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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I've found one or two threads related to this but without an answer to my question.


I got a new HDTV this past weekend, and so started upgrading a lot of my AV Gear to take advantage of this. My old receiver (which I can't afford to upgrade just now) only has two Component inputs, so the inputs are as you might expect at a bit of a premium. I have one of these inputs taken up with the DVD player, the other had previously had my 360 in it. I also have a Wii, and would definitely like to use the component connection for it so we can play in proper widescreen and with a bit sharper picture. I decided to get a "universal" set of cables with inputs for the Wii and the 360 (also has one for the PS3/2, but I don't have those so that's sort of a moot point). Got it all plugged in only to realize that I couldn't get any sound from the Wii. After a bit of experimenting I found that I can't have the 360 and the Wii plugged into the cable at the same time, and get sound (the picture dims a bit too but not enough to bother me).


After looking into it this seems to be the case for most of these Universal Cables. It's not the end of the world if I have to go and plug/unplug these cables whenever I want to switch consoles, but it is pretty annoying.


I found one online with a manual switch on it, but if I'm going to have to get up and switch it every time I want to change systems I might as well just keep what I have and plug and unplug them.


So my question is this: is there any such cable out there that will let me leave everything plugged in and just work for whichever console happens to be on without losing audio or significantly degrading the picture? (I understand it'll always be a problem to have them on at the same time but that's not hard to deal with.)


Are there any other products I should be looking at? Switches you can plug multiple component cables into or some such thing? (bonus points if it doesn't need to be powered).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I may look into getting that, though I was really hoping to find a way to avoid having yet another box to plug in (I just got rid of an older, similar S-Video switch like this and was hoping to have one less box and one less thing sucking power), but its looking more and more like this is probably going to be my only option...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any chance i could get away with using something like this (well three of them) to hook up the Wii and the 360's component outputs to the same input on my receiver? As I said I was ok with the slightly darker image, it was the fact that audio cut out that I was worried about.


I guess for 52 cents a pop I could give it a try and report back without really losing much.
 

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I'm assuming "this" is some sort of RCA splicing bit? Really, a component switch is your best option. There are manual ones out there the do not require power, but I leave finding on up to you. I just found you the first thing I saw to give you an idea of what you need.
You can also use a pair of composite switches as well (yellow, red, white), one for audio, one for video. Any manual switch will require you to get up and push a button or two.


Any splicing solution like barrel splices or universal cables will screw up impedances for you video and audio, messing up the levels. Just picking one console to use on a permanent basis sounds like a better idea to me than being able to use both consoles in poor condition.


One other thing. Does your 360 do HDMI? If so, problem solved, as your Wii and DVD player can go through the receiver, while the 360 goes straight to the TV. Also, why do you need a DVD player? Get rid of that, and use the 360 as your DVD player. 360 and Wii component to the receiver, no DVD, problem also solved. A remote for the 360 is cheap to buy if you need one, or easy to program through a Harmony, which you should have since you have more than two pieces of equipment.
 

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Does the new HDTV have HDMI? Best solution would probably be wire the 360 via HDMI to the TV, and use the dongle for optical audio to the receiver, and then use the Wii component cable.


Edit: Oops, just read the above post, which already says the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
360 is older and does not have HDMI, so that's a non starter.


As for why I have a DVD player? First of all I have it to play SACD's and DVD-Audio discs, and because it's a changer. Mostly though because the XBox is LOUD and when I'm watching a movie I don't need the sound of a plane taking off in my living room the whole time. I exaggerate but it's pretty distracting, and tends to get louder as time goes by, necessitating turning the volume up over and over again just so we can clearly hear the dialogue. I'm a bit less worried about it for games, but for movies it's a problem (and since I use my DVD player as a CD player it's an even bigger problem when I do that).


As I said I'm ok with the slightly (and it is pretty slight) dimmed picture I get now, I'm just not ok with the audio from the Wii not being transmitted. My thinking with the RCA splitter is that the picture would likely be more or less the same as with the current cable (this is really what I was asking about), and was basically asking if anyone knew if it would likely be worse than the current arrangement.


The audio wouldn't be an issue (wouldn't need or want to split that), as the XBox would continue to use it's optical out (which it does fine in this arragement, even with everything plugged in), and the Wii would be the only thing connected to the analog audio in on the receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames /forum/post/16977539


I'm assuming "this" is some sort of RCA splicing bit?

Just saw this and realized I didn't make the "this" a link... Oops! Going back to edit and fix that now


And as to the part about the remote you added later... I already have a Harmony, which is part of the reason I don't want to have to get up every time I change what I want to play! Sort of defeats the purpose of having a remote that makes things "just work"!
 

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Why use your receiver to switch video sources at all? I'll bet your new tv has enough inputs. Just hook up components directly to the tv, and set up your Harmony for 1-button switching of audio and video for each mode.
 

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So, yes the splitter bits will physically work, resulting in a darker image similar to what your universal cable gives you now. Chances are that the image is also being horizontally smeared as well though.


drmoze brings up a great point. Does the display have two component inputs? It would be pretty trivial for the Harmony to navigate the two-level switching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames /forum/post/16979060


Chances are that the image is also being horizontally smeared as well though.

Haven't noticed anything like that so far, just a somewhat darker image (which I'd be more than happy to live with if it wasn't for that audio issue).


I don't doubt that a component switcher would be better I guess the question is how much better vs how much more complicated that would make my whole set up and how much more money I want to spend on more cables etc (they are quite cheap on monoprice, but they still aren't free).


As to the other suggestion...

I am considering hooking it directly up to the TV, and that is more and more looking like it will end up being my solution. I was just really hoping to find another, simple, solution, as that eats up every one of my component inputs in the whole set up, so if I have anything else I want to hook up that's it (it also leads to more cables running back and forth between the receiver and the TV, and therefore more cables to try to trace and untangle whenever I want to change anything).


Anyway, thanks for your help, and suggestions I might still give the RCA splitters a shot, since they're very very cheap, so the worst case scenario is I end up with some extra pieces to put in my bag of AV components (never know when that sort of thing might come in handy!), but if that doesn't work I guess I'll just have to go with one of the other solutions.
 

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I didn't read the thread over very carefully, but you misunderstood what the cables were meant for. They weren't intended for hooking up multiple consoles at the same time, and the models I've seen (From GameStop) warn against it since it can damage the consoles hooked up to it.


Buy a component selector, the cheap ones GameStop sells work well for me even with 1080p going through it from my 360. Pushing a button beats unplugging cables constantly which you said you might as well do instead of having to buy a selector. The RCA connections on your cables can and will wear out, along with the RCA inputs on your expensive tv. They're not meant for constant use switching cables out all the time, and aren't designed for the stress and wear.


Also, wise decision not to use the 360 for a DVD player. No needs to be wearing out a expensive console for DVD playback, especially with how sucky some of the DVD drives used in 360's are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the reply. I realize they aren't "meant" for hooking up multiple consoles simultaneously (though really based on my searching online this is a product that a lot of people want, if someone can figure out a way to do it they could probably make a fair bit of money).


Luckily the cable I have, while it warns of a "weaker signal" (which I had hoped would be limited to the slightly dimmed video, and not a complete lack of audio from the Wii), actually specifically says it won't harm the consoles if you do hook more than one up simultaneously.


I may have to end up using a component selector, but was hoping to find a solution that A) Would require another box drawing power (plug space is at a bit of a premium near the TV...), and B) wouldn't require me to get up and physically switch anything.


And with the speed at which the 360's fail, using it as little as possible for extraneous purposes does seem like a good idea (not to mention it sounds like a Harrier Jump Jet taking off in my living room!).
 
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