What's new

HD Video Switching - Inexpensive Solution (1 Viewer)

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
I'm seeing lots of people consider a new receiver because suddenly they have 3 or more component video sources. And these sources are now progressive or HD quality so they need the higher 24-30 Mhz bandwidth. This means considering a flagship receiver.
But many people already have a good receiver, but without enough/any component inputs.
So I have been trying to find a HD capable video switcher that does not run $500 like the professional gear.
I finally found the Audio Authority 1154 video switcher for about $195.

This thing handles 4 HD Video sources and both Optical and coaxial digital audio as inputs. It has one HD video output and BOTH optical and coaxial outputs. (Yes, it converts). This means you can have a mix of coaxial and optical audio sources (DVD, XBox, HDTV decoder), but they all get converted to optical or coaxial.
They also have versions for Composite and SVideo switchers.
If anyone has other solutions, please post them here.
1/24/2003 - Update
Several people on a budget have bought some Radio Shack switchers for $40-$60 and say it works fine to feed XBox, PS-DVD players into HDTV's. While I STRONGLY suggest buying a true HD switcher rather than a whole new receiver, these box's are an option:
15-1976 - 4 input, 1 output manual switcher: $40
15-1977 - 4 input, 1 output remote switcher: $60
15-1987 - 6 input, 2 output w/optical remote: $150
(Note: if you are in this price range, you should be looking at the Audio Authority, Inday, Zektor units)
The Keohi Video Switch Comparison
Inday Switcher
Zektor Switcher
The CopperBox Retail Site
The IScan Pro page. This cool device takes Composite or SVideo or Component and up-converts all 3 to 480 progressive. This was THE unit to have before the built-in line doublers on HDTV's became as good as they are today.
The JVC JX-S111 Switcher
2/3/2003 update Here is a link to someone who got the Zektor Switcher. I thought I should include a link.
2/6/2003 Someone else posted a quote from the "Secrets of Home Theater" site about video switching that I thought was on-topic for this thread:
excerpted from the 'Secrets' review of the Anthem AVM-20:
"I, like most of my colleages at Secrets, am not fond of video switchers. Given the option, I will always run video directly from source to display. But with a multi-zone controller as powerful as the AVM-20, it only makes sense to have it. The video switch boasts a published bandwidth of 100Mhz (-3dB) which should be sweet for DVD's 480p. In pro-video circles, 3 to 5 times the bandwidth is regarded as being required for "safe passage", questioning the AVM-20's ability for 1080p material. However, to put it in perspective, not only was I unable to get good enough test equipment to check it but had I, I would have had no 1080p source to test it with! Given that HDTV set top boxes roll off their output anyway, I'm not going to lose sleep over such technicalities."
2/18/03
Someone was kind enough to post a link to a Component Video Distribution Amp : CE Labs AV400C but while it appears to work for Progressive/HD video, it does not appear to specify that it's HD rated.
6/14/03
Here is a link to AV Toolbox AVT-5842 which is a bright green 4-input, 2-output HD switcher. It does not appear to do digital-audio, but does switch L/R audio. Not bad for ~$90.

Someone posted about the Sima Video Converter that not only switches component video, but up-converts composite & SVideo to component. Nice, but in the $800 range.
 

Greg Kolinski

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 13, 2002
Messages
331
ssooooo ,let me get this straight.....with this I can convert the S-video that comes from my DSS sat box to componant for mt HDTV???PLEASE tell me it s so:D
Greg
OOPS, I reread you post,it wont do it will it??Mater of fact ,is it even possible to convert Svideo to componant??:frowning:
 

Mauricio_BR

Agent
Joined
Dec 4, 2002
Messages
43
Greg,

I´m afraid not.

What it will convert is the digital audio signals.

You cannot extract the VC video signla from S-vhs just because it´s not there (as its needed).

B R

Mauricio
 

Jay_E

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 14, 2000
Messages
212
There is a simliar model from inday for $168 that has been around for quite some time. The main difference is that it is remote controllable (rather than auto sense switching) and it does not switch audio. I don't think that the lack of audio switching is that big of a deal as long as your AV receiver has enough inputs. Most receivers have only 2 component inputs, but they usually have many more digital inputs (my Onkyo 898 has 7). It's nice to have reasonably priced options.
Jay
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Jay: Thank you for the link to Inday. I like the remote-control ability.
But when you think about how to hook things up, I think the Audio Authority box might work a little better.
Lets thrash this out:
AUDIO AUTHORITY:
You hook your XBox, DVD player, HDTV decoder to the AA box. You run the output directly to the TV and the digital-audio to the ... DVD input on your receiver.
To Use: fire up the source and switch the receiver to "DVD". The AA box takes care of both the audio and video as you flip between DVD/HDTV/Game
INDAY UNIT:
You run all the video through the Inday box, then to the TV, but run the digital audio from each device through your receiver.
To Use: Fire up the source then use the recevier remote to pick the audio source, then use the Inday remote to pick the video source.
A bit more work with the Inday unit unless you have a remote that can do macros for you.
with this I can convert the S-video that comes from my DSS sat box to componant for mt HDTV???PLEASE tell me it s so
Greg, check out the IScan Pro from Digital Image. It will do what you want (but not for $200 :)).
 

Jay_E

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 14, 2000
Messages
212
A bit more work with the Inday unit unless you have a remote that can do macros for you.
I can't imagine anyone with a reasonably good HT system not having a remote with macro capability. I'm sure some people don't have one, but for me (and especially for my family)a good remote with macro capability is a must have. Considering you can buy one for as cheap as $19 (radio shack or OFA) it's a no brainer.

I have a pronto 1000 and a RadioShack 15-1994 and most of the time I use the RS. With it I control an Onkyo 898, Mits. HDTV, RCA DTC100, Sony UTV, JVC 723 DVD, JVC S-VHS, and X10 lighting. I don't use my receiver for video switching of HDTV and progressive DVD so macros are a must. I only use it to switch s-video and composite. Most normal viewing activites are accomplished with one button macros. It certainly helps that all of my equipment has the necessary discrete remote codes.

Jay
 

Craig_Kg

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
768
Looking at the Inday site, the cheaper RGB4X model doesn't come with a remote but will learn the codes used by your system remote to switch sources so you just need to click your remote at the receiver and then at the switcher. If they are close together, then just the one remote click should switch both - no macroing needed.
This is VERY neat! :)
 

Aaron H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 28, 2001
Messages
592
Anyone here with actual experience with the Audio Authority? I have been looking at both of these for a while now. Yes, the Inday is nice with the IR codes. They even have the pronto codes on the website. With macro's, this would be a piece of cake.

But if the Audio Auth. works as promised, it has its place, too. I'm considering the Pioneer 43TX which has only 4 digital inputs. With a PS2, XBOX, DVD player and HDTV tuner, these run out very quickly. The digital audio switching of the AA looks very nice. Just gotta be sure that it switches properly.

Aaron
 

Joe Brasi

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 20, 2001
Messages
8
What's the bandwidth for these switching boxes. Obviously this is very important for HDTV, since it needs to be about 50 mhz+ to switch HDTV without worry. 24-30 Mhz is NOT enough to display 1080i without signal loss or degredation.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
What's the bandwidth for these switching boxes
CRAP! Nothing on the site says it's HD compatible, neither does the PDF Manual. Let me give them a call...

Ok, the Audio Authority people claim that there is a 3 db drop at 100 Mhz for the 1154 switcher.

My understanding is that as long as the drop is less than 15 db for TWICE your maximum frequency, the device (cable or switcher) has enough bandwidth.

(I grumbled at the guy for not posting on the web site or in the manual that the switcher is HD compatible.)
 

Luke_Y

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
424
it needs to be about 50 mhz+ to switch HDTV without worry. 24-30 Mhz is NOT enough to display 1080i without signal loss or degredation.
Do you really need 50+ MHz bandwidth to pass HD without degradation? I have heard a bit less.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
As the frequency gets higher, some rolloff will happen.

For a coaxial-cable, the rule-of-thumb is to look at the highest frequency you expect to send (35 Mhz), Double this value (70 Mhz). Then look at the ammount of roll-off the cable has at 70 Mhz. If it's less than 15 db - the cable is acceptable.

In truth: as long as the 35 Mhz signal is not degraded by more than 15 db - you COULD say it's HD compatible. But I'd prefer to know what the cable/device does at 70 or 100 Mhz and know that the cable/device has lots of headroom.
 

Luke_Y

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
424
Bob, thanks for the reply. I think I follow you. My confusion comes from a few areas. Reading several posts saying that you need 50-100 MHz to pass HD without degrading it some, reading several posts that state you need significantly less than that to pass without degrading, then also seeing all the new receivers advertising 100 MHz switching implying that that much bandwidth is required.

Crutchfield lists the component switching bandwidth of my 3802 as 27 MHz in their specs, but when you look at the spec pg on the Denon site for the 3802 they don't give the bandwidth but do state;

"• 2 sets component video inputs, compatible with wideband (480p, 720p, 1080i) response for progressive DVD, DTV •"

So what do you think ? Are the stats at Crutchfield wrong or is Denon a bit misleading in their description?
 

Aaron H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 28, 2001
Messages
592
I would tend to believe that Denon is being a little mis-leading. Sure, the component inputs are "compatable" with a HDTV source, but they don't say whether or not the signal is degraded at all. I would say that a component input with 5Mhz bandwith is "compatable" with a HDTV tuner. But I sure wouldn't want to do it.

For me, I'm going to stick to one of these switchers that have 100+ MHz bandwidth. I remember several posts where people said that they have 1080i going thru the 3802 and didn't notice any degregation. So maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Easy for me to say, I guess, since I'm still trying to decide what to buy and can use this info in my decision. Not so easy for someone who already has a receiver.

I do know the overwhelming thought is to by-pass all of the video around the receiver and go directly into the TV. And these switchers come in handy when you run out of inputs on the TV.

Aaron
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
To be honest, people have run HD video through older receivers and not noticed any signal problems. The roll-off of the higher frequencies takes either trained eyes or electronic equipment to measure.

So even if the Dennon units only have 27 Mhz bandwidth - I think it's quite safe to consider it HD compatible.
 

Luke_Y

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
424
Bob, thats sort of what I was thinking, and what I was figuring Denon was insinuating. What kind of things would a "trained eye" notice if the signal was being degraded by limited bandwidth? A general softening, artifacts, or what?

Thanks, I always find your posts quite informative.
 

Ian C

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 27, 2000
Messages
190
I have Audio Authority's S-video/optical auto-sensing switcher. It works, but it is picky with the cables, and my Gamecube will not work with it at all. Perhaps I need better cables for the Gamecube as well, but it's just not worth it. The box also sometimes doesn't automatically switch (get sound, but no video or vice versa), but if you play around with it then it will work.

Overall, I think I paid $130 for it...cheaper than a new receiver, but once I upgrade receivers I will be selling it along with my old receiver. However, it has overall done its job, although its a tempermental little beast.

Ian
 

Andy Anderson

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
317
Looking at the Inday site, the cheaper RGB4X model doesn't come with a remote but will learn the codes used by your system remote to switch sources so you just need to click your remote at the receiver and then at the switcher. If they are close together, then just the one remote click should switch both - no macroing needed.
Craig-
Yup, however, read closer--the cheaper Inday model is remote controllable, but does not have discrete codes for each video input--that is, it makes you cycle through each input until you have the right one. For example, if you have all 4 inputs hooked up, and you are currently watching input #2--if you want to switch back to input #1, you have to go "Input--input--input" Essentially, you need to send 3 commands to the box. With the slightly more expensive model, it contains discrete remote codes for each input so that you can easily access any input with just one remote command. This is a cool thing for folks with macro-enabled remotes. If you have the cheaper box, you can't really use the sdame macro unless you always start out on the same input channel.
Bob-
I had also considered the AA switcher--great bang for the buck, but then I started thinking of a couple things--if I used it to switch both video and audio, I'd lose my reciever's switching features (different audio settings for each input, etc.) Also, I use my DVD player as a CD player (I know, I know)--If I set my priority levels this way (from lowest to highest) HDTV receiver, DVD player, Xbox--then if I ever was playing a CD on the DVD player--I'd never be able to see my HDTV STB. Not a huge deal, but it could be an annoyance.
I'm probably going to go with the Inday RGB4X-R due to it's remote switchability. I'm the king of macros, and I think this will work best for me. Both switches are reviewed on this (very helpful) site:
http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/interfaces/switches.html
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
353,226
Messages
5,012,082
Members
143,426
Latest member
lamywaby
Recent bookmarks
0
Top