Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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chuckster
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Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by chuckster Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:55 am

UPDATE:

I received a refund on the Sony SB-V40, and decided to step on up to the System Selector Pro by Pelican. I got the 2.0 model that looks like this:

Image

I didn't get the remote with it, so I don't think I can make custom input labels, and it is not an auto switch (I game about 3 feet away from the screen anyway), but it works like a charm. it even has preset input names that work for Gamecube, PS2, N64, Saturn (as SAT-1, but still!), and MD which I use for Genesis/Mega Drive (it also has PS1, PSX, PS3, Xbox, 360, and a bevy of other AV selections like CD and Cable).

I don't see any issue at all with the video quality on component or S-video, so I'm a happy camper. This has 5 component inputs and/or 6 S-video inputs available. At the moment I am using my old HD System selector as my S-video switch and I reserve the Pro for the component systems. This gives me all the inputs I need with room to grow.

I did see this pop up on the Retro RGB Roundup yesterday as well:

Image

It seems like a good option, though I do with this had a case. It's comparable to the price of a high-end consumer component switch, but it can also do SCART and RGB over component, so it is even more of a system consolidator.

I am also making this a thread dedicated to recommended switch recommendations, from composite on up. Let me know if this is something anyone would like to see and if you have any recommendations.

Original Post:

I am looking to replace my old Gamestop AV switchbox I found at a yard sale. It's served admirably for $5, but input 3 and 4 are starting to become finicky, so I'm on the hunt for a more complete solution. I am making the slow switch to a complete component and S-video setup, and this seems like the time to prepare for all of the future inputs.

I have:

Component
Wii
PS2
Genesis (at some point, currently... composite :/ )

S-video
SNES (will be component when I can get the scratch together for a cable)
N64
Saturn
Dreamcast

I've tried two cheap switches that ruined the image, (this and this) and I would like any recommendations for an option that didn't degrade the signal. I'd actually prefer two switches, one for S-video, one for component/composite, but one 8x1 or 8x2 switch would be good if it was affordable.

I've read through this thread: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=35984&start=0

And there were some good recommendations for component switches (Pelican System Selector Pro, Kramer, Joytech 240c), and while all of these look very solid and have great features, all seem very expensive or hard to find. I would really like to spend under $50 if possible.

Would there be any downside to just using an old AV receiver? I already use a Stereo receiver, so it could just swap out in the same spot.

If I don't see a better option within the next few days, I may just go with two more Gamestop switches like I have. At least that's a decent product I'm familiar with.
Last edited by chuckster on Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by Exhuminator Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:10 am

chuckster wrote:I'd actually prefer two switches, one for S-video

For s-video switching, find yourself a Sony SB-V40S. They are still fairly cheap to buy off the internet. That's the switch I use and I think it's perfect.
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bmoc
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Re: Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by bmoc Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:36 am

Component switches don't come much cheaper than Monoprice. https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=3027 Some reviewers say it is prone to picking up interference though.

If you wanted to take the quality up a notch, I'd give this one a try. https://www.amazon.com/Shinybow-Compone ... B0032LZ4UK
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chuckster
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Re: Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by chuckster Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:33 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
chuckster wrote:I'd actually prefer two switches, one for S-video

For s-video switching, find yourself a Sony SB-V40S. They are still fairly cheap to buy off the internet. That's the switch I use and I think it's perfect.


Awesome! Cheap and a firsthand recommendation, thanks!

bmoc wrote:Component switches don't come much cheaper than Monoprice. https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=3027 Some reviewers say it is prone to picking up interference though.

If you wanted to take the quality up a notch, I'd give this one a try. https://www.amazon.com/Shinybow-Compone ... B0032LZ4UK


That Shinybow is great I'm sure, but man, that price!

The Monoprice and its clones seem to be the most common option for new component switches under $50. Some reviews say they're fine, others complain about degradation. It may just be luck of the draw.

I hope there is some middle ground here that I'm just unaware of. Maybe a used Shinybow or other high-end piece.

Edit: I wonder, are active (powered) switches usually better for the signal? I assume powered switches would be less likely to degrade the signal if they dedicate any power to maintaining the quality of the output. It may just be used for the remote and automatic switching though.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by Ziggy587 Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:49 pm

I used this one for years...

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Switcher ... 52&sr=8-10

I got it specifically because it was the only one I could find (years ago) that had front component inputs, which I wanted for use with a PSP. Mine worked perfectly for the years that I used it, and I never had a problem with signal degradation. The auto switch was a nice feature as well.

But be aware, I think it's designed for SD signals only. I had a problem using 480p, and IIRC reviews suggest problems with 720p and 1080i. I had problems using my Wii with it, using component cables and setting the Wii to 480p. The signal would randomly freeze for a few seconds. Setting the Wii output to 480i made the problem go away. I never had any issues with 480i or 240p sources, and the PSP worked fine as well from the little I used it.

If you are already using a receiver, then I highly recommend just going that route. You should be able to score an old receiver with component and S-Video inputs fairly easily. Such a receiver would be 5.1 or something, but you can always use them as 2.1 or 2.0 if you can't or don't want to get additional speakers.
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chuckster
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Re: Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by chuckster Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:45 am

Ziggy587 wrote:I used this one for years...

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Switcher ... 52&sr=8-10

I got it specifically because it was the only one I could find (years ago) that had front component inputs, which I wanted for use with a PSP. Mine worked perfectly for the years that I used it, and I never had a problem with signal degradation. The auto switch was a nice feature as well.

But be aware, I think it's designed for SD signals only. I had a problem using 480p, and IIRC reviews suggest problems with 720p and 1080i.



That's a bummer, I was looking at that one as the most promising option on the cheap. The component switch isn't as critical right now though, so I am thinking I may just wait and get a nice one like the System Selector Pro, which would be a true all-in-one solution.

On a semi-related note, I have a lead on a multi-format monitor but I don't know if it's worth it. If I got it, I could consolidate my non-HDMI consoles (360 and Xbox) into my retro setup. The problem is it has no RGB or even AV/S-video input card to even test with. I'd need one of the JVC/Panasonic/Ikegami variety to even evaluate the picture, and I've not seen hide nor hair of any of those in a year of looking for another monitor I have.

So is it worth it to take a chance and scoop up the monitor (it's a deal but not cheap) on the hope it works and I can find a compatible card? Am I just not looking in the right place?
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bmoc
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Re: Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by bmoc Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:31 pm

chuckster wrote:On a semi-related note, I have a lead on a multi-format monitor but I don't know if it's worth it. If I got it, I could consolidate my non-HDMI consoles (360 and Xbox) into my retro setup. The problem is it has no RGB or even AV/S-video input card to even test with. I'd need one of the JVC/Panasonic/Ikegami variety to even evaluate the picture, and I've not seen hide nor hair of any of those in a year of looking for another monitor I have.

So is it worth it to take a chance and scoop up the monitor (it's a deal but not cheap) on the hope it works and I can find a compatible card? Am I just not looking in the right place?

I know I am late to the party here but I'd give it pass if you can't test it. I would only consider it if it were free or under $20 or so.

In regards to the Shinybow component switch, I picked one up because I've had my eye on it for a while and I'm in need on a component matrix switch now. It works great just as I expected. As a side bonus, is very similar in size and shape to my Shinybow SCART switch so they stack nicely. If you ever decide to get one, you might be able to get it a little cheaper here depending on the shipping option you choose.

And if you are interested in a switch that auto-switches, there is the gcompsw for around the same price. It is a hobbyist project so supply is limited (currently sold out).
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chuckster
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Re: Good Video Switch Reccomendations?

by chuckster Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:30 pm

In regards to the Shinybow component switch, I picked one up because I've had my eye on it for a while and I'm in need on a component matrix switch now. It works great just as I expected. As a side bonus, is very similar in size and shape to my Shinybow SCART switch so they stack nicely. If you ever decide to get one, you might be able to get it a little cheaper here depending on the shipping option you choose.

And if you are interested in a switch that auto-switches, there is the gcompsw for around the same price. It is a hobbyist project so supply is limited (currently sold out).


Thanks for the tip on the gcompsw, MLiG just did this video and it couldn't have been more timely. It didn't explore S-video or as many legacy component options as I would have liked (which is understandable given their focus on RGB), but it did help to solidify my choices.

I ordered the Sony SB-V40S but the seller sent the composite-only SB-V40 model. :? I'm pursuing a refund but really hope that one turns out to be a winner. I'm probably going to go with a System Selector Pro (It looks like Game Sack had one in the MLiG video but they didn't mention it) or the Shinybow 4x2 for component when I get the extra cables. I don't really care about automatic switching, I just want enough inputs, preferably 2 outputs, and as little quality loss as I can. I am going into CRTs exclusively so that helps.

I mulled over another HD System Selector like I have. It'd be a lot cheaper but would only offer 2 additional inputs when daisy-chained so it is a last resort.Until then, the switch I have has room for one more component input. I figure I can route the Genesis component cable to that when I get it, and keep the SNES on the (very good) S-video connection for the time being. I'll still be leaving quality on the table with Saturn and Dreamcast even when I get the extra component inputs, but it seems to be the cheapest and easiest option. RGB would make so much sense if it wasn't even more expensive.

As an aside, it is depressing to see the state of decent AV gear for retro consoles. The options seem to be:

1) Used pro gear ( possibly with expensive custom cables or switches)
2) Extremely expensive hobbyist solutions, or
3) Converters + custom cables and a dice roll on legacy gear that still doesn't work for all systems.

[EDIT: It looks like HD Retrovision is working on a Saturn, PS1, and Neo-Geo adapter for component cables! Component is looking better and better! Even a pro Shinybow switch and these Retrovision cables wouldn't come out at an insane price with top-flight PQ.]
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