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Inexpensive component switch


ChrisBardon
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With the Wii coming out in a couple of months, I'm facing a bit of a problem. My TV has two component inputs, but the 360 owns one, and the DVD player owns the other. My receiver can't switch component, so I'm left with running either the 360, Wii, or DVD over SVideo (not an option), replacing the DVD player, or finding a component switch. I don't really think buying a new receiver at this point is smart, so something standalone would be useful. Something with a remote would be nice to have, but I can deal with a manual switch. I have a Pelican switch for my older-gen consoles, and it's certainly not bad, but I'm not sure how well it would work for HD signals. One thought I had was to run the Wii and DVD player through this switch (since both are only going to spit out 480p), but I'm not sure how lossy that'll be.

 

Anyone have any suggestions for inexpensive dedicated component switchers? I've seen some writeups on a new 360 themed one that does digital audio as well, which would be a 'nice to have". I'm thinking that this is going to be a pretty temporary solution though, since I'll probably end up with an HDDVD player in the next 12 months, and by then it might be an HDMI shortage as opposed to component.

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If you want to go even cheaper, you could just pick up a regular old Component Video Switcher like this one. I used one for a while and it worked fine. Since it's purely a mechanical switch, I don't think you'll have to worry about issues like having enough bandwidth for an HD signal. The only down side is that you'd have to manually adjust the input every time you wanted to switch to a different source, which can be a bit of a pain in the rear.

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Yeah, I was thinking about trying out my composite video switch on a component signal to see if I could tell the difference between passing through there, and straight to the TV. I suppose the only issue is the quality of the connections in the switch-after all, the $40 and $100 switches are probably doing exactly the same thing.

 

I'll give it a shot when I move in November though, unless I feel like trying to get in behind the TV in the meantime (which is a bigger pain than pushing a button on a switch box).

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Yeah, I was thinking about trying out my composite video switch on a component signal to see if I could tell the difference between passing through there, and straight to the TV. I suppose the only issue is the quality of the connections in the switch-after all, the $40 and $100 switches are probably doing exactly the same thing.

 

I'll give it a shot when I move in November though, unless I feel like trying to get in behind the TV in the meantime (which is a bigger pain than pushing a button on a switch box).

 

Mechanical composite video switches work fine for component video, indeed. I ran one for a while for my Xbox/GC.

 

So far I've been happy with my Joytech (as reviewed on the front page). I have all the game systems routed through it, and it plugged into an input on my receiver. Since its remote has individual buttons for each input (unique signals for each input) it works awesome in combination with my Harmony remote.

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  • 1 month later...

I too can vouch for the Joytech. It's been solid for me.

 

I had the Intec one that is molded to fit underneath the 360. It has 4 inputs, which for me was not enough (strike 1). I found it to drop signals for a couple of seconds occasionally (strike 2). I also could not get it programmed into the Harmony no matter what I did. (strike 3). I returned it and paid the 60 dollar (CAD) difference to have the Joytech.

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The Pelican is a dream for me. Although I wish it had a remote control, chances are I need to get up for whatever I'm using anyway (insert DVD, put game in, etc.).

 

The great thing about it is the ethernet switch - all my consoles share one ethernet port (Airport Express).

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I recently tried Video-Storm's CSW62:

 

http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CSW62

 

It was highly recommended on AVS, and I really liked it besides the picture quality! It wasnt the switchers fault though. After testing it, Im pretty sure my current apartment has a ground loop in it. This switcher has amplification, and it made the picture noisy.

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I want to repeat my recommendation for the Joytech unit. I'm running a new setup with hi-def Dish Network and it is handling it very well. I've now got pretty much every one of my devices routing through the Joytech now. The discrete input codes make it integrate flawlessly in a universal remote setup like with the Harmony.

 

The real necessary thing IMO for the joytech over some of the other component switches is the integrated optical audio switching. A lot of stuff outputs optical audio and unless you have a newer uber-receiver it's pretty easy to run out of optical ports as well as component. Then you'd end up trying to use 2 switches (1 optical, 1 component) to handle it.

 

I will mention, though, that my understanding on the Joytech ethernet switch is that it is a mechanical ethernet switch inside, I.E, only 1 network connection at a time. This might be bad for WiiConnect24 (since it theoretically runs all the time).

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  • 2 weeks later...

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