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Old 04-03-2004, 08:14 PM   #1
btwyx
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The component video switching thread.

I'm sure this is going to be a common situation, with the arrival (currently imminent) of the HD DTiVo I will have a shortage of component video switching capability in the system.

My receiver has 2 component inputs, that seemed plenty at the time I bought it I had only one component video source, the DVD. Since then I've got a D-VHS and now the HD DTiVo. My display does component, not digital input.

Looking around I've found these likely candidates:

Audio Authority 1154 <http://www.audioauthority.com/aacconsumers/1154c.html>
Zektor HDS4 <http://www.zektor.com/hds4/index.htm>
Zektor HDS4.2 <http://www.zektor.com/hds42/index.htm>
Inday RGB4X-R <http://www.inday.com/rgb4x/rgb4x.htm>
Cables To Go 4 To 2 Matrix selector <http://www.cablestogo.com/product.as...2013&sku=40020>
Key Digital Swicthers KD-SW2X1, KD-SW4x1, KD-MSW8x3<http://www.keydigital.com/items.asp?Cc=300>
AV ToolBox AVT-5842(MX) <http://www.avtoolbox.com/routingpage.shtml>
Pelican component seletor switch. <http://www.pelicanperformance.com/index2.html>
Mad Catz Selector <http://www.madcatz.com/MadCatz/produ...roduct_id=6132>
AVLinx AVS4.1 <http://www.avlinx.com/>
Video Storm CSM42 <http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CSM42>

And the JVC JXS line (no link to JVC, their web site is down, this link may not work) <http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...s=&ci=5727&ac=>

JVC JXS-111
JVC JXS-555
JVC JXS-777

All of these do more that just switch component video, which is what I want, they'll route audio as well. The JVC are full blown A/V switchers with S-Video and other inputs and outputs as well.

The AudioAuthority is completely automatic, it tries to devine which source you actually want to watch if more than one is present. There is a button on the front to override this, but there is no remote control. I think I really need a remote control, and I don't trust a peice of hardware to get this right.

The Zektor models look interesting, quite sleek (high WAF quitient). They are remotely controllable, they seem very flexible about what remote codes they respond to. You can have your remote learn their codes, or you can have the unit learn your remote's codes.

The JVC's vary from not remote controllable and quite inexpensive (JXS-111) to really over the top (JXS-777) the JSX-555 looks like a good compromise at a reasonable price (from B&H as above) but is really more than I'm looking for.

The "Pelican component selector switch" looks interesting, 8 inputs, inexpenise, but no IR control. Designed for gamers. Also does Ethernet (weird).

The mad Catz is also a gaming accessory, only 2 inputs, but only $30.

The Video Storm looks good, does switching and distribution to 2 displays, also learns any remote code. Wolfman1138 is raving about it, lists at $224.99

I'd like to hear comments from people living with these units, and hear about any options that I've missed.

Ideally I'd like something which is small inconspicuous, just switches component video, it doesn't have to have many inputs, and be not too expensive.

Edit: I just added the Inday to the list, thanks Doug. That looks about the sort of thing I'm looking for. Anyone using one of these?

Edit: 4/4 Add the cables to go 4 to 2 Matrix Selector. <http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...80#post1853280>

Edit 4/5 Add the link to key digital as mentioned by Barry Gordon. <http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...44#post1854744>. Prices I've found are 2x1 $129, 4x1 $299 and 8x3 $999.

Edit 4/9 Add AV Toolbox switcher as mentioned by tgibbs <http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...31#post1866131>

Edit 5/15 Add Pelican component selector switch as mentioned by gjp33usa <http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...38#post1958838>

Edit 5/30 Added URL for Pelican and Mad Catz.

Edit 6/27 add Video storm, as reviewed by Wolfman1138 <http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...09#post2056209>

Edit 8/23 Add link to AVLink, kngelv is looking for opinions. <http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...46#post2176546>

Edit 10/19 Add link to product page on Video Storm. CSM42 Reviewed by Wolfman1138 <http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...86#post2303986>
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Last edited by btwyx : 10-19-2004 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:21 PM   #2
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I love the Zektor switches. We have sold a very good volume of both models with very excellent customer feedback.

The 4.2 switch is remote control controlled and has push buttons, as well as 2 outputs. Both switches can be used in reverse hook up, e.g. 2 in, 4 out or 4 in 2 out.

Zektor is an extremely fine company to work with from a dealer and end user perspective.

In summary, the only thing better than the quality products they build is the company themselves.
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:44 PM   #3
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Well I love my Zektor. It's been absolutely flawless. I can't speak about their customer service because I've never had a problem with the unit.

I don't like the type to unit that does automatic switching. They rely on either only one unit being turned on at a time or, if more than one thing is active, whichever has the higher priority. That wouldn't work for me. Obviously, the Tivo is always on. So if I hooked up my Xbox with a higher priority, when I turned that one it would switch to the Xbox. Now, if I want to go back to Tivo for a short time, the only way to do it would be to get up and physically turn off the Xbox. As it is now I can just hit the remote, watch something on Tivo and go back to the Xbox when I feel like it without having to turn it off or on.

Think about how you plan to use it and what the future may have instore before you spend the money on one that does the auto-switching. On the surface it sounds like a better (easier) way of doing things. But it's a lot less flexible.
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:50 PM   #4
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Don't forget the LatencyZero - www.latencyzero.com - it switches 8 component video plus digital audio (coax and optical) with two outs. I use one in my system and it works fine.
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by ptrubey
Don't forget the LatencyZero - www.latencyzero.com - it switches 8 component video plus digital audio (coax and optical) with two outs. I use one in my system and it works fine.
Wow, for $899 it should also do your dishes for you. And I thougth $299 was high for the Zektor.
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:55 PM   #6
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Inday also has some component 4:1 switchers and audio 4:1 switchers, IR controlled. They have splitters too if you just need to distribute the signal.

http://www.inday.com/



$149 for the video switcher, $119 for the audio switcher.
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:07 PM   #7
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I have a Audio Authority on order but the Zektor is looking better all the time. I don't like the auto switching of the AA and have heard several complaints about it on here.
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:09 PM   #8
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One thing that made me go with AA is it appears to have no signal loss but now I'm wondering if that may be the case with the Zektor. It also appears to have no signal loss. Is that true?
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:09 PM   #9
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Another vote for the Zektor.. I set up one in my sisters house and it has worked great
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by markw
One thing that made me go with AA is it appears to have no signal loss but now I'm wondering if that may be the case with the Zektor. It also appears to have no signal loss. Is that true?
No loss, 100 mHz bandwidth.
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:43 PM   #11
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I like the look of the Inday (thanks Doug), nice and small and discrete. I just Edited that into the post at the top. Does anyone use one of these?

The Latency zero looks like overkill at $900 and has BNC connectors.

I'd noticed that Value Electronics has the Zektor, I was considering using my 10% discount for it. The HDS4.2 is interesting for its extra buffered component output, If I ever wanted to send component somewhere else that would be useful. But its a bit more expensive than the HDS4.
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:44 PM   #12
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I got the AA to save $$ and I liked the idea of the autoswitching. It works well with one large exception. The autoswitching works by a "most recent signal" priority. Apparently cable and satellite boxes send packets of info continuously even when not on. This makes for a messy situation. I don't have my D* receiver going through the switcher.

In addition to a couple component signals, I use it useful to convert from optical to coax and even send my vcr audio through it because my older receiver doesn't have many inputs.

If I had to do it over again, I'd probably go with the Zektor. It's a better build and gets rave reviews (as you've seen). I'll put up with my AA until I get a denon 3805 which has 3 component ins.
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:47 PM   #13
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I like the look of the Inday as well. I definitely want LR audio along with component though and it seems to rule that out. If I was just ordering without a doubt I'd go with Zektor but like I said I have a AA on the way to me now that should arrive Monday so I don't know if I should give that a try or maybe just return it and go with Zektor. It is a price jump but I think it would be worth it.
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:22 PM   #14
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I don't see myself needing one of these yet, but consider most A/V receivers... I have the almost-bottom-of-the-line Harman Kardon AVR-525. It's got piles of audio and video inputs, but only two video inputs that can have component connections. So by having a separate device able to switch the component video, I can still feed all the audio through the receiver directly. Then I just program my universal remote (MX-700 in my case) so that it controls not only the A/V receiver but also the component switcher and TV for each command meant to change what's displayed/heard.

Right now I don't need the extra inputs, since I sort of do this now using extra inputs available on the display itself. The remote is controlling both the A/V receiver and the display's input selector as necessary.

So I can understand why Inday would make a device that did not do anything but switch video. And they do have one that switches only audio. It'd make some sense if they had a third device that switched both, though, for people who need both; better I think to have one device being controlled if you can, rather than two.
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:30 PM   #15
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I just got the Denon 3805 receiver about 2 weeks ago. The 2 main reasons for choosing this receiver were 3 sets of component in/1 out and video upsizing for the rare occasion I have to upconvert composite or S-Video to a component output. If you need a new receiver I would recommend this. Picked it up for $1000 ($1199 MSRP) Also has all the latest features like PLIIx, auto, EQ, etc.
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Pieces
I just got the Denon 3805 receiver about 2 weeks ago. The 2 main reasons for choosing this receiver were 3 sets of component in/1 out and video upsizing for the rare occasion I have to upconvert composite or S-Video to a component output. If you need a new receiver I would recommend this. Picked it up for $1000 ($1199 MSRP) Also has all the latest features like PLIIx, auto, EQ, etc.
Yeah, my Denon 4802 has the same setup and support for 480/720/1080. The funny part is I bought it for this purpose last year, and sorta forgot that I could use it for HD... So I have only been using it for 480p on my DVD.
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Old 04-04-2004, 12:36 AM   #17
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I have a Yamaha 5280 and like so many receivers it only has the 2 component ins so that's why I'm out of inputs. I'd just need 3 and would be happy. I'd almost look into a new receiver now and the Denons actually have impressed me a lot but I also am hoping that receivers with HDMI are just around the corner (of course once again 3 inputs hopefully) and when that comes then I'll look into upgrading. I think some receivers already may offer this.
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Old 04-04-2004, 12:00 PM   #18
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HDMI may be "just around the corner" in the next year, but 3 inputs? You'll have to wait your turn. Look how long it took to get 3 component inputs. I can't see 3 HDMI inputs for at least a few years.
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Old 04-04-2004, 12:10 PM   #19
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I have seen some Denon receivers now and they seem to have a couple HDMI and they use 3 component but I know this will be expensive at first and as well it will take awhile for 3 HDMI's. I was going to get one with DVI but then I heard about HDMI and I think most are skipping DVI and going straight to HDMI. I'm interested in seeing how most work. What I mean is if I run a HDMI cable to a TV can I then buy a cable that goes from HDMI to an output of DVI and then a optical audo or LR audio cables. I hope that made sense. As well, I know the if you only have Component into a receiver for example you can only output Component from that DVD player or whatever unit and not S-Video but if I'm right that is changing and some will convert video. Once again expensive and it's amazing how many inputs some of these receivers have but you can never have too many.
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Old 04-04-2004, 12:41 PM   #20
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I have the AA, but if I was in the market for one now I would get the Zektor. I rarely have the auto switching conflicts that others have, but why worry about it when you don't have to. Besides, who knows if I will buy something in the future that does create more conflicts?
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Old 04-04-2004, 12:46 PM   #21
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I also have the AA. Not a fan of the unit. I DO have the auto switching problems! The build quality is not that great either. I've had this unit for about a year and a half. It does the trick, but sometimes will switch just for the sake of switching. This, of course, interrupts whatever you're watching at the time. I'll deal with it for now unit I can get my hands on a Harman Kardon AVR7300!
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Old 04-04-2004, 02:13 PM   #22
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I have an Inday, works flawlessly.
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Old 04-04-2004, 04:10 PM   #23
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I just got this from cables to go for $119
I love it.
4 in 2 out component & audio L/R with remote
Video Inputs: 4 Component Video Female
Video Outputs: 2 Component Video Female
Audio Inputs: 4 Dual Channel RCA Female
Audio Outputs: 2 Dual Channel RCA Female
Multiple configurations- any input can be routed to any output independently

4 to 2 COMPONENT VIDEO MATRIX SELECTOR

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Old 04-04-2004, 06:39 PM   #24
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I've had almost all of them. Seriously. I also had a Key Digital one that is no longer made. My favorite (by far) was the Zektor, for all the reasons already noted. I recently sold it only because I let my A/V receiver do component switching for two sources (DVD/Gamecube) and my current DirecTV HD box, soon to be replaced by the HD Tivo, runs directly to the TV. I had no need for another input since ditching Comcast. But Zektor is the way to go. The AA worked great, but lost big style points to the Zektor. Oh and as customer service, I dealt with Zektor's several times and they were fantastic. I got in on an Inday model when they were first offered a couple years ago and the model I purchased introduced ringing into the source material. Not sure if that's still the case. A lot of people swear by those also.
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Old 04-04-2004, 07:03 PM   #25
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I can vouch for the AA1154 - I haven't heard of, nor experienced, any of the complainets listed here. I do like the automatic switching, and I don't need a remote. Rates very high on the WAF, as she no longer needs to remember to set the amp to different signals.

For those having trouble with the unit switching - hae you tried moving your cables around? In otherwords, if you are contiuously watching something (like HDTiVo) then that input should be last .
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:10 AM   #26
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I have to add another vote against the AA-1154. I happily used one with an X-Box, DVD Player and DTC-100 for several months, but when I added my HTPC to the mix there was no longer any configuration that would auto-switch correctly. Bought the HDS4 and love it.

One thing you must consider is audio switching. The Inday was not an option for me because I also wanted digital audio switching. Both the Zector and AA switches have that (along with optical/coax conversion).
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Old 04-05-2004, 12:14 PM   #27
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I use the KDS (Key Digital Systems) 4x1 Component switcher (MSW4X1 Ithink). It is unique in that it is a 4 to 1 High bandwidth unit that has 6 high bandwidth channels for each input that are switched in sync which can be used for whatever you want, RGBVH+S/PDIF; Component +analog Audio +S/PDIF etc. It does no transcoding and has no Toslink inputs. It is small (1U), has an IR remote and a simple RS232 protocol for tight integration. Units can be cascaded
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Old 04-05-2004, 12:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by barrygordon
I use the KDS (Key Digital Systems) 4x1 Component switcher (MSW4X1 Ithink).
I just added a link to these to the head post.

I notice they do several version, the cheapest is 2 inputs only and does auto switching, with a manual override, no IR remote.

The 4x1 switcher does have IR remote.

The 8x3 is looks a bit over the top for most people and uses BNC connectors.
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Old 04-05-2004, 02:02 PM   #29
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I also have the AA 1154. Like CountXavier, my 1154 also automatically switches even when input sources haven't changed. I explained the situation to AA back in January 2003. They said they understood the problem and were working on a fix.

I just got an email stating that they will have the new parts that fix the problem towards the end of this month (April 2004). The problem is EMI - through air (not through the wiring) causing the switching circuit to activate. My 1154 changes when a refrigerator motor in the next room starts/stops, which supports AA's analysis.

Anyway, the bad news is that it has taken 15+ months to get a fix. The good news is that they are still going to make the fix under warranty. Of course this assumes that the parts actually come in.

My suggestion for anyone who is experiencing auto-switching problems with the 1154 is to wait until the end of April and then call AA for a resolution to the problem.
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:31 PM   #30
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I've had the INDAY video switcher for a couple of years. It was $200 when I got it and they didn't have a remote version. They upgraded mine to be remote capable for a small fee. It has worked very well. I use it with the AA audio swicher. The auto switing has worked great. I've used this for several years and never had any problems. When using, you just have to decide which component has priority. When I had my DST 3000 it put out a signal even when the receiver was off, so I had to make it the lowest priority(All the other devices connected to the AA has to be off to hear sound from the lowest priority component) When I got the SAmsung 360, it's optical out isn't active when the box is off, so I was able to move the AA priority up. Hopefully the HD-Tivo won't have an active optical out when it is in standby mode. Anyway it has worked very well for me. i also have a hiPix card connected to it and a Denon 2200.
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