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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, sorry to ask what I am sure is going to come across as a pretty dim query, but here goes.


Is been awhile since I bought a stereo (a good while). I want to know if using the audio/video inputs on the receiver will switch those video sources as I switch from one source to another. In other words, if I run the video outs of my TiVo, my VCR, and my DVD player to appropriate jacks on the receiver and then the monitor out to my TV, will switching from dvr to aux to DVD prevent me from having to switch inputs on the TV? My old Harman Kardon AVR25 has the video ins for the various sources, but it doesn't seem to switch them as I change from one source to another (have never been exactly sure what they are doing there).


Just looking for a little clarity.


rexdart
 

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rexdart,


You're correct in your assumption about what the video inputs/outputs are supposed to do. I don't know anything about the HK receiver you have, but here are a couple of troubleshooting thoughts to try:


1) You're input devices (DVD, Tivo, VCR) may be being fed into your receiver using different formats/cables. For example, you might be using a component video cable for your DVD (three RCA connectors), a super-video cable for your Tivo (connector with several pins inside) and a composite video cable for your VCR (single RCA connector). There are few receivers that will accept multiple formats and upconvert/downconvert to a standard video out. Make sure you're using the same type of connection for at least two of them and test it (use S-video on Tivo and DVD for example).


2) You might have to 'assign' input/output devices in the setup of your receiver. Check your manual here for help, you sometimes have to match up the input device for audio and video before it will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, that makes perfect sense about using different level inputs (composite for the vcr and s-video for TiVo and DVD).


Now fast forward to today....does that mean that if my new receiver (whatever it winds up being) has component input/output, and I get a DVD and TV with component jacks, is the new receiver again invalidated for switching video sources since obviously the VCR/TiVo will not have component jacks? Will I have to run them all at the lowest common denominator (that being s-video, the VCR can come out of the loop if necessary)?


Just trying to understand :confused:



rexdart
 

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You definitely don't want to run them at the lowest common denominator as your vcr if it isn't S-video (composite stinks)! S-Video gives nearly as good a picture as interlaced component, but you won't be able to carry a progressive (480P) or high definition signal through them.


IMO, the answer is unfortunately... it depends on how your equipment handles it. I have the same issue you do with a VCR, Tivo, DVD and HD Cable box feeding through my receiver. One way I compromise is to make use of more than one active video output from the devices.


My DVD player, for example, has both component (progressive) and S-Video outputs, and both of them are active at the same time. If I switch between my cable box, Tivo and my DVD player, I just change sources via the receiver and the video setting on my TV stays the same (being fed through monitor out S-Video). HOWEVER, if I want to get the best possible signal from my DVD or HD source, I have a second set of component cables directly from the DVD player to the TV (same for the HD cable box) and I switch the TV input to a high def source to take advantage of it.


Sometimes convenience outweighs best possible picture quality, but I get to choose. It also makes it easier to understand how to switch sources when someone else is running the remote.


You've got a couple of other options like buying one of the receivers that does the video upconversion (I think the Kenwood Sovereign and maybe some of the Pioneer Elites do it).


You could also get a composite to S-video dongle from radio shack for your VCR video and then use S-video for everything (you WON'T get any better picture from the composite doing this). If you don't plan to get HD or progressive DVD anytime soon, this should work just fine for you.


Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes it does help! Heck, I didn't even know you could buy cables to adapt composite to S-video (man, I need to get out more!)


You hit the nail right on the head with the ease of use for someone else. TiVo is recording? Want to watch a DVD? Well just switch the TV to RF, change the VCR to L2 and you are set! Makes perfect sense to you and I, but run that by the GF and I get a most unpleasant look!


Until the new receiver is a done deal, I was thinking of just buying one of the little RCA input/output switchers. At least with that I can feed everything to the switch and then out to the TV so that source switching is easier for all involved. That should get me through for a bit.



Thanks again,

rexdart
 

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I'm in much the same situation as the original poster. I have a new Panasonic 42" plasma tv and plan to add a progressive scan dvd player, HD DirecTV and VCR. The DVD and DirecTV are component outputs. The VCR is S-Video.


The Panny has one set of component inputs as well as an S-Video input. I'd like to hook up the dvd and directv units using component and leave the vcr at s-video. Am I correct in understanding that there are some receivers that can do this? Can anyone recommend a few? (hopefully some that aren't in the $5000 range...)


Thanks.


--kurt
 
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