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post #1 of 8 Old 10-01-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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A client of mine is an elderly woman with a Toshiba HDTV (plasma I believe, but I don't know the model number), Comcast cable service, and a shiny new Philips Blu-Ray disc player. She uses HDMI connections for the cable box and the Blu-Ray disc player and everything works fine. The issue is the need to switch between video inputs on the TV. I've written a procedure for her to switch between inputs on her TV but it's clear that the concept of switching inputs on the TV is foreign and confusing to her.

So, I thought a HDMI switch would be a great solution. This way, she wouldn't need to switch inputs on the TV and the video she would see would be based on what she wanted to watch. If she's watching TV, she would see the Comcast video. If she's watching a Blu-Ray disc or a DVD, she would see that video. Naturally, an automatic switch would be needed for this but I haven't found one that does what I would need or want.

Here's the "problem" with using the TV inputs. If the TV is showing video from Comcast (HDMI1 input) and we turn on the Blu-Ray disc player (HDMI2 input), the TV senses the Blu-Ray disc player and automatically switches to that input. Cool If I turn off the Blu-Ray disc player, the TV stays on HDMI2 and doesn't switch back to the Comcast input (HDMI1). Not cool. I did find a HDMI switch on Monoprice.com:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011001&p_id=8147&seq=1&format=2

which seemed perfect except for this statement:
Quote:
The switch will automatically switch between inputs, depending on which one is on at the time. If both source devices are on, just press the small button on the switch to change the input.

Since the cable box is always on, once she turns the Blu-Ray disc player on, this switch might not know to switch to that input on its own. Also, I don't trust she would remember to press the button each time she turned on the Blu-Ray disc player.

Basically, what I would like is a way to eliminate using a remote to switch video inputs on the TV. If the Blu-Ray disc player is turned on, the TV should show that video. If the player is turned off, the TV should show the cable TV video. My initial thought was a HDMI switch would be a great solution but I don't want one that would require her to use a remote or take any action to facilitate switching between inputs.

Does such a device exist or am I dreaming? smile.gif

Thanks in advance!

Peace...
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-01-2013, 01:33 PM
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I believe the Key Digital switchers will do this on their better switchers...

http://www.keydigital.com/items.asp?ItemCode=KDHDSW2X1Pro&Company=KEY

Call them to confirm, but they have a auto-detect mode which I believe will revert back to the only active input whenever the secondary input is disabled. So, turn on the BD player and it switches to that input. Turn off the BD player and it switches to the other input.

A good universal remote control would do the same thing. Turn on the BD player and switch a switcher, or the TV, to the proper input.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-01-2013, 03:19 PM
 
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The problem with these automatic switchers is that they work most of the time. I haven't tried HDMI automatic switchers but component video switchers were never perfect.

I'd have to agree with my distinguished colleague from AV Integrated (OK, I've been watching CSPAN) and say the best way to handle this is with a good universal remote that has big touch screen buttons that you can label "Blu-Ray" and "Cable" or whatever words or pictures that would be recognizable. All power-up, switching and setup is handled with one button. Most of the operation is done invisibly except for pushing the single button.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-01-2013, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

I believe the Key Digital switchers will do this on their better switchers...

http://www.keydigital.com/items.asp?ItemCode=KDHDSW2X1Pro&Company=KEY

Call them to confirm, but they have a auto-detect mode which I believe will revert back to the only active input whenever the secondary input is disabled. So, turn on the BD player and it switches to that input. Turn off the BD player and it switches to the other input.
Cool, thanks for mentioning this. I'll check it out. smile.gif
Quote:
A good universal remote control would do the same thing. Turn on the BD player and switch a switcher, or the TV, to the proper input.
Thanks for mentioning this too. I was going to ask if going with a universal remote would be a better option but I forgot to add that question to my post. smile.gif

So, would it be worth looking into a good universal remote instead?

Thanks!

Peace...
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-01-2013, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

I'd have to agree with my distinguished colleague from AV Integrated (OK, I've been watching CSPAN) and say the best way to handle this is with a good universal remote that has big touch screen buttons that you can label "Blu-Ray" and "Cable" or whatever words or pictures that would be recognizable. All power-up, switching and setup is handled with one button. Most of the operation is done invisibly except for pushing the single button.
Perfect. I'll look into a universal remote as well. I've never purchased a universal remote before, so how much should I look to spend for a good one with big buttons?

Thanks!

Peace...
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-02-2013, 12:05 AM
 
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You might try something like this:
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/7744?WT.mc_id=AMR_DR_Q2_FY14_SERP&WT.srch=1&ci=0

These are (were) redesigned for simple use situations and are relatively cheap. I could send you to a more expensive remote company that would require custom programming but it isn't necessary in this case.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-02-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

You might try something like this:
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/7744?WT.mc_id=AMR_DR_Q2_FY14_SERP&WT.srch=1&ci=0

These are (were) redesigned for simple use situations and are relatively cheap. I could send you to a more expensive remote company that would require custom programming but it isn't necessary in this case.
Thanks! I'll check it out!

Peace...
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-02-2013, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

I believe the Key Digital switchers will do this on their better switchers...

http://www.keydigital.com/items.asp?ItemCode=KDHDSW2X1Pro&Company=KEY

Call them to confirm, but they have a auto-detect mode which I believe will revert back to the only active input whenever the secondary input is disabled. So, turn on the BD player and it switches to that input. Turn off the BD player and it switches to the other input.

A good universal remote control would do the same thing. Turn on the BD player and switch a switcher, or the TV, to the proper input.
Thanks again for this recommendation. I picked up one of these and despite them confirming it would do what I needed, the unit ended up not auto-switching as I had hoped. In the manual, it states that some satellite and cable boxes send the "Hot Plug" signal in standby mode, which can cause the auto-switching function not to work. That appears to be the case with the gear I'm dealing with. So, I'll look into a universal remote now.

Thanks again!

Peace...
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