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post #1 of 39 Old 06-23-2007, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an HD-A1 and use the 5.1 multichannel analogs to my Yamaha receiver (which has no HDMI inputs/output).

If I buy a BD player, I'm thinking if using 6 Y RCA Male plug (6" Y) to 2 female plugs to connect both players' multichannel analogs to the Yamaha. Of course there would be one player only powered up at one time.

Any question of sound quality reduction because of this?

RCA Y cable with Male output and 2 female inputs

For Video, the HDMI switching would be done by a switcher, such as:

HDMI switcher
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post #2 of 39 Old 06-23-2007, 05:13 AM
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There will be some reduction in quality with the RCA. But I suggest you try it, you might find it tolerable .
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post #3 of 39 Old 06-23-2007, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabien View Post

Any question of sound quality reduction because of this?

RCA Y cable with Male output and 2 female inputs

For Video, the HDMI switching would be done by a switcher,.....

The analog audio should be done with a switcher so that each source does not shunt the other. There will be a reduction in signal level and, perhaps, worse, with Y connections. 5.1 switchers run from about $35 and up.

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post #4 of 39 Old 06-29-2007, 09:25 PM
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I would try the swither...

For my latest Reviews and Stuff google -> Joe Rod Home Theater .Com
Check out my Dolby Atmos/Surround first take:

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post #5 of 39 Old 06-30-2007, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Switcher...

an expensive solution!
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post #6 of 39 Old 06-30-2007, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabien View Post

Switcher...

an expensive solution!

You have a BDP and HD-DVD and think that $35 for a switch is expensive?

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post #7 of 39 Old 06-30-2007, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

You have a BDP and HD-DVD and think that $35 for a switch is expensive?

Please give me a link to the $35 switch.
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post #8 of 39 Old 06-30-2007, 03:43 PM
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http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...ormat=2&style=

There's also a similar one from Philips. You could also use a pair of RS video switchers.

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post #9 of 39 Old 07-01-2007, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...ormat=2&style=

There's also a similar one from Philips. You could also use a pair of RS video switchers.

So you are suggesting I make use of a Component switcher. I guess there is no reason that would not work... as well as Component cables already in use for multichannel audio connections between my HD DVD player and my Yamaha receiver.

BTW, presently, I don't have a Blu-ray player and I have trouble justifying it's purchase.

I'm not a passionate movie viewer and certainly not a movie library builder (I own about 10 HD DVD movies and 2 SD movies). I'm a member of Zip.ca (similar to Netflix) and rent 5 HD DVD movies a month.

What I do buy and collect are Concert DVD's, singers and music. There are not many of those in HD DVD or BD disc format. My HD-A1 player does a good job playing SD DVD in 1080i and the 5.1 multichannel sound is much more enjoyable than digital sound processed by the receiver. So, I can't find a good reason to buy a BD player at this stage.

But I'm looking into how to connect hardware stuff should I buy one. And if I buy the Component switcher as an audio cable switcher, it appears, from my test, that my Harmony 880 can learn the IR commands from the switcher's remote. So, the Harmony would need to handle both the HDMI switcher and the Component switcher... and I guess it can!
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post #10 of 39 Old 07-01-2007, 08:12 AM
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Right. It should work and others have used it. Check with Monoprice first because I have not actually used it myself. I have a nice Zektor switch.

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post #11 of 39 Old 07-02-2007, 02:58 PM
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I have that one for my 2 players and it works great.

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post #12 of 39 Old 07-02-2007, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabien View Post

So you are suggesting I make use of a Component switcher. I guess there is no reason that would not work... as well as Component cables already in use for multichannel audio connections between my HD DVD player and my Yamaha receiver.

Being strongly associated with Zektor, I've held off responding to these posts because of the obvious biases I'm going to have, but I do want to bring something up that hasn't been addressed in similar posts about using a video switch as an audio switch.

Analog audio outputs are typically designed to drive 1,000 ~ 50,000 ohm loads.

A typical active video component switch, similar to the monoprice, uses 75 ohm termination resistors on it's inputs, this is a very low value for an audio output to drive, and can be lower than the output impedances of some audio circuits. This can cause an overload condition creating distortion, but more subtly the heavy load can cause damaging heating problems in the output buffers, which have not been designed to dissipate the heat generated by this heavy of a load.

As a side note: There's also the issue of noise, video amps are rated in the 50~60dB Signal to Noise Ratio range. Excellent for video, but for audio, this is about the background hiss of a cassette tape.

Another side note: I would guess the volume coming out of a video switch is a bit louder that what goes in. To drive properly terminated video cables, a video amp must have a gain of 2, which for audio, is a 6dB increase in volume (3 to 6 notches on your volume control). Of course the 75 ohm, near short circuit, input termination resistors, can greatly reduce the volume, thereby making all things equal! I would worry if the volume coming out of the switch is *not* louder than what's going in!

Being an audio purist, I designed the MAS7.1 as a passive switch. It uses relays to switch the audio signal, so it's impedance is the same as a length of wire -- whatever the impedance of the device connected to the MAS7.1's output, is the impedance seen on its inputs.

Now of course I want everyone to buy Zektor! But biases aside, if the hiss of the video amps (and slightly louder audio) are not a problem, I *highly* recommend opening whatever video switch you buy and find the 75 ohm termination resistors, and remove them!

I don't have a monoprice switch, but would be more than happy to try and spot the resistors needing removal if someone were to send me a nice hi-res photo of the insides of one.

-Zonn
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post #13 of 39 Old 07-02-2007, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Zonn,

I've checked with monoprice and they tell me they have tested the Component switch for audio multichannel switching and they do not recommend for this application because for certain inputs/outputs the volume is lower than it should be.

Today I have ordered 6 "RCA Male Plug to 2 Female Jack Audio Y", see:

Y cable

and will test with my HD-A1 multichannel analogs plugged in the Yamaha receiver. If I see that volume for each channel is acceptable, I will probably order the Panasonic BMP-BD10A player.

Tell me Zonn, is there any chance to damage anything with this Y cable solution? No question the Zektor switch would be best but it's so expensive that I would consider changing my receiver for one with HDMI switching.
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post #14 of 39 Old 07-03-2007, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabien View Post

Zonn,

I've checked with monoprice and they tell me they have tested the Component switch for audio multichannel switching and they do not recommend for this application because for certain inputs/outputs the volume is lower than it should be.

Today I have ordered 6 "RCA Male Plug to 2 Female Jack Audio Y", see:

Y cable

and will test with my HD-A1 multichannel analogs plugged in the Yamaha receiver. If I see that volume for each channel is acceptable, I will probably order the Panasonic BMP-BD10A player.

Tell me Zonn, is there any chance to damage anything with this Y cable solution? No question the Zektor switch would be best but it's so expensive that I would consider changing my receiver for one with HDMI switching.

The lowering of volume that monoprice experienced is certainly the 75 ohm termination resistors on the inputs.

As far as using Y cables to connect to outputs to a single input: The short answer is you should never connect two outputs together, and you should never, ever, connect two outputs together with both of them turned on.

The longer answer is, the output impedances of audio amps are usually lower that even the 75 ohm termination resistors on the input of a video amp, and can therefore be even more harmful.

While I totally recommend against ever using 'Y' cables to connect two outputs together, you can get a sense of how much risk you are taking by doing the following:

Connect a single player to your receiver using 'Y' cables, everything should work great, until the 2nd player is connected, everything is fine.

With the 2nd player turned OFF, and the first player on and playing music through the receiver, connect the other side of a 'Y' to the 2nd player. Any drop in volume is an indication the the audio outputs are being overloaded.

If there is no drop in volume, you should repeat the procedure, reversing the two players.

If there is no drop in volume either way, then you might possibly be ok, though I would never do it!

You really should find a switch of some kind, there are low priced mechanical passive switches, for instance if you bought some cables that split the S-video into its two channels:

http://www.outletpc.com/c6243.html

you could use the component, composite, stereo and S-video channels of this switch to switch 6.1 audio:

http://www.epinions.com/content_2988...kin_id=8003929

Our HDS4.1 also does a great job of switching 5.1 audio, look for deals on eBay.

-Zonn
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post #15 of 39 Old 07-03-2007, 04:00 PM
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RS also has inexpensive (<$15) A/V switches, so that using 2 or 3 for 5.1 is not an oppressive cost.

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post #16 of 39 Old 07-03-2007, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zonn View Post

Our HDS4.1 also does a great job of switching 5.1 audio, look for deals on eBay.

-Zonn


Do I need to remove resistors from the 4.1 I am using for 5.1 audio? Which ones?

Thanks for your help.

Jon

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post #17 of 39 Old 07-03-2007, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Spackman View Post

Do I need to remove resistors from the 4.1 I am using for 5.1 audio? Which ones?

Thanks for your help.

Jon

The HDS4.1 is a passive switch, so it doesn't have termination resistors. It was designed from the start to double as a 5.1 audio switch. Your setup is fine!

-Zonn
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post #18 of 39 Old 07-03-2007, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Zonn,

The Y cables are coming and I will test them. I will then get the Panny BD10A and connect as well as you explained. I will never use the Harmony 880 to start the second player while the first one is on (this would normally cause the first one the shutdown). I will rather command the 1st "Activity" to shut down the start the second "Activity".

If in my testing with both players connected I get any kind of negative results, the Y cables will be removed (I trust the testing will not damage anything? What is the worst that can happen?). You say:
Quote:


Any drop in volume is an indication the the audio outputs are being overloaded.

. If I hear that, the test will be over then and there. I will then manually transfer 6 analog cables from one player to the next.

I have bookmarked the Zektor page for the HDS4.1 switcher and will order if the Y cables don't work out.

Thanks Zonn for your replies and your counsel.

Edit 04-07-07: When I get the 6 Y cables, I will scotch tape labels, such as:

1....2....3....4....5...6
FR..FL..RR..RL..SW..C

to the Toshiba set, the Panny set and the set of Reds (Toshiba) and Whites (Panny) of the Y cables. I will connect one set at a time. The switching will be made easy in that the Y cables are 6" long, thus easy to reach. And I may switch the Yamaha receiver to a higher shelf to make the cable changes without much effort.
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post #19 of 39 Old 07-04-2007, 08:10 AM
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Zonn,

I actually have a Zektor HDS4 not the 4.1. Is it the same or do I need to remove resistors inside?

Thanks,

Jon

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post #20 of 39 Old 07-04-2007, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabien View Post

Zonn,

The Y cables are coming and I will test them. I will then get the Panny BD10A and connect as well as you explained. I will never use the Harmony 880 to start the second player while the first one is on (this would normally cause the first one the shutdown). I will rather command the 1st "Activity" to shut down the start the second "Activity".

Depending upon IR has problems, it's possible the IR command to shut down one unit could be missed and the IR command to power up the other accepted, and you end up with both powered on at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabien View Post

If in my testing with both players connected I get any kind of negative results, the Y cables will be removed (I trust the testing will not damage anything? What is the worst that can happen?). You say: . If I hear that, the test will be over then and there. I will then manually transfer 6 analog cables from one player to the next.

You should be pretty safe, (no guarantees). You can think of it this way: If during the process of hooking up your DVD, you had it turned on, and you accidentally touch the center pin of an audio output to the metal chassis anywhere on the DVD player, you will have directly shorted the output to ground. This is not that uncommon of an occurrence, so most manufacturers design their outputs to be able to handle a temporary short circuit, for a short amount of time.

Connecting to outputs together is less stressful than touching the center pin directly to the metal chassis -- ASSUMING BOTH UNITS ARE NOT POWERED UP. So you *should* be ok as a quick test.

If both units were ever powered up at the same time, the fighting outputs would be more stressed than a direct short to ground, the outputs were not designed to handle this type of connection. In some cases you might even be voiding your warranty if the manufacturer were to discover how your players were connected.

-Zonn
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post #21 of 39 Old 07-04-2007, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Spackman View Post

Zonn,

I actually have a Zektor HDS4 not the 4.1. Is it the same or do I need to remove resistors inside?

Thanks,

Jon

The HDS4 is a different animal. When it was designed the thought was that if we terminated the unselected inputs with a 75 ohm resistor (near each relay), we would lower the possibility of crosstalk.

In reality those termination resistors didn't help with crosstalk. Proper PCB layout is the real determining factor. Since the resistors weren't necessary, in the HDS4.1 re-design they were removed to allow the HDS4.1 to double as a audio switch. We also added a sixth analog channel that could be used for a composite signal, or the ".1" of a 5.1 audio switch. (And inversely the MAS7.1 can easily handle component video signals through its analog channels.)

The HDS4 has only 5 analog paths, the digital coax connection cannot be used to pass analog audio, so the best you would get is a 4.1 audio switch. But for the same reasons I gave for not using a 75 ohm terminated video switch for switching audio, I can't recommend using the HDS4 as even a 4.1 audio switch, without the removal of those 75 ohm resistors.

On fear of a myriad of badly hacked up HDS4's making their way back to our repair dept, I really can't publish, or even recommend a hack for removing those termination resistors.

-Zonn
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post #22 of 39 Old 07-07-2007, 02:42 PM
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Anybody try this video switch for 5.1 analog switching? It is a nice looking switch and only costs about $100?

Psyclone

Or anything else out there in the $100 range?
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post #23 of 39 Old 07-08-2007, 03:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miata View Post

Anybody try this video switch for 5.1 analog switching? It is a nice looking switch and only costs about $100?

Psyclone

Or anything else out there in the $100 range?

Interesting! Asking them if the PSC01BK was tested for 5.1 multichannel switching.
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post #24 of 39 Old 07-10-2007, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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This morning I ordered a Panasonic DMP-BD10A followed by a Zektor HDS4.1 to connect multichannel analogs from both the Panny and my HD-A1 to my Yamaha receiver multichannel inputs.

This is as a result of starting to read "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. And I feel great about it!
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post #25 of 39 Old 07-13-2007, 10:31 AM
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ycords.

this won't work and you could experience some unpleasent results. It is quite possible that if one of the players is off the outputs are shorted. using the ycord you are basically connecting the 2 inputs together since there is nothing to block the signals from reaching the players.

do not use this method!!!
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post #26 of 39 Old 07-13-2007, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DavidR2 View Post

ycords.

this won't work and you could experience some unpleasent results. It is quite possible that if one of the players is off the outputs are shorted. using the ycord you are basically connecting the 2 inputs together since there is nothing to block the signals from reaching the players.

do not use this method!!!

If you read post # 24, you will see that I scraped the Y cable idea and in favor of and awaiting shipment of my new Zektor HDS4.1 5.1 multichannel analog switch box.
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post #27 of 39 Old 07-16-2007, 06:21 PM
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How do you adjust for the different input levels when using the switcher? For example, the Toshiba HD-XA2 has built-in speaker level controls, but it does not appear that the Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 has them.

Thanks.

Mark


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post #28 of 39 Old 07-16-2007, 06:45 PM
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How do you adjust for the different input levels when using the switcher? For example, the Toshiba HD-XA2 has built-in speaker level controls, but it does not appear that the Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 has them.

That's a real problem which I solved by using channel level balancing in the pre/pro.

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post #29 of 39 Old 07-16-2007, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
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That's a real problem which I solved by using channel level balancing in the pre/pro.

Thanks Kal. I suppose I can use the processor's channel level controls (in the lisenting mode) to calibrate the Pioneer to the system. Then, I could use the speaker level controls in the Toshiba to calibrate it to the system.

Does that sound reasonable?

Thanks.

Mark


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post #30 of 39 Old 07-16-2007, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giomania View Post

Thanks Kal. I suppose I can use the processor's channel level controls (in the lisenting mode) to calibrate the Pioneer to the system. Then, I could use the speaker level controls in the Toshiba to calibrate it to the system.

Does that sound reasonable?

Thanks.

Mark

No. Use the processor's channel level controls for both sources.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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