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Poor Man's Component Switch for a Poor Man's Projector (sp4805)

2093 Views 30 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  miketc
Picked up one of these cheap ass projectors. No Runco that's for sure but an incredible value. Needed a 3 device component switch. Didn't seem to make sense to pay 150 bucks for a switch for a 1000 buck projector. So I pulled out an old composite video/stereo audio switch and tried that It works like a champ. I've also heard that for two sources you can use 3 RCA 'Y' connectors and just hook everything up together without a switch at all. (Assume you virtually switch it by just having one source on at a time.)
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Ive used the rat shack video switcher before (its around $15 if not less). Works just fine but I dont need it anymore since my Yamaha HTR-5760 does component switching.
Be careful with the 'Y' connectors. That's splitting, not switching, and could lead to impedance and signal strength issues.

I'm also happily using a Radio Shack 4-way A/V switch from about 10 years ago to switch the component signals.
Forgive me for this, what could be a stupid question:

If you have component in from two different sources (DVD player and HD STB), could you run it through a splitter into one cable input for the projector? Or would that cause some problems I am not aware of. Is that what we are talking about here?

The reason I ask is because the previous reply indicated that this wasn't switching, but splitting--but if the "splitter" is used in the other direction, then it really isn't splitting, right?
Steve, I think effectively you are joining those two devices together with the pj, which may lead to unpredictable results at the two devices (and certainly at the pj if you had them both "on" at the same time). So no, it isn't "splitting", it's "combining", and I wouldn't recommend it. Switching allows only 1 signal path at a time - "splitting", "combining" has two signal paths.

You can always try an on the cheap A/V switch from Radio Shack, CC etc. - should cost no more than $20 - some now also switch optical and coaxial audio signals for a little more. These switches have a yellow, red, and white rca plug setup. Just plug the 3 lead rca component cable into these. I've had good results with this method (no noticeable picture degradation etc.) Of course this leaves no plugs for audio signal - so that must be handled separately, but who runs audio to the pj anyway.

The next step after that is a dedicated component switch - which is built into many recent receiver/amps, or can be had for a couple hundred stand alone. These probably have more "bandwidth" and are less likely to exhibit signal degradation if you have a long cable run etc.
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This need not be rocket science. Just hook it up and see how it looks. It's not like hooking up audio where there is a chance you will blow up your speakers. (which as an aside its interesting that noise in hearing is much more a distraction/dangerous than noise in video. I mean my 500 hundred watt amplifier will be happy to melt itself down with bad input what's the worst that can happen with a bad video signal?) My guess is that the component level outputs are high impedence so if the device is off the effectively its not even hooked up. I doubt that having both devices on would fry anything.
I got one of those game switches from ebgames in the mall for 19$ Its got 4 inputs (each is for red green blue component) and then theres a little round switcher to change between the four.(it suppose to be used for ps2 xbox etc) but you can hook anthing to it. jeff
I use the RS analog switcher also and for a $10,000 projector - (on loan right now).

I need it for the four to one output. I think my HK receiver only does 2 to 1.

Anyway I got HD, S-video replay TV, and two analog dvd players going thru the thing. Works ok
I was planning on using a cheap switcher too to send the signal to either my TV or my PJ from my receiver that does component switching. I'm using the switch in reverse, 1 to 2 (not splitting).
I'm still confused as to how the switcher works. I have a digital cable box & a DVD player, both with component out to TV (TV has 2 component inputs). When I want to use my projector, I have to take the component cable out of the TV (either the cable input or the DVD input) and plug into the projector. With 2 "output" sources, and 2 "input" sources, would that Radio Shack switcher work in this scenario? Or do I need 2 different switch boxes, one for digital cable, one for DVD? I'd love to be able to use ANY kind of switchbox, even 2 seperate. Still a heckuvalot easier than manual cable rearranging.
Geordie, you'd need 2 switches and 5 component cables.

Switch A used in regular fashion (many in to one out)

Switch B used in reverse fasion (one in to many out)

DVD and Cable into port 1, 2 on Switch A. Output of Switch A into "Output" of Switch B (reversed fashion). Port 1, 2 on Switch B to TV and PJ.

To watch TV - Set switch B to port 1, choose input device on Switch A.

To watch PJ - Set switch B to port 2, choose input device on Switch A.

I think this method would have a low WAF
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I have been using a 4x1 radio shack a/v switcher for over a year to switch component, and it does the job without any noticable signal difference to me. I have one hd source and 3 progressive sources running through it. I am looking at getting one of the inday compenent switches though because we are pretty lazy and don't like getting up to press the button on the switcher!
I have a cheap one from wally mart as well, works just fine. But I do wish it had a remote on it. The woman is getting pissed at how often I ask her to get up and push the button :)
jmb295, does the inday component switches remote capable? I'm too looking for a cheapo remote switch so I don't have to get off my big fat a** to switch. I'm also notice that rat shack have some with auto sensing for ~$30 which is interesting, has anyone have experience with those?
I also use the $20 Radio Shack 4x1 switch and it works great--I've gone back and forth between running a signal through the switch and straight to the projector, and I subjectively see no difference at all.

It is *much* better, I might add, than the switching capabilities of the $300 Samsung SIR TS-360 Hi Def tuner. It does a fine job with OTA HD, but I bought it rather than the other available box (I don't remember what it was) because the Samsung has 480p inputs--so, I thought to myself, I could pass the xbox through the Samsung and I could switch between them with the Samsung's remote--I wouldn't have to get my lazy butt off the couch to switch between them.

In a word, the pass-through is terrible. If you're watching DirecTV and switch over to the signal being passed through the 480p inputs, it's like day and night, respectively--the passed-through signal is very, very dark. Basically unusable. I looked in the user manual and saw no way to set brightness for the different inputs, so it's useless. And thus, I'm back to the trusty $20 RS solution. Which is probably for the best--some days, getting up to switch the input is all the exercise I get. :)
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My onkyo receiver does component switching, so I am using that for now. I was going to get a cheap a/v switch but I found a nice deal on the receiver so I just use that.

Thanks much, I actually understand that setup you suggested, and it makes sense. As I stated, anything will be easier than pulling cable out of one set of inputs and plugging into another.

But I'm afraid you are right on the mark with your comment about the "low WAF" with this setup. Man, and after I had finally solved our remote control problem (with the Harmony SST659), which has a very high WAF, and now this! Bummer...
Originally posted by miketc
jmb295, does the inday component switches remote capable? I'm too looking for a cheapo remote switch so I don't have to get off my big fat a** to switch. I'm also notice that rat shack have some with auto sensing for ~$30 which is interesting, has anyone have experience with those?
The Inday has a remote, but I wouldn't put it in the cheap catagory since it retails for 150.
A quick search revealed Infrared A/V switches for about $40. RCA brand.

You only need 1 component switch 3 RCA "Y" cables and 4 component cables.

DVD player to switch port 1

cable box to switch port 2

split the switch box output using the RCA "Y" connectors and then plug 1 component video cable from the switch output into your tv, and the other component video cable from the switch output into your projector.

You can find IR controlled switches to make your life easier.

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