's still a bit early for me to go crazy over high def right now, especially seeing the poor state of it in Quebec. I'd rather watch movies.
     
  10. Hap C

    Hap C Agent

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    Sebastien, wasn't aware of the state of HD north of the border. Hope things get better soon.

    Bob, I hadn't thought of the impact of copy protection on component design and manufacturing, but what you say makes a lot of sense. Still, how much more expensive could it make the sligh mods necessary to current high end receivers and/or pre-pros to add another HD input or two, and drop a couple of the composite and S inputs?

    Re HD copy protection,let's just hope that Hollywood is not able to cram that down the consumer's throat. Remember Circuit City and DivX? I hope the most recent DVI-HDTV/HDCP efforts meet the same fate.
     
  11. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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