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component video switch

854 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Bill Paul
i have a 5-6 year old A/v receiver (SONY str-da30es) that is more than adequate for my needs except for a lack of component video support. Currently, my DVD player is connected to the TV directly with component video cables. Shortly, I will be making the plunge into HDTV, etc.. and will have 2+ component video sources. Is there any advantage to buying a whole new receiver or would it be sufficient to buy a switch such as the one made by Inday:


Any advice would be appreciated

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Right now I'm using a simple Sony A/V switch which was NOT meant for component but it works pretty well. It isn't awesome but it does the trick. To be honest, for $149 with a remote that is a great deal. You don't get 4 component inputs on a Receiver until you get in the high end ones ($3000 up basically) and usually they have 3 inputs instead of 4. It is nice to have it built in the receiver but I wouldn't buy a receiver based on that. The only upside to a receiver when it comes to video (and this is debatable) is the video conversion from SVIDEO to Component. You don't get a better picture but you can have a ton of inputs for one output that way.

Bottom Line IMO- If you aren't looking for a new receiver right now then don't purchase for this reason.
I bought a Extron switcher off Ebay for $19.00. It is 4in/1out and automatically senses the proper source. Also It is made to pass HD
A separate, high quality switch will offer higher bandwith than most receivers, at least until you get into the "high priced spreads."

The Zektor switch works very well and includes digital audio switching:


Inday offers a digital audio switch, but it is in a separate box. I have both the Inday with their digital audio switch and the Zektor. Overall, I prefer the Zektor - relay switching, better looks, all in one box.
Another vote for Zektor. Absolutely flawless performance. With all of the universal/programmable remotes out there like the Pronto, it doesn't really matter whether your receiver or an outboard switch does the work.


That Inday doesn't switch audio - either analog or digital.

Another vote for the AA1154..I have it and it works flawlessly..I forget it's even there. Auto-switching is the way to go!

The Inday device is only $150 and is spec'd at 300MHz bandwidth. The others are rated at 100MHz. If you have a programmable remote that does macros, the Inday choice seems the best bet to me.
I believe the KDS box is 130Mhz, and I've not been able to find the bandwidth for the others in their datasheets. If you could point that out to me, it would be good.

has a good discussion on bandwidth.

Regading the Inday at only $149, add another $119 if you want digital audio switching - that's almost the price of the Zektor. Again, I have both setups and prefer the Zektor.
I'm trying to compare the Zektor against the KDS. The others seem a little light to me. The interesting thing is that Zektor has such a nice explanation of the bandwidth, but doesn't publish theirs. Am I just not able to find it?
From the Zektor discussion, the limit seems to be the RCA jacks - problems just above 200MHZ. Makes me wonder how Inday gets 300MHZ out of their RCA jacks. Beleive me, neither one's jacks are anything exotic.

Note, also, that there are plenty of discussions on this forum stating that 50MHZ is enough, although that does't seem to make the grade per the Zektor article.
When we started out with the HDS4, we did some preliminary tests on prototype equipment, and found that it could pass over 200MHz. In time, as our testing methods got better, and we had access to better equipment, we were able to evaluate the HDS4 in many different ways. For example, we found that channel 1 has higher bandwidth than channel 4, so now when anyone asks I always recommend putting the HD sources on channel 1. In reality, the eye cannot tell the difference between 1080i going in channel 1 vs. channel 4, but it is still nice to know that the HD sources get the best treatment. ;)

The lesson to take home from the Component Video Primer is not that the basic bandwidth rating to 200, 300, or 400MHz is the main spec you want, but instead that it is the loss in dB at your maximum bandwidth that really matters.

Now with that said, Greg Rogers of Widescreen Review has completed a fairly comprehensive review of the HDS4 that I understand will be in the upcoming November issue. As I understand from his testing, at 37MHz, the worst case loss on channel 4 is approximately 0.5dB. The loss is less on channel 1.

The obvious solution to the issues of the RCA connector that pretty much all consumer equipment will have, is to design in BNCs. We did consider doing this, but it seemed like most users were going to end up using BNC to RCA adapters on top of that, which would only make matters worse. Unfortunately the consumer displays and sources are stuck with the 50 year old RCA connector. I don't see this ever changing for analog video, rather the transition to digital video will (someday) be the death of the RCA connector.
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37MHz seem pretty low. Can you tell us what the bandwidth is on channel 1 and 2 at .5 db?

I'm strongly considering switching from the KDS unit to the Zektor to get the more versatile audio switching, but I would likely not switch if the video switching capability could ever present a problem for me. I'd really like to know the speeds and feeds


37 MHz is not the bandwidth. When you ask the bandwidth, you are asking at what frequency is there -3dB of loss. With the bandwidth information, you can then take some educated guesses as to the performance at the max operating frequency of HDTV, which is 37MHz (1080i/720p). Or you can cut to the chase as Greg does, and measure your loss at the frequency of interest.

I know that doesn't do much to help you compare apples to apples, so I will be performing some new tests now that I have some better test equipment.
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