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sv650touring
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Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:02 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL

Multiple consoles on a single input

by sv650touring Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:16 am

Hi everybody,

I think this is a situation lots of you can relate to. I have a bunch of devices (Sat, DC, PSX, PS2, XBox, a DVD (W/USB, Region free, and Divx/Xvid) , and a VCR) that I want to connect to my TV which has a whopping ONE input, composite RCA. I want to have all 7 devices available without unplugging anything.

Currently I have a Wal-Mart manual 4-device switcher (RCA VH910 I believe), which has a headphone jack that I use to connect a set of 2.1 PC speakers to. It works well, because I don't have the PS2 or XBox connected, and I just run the PSX through the VCR. At this point all the serious AV guys are starting to get sick. But hey, the picture quality is just fine for me. Rest assured, my next TV will have a few s-video and component connectors - and flat sides for my vertical shmups.

So, when my 2 almost-current systems get back from the dude modding them, I'm gonna want to integrated them into the family. Based on my research, 4-device switchers are common, 5-device switchers are a little less so, and 6-device switchers are a lot less so. More than 6 devices, and I think you are getting into big bucks.

There are a few things to consider here. A modded XBox could replace most of the functions of my DVD player, and a PS2 can replace most of the functions of a PSX. Also, I can't remember the last time I played a VHS tape - except for a couple of computer history documentaries I have watched so much I practically have them memorized. I really should go ahead and video capture those. I think my best bet is just to keep running the PSX through the VCR, and give everything else it's own input. This method has the added benefit of being simpler for the gf - same as it was just with 2 more devices and 2 more inputs. This would require a 6-device switcher and the options I have found are as follows:

1.) RCA makes a 6-device switcher (VH920) which can be switched using the remotes for the devices (eg you press power on the VCR remote, the switcher senses this and switches to VCR input), and it got some decent reviews. The big complaint seems to be that the remote switching feature doesn't work so well. Also, at about $57 shipped, it is pretty pricey and has no headphone jack that I can see. Also it has one of its inputs in front, but I want all inputs in the back.

Click Here

2.) Naki makes a nice cheap unit called the Naki 6 System Auto Selector. it is under $25 shipped from a few places, and some peole say it performs very well. But, it appears not to have a headphone jack, one of the inputs is in front, and it attempts to switch automatically based on signals from the video inputs. According to things I've read, flashes on the screen may cause it to act up, and it may not reliably switch between devices. Also, one reviewer said that 2 of the 6 ports are s-video only, which won't work for me because my TV has no S-video input. I'm not really considering it, but I thought I would include it in my list. This seems to be the most widely availbale option, and you would have no trouble finding this thing all over the internet.

3.) The next option is branded PolyTron, which means nothing to me, but it seems they are perhaps Malaysian and make things like Macrovision removal boxes, etc.

Click Here

Notice that the device pictured doesn't match the device on the box. This ebay listing is about as descriptive as anything else I have found. The is some place called http://www.mobyent.com that has them cheaper, but they seem kinda shady and have a $50 minimum order. The nice things about this are the headphone jack, and simple dedicated remote. My problem is that I have no idea the quality of the unit. My cheapo RCA works fine, so this probably would too. $40 shipped doesn't seem like a bad deal if it works as advertised.

4.) My final option (that I have found) is also on eBay, and doesn't have any brand listed.

Click Here

This one is nice because it has a picture of the actual item instead of a stock photo. The post gives some specs, which means very little to me, but at least it is SOME information on what you would be getting. Also, it has the headphone jack, the remote, and 2 outputs. So far this is my top pick. $41.50 shipped, and it seems to have the design that best fits my needs. It is a no-name, but then all these switchers are probably made by the same bunch of underpaid southeast Asians. However, the whole point of this post is to figure out if I am making a mistake by not considering all my options.

So now you guys know what I want and what I have considered. Please let me know how you deal with your multi-system setups. Space is an issue in my tiny apartment, so consider that. And cost is a concern as well, but I'd still like to hear all options. I have no doubt that some of you guys have come up with brillian solutions to this problem - so lemme hear 'em!

Embedded links to fix page formatting. ~ Mozgus
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Ramatut4001
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Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Halethorpe, Maryland, USA

by Ramatut4001 Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:43 pm

I have a freshly modded Xbox, Saturn, DC, PSOne, Gamecube and N64 all hooked up to the TV in our office right now. I'm using two Radio Shack brand auto-sensing switchers chained together so the last input on the first one is the output of the other one. I've never had a problem with them not recognizing anything or switching at the wrong time.

As far as a headphone jack, you can get an adapter to use the rca outs.

Definitely vapture the VHS tapes. You'll enjoy watching them on your Xbox, off the HD or over the network. I love XBMC!
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neohx_7
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:59 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Multiple consoles on a single input

by neohx_7 Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:41 pm

sv650touring wrote:Hi everybody,

I think this is a situation lots of you can relate to. I have a bunch of devices (Sat, DC, PSX, PS2, XBox, a DVD (W/USB, Region free, and Divx/Xvid) , and a VCR) that I want to connect to my TV which has a whopping ONE input, composite RCA. I want to have all 7 devices available without unplugging anything.

Currently I have a Wal-Mart manual 4-device switcher (RCA VH910 I believe), which has a headphone jack that I use to connect a set of 2.1 PC speakers to. It works well, because I don't have the PS2 or XBox connected, and I just run the PSX through the VCR. At this point all the serious AV guys are starting to get sick. But hey, the picture quality is just fine for me. Rest assured, my next TV will have a few s-video and component connectors - and flat sides for my vertical shmups.

So, when my 2 almost-current systems get back from the dude modding them, I'm gonna want to integrated them into the family. Based on my research, 4-device switchers are common, 5-device switchers are a little less so, and 6-device switchers are a lot less so. More than 6 devices, and I think you are getting into big bucks.

There are a few things to consider here. A modded XBox could replace most of the functions of my DVD player, and a PS2 can replace most of the functions of a PSX. Also, I can't remember the last time I played a VHS tape - except for a couple of computer history documentaries I have watched so much I practically have them memorized. I really should go ahead and video capture those. I think my best bet is just to keep running the PSX through the VCR, and give everything else it's own input. This method has the added benefit of being simpler for the gf - same as it was just with 2 more devices and 2 more inputs. This would require a 6-device switcher and the options I have found are as follows:

1.) RCA makes a 6-device switcher (VH920) which can be switched using the remotes for the devices (eg you press power on the VCR remote, the switcher senses this and switches to VCR input), and it got some decent reviews. The big complaint seems to be that the remote switching feature doesn't work so well. Also, at about $57 shipped, it is pretty pricey and has no headphone jack that I can see. Also it has one of its inputs in front, but I want all inputs in the back.

Click Here

2.) Naki makes a nice cheap unit called the Naki 6 System Auto Selector. it is under $25 shipped from a few places, and some peole say it performs very well. But, it appears not to have a headphone jack, one of the inputs is in front, and it attempts to switch automatically based on signals from the video inputs. According to things I've read, flashes on the screen may cause it to act up, and it may not reliably switch between devices. Also, one reviewer said that 2 of the 6 ports are s-video only, which won't work for me because my TV has no S-video input. I'm not really considering it, but I thought I would include it in my list. This seems to be the most widely availbale option, and you would have no trouble finding this thing all over the internet.

3.) The next option is branded PolyTron, which means nothing to me, but it seems they are perhaps Malaysian and make things like Macrovision removal boxes, etc.

Click Here

Notice that the device pictured doesn't match the device on the box. This ebay listing is about as descriptive as anything else I have found. The is some place called http://www.mobyent.com that has them cheaper, but they seem kinda shady and have a $50 minimum order. The nice things about this are the headphone jack, and simple dedicated remote. My problem is that I have no idea the quality of the unit. My cheapo RCA works fine, so this probably would too. $40 shipped doesn't seem like a bad deal if it works as advertised.

4.) My final option (that I have found) is also on eBay, and doesn't have any brand listed.

Click Here

This one is nice because it has a picture of the actual item instead of a stock photo. The post gives some specs, which means very little to me, but at least it is SOME information on what you would be getting. Also, it has the headphone jack, the remote, and 2 outputs. So far this is my top pick. $41.50 shipped, and it seems to have the design that best fits my needs. It is a no-name, but then all these switchers are probably made by the same bunch of underpaid southeast Asians. However, the whole point of this post is to figure out if I am making a mistake by not considering all my options.

So now you guys know what I want and what I have considered. Please let me know how you deal with your multi-system setups. Space is an issue in my tiny apartment, so consider that. And cost is a concern as well, but I'd still like to hear all options. I have no doubt that some of you guys have come up with brillian solutions to this problem - so lemme hear 'em!

Embedded links to fix page formatting. ~ Mozgus


The best possible solution is a nice A/V receiver which can handle upconverting and such. That way you can use composite, RF, s-video, component, hdmi, different analog/digital audio, etc. You can get a nice Yamaha 6.1 a/v receiver that does 3x component and upconverts composite to s-video for cheap. I can have 5 consoles plugged in when I mix s-video, composite, and component together. I find that any of the cheap a/v switching boxes degrade the audio or video on one or all inputs. You'll be spending <200 bucks on ebay for a last years model a/v receiver.
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lordofduct
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Posts: 2907
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:57 pm
Location: West Palm Beach

by lordofduct Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:19 pm

I must agree with neohx... but even then it doesn't help out completely.

For instance I own over a dozen consoles. I have a Pioneer Elite which does the upconvert and all that fun stuff but for only 8 inputs (and cost a pretty penny a lot of people don't have... shit I didn't have it either). You can't really string two Receivers together and it doesn't seem really cost effective either.

So what I do is go by importance. Of course my DVD player gets direct access to the closest entry point into the video signal going to my TV. Same with my Media Center PC and most played consoles (DC and Saturn). Next I level it out... what kinds of cables do I have, where does it matter. That sort. I only have cables to put out RCA at best with my Sega Master System, SNES and NES. These consoles also aren't played very often and have very poor quality when it comes to video in comparison. So these get placed on a simple dongle and passed to the Receiver.

As for my Genny/SCD/32X I give direct access for merely for audio alone. I don't care what anyone else says... but Q sound is awesome and the Sega CD put out some beautiful audio (Ecco Tides of time and Sonic CD bring fond memories).

And so on. So I end up with a switch box for a few consoles I don't care much for the greatest video on and give direct access to the receiver for all the important ones.
www.lordofduct.com - check out my blog

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