Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
Plazmunky
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Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by Plazmunky Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:06 am

I have this project I'm working on I wanted to ask the Racketboy community for some input on. I want to build what I call an Analog Center, a setup that consists of all things analog that you could connect to a CRT TV with a definite focus on retro game consoles. I don't have anything before an Atari 2600, but I'm mainly working from my NES all the way up to my PS2/Gamecube/Wii. I want to include a VCR as well. My idea is to build an entertainment center that's big enough to house all of my game consoles and have them all hooked up simultaneously to one freakin' huge CRT TV.

The TV I own is a Sony Trinitron KV-34XBR910. Here's a link to the info for those who are curious:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-XWxMEoLpFP ... BR910.html

It's a two-hundred pound TV, a hulking device. 34" and supports RF all the way to component and even a DVI port. o.O Even with all of the plugs this thing has, I still have to manage a lot of cables with my current setup. Lots of unplugging and re-routing wires, etc. I want to avoid this process entirely and just hook up every single device without fumbling with wires anymore. The entertainment center I want to build will be disassemble-able for future moving, built extremely sturdy as to support my TV 24/7 and house all of my game consoles. I'm saving the HD consoles for another TV. PS3/360, etc.

On this entertainment center I'm wanting to purchase a remote controlled switch box that can switch between all of my systems by the click of a remote. The switch box needs to have component, s-video and composite inputs with normal stereo RCA. TOSLINK and coax digital audio is a plus, but not necessary. The TV has a good integrated sound system that I'm pretty content with.

Can you guys recommend a great switch box that would fulfill my purpose? I'm aware that I'm asking for a lot of one single device, I would be able to manage more than one switch box if necessary. Unless you guys know of some crazy huge switch box that can support everything I need? Input would be fantastic. Thanks. :]
Plazmunky
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by Plazmunky Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:11 am

A list of all the devices and which inputs they use that I intend to have connected to the TV:

Component input:
PS2, Wii, Gamecube

S-video:
SNES, N64, PS1, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, Genesis (potentially after modding)

Composite:
NES, Sega Master system, VCR

If there's anything in the composite section that I could potentially hook up via s-video, go ahead and say so if you please.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by samsonlonghair Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:29 pm

You could buy a VCR with S-video connections. In fact, s-video was first available on VCRs.

I typed this up in a previous thread. Forgive me the arrogance of self-quoting.
I used to daisy chain two Magnavox video selectors together.
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That was an acceptable stop gap solution for a while, but it confused the hell out of my wife.

"How do I see the Nintendo again?"

"No problem! Just switch the TV to composite, then hit button one on the first a/v switch, then hit button three on the second a/v switch."

"What?...<sigh>...Just come do it for me."

So I upgraded to the Pelican System Selector Pro. This one has the most inputs of any consumer-grade a/v switch. The eight inputs allow me to connect my Genesis, PS1, NES, SNES, GCN, DVD player, VCR, and one more hidden in the front where I plug in my iPod.

Image

Now when my wife asks,

"How do I see the Nintendo again?"

"Just hit the button that says 'NES'"

"Oh, that was easy!"

That Pelican switch has connections for composite, component, s-video, and ethernet.

There's a similar device called a joytech 240c that has similar functions plus a remote control and a few other gimmicks.
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bmoc
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by bmoc Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:42 pm

That certainly is a lot of devices for one switch box! I don't know of any switcher that can handle that many inputs of such varied types.

So here is my suggestion:

1. Get a Dreamcast VGA Box. Then get a VGA to DVI cable and a 3.5mm plug to RCA adapter to hook that up to your TV's DVI input. Now you will have enough s-video inputs if you get a 4 port s-video switch.

2. 4 port s-video switch. They are pretty easy to find and there are lots of options. Unfortunately I do not have any recommendations since I do not own one. Anything over a 4 port seems hard to find and/or expensive.

3. Get a 4 port Component Switch. I recommend the one from Monoprice.

4. Hopefully your VCR will have enough composite inputs for NES and Master System otherwise you will need a composite switch box with this scenario.

Its not the most elegant solution but it gets everything connected to your TV without breaking the bank too badly.
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CRTGAMER
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by CRTGAMER Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:16 pm

Plazmunky wrote:Can you guys recommend a great switch box that would fulfill my purpose? I'm aware that I'm asking for a lot of one single device, I would be able to manage more than one switch box if necessary. Unless you guys know of some crazy huge switch box that can support everything I need? Input would be fantastic. Thanks. :]

Get multiple Switch Boxes
You are better off going with multiple non powered switchboxes for each of the different inputs of your TV. Your TV has the different inputs so it would have to selected anyways with the remote. With one massive switchbox you would have the headache of switching the box for every single console in addition to the remote for different style inputs, a double switch effort. At least with multiple switch boxes there will be less button presses.

For example
The SVideo Switchbox could be set to your most common run SVideo Console, Component Switchbox to common used Component Console and so forth. SVideo and Composite tend to be the same connection, usually there are multiple inputs on the Sony CRTs for these. You simply select the input with the TV remote each box having your favorite console already selected. If a secondary console is desired on a specific input say SVideo then only that console needs to be changed. You Component box with a favorite Component input console is unaffected.
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CRT vs LCD - Hardware Mods - HDAdvance - Custom Controllers - Game Storage - Wii Gamecube and other Guides:
CRTGAMER Guides in Board Guides Index: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1109425#p1109425

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Hatta
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by Hatta Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:20 pm

Plazmunky wrote:Can you guys recommend a great switch box that would fulfill my purpose? I'm aware that I'm asking for a lot of one single device, I would be able to manage more than one switch box if necessary. Unless you guys know of some crazy huge switch box that can support everything I need? Input would be fantastic. Thanks. :]


I've been thinking the exact same thing for a few years myself. Even spent some time working on schematics to build my own, but I think the design is out of my league. Someone has to know there's a market for something like this.
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Plazmunky
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by Plazmunky Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:23 pm

Thank you guys so much for your input. I think I've found out all I need to know with some good ideas I've been given. I appreciate it. :] I'm glad to know there's a website out there with kind and knowledgeable people who frequent the forums.
Johnny
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by Johnny Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm

I've had a lot of bad luck with switches in the $25-$50 range. Sony, JVC, Monoprice, all garbage. You should really consider investing in a professional switch from the start, they'll run you $100+ used generally. Most will have around a dozen inputs as well, which should be enough for most people, especially if you use your Wii for 8/16-bit stuff, PS2 for PS1 etc.
Plazmunky
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by Plazmunky Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:15 pm

Johnny wrote:I've had a lot of bad luck with switches in the $25-$50 range. Sony, JVC, Monoprice, all garbage. You should really consider investing in a professional switch from the start, they'll run you $100+ used generally. Most will have around a dozen inputs as well, which should be enough for most people, especially if you use your Wii for 8/16-bit stuff, PS2 for PS1 etc.


Yeah, I planned on probably getting the IR JoyTech 240c that the first response recommended. Lots of ports, remote controlled, and the RF is kind of a plus for me and fits the theme I'm trying to create. I'm willing to drop a high price for good quality.
Plazmunky
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Re: Recommend a good AV switch box with variety?

by Plazmunky Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:27 pm

As a matter of fact, I just picked up the Joytech 240c for $40 used off of Amazon. Pretty great price for me.
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