Hooking up 2 or more dvd recorders - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Can switchers be used in both directions? In other words, when the specs say 3 or 4 inputs and one ouput, will it work the other way...as one output switching to 3 or 4 inputs. I ask because I am getting an Onkyo TX-NR708 and it has one HDMI output and one component output. I have 3 separate recorders..2 dvd and one vcr. My thought is to send the one output to the swiitcher and then choose to which recorder I want to use.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 05:35 PM
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Yes that would work fine, that or a video distribution amp and you could record with all devices at the same time. I don't know anything about this amp but it's very inexpensive.
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-BV-AM5-V...167077&sr=1-20
AFAIK HDMI switchers are the only type that cannot be used backwards, that is you cannot use a 4x1 switcher to feed 4 displays from one device, something about handshake issues I believe.
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post #3 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 09:55 AM
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That is very inexpensive. A more complete, but more costly, solution would be this, if you want to avoid the "Y" cables for audio. Radio Shack used to have a very similar item for much less, but I can't find it on their site anymore.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #4 of 27 Old 12-04-2010, 05:12 PM
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B&H PhotoVideo has several switchers, three made by RF-Link. I just bought the 41i. It has four sets of inputs, each set has R/L audio, S-Video, and composite video. It also has a remote control. It cost $43. W/O the remote, it is $24. I haven't hooked it up yet.
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post #5 of 27 Old 12-06-2010, 10:25 AM
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What I linked to wasn't a switcher, but a distribution amplifier. What jjeff's link goes to is a distribution amplifier also. All outputs are active in an amplifier, where only one is active from a switcher. The OP was talking about a switcher, so your post was probably more on topic.

Luke

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post #6 of 27 Old 12-14-2010, 10:05 AM
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OK.... here comes one of my questions...

Could someone please explain to me in simple (Rose) language, what the heck you guys are talking about?

What are switchers, a video distribution amp and Y cables? I keep getting confused when I see "Y" on my connections.

How does this all come into play when connecting 2 dvds and one vcr?


Thanks!

Rose
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post #7 of 27 Old 12-14-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose View Post

OK.... here comes one of my questions...

Could someone please explain to me in simple (Rose) language, what the heck you guys are talking about?

What are ... Y cables? I keep getting confused when I see "Y" on my connections.

How does this all come into play when connecting 2 dvds and one vcr?


Thanks!

Rose

Most devices such as cable company converter boxes and DVRs have several video outputs from which to choose but only a single set of white/red audio outputs. In one of my stacks there are two recorders, one set up to record S-Video and the other set up to record composite yellow video, and the TV itself takes up a component video output (blue, green, red). All of these connections require use of white/red audio.

What to do? I use "Y" cables (adapters) to split the Motorola HD cable converter's single white/red audio output pair into several feeds for recorders and the TV itself.

Here are typical "Y" cables:
LL
LL

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post #8 of 27 Old 12-14-2010, 10:58 AM
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This is a Y cable. It is an extremely simple device that allows multiple outputs from a single one. It is no different in concept than the multiple outlets that you use when you have more than two things that need to be plugged into AC wall power at one place. The problem with a Y cable is it has no impedance matching or compensation, so every time you divide the output, you lower the level of the signal. this does not happen with 110V wall power, but it does with most electronic equipment.

A switcher allows a single source to feed several devices, but only one at a time. You would turn on the source, then select the deviceyou want to feed the signal to. It can also be used in reverse, so you can have multiple sources (like a VCR, a DVD recorder, etc) plugged into one side of the switch, and a television input plugged into the other side, so when you select the video input of your TV, you can then select from the box which source you really want to watch.

A distribution amplifier is like a switcher but all outputs are active simultaneously, (like the Y cable) but it has active circuitry to compensate for load and impedance, so the output level of any of the plugs is not changed no matter what or how many other items are plugged into it.

Naturally, the Y cable is very cheap, the switcher is more expensive, and the distribution amplifier is more expensive yet. The amplifier almost always has its own power supply and needs to be plugged in to work.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #9 of 27 Old 12-14-2010, 12:19 PM
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The original poster is actually looking for what is commonly called a routing switcher. The ability to send the output of a specific device (where there are several different output sources connected) to another targeted device or devices (in this case one or more DVD recorders) and are multi-directional. These are more complex (and expensive) than single direction switchers.
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post #10 of 27 Old 12-14-2010, 05:05 PM
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Hey Rose, another way you can use a switcher would be if you have limited number of INPUTs on the tv)... Just got a 2-way and a 3-way HDMI switcher - not sure which I'll use, but rather than piggyback two magnovox recorders, as they are now configured -- with one connected to the tv, and the other connected to the L1 input of the first recorder(so you have to have both on in order to watch stuff recorded on the second machine...) I will use the switcher to connect both recorder HDMI outs to ONE hdmi input on the tv, and then (I hope!) the signal from whichever maggie is on at any particular time should be the one showing up on that input. It's supposed to auto-switch. We'll see...

Plan B is to use one of these gizmos for an only occasionally used DVD/VHS recorder and one of the recorders, so I can have both connected to one input and the overlap is less likely to confuse it. That's the way these usually work -- the poster here was asking if you can use them in the opposite direction
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post #11 of 27 Old 12-14-2010, 11:28 PM
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Gentlemen, I cannot believe I am writing this...but, I found all of your explanations interesting! Oh no!!! Am I becoming a student tech geek???

Seriously, I could read and understand what you were teaching me. I like to learn about these things, so I know there are other alternatives available. My problem is in remembering the details because I am learning from square one and there's alot of info to learn from your accumulated years of experience. I, Thank You, for taking your time to teach me... as I did not know about the existence of any of these items. This was very useful information. I also appreciate that you all contribute various examples of how and where I would use these items, along with how you are using them. Now I am beginning to better understand when viewing stacks of various devices....HOW you are able to connect so many.

Artwire.... I will be curious to learn if your Plan A worked. Thanks for sharing!

JeffWld... thank you for alerting me to the fact that there are more than one type of switchers to use. Small details as that, I am sure you all take for granted...where someone in my capacity would never know that.

Church AV Guy... the distribution amplifier- that is just plugged into a regular wall socket? I am not sure I have yet processed how that works...as a Y cable you would plug that into the back of your TV? But, that's OK... one day at a time.

DigaDo...Your photos are always so helpful! Is there anything that you don't have a photo of? Every question I ask, you have a photo to help me understand better. They are always appreciated.



Rose
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post #12 of 27 Old 12-15-2010, 01:10 AM
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Rose, since you are a PIP user, like me, I'll mention that I just bought a S-Video switcher, so I can use the second S-Video out from each of my DVDRs to go to it, then to the PIP on my TV, a 2007 56" Samsung DLP. I can watch the news on the main picture, and select either DVDR for the PIP, and edit recordings, while watching the news! Yeah, I know your Samsung won't take S-Video, so you can't use it for your PIP. Sorry.

That distribution amp probably has a small transformer/power supply that plugs into it, and the wall.
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post #13 of 27 Old 12-15-2010, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post
...That distribution amp probably has a small transformer/power supply that plugs into it, and the wall.
This is correct. The active circuitry requires external power. Usually this is in the form of a "wall wart" that then plugs into the amplifier.

Wall Wart: A blocky transformer that plugs into a 110V wall plug and is usually so large it covers two or more plugs.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #14 of 27 Old 12-16-2010, 07:26 PM
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Hi kjbawc!

Quote:


Rose, since you are a PIP user, like me, I'll mention that I just bought a S-Video switcher, so I can use the second S-Video out from each of my DVDRs to go to it, then to the PIP on my TV, a 2007 56" Samsung DLP. I can watch the news on the main picture, and select either DVDR for the PIP, and edit recordings, while watching the news! Yeah, I know your Samsung won't take S-Video, so you can't use it for your PIP. Sorry.


You know for the life of me, I cannot understand for the amount of money I paid for that TV, why Samsung would omit a S-Video connection??!!??? I still have not tried any of the PIP connections you gave me. I ran into a small snag... would only happen to me! I purchased a new Audio Rack, only to learn that Samsung placed all the connections to the extreme right on the back of the TV. Well, my Christmas Tree is to the RIGHT of my TV. The Audio Rack is to the left. So, instead of stretching wires and resetting everything up again, I will probably just wait till January. I really miss my PIP!!!


Rose
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post #15 of 27 Old 12-16-2010, 09:06 PM
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For audio, instead of Y cables, I use these
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3450791

To the original poster, does your dvdr and vcr accept component in to record? That doesn't seem right in most cases OR were you going to convert component to composite?
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post #16 of 27 Old 12-17-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose View Post
Hi kjbawc!




You know for the life of me, I cannot understand for the amount of money I paid for that TV, why Samsung would omit a S-Video connection??!!??? I still have not tried any of the PIP connections you gave me. I ran into a small snag... would only happen to me! I purchased a new Audio Rack, only to learn that Samsung placed all the connections to the extreme right on the back of the TV. Well, my Christmas Tree is to the RIGHT of my TV. The Audio Rack is to the left. So, instead of stretching wires and resetting everything up again, I will probably just wait till January. I really miss my PIP!!!


Rose
WRONG!

Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong

I have had the same problem, more than once, in the past. It is NOT something that would only happen to you!

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #17 of 27 Old 12-17-2010, 12:19 PM
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WRONG!

Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong

I have had the same problem, more than once, in the past. It is NOT something that would only happen to you!

Oh, Luke! You made my day!!! I was feeling so stupid that I didn't check ahead of time! Glad to know that I am in good company!



Rose
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post #18 of 27 Old 12-17-2010, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose View Post

Oh, Luke! You made my day!!! I was feeling so stupid that I didn't check ahead of time! Glad to know that I am in good company!

Rose

I too felt very stupid when I found the connectors on the "wrong" ends of the components. After stacking stuff up, and arranging components for an hour, to find a half dozen cables that were like, three inches too short (because of connector placement) is infuriating. I didn't want to add a 1 foot extension on six cables, but what other option was there? I pulled it all down and re-arranged it so the cables fit.

No, you are hardly alone in this. Most won't admit it though.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #19 of 27 Old 12-17-2010, 08:59 PM
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I liked my first flat screen tv so about six months later I bought a second slightly larger one for the bedroom. Same brand, but it ended up being the "upgraded " model ... Now, I'm not so sure. Remote has channel button and volume on the opposite side from where the first one had it ( so invariably I hit channel by accident when I want to change volume) ... And (wait for it) the side inputs and rear inputs are on the opposite side from where they are on the first one. The far side. All my cables were too short... And there was no other way to arrange peripherals. I did manage to swap some cables from the other tv to tide me over, but ended up buying some 10 foot vs. Six ft hdmi so it would more comfortably reach the extra distance. Tried out a new computer and discovered something equally annoying... They moved all the ports to the left side of the laptop so if you need to connect USB or FireWire ... Even a mouse or trackpad ... It has to plug in on the wrong (leftie's revenge?) side. Cord not long enough so extenders required! You are definitely not alone!

Too busy to set up switch test but will let you know if it works.
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post #20 of 27 Old 12-18-2010, 08:29 AM
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Luke and artwire,

I love and appreciate your stories!! Is it just me or are the cord lenghths on all the components shorter then what they use to be?

It was stupid of me not to realize that the inputs of the new Samsung would be all to the right side because my other Samsung are all to the right side. Whatever happened to placing the inputs in the middle where it would be more practical on these large screen TV's????

Maybe others will come forth and share some of their stories, so we can all feel foolish together!


artwire,

Quote:


I did manage to swap some cables from the other tv to tide me over, but ended up buying some 10 foot vs. Six ft hdmi so it would more comfortably reach the extra distance.

Did you notice any type of degradation when you went to a 10 foot hdmi?
I have read that you should use shorter hdmi's because the longer cables will effect the quality of your picture.



Rose
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post #21 of 27 Old 12-18-2010, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose View Post

Did you notice any type of degradation when you went to a 10 foot hdmi?
I have read that you should use shorter hdmi's because the longer cables will effect the quality of your picture.
Rose

I have used up to a 25 foot HDMI cable with no noticeable loss in picture quality. Since it's digital it should either work or not, shouldn't be any grey area like analog. When going longer distances than 25' the gauge of the wire becomes important, the lower the gauge the better(thicker).
If you don't know about Monoprice.com you should really check them out for HDMI(and other cables). They have good quality and great prices.
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post #22 of 27 Old 12-18-2010, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose View Post

artwire,



Did you notice any type of degradation when you went to a 10 foot hdmi?
I have read that you should use shorter hdmi's because the longer cables will effect the quality of your picture.



Rose

no noticeable difference as far as I can tell. I suppose if you ran it 50 ft or something like that it might degrade, but an extra couple of inches wouldn't matter, and it's a lot better than forgetting your tv is on a short leash and practically toppling it over because the damn cord pulled. (I learned that the hard way!) While I was waiting for new cables, I ended up swapping a short HDMI out for a longer component cable, and I like it enough to leave it as is. Nice to have multiple options.
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post #23 of 27 Old 12-20-2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose View Post

...Did you notice any type of degradation when you went to a 10 foot hdmi?
I have read that you should use shorter hdmi's because the longer cables will effect the quality of your picture. Rose

Whoever said that does not understand digital interconnects. You would be unlikely to see a degraded picture. The impage would be nearly perfect as the cable got longer and longer, then it would be gone. The "window" from "starting to lose the picture" until it's completey gone is very small, and depends greatly on the cable quality.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #24 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 08:36 PM
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Rose, just as a followup, the little unpowered hdmi switch I got did the trick. I now have two 2160As connected to the same hdmi port on my tv. It self toggles depending on which recorder is on ... so i can watch shows on either. And if both are on I believe it defaults to the #1 unit but will need to test that more. Was intending to use it for a panasonic combo recorder that is not used often plus a Maggie, but thought not mixing brand signals might be best. The panasonic tv or the switch might get confused. Only downside is I needed extra hdmi cable and will probably buy a short one now, having gotten the long ones to reach from the equipment to the switch, I didn't realize I'd also need hdmi cable coming out of the switch to the nearby tv. I assumed it would be like an adapter which has it's own plug/tail but it's just a box with ports on both sides , thus the additional cable required to go from switcher out --> tv
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post #25 of 27 Old 01-05-2011, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwire View Post

Rose, just as a followup, the little unpowered hdmi switch I got did the trick. I now have two 2160As connected to the same hdmi port on my tv. It self toggles depending on which recorder is on ...

In case people are interested, the ability of the HDMI to be aware of it's "network" can handle up to 14 units. I would assume one could start counting at the TV and work their way through to other units. The above unpowered switch would be included as a "unit". In my research it also may be possible to have a unit behind an opaque door and allow certain functions to be controlled via the TV remote that are transferred via the HDMI cable instead of the units own remote or IR signal. May help in seperating two of the same units since we do not have descreet channels for more than one unit. While it is supposed to one day be an open network, there still may be some incompatability between brands if said brand still uses proprietary commands.
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post #26 of 27 Old 01-05-2011, 08:28 AM
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Do you mean each port can support up to 14, or the unit (TV) itself maxes out at 14 regardless of how many ports (I have 3 HDMI inputs)? Doubt it'll get that bad, but ... you never know! I have a panasonic combo I was thinking of adding to the mix (got a 3 way switch, too, but thought I'd start with a 2 way and same brand to test. My main problem was that because the remotes often addressed multiple maggy recorders simultaneously, and I was feeding one recorder into the other, on occasion I accidentally deleted something from the wrong unit or recorded on two units because the timer setting was picked up by both. I'm hoping this, plus some infrared barricades I've added, will solve the overlap. I can turn them on/off easily manually, but sometimes it's nice to be able to channel flip or watch recorded stuff w a remote in hand. Just ordered a minidisplay port to HDMI adapter for the computer, which I'm sure will complicate matters, but ... at least the magnavox situation seems temporarily resolved. (A third maggie is connected with component cable, which I could swap for HDMI, but I think will leave as is for now as it may trigger fewer conflicts.
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post #27 of 27 Old 01-05-2011, 11:44 AM
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A HDMI "chain" can only support 14 "units". CEC allows 14 units to "supossedly" cooperate on a little "network". To me the more you add, would make things confusing since there are no menus that say unit 2 will get this command and unit 5 will get this command. I am not sure if a unit that is not "enabled" can be counted either.

Your switch is aware when a unit is powered on and automatically opens the required link to allow the TV to power on, or Knows when the TV is powered on and allows a signal to go to the unit that has the CEC "enabled" to power it on. It works as one of the 14.

It is not a cut and dry network and may be de-stabilized easily. It all hinges on as the units are powered on they communicate well and establish this network. During a power outage when power is disrupted this network can be damaged. Since Computers are in everything now, you can no longer just "pull the plug" you have to turn things off with a switch to do it properly. It is true that manufactures really do not want to replace everything due to end user error and they have ways of avoiding damage to units due to "pulling the plug". If you are having issues with HDMI, you may have to go back and turn everything off and start over at step one, to ensure that HDMI is again working properly.

It is possible that TV manufacturers could make it so each HDMI port is it's own 14 unit network. I would assume that there would be an option in the menu that would allow you to configure each HDMI as a seperate entity. If you have only one menu item, then it may only apply to a specific HDMI port or all ports as one. I have a TV that has two HDMI ports. One allows the sound to be incorporated. The other one is for a Computer and the sound is done through a different connected wire. Each port has it's own settings in the TV menu options.
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