I need an HD switcher, I think...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mike Frezon, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    ...but maybe you guys have a better idea.

    My HT receiver (a Sony STR-DE445) has only one digital audio connection. So, as soon as I added a Scientific Atlanta HD Cable Box/DVR (HD 8350) to my set-up, the receiver became inadequate for my needs.

    I found (at Wal-Mart of all places!) an HD switchbox which has four inputs and accepts composite video and coaxial audio signals. I've been using it to successfully select between my DVD player and HD Cable/DVR box.

    But here's the twist. I just got a Harmony Remote (which I'm lovin') but which now emphasizes the need for me to stand-up and manually switch between those two sources.

    Does anyone know of such an HD switchbox that "senses" the source and switches itself? Or, maybe you guys have a better suggestion...keeping in mind I don't want to spend a ton on what is a minor inconvenience.

    The new remote also has me thinking I should be investigating light dimmers for my main living room light source.... [​IMG]

    But there's probably already a thread about those somewhere around here...
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    A little more information on my issue:

    While the SONY 445 says its got two digital audio inputs...one is coaxial the other is optical and I don't believe you can use them at the same time. They both are assigned to the same input.

    My DVD player has only coaxial out...the HD box has both coaxial and optical.

    The receiver also has a 5.1 channel input. I have never known what one would use that for. Would that be any solution to my issue?
     
  3. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Now, from my point of view, if the two digital inputs are assigned to the same channel, I would guess that it picks the one which is active, and it probably has a precendence rule. That is, if you have the DVD hooked up via coaxial and the HD tuner via optical, and shut off the one and turn on the other, the reciever will detect the one with the signal and decode from it. If both are on, it may prefer one or the other, or the one which was on first, or it may be at random.

    I use my receiver's 5.1 input for the output from a Yamaha DDP-1 Dolby Digital decoder, sold in the early days of AC-3 LaserDisc for people who had multichannel inputs for outboard sound surround sound processors, or were using more than one amp, since in those days there was no onboard DD decoding. Similar fixtures were made for dts decoding. You could use a DDP-1 to solve your problem, but it's like swatting a fly with a sledge hammer.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks, Chris. That's the $64 question. Since the manual is unclear, I suppose the thing to do would be to give it a try, eh? I wouldn't think it would hurt...just the expense of the optical cable.

    What further muddies the waters is that the manual combines the instructions for the 445 and the next model up--the 545. The 545 actually has the same config (a coax & optical connection to the same input) BUT it also has an optical connection going to a second input. So......when SONY says my model has TWO digital inputs, I wonder if they really mean it.
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Well...I found THIS at Radio Shack today.

    I think something like this is probably what I'll end up with.

    It responds to IR signals which would be perfect for my situation with the Harmony remote.

    $50 bucks is more than what I want to spend...but it beats buying a new receiver! Yeah...that's what I'll keep telling myself! That's the ticket! [​IMG]
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    For anyone who's interested, that selector I mentioned in the previous post has since dropped to just $29.99!

    I went in to one of my local stores tonight to drop $50 on it...but was pleasantly surprised to learn it had been dropped to $30! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    (With all apologies to ChristopherDAC,) I will continue and at-the-same-time conclude my monologue on my adventures with the 15-1927.

    I made this purchase to be able to use the infrared commands of a Harmony Remote to switch between my two digital devices (a DVD player and a Cable Box/DVR unit) which both feed an HT receiver which only hs one digital audio input.

    After some tweaking and much-needed help from a kind soul at remotecentral.com, I was able to set-up the remote and switcher to accomplish just that. Success and happiness.

    There was much rejoicing.
     

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