Advantages to Connecting Devices to the One Connect Box
I have been asked on many occasions why I choose to hook up my main devices directly to Samsung's One Connect Box which I have since upgraded to the Evolution Kit available for some models. This is a personal decision that offers some advantages to the traditional method of hooking up all your devices directly to the Receiver.
Let's talk about that first...
In cases where folks like me don't own a Receiver that provides HDMI 2.0a / HDCP 2.2 4K passthrough it can save us a lot of money avoiding an upgrade.
For example, using Method 2 to hook up my UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player using dual HDMI outputs allows me to connect the Video to the TV which is HDMI 2.0a / HDCP 2.2 compliant and hook up the Audio to my Receiver which is only HDMI 1.4 so I can still enjoy lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio.
Another reason might be because you don't have enough HDMI inputs on the Receiver to handle all your devices so this allows for more!
In my case I have my Security Camera (TV coax), all my Ultra High Definition video devices including my Arris 4K PVR Set Top Box, my Samsung UHD Blu-Ray Player (Video to TV; Audio to Receiver), and my Chromecast Ultra 4K device as well as my Marantz Receiver plugged into the One Connect Box. The Receiver has some older HD devices plugged into it that don't require HDMI 2.0a / HDCP 2.2 ports such as my Computer and my Apple TV as shown in my wiring document attached to the bottom of this post.
Graphical User Interface
For owners of Samsung Smart TVs another advantage is that it allows you to take advantage of the graphical interface on the TV in conjunction with the Samsung TV's Universal Remote to control all your devices hooked up directly to the One Connect Box (or SEK-3500 Evolution Kit).
Once everything is configured into the Universal Remote Settings then all the devices hooked up to the OCB can be controlled with the Samsung remote as follows:
Pressing the SOURCE
button will bring up a row of icons allowing you to choose the given device as shown below.
Once you have selected a device, a press of the MENU/123
button provides a different group of buttons displayed on the top row depending on what functions apply to that particular device based on the brand and model number you input when setting up the Universal Remote.
For example, in my case when I choose the SOURCE that my UBD-K8500's video HDMI is plugged into and then press the MENU/123
button on the TV's remote it will provide a bunch of options specific to the device including Power
, Disc Menu
, Sub Titles
along with all the transport controls
which you can see in the following picture.
Likewise, when I select my Set Top Box and press the MENU/123 button on the TV's remote it will provide a different set of options specific to that device such as Power
, and On-Demand
as well as any applicable keys on the OCB remote including the channel buttons
and the pause and play buttons
allowing me to control it without picking up the remote that came with my 4K Arris PVR.
Note, that even if you go this route you can still use the remote(s) that came with your devices so you can keep other members of the family happy knowing that they can still use the backlit remote that came with the Cable Box to control the TV.
The Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player upscales all content to 2160p when the player's Resolution is set to Auto or 2160p. However a little trick I discovered is that when you hook up the player using Method 2 with dual HDMI cables and set the Resolution setting in the player to BD Wise it will in effect output anything less than 4K in it's native resolution allowing your Samsung TV do the upscaling of Blu-rays and DVD's.
Note that this does not mean you have to turn on BD Wise in the TV settings and as a matter of fact I don't recommend it.
For complete details, please see this post: BD Wise Guy
Like Picture Settings, connecting a game console to it's own input allows you to enable the the Game Mode on that input once and forget it. Now each time you switch to and from that input you don't have to remember to turn it on and off.
Something not everyone is aware of is the fact that for each input you can maintain two sets of settings -- one for 2D and one for 3D. To set up the 3D picture settings access the Menu >> Picture >> 3D
and turn 3D Mode
On while you establish your Picture Settings.
If you have a Chromecast Ultra, plugging this directly into the One Connect Box will allow it to automatically switch to the HDMI it is plugged into when you cast to it. It will even turn the TV on for you if it isn't already on!
And perhaps one of the major reasons why some Samsung TV owners take the approach of running some (or all) of their devices through the TV is because this allow them to maintain different Picture Settings for each input.
For example, the recommended setting for viewing HDR material is setting the Color Space
and making sure that HDMI UHD Color
is turned On
in the TV settings. Many of us also prefer to set Dynamic Contrast
, increase the Gamma
setting to +1
and setting Smart LED
on the HDMI input that our Ultra HD Blu-ray Players are plugged into.
In addition separate settings can be established while viewing content from the Smart Hub apps and connected USB devices as well as separate settings for those of us who have set up a Network for sharing files from their Computers.
If this is something Samsung TV owners want to explore, make sure that under Menu/123 >> Picture >> Apply Picture Mode
you set it to Current Source
instead of All Sources.
Not for everyone but I sure like it!