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Author Topic: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?  (Read 6823 times)

MrHaugen

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Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« on: March 13, 2007, 06:22:28 am »

I'm about to get a Wii og PS3 in addition to my HTPC. What's the best way of handeling several inputs to my Panasonic PTAE700 Projector? Even if my projector don't handle more than 1280 x 720, I want the switch or similar to support 1920 x 1080 in case I upgrade my projector. A device with remote would be preferred as I can use it with a universal remote.

You have any suggestions up to about 500$? Preferrably much less. I might also consider devices that only support 720P if the price is low.
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MrHaugen

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 08:32:04 am »

*bump*

Nobody uses switches or similar here?
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mhakman

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2007, 02:33:19 pm »

Modern AV-receivers contain combined video/audio switch. This is why they are called AV-receivers.
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MrHaugen

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2007, 02:55:55 pm »

Hello. There you are again  :)
I know they contain video/audio switch. But I belive that many of them lack support for 1080p signals (the cheaper ones)? I currently have a Yamaha DSP-A1, wich at that time cost about 3000 dollars here in Norway. Not exactly sure if I want to switch that one with a cheaper model that do support video/audio swithing.
I do not belive I get a AV-recievers supporting 1080p for 500$ or under. That's why I'm asking you guys for some advice. A separat svitch would probably be more cost effective. At least for me at this point.
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benn600

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2007, 08:10:50 pm »

My uncle just got the Yamaha RX-V1700 and it has two HDMI switcher inputs and some component.  He's using a nice Samsung 46" 1080p set and it looks fabulous.  I don't think it really downscales the high quality picture, lol.
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MrHaugen

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2007, 06:01:10 am »

My uncle just got the Yamaha RX-V1700 and it has two HDMI switcher inputs and some component.  He's using a nice Samsung 46" 1080p set and it looks fabulous.  I don't think it really downscales the high quality picture, lol.

No, it don't. Supports 1080p out of the box. But as I said, I'd rather not move away from my super, but old reciever yet. Think I have to look mot into 3 or 4 input affordable 1080P switches.
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mhakman

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2007, 06:18:15 am »

You didn’t say what kind of signal you want to switch, VGA, Component, RGB, or DVI/HDMI. Passive switches (electromechanical or non-interpreting electronic) should be better because they don’t have “opinions” on what signal they switch – you only need enough bandwidth and leads.
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MrHaugen

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2007, 06:55:41 am »

Yea. I forgot that. I'll eventually buy a Wii and a PS3. So I'll need a component for the Wii I guess, and HDMI for the PS3 and my HTPC. It's a plus if the switch is a cheap one, as I will probably go for a AV-reciever in a few years when I can afford a good one.

I have not thought about active or passive switches. I understand the difference but what exectly are the pro and con? It can't just be the price.
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mhakman

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2007, 05:22:15 am »

Assuming that your projector has one Component and one HDMI connector, you need to switch only among PS3 and HTPC HDMI signals/cables. You connect Wii to Component and you can use passive switch for HDMI.

If your projector has only one HDMI or only one Component connector but not both, then you need to switch 3 signals and convert (either Component to HDMI or HDMI to Component). If you need to convert, then you cannot use passive switch and it will cost you more money – you then need not only a switch but also a converter.  A switching and converting AV-receiver may be the most (cost) efficient and smooth solution. If you already have a good solution for sound and you obviously don’t need up/down scaling (as you indicated in the other thread here) then you only need to use the switch and convert functions in the new receiver which means cheaper receiver – you then don’t care much for its sound amplifier part. Count your video inputs and outputs and needed conversions and buy the cheapest AV-receiver from one of known vendors that gives you all what is needed.

Returning to general switch discussion, there are mechanical, electromechanical and electronic switches. The first 2 are passive and the last could be either passive or active.

A mechanical switch works as your light switch in the wall does. It doesn’t switch signals, it switches the leads. Therefore it can be used for any signals – you only need the appropriate number of switched leads in the switch and right connector types. If you are a DIY-type, it is quite simple to build one yourself using off-the-shelf components. The cons: no remote control, not possible to convert or scale signal. The pros: cheap, simple, switches any signal, reliable, DIY, doesn’t affect the signal in any way, bidirectional (important for HDMI and to some extent for VGA) and for all practical purposes it is electrically invisible.

An electromechanical switch works similar to a mechanical switch, but the switching is done with relays instead of with a manual rotary knob. This means that remote control is possible, but it will be more expensive than the mechanical equivalent. Good AV-receivers contain a lot of such relays – you can actually hear the clicking when you change inputs/outputs.

A passive electronic switch uses active electronic components (op-amps etc) to switch signals. When appropriate components are used (fast and broadband enough) then it can switch any signal too. However, video, both analog and digital, require a lot of bandwidth and very fast electronics (better resolution – more bandwidth and faster electronics) so such switches are usually rated only to a certain resolution. Such switches may be quite cheap if produced in sufficient quantities. Remote control is easy to implement but the switch does affect the signal. It also requires an external power supply. Most often these switches are unidirectional – no good for HDMI, VGA requires special treatment (strapping and software control). Bidirectional are more expensive.

Active electronic switches are actually more of a processor or controller than a simple switch. They “understand” inner workings of a signal and often reproduce that signal on the output. Therefore they are made for a specified (specific) signal or signal types. Remote control is possible and often done as well as automatic input sensing and switching. These switches can be built to convert and scale the signal. They can be quite expensive, especially in the pro market.

Currently I’m using Joytech AV-switch. It has 4 input groups and 1 output group and it is operated by IR remote (or by buttons on the switch). Each input group has RGB (full scart), S-video, Composite video, Stereo-RCA and Toslink (audio) connectors. The switch connects one input group to the output group without any conversions. I haven't tested it, but I suppose it would be possible to use scart to switch Component and/or VGA signals. The switch is unidirectional, passive, and electronic. I used this switch to switch both RGB and audio. I just got a new AV-receiver, so I’m using it to switch audio while RGB is still going through Joytech – the receiver cannot handle RGB, only Component, HDMI, Composite and S-video. The rest of the world doesn't get it that we in Europe use RGB not Component. Cheaper and better!

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JimH

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 08:26:24 am »

mhakman,
Thanks very much for this thorough description.  I'm adding it to the FAQ.

Jim
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MrHaugen

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 11:17:54 am »

Yea. That was thought.
I'll look for an affordable AV-reciever then. Can use that one for video switching and my Yamaha DSP A1 for audio.
Or I'll go for a electromechanical switch if it still proves expensive. Thanks again
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newsposter

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2007, 04:43:33 pm »

start by looking at the capabilities of an Onkyo NetTune TX-NR-1000.

http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=TX-NR1000&class=Nettune&p=i

You'll probably have a heart attack when researching prices.

But there are plenty of receivers with at part of the capabilities of the NR-1000.  This gives you an idea of what's available.

If you do get an NR-1000 (welcome to the club), I have a line on some interesting planar speakers that match up very well with the Onyko receivers.......
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mhakman

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Re: Best setup for multiple High Definition sources?
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2007, 06:43:15 pm »

Well then, why not to start with modular 128 channel audio/video studio mixer for £100 000 (remote control included) with matching 180 kg (per unit) Genelec 1036A active studio monitor loudspeakers in the same price range. Now, that is a club!

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