Let's Get Real

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Dick J, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Dick J

    Dick J Auditioning

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    Yesterday, after reading many threads here & on another Home Theater site I went out & bought a Phillips "High Definition Switcher" at Walmart for $19.95. I have 2 projectors....an Infocus 4805 & a 3M S10.....(it's a long story) that I wanted to hook up to my video gear (a HD cable box & a DVD player)& watch alternately. I used to manage a stereo store & have dealt with what we used to call "Tweaks" for many years. (Tweaks.......You know......the guys that claim they can hear the "skin effect" of certain speaker wire, etc)
    Anyway, I was worried that I would see (see is the operative word here)a degradation in the picture quality by adding a switch into the works so I was prepared to have to spend alot of $$$$ for a good quality component switch.(I have everything hooked up via Component Ins) I figured I would start out cheap, see how it looked, & then progress upwards ($$$$-wise) until I acheived the results I wanted.
    To may amazement....my cheap little switch seems to have done the job with no discernable loss of picture quality~!!
    Maybe my 58 year old eyes & ears aren't up to the task anymore but I'll be damned if I can see a diference.
    So let this be a lesson to all the normal people reading this & other Home Theater, Stereo & Video boards.......If you're gonna need an oscilliscope to see/hear a difference in any equipment you buy...You don't need it! If I cant see or hear it.......I don't want to pay for it!
     
  2. Chris Dias

    Chris Dias Stunt Coordinator

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    Can you tell me the model number of that switcher? Or provide a link please? I am also looking for a cheap way to do this.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Dick,
    If you were passing higher grade signals I could see you spending more. Looking at your PJ's, they are EDTV as it is. While I know they do accept HD signals, you won't be seeing them at the best anyway. Even though I would spend more, I wouldn't in your situation. I'm glad you got it sorted out.
     
  4. Dick J

    Dick J Auditioning

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    Chris...I thru away the box but the unit is made by Phillips & is named the "High Definition Switcher" & I bought it for $19.95 at Walmart a few days ago. (I just went on Walmart's website & couldn't find it. Maybe it's just available in stores??)
     
  5. Dick J

    Dick J Auditioning

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    By the way...the switcher is designed to connect up to 4 sources to one TV. (4 inputs to one output) I needed soemthing that would connect one source (cable box) to 2 projectors so I basicaly hooked it up backwards! (my cable box going into the one output & my 2 projectors going into 2 of the 4 the inputs.... I figured it would work this way as I assumed the electricity wouldn't care in what direction it was traveling) Works like a champ!
     
  6. Chris Dias

    Chris Dias Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Dick,

    I checked it out at Wal-mart last night. But I'm looking for something that can be switched with a remote without having to get up to press the button. I guess you can't expect that for so cheap.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Radio Shack as a 4:1 switcher that claims to be HD compatible and can use a remote. I have been trying to get bandwidth numbers from the shack, but they have not been able to provide them. The thing runs about $70.

    There is also a mechanical switched sold by MadCatz for people with multiple video game systems for about $35.
     
  8. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Stunt Coordinator

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    Interesting. Does it do a fade from one input to the other or just pop the new input up?
     
  9. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Folks have gotten good results from a simple mechanical ten dollar A/V switcher used for component video HDTV, but the results are officially unpredictable.

    Here is one thing you can try. Connect the Y output of the DVD player to the #1 video or Y input of the switcher. Connect the (common) video or Y output of the switcher to the #1 left or Pb input of the switcher. Connect the left or Pb output of the switcher to the #1 right or Pr input of the switcher. Connect the right or Pr output of the switcher to the Y input of the TV. Leave the Pb and Pr TV inputs and DVD outputs empty.

    Play the AVIA (Video Essentials does not go high enough) 200 TVL resolution pattern and also some other patterns including crosshatch, and observe the quality of upright lines. If you don't notice degradation, chances are the switcher will work OK for HDTV.

    Officially the entire video signal path needs 7 MHz bandwidth for interlaced video, 14 MHz for 480p progressive scan, 37 MHz for 1080i and 720p HDTV, and 75 MHz for 1080p HDTV. Degradation is not really noticeable for the 1080i and 1080p with 2/3 of the needed bandwidth.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/whyten.htm
     
  10. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    Is this the switcher by Philips that you were talking about?
     

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