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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!


Has anyone had the opportunity to check out one of these switchboxes? I assume since this is a passive, hard connection that it should empart very little degredation to the signal? Yup, I know that it does not have a remote, but I have to flip at least five buttons to go between devices already anyway. I have tried a cheapie mechanical switcher and it just does not do it for me. YMMV. They also sell cables . Take a deep breath before you look at the prices. Comments appreciated.

Thanks!


Edit:

My original message to their technical support:
Quote:
Greetings!


I have a question about your video switchers. They are quite expensive in comparison to others that look similar. I assume that there is something special about the guts of the device. Your online catalog indicates 75Ohm wiring. How is this advantageous over other boxes and are there any other advantages to your devices?


Thanks!


P.S. My application is Home Theater. I have a Home Theater PC and two 1080i/720p High Definition decoders that I wish to share with my projector. I have tried mechanical switches and KVM devices but have been disappointed in their performance.
Their (fast) reply:
Quote:
Hi Manny,


The reason our switchboxes are more expensive is because of the 75 ohm coax internal wiring. The $30 mechanical switchboxes you see are not wired internally with 75 ohm coax for the video signals. The problem with using "regular" wire is when running at high resolutions/refresh rates, the bandwidth of the video signal becomes too high for the regular wire and you end up with a poor-quality picture. Things like reflections and ghost images begin to appear. The 75 ohm coax allows running at these high bandwidth video modes with[out] signal degradation. We have a 30-day return policy, so you can try our switchbox and if you're not happy with it, we'll take it back and issue you a full refund of the purchase rice. You would need to contact us for an RMA# before retuning it, though. Also, we don't refund any shipping charges.


You'll also want to be sure that any video cabling you use between the PC, switchbox, and projectors is wired with 75 ohm coax. If you need any of those cables, we have those available as well.


Contact our sales department at 1-800-547-2349 or 1-406-586-4987 or [email protected] for pricing and more info. You can also order from our Web Store at http://www.si87.com.


Thanks.


Dave Weiss
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[This message has been edited by Man E (edited 09-05-2001).]
 

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I bought the ABCD switchbox. His prices are ridiculous. I can get you guys all the ABCD switchboxes you want for 50 dollars a piece. I am switching between my DIsh 6000 and DTC-100 with absolutely no signal degredation. The switch I bought looks exactly like the one pictured. I can also get the AB switchbox for 40.00 dollars.


Kevin C. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


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If I needed a switchbox that would switch 2 or more HD-15 sources, I would get a standard SVGA monitor switchbox. Either that or a KVM switch.


Considering that computer video is generally of higher resolution than 1080i or 720p, I doubt you would have much trouble.


Ebay is a good place to buy these cheap, so are the computer swap meets they have on weekends in some places. Computergate.com is a good source of quality, cheap cables.


This other guy's prices are outrageous. No need to pay that much.
 

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I paid $16.99 for my Manhattan a/b VGA switch. This is the same brand mentioned in the original post. Purchased locally here in Orlando at the Electronics Barn. If I paid $17.00 then the wholesale cost is probably 8 or 9 dollars. I would say that Web merchant is a bit of a thief but only if your fool enough to buy from him. These are cheap

mechanical switches, made in China, with no shielding. On high quality displays you may see some triple ghosting. At

high resolutions, say above 800x600 you definitely will see ghosts. These ghosts may not be very noticeable on smaller displays. They are definitely worth every penny of $17.00.
 

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Manny,


I recently installed a Kramer Tools VP 211 to switch between VGA outputs from my DTC100 and Dish 6000 receivers. I rejected any manual switcher and wanted to find one that automatically selected the active video output. The VP 211 met my criteria exactly and at what I thought was a reasonable price for an auto switch.


The specs are at http://www.kramerelectronics.com/group2/vp211.html


You can turn off either input 1 or input 2 merely by placing the DTC100 or the 6000 in "SD" mode. The VP 211 senses the active input and pipes it thru to your TV receiver. If both inputs are active, it will default to input 1.



I sourced the VP 211 thru Kramer Tools USA which can be found at the above website by following the proper links. I paid around $140.00 for the unit including sales tax and shipping. I have had it in operation for a week now, and it works perfectly.


One word of caution - if you wish to also switch digital audio using the "audio follows video" feature of this box, be advised you cannot do so. The VP 211 only processes analog audio.


I went to http://www.tradertrax.com to get optical cables and am working with the owner Mike on getting an optical switcher.


Standard VGA 15 pin cables are available at any computer supply house for around $1.00 per foot.


Good luck,


Dave
 

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Well I agree 100% with the response from tech support. If they are wired with 75ohm coax, then they are worth the extra money.


If you can get away with a cheap VGA switch, then by all means use it. It may be that your display can't resolve the difference.


But I'll bet I can see it on 1080i material. You just need to know where to look.
 

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What is your though on this brand called Belkin Omni view SE 2 port VGA auto switcher?


Since I have my computer compaq 1725 17"inch moniter hooked up to my computer and I am getting tired of switching VGA cable back and forth to my RCA DTC-100 and back hooking up to my computer!


Thanks!!


9-6-01


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Quote:
Originally posted by Man E:
Glimmie, I've had a cheapie hooked up and wasn't thrilled with it. Could be something else in the maze of electronics gear I've collected, but the images are clean on my XGA projector without it. The problem (as I understand it anyway) is that XGA is not the limitation. Rather, the switch must be capable of passing, without imparting artifacts, the highest source signal (1080i in my setup). If I (for some deranged reason) convert to 640x480 at the other end is irrelevant. Or does the target end have something to do with it as well? Also, aren't all VGA cables 75ohm or do these folks really have something special?

No, not all VGA cables are 75ohm coax. The cheapest ones are either twisted pairs or just plain wires with an overall shield. The better ones are constructed with coax but even here it may not be true 75ohm stuff. The longer your run, the more important it is. But even at 6 feet, a good 75ohm cable will show visible improvement over a twisted pair type.


One way to sort of tell is the diameter. If it's not at least 3/8in diameter, then it's probably not coax.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Glimmie:

One way to sort of tell is the diameter. If it's not at least 3/8in diameter, then it's probably not coax.
That's a good tip. Thanks!



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by N5XZS:

What is your though on this brand called Belkin Omni view SE 2 port VGA auto switcher?
My experience with a similar Belkin product can be found here . Not sure if the unit you have has one, but beware the video overlay...



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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input all. As I suspected, this would be a split decision (as it has been in the past). I just saw what I thought to be a new product in this arena and was trolling for previous experiences with it.


Dave, thanks for the link. I'm in contact with Kramer dealers now and their 4 port model (VP-41) comes in around $200 (including shipping from one dealer). It's MSRP is $280. Interestingly, these numbers are in the neighborhood of the questioned SI SBVGA-4. The Kramer wins on aestetics, but I wonder how they would do head-to-head. Think I'll check out Kramer's return policy and maybe do a "switch off".


Glimmie, I've had a cheapie hooked up and wasn't thrilled with it. Could be something else in the maze of electronics gear I've collected, but the images are clean on my XGA projector without it. The problem (as I understand it anyway) is that XGA is not the limitation. Rather, the switch must be capable of passing, without imparting artifacts, the highest source signal (1080i in my setup). If I (for some deranged reason) convert to 640x480 at the other end is irrelevant. Or does the target end have something to do with it as well? Also, aren't all VGA cables 75ohm or do these folks really have something special?


Thanks!


I just remembered, I have to buy Kramer gear from a dealer so I'll have to ask the dealers what their policy is.


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The button is labeled "Play", not "Pay". STOP the MPAA!

Our Silent Angels

Please visit The Manny Page!


[This message has been edited by Man E (edited 09-06-2001).]
 
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