Why route video cable through receiver?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Todd K, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    I've been observing some posts and checking connections on my own theater system.

    My television has multiple inputs. In other words, I do not now, nor do I plan to, do any kind of video switching. Is there a reason why I would want to route my video through the receiver? It has several video outputs, most notibly one called "video out" and another called "monitor out." Why would I want to use these? I would think it would just lead to signal degradation.
     
  2. Ashok

    Ashok Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're absolutely right. The only reasons to let the receiver do video switching would be because the TV does not have enough inputs, or simply for convenience's sake.
     
  3. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    2
    That convenience is awfully nice, though.
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    i have everything routed through my receiver. i like the convenience of having one component control all my audio/video switching. i have not noticed any signal degredation by doing this.

    i recommend you test the video signal both ways and see if you notice any degredation.

    an added benefit is that i can "mix" my audio and video signal to whatever source i want. (i hear some receivers cannot do this.) this is neat if you want to make an 8-hour party tape on vhs, but have some sort of video signal (like the cartoon network) as the video feed.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Todd: think of this scenerio:

    You sit down with your Wife/SO to watch a DVD. You fire up the TV, switch to the DVD input. Fire up the receiver, switch to the DVD input, Fire up the DVD player and insert the disk.

    After a while, the phone rings. You stop the DVD player and start to talk. Your SO decides to "channel surf" while waiting for you to finish.

    So she fires up the CATV box. Then she grabs the TV remote to switch to the CATV Video signal. Then she grabs the receiver remote to switch to the CATV Audio. Back to the CATV remote to surf.

    Most women would not put up with this ammount of "remote juggling". She would grump at you about how complex the system is to use and constantly remind you that the money should have been spent on new carpet/curtins instead of hard-to-use electronic "toys".

    Or how about you are gone and the SO tries to turn on the "Vegi Tales" tape for the child. She can get the Video (because of your direct-to-tv wireing) but she forgets to turn on the receiver for audio, or forgets she has to select VCR on the receiver remote as well. You come home to find that she has taken all your remotes and microwaved them into a single cohesive lasagna.

    Yes, I exagerate a bit. But the scenerios are true. And just think of her reaction when you start talking about adding a PVR, DSS, HD-STB, etc., each with a new remote.

    A combination of routing all video through the receiver and a programmable remote goes a long way towards ease-of-use.

    Since most modern DVD/DSS/VCR players have multiple-video outputs, I usually suggest running Composite from EVERY device through the receiver. This makes the system easy to use because the TV only looks at Composite from the receiver. But I also run SVideo straight from the DVD/DSS to the TV. Then I take the extra step of switching to the better video signal with the TV remote when I sit down to watch a DVD.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    I myself was wondering about video quality goign through a receiver. I will try with my new kenwood 509.
     
  7. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just read through the comments briefly, so I may have missed this, but I like to be able to see my Onkyo's on-screen display on the TV when I'm watching a DVD.
     
  8. Pat James

    Pat James Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    The remote-juggling problem is solved by a good remote control with macros for switching source/inputs, like the MX-500.

    For me, I route some video through my receiver because I don't have enough component inputs on my TV for my XBox, DVD player, and HDTV STB.

    Also an important consideration is the ability to record to video tape. We frequently have a show recorded on ReplayTV or UltimateTV that a friend wants to watch at home. I still have Band of Brothers tapes circulating through friends.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    I currently have 7 devices supplying signals to my display: 2 DVD players, 2 LD players, 1 SVHS VCR, 1 TiVo unit and a cable box. Few if any TVs would provide me with enough inputs, so switching through a receiver/processor is unavoidable.

    The key to avoiding signal degradation is to choose a receiver/processor with well-engineered video circuitry. That's one of the many reasons I use a Lexicon MC-1. I've also had very good experience with the video switching on Pioneer Elite receivers.

    M.
     
  10. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think my primary concern is the loss of quality.

    And I don't really have that many compenents to connect -- just a DVD player and VCR, and of course the receiver. I always had my VCR hooked up to the composite inputs of the Television, but now I obviously want the VCR to go through the receiver for at least some amplification. Of course now I need a video cable to get to the television somehow, and I was worried that I would lose quality by passing it through the receiver. The DVD player is really a no-brainer, since it has component outs and my receiver doesn't do component switching.

    And as for too many remotes, anyone who wants to watch the television is going to have to learn to use the multiple TV inputs anyways, since the DVD player (via component), cable (via RF), and VCR (via composite) would all come in seperately anyways.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    This an excellent point, and one that's often overlooked.
    M.
     
  12. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2000
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to use the 90ESG, which was a visiontouch product. The remote was like a mouse and settings were manipulated on screen. Also, my Disc Changer displays onscreen info. Plus, with the S-Link codes, I can arrange for the proper video source, no matter what the input [I have two connections from the reciever, one composite, one S-video. Best solution unitl Sony implements universal video switching].
     
  13. Michael Frazier

    Michael Frazier Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Could you guys detail how your components are cabled together. I have a similar set up to Michael R's, just not as many inputs - only 1 DVD, VCR, Tivo and cable box. I have a splitter from the wall before cable box, so one line direct to TV and one to cable box. Then from cable box to Tivo, Tivo to VCR, VCR to receiver. DVD is straight to receiver, both A & V. The receiver then only has one line to TV.

    Before getting the Tivo, I would sometime switch the TV input to get the direct feed from the wall, and let the receiver/5.1 speakers get the other feed through the cable box/VCR and also get sound from the TV speakers (53" Sony). Obviously tuned to the same TV channel on both. But with the time delay from the Tivo, this is impossible. It also looks like there is a definite video loss through the Tivo, even on highest quality.
     
  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    My connections are similar except:

    1. One of my DVD players goes directly to the component inputs on the TV (it's progressive scan).

    2. I don't run the TiVo through the VCR. That may be why you're seeing some signal degradation. My TiVo goes to a separate input on the receiver/processor, and I see little if any degradation (most recordings at medium quality).

    M.
     
  15. Alan Wild

    Alan Wild Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  16. Barry_R

    Barry_R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2001
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    One other advantage I can think of for video switching, other than ease of use by having the audio and video switch together, is being able to have multiple inputs for recording on the VCR. Instead of having one dedicated input to your VCR, which limits to only recording from that input, you could have multiple inputs routed through the video switcher and then select which one you want to record from. For example, cable; digital cable with PPV; Tivo; and a 2nd VCR could be connected and then switched accordingly. Some receivers even allow you to output one signal to the primary VCR for recording, and a second signal to the TV for viewing. Of course, it again depends on the receiver and whether it can handle video switching with little or no discernable signal loss.

    Barry.
     
  17. Michael Frazier

    Michael Frazier Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the replies on connection routing.

    Alan - your diagram is fantastic, and, along with Barry's comments, have got me really rethinking my connections with the goal of letting the receiver switch the inputs and talk to the TV.

    One thing I am not clear on, particularly if I am reading Alan's schematic correctly - How do you know what the Tivo is "seeing", since , unlike a VCR, there is no display on the box.

    It also looks like the only signal input is from the cable feed, before the STB. You would need to change the switch / receiver source to the Tivo line to get the Tivo display on the TV and do any programming. This would be OK if all you do is set up to record a TV program from basic cable at another time. But you can't record any digital, premium or HDTV signals, and you can't use the Tivo's instant record or "pause when the telephone rings" functions.
     
  18. Alan Wild

    Alan Wild Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  19. Larry_R

    Larry_R Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do run my VCR through the receiver. I can watch tapes but I can't see a signal from the receiver, so I can't record shows. I notice in the scematic that the cable signal is being split. Is that what I need to do to get it to the VCR?
     
  20. Jon-C

    Jon-C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone noticed loss of S-video quality using a separate a/v switch/selector box? My receiver does video switching, but I would like to avoid firing it up everytime I want to watch regular television programs(news, sitcoms, etc.). [​IMG]
     

Share This Page