Splicing component cables?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Parris, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't afford an HD switcher, but I have a couple of component devices and only one component input...

    How (if there's ANY way) can I effectively combine multiple 480i/480p/720p/1080i sources via component video cable? Would a trio of standard RCA 2-female-to-1-male couplers from Parts Express do the trick? Wondering if that will supply sufficient bandwidth for 720p/1080i...

    The sources are Xbox (hence the need for HD), PS2, and my progressive scan DVD player in case anyone is wondering...
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    No. Do not use audio "Y" adaptors for video.

    Short answer: Radio Shack sells a little mechanical switch box for something like ... $40 that switches Left/Right/Video from 4 sources. Others on a budget have bought this and say it works fine for progressive video.


    Long Answer: As signals get higher in frequency, they become more and more sensitive to needing a uniform impedence along the cable. Audio frequencies dont need/care about this, but starting with CATV signals, a 75 ohm impedence starts to be important.

    CATV frequencies are a lot less than video.

    Composite Video goes up to about .. 1.2 Mhz (from memory, dont quote me on this one)
    Component Video goes up to 4 Mhz
    Progressive Video goes up to 13 Mhz
    HD Video (1080 i/p) goes up to 35 Mhz

    Those "Y" couplers I think you are looking at are not designed for video. They are likely audio couplers.

    The signals from one source will see 2 paths and like a echo going down 2 halls, you will get lots of reflections messing up your signal to the TV.

    (Yes, the reflection issue is why video cables need to be 75 ohms.)

    Get the Radio Shack switcher which physically disconnects all inputs except for one. And while it's not an ideal choice, it appears to work fine. (15-1976 - manual version $40, 15-1977 - remote-controlled version $60)
     
  3. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Alright-- I was afraid of that. Rather than spend $40 on a temporary solution (since a full-on HD switcher wouldnt be considerably more), I'll just simplify things by leaving my PS2 out of the picture... I don't use the thing often enough to justify shelling out the bucks at the moment.

    I guess if I *really* want to use the PS2 component I can do a manual swap of the cables (everything's going to be sprawled out on the floor underneath my screen, so it's easy enough to get to. Only problem is the cables-- male ends only from the PS2 dongle... can plug the component cables straight into the Xbox HD pack, but I'll need a gender change for PS2...

    So is it okay to use a decent in-line coupler for this purpose? Most PS2 titles are 480i anyway so I don't think it'll be too much fuss... but I might as well ask.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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