Saturday, February 18, 2006

AV Switches

Joytech AV Control Center 240C

- $90 at best buy. Hard to find now. Mostly sold out.
- 6 component (7th input on the front is composite/svideo only)
- 4 optical
- remote with descrete IR codes for each input
- custom LCD display (5 chars max). Label each input anything you want.
- Backlight turns on briefly only when turning on the unit or switching inputs.
- Picture does NOT jump/roll during bright contrast scenes.
- Quality looks good for the most part with ONE exception. On an xbox over component 480p if you use the optical audio hookup it for some unkown reasons generates an "interference" like pattern that is only really visible on black or really dark scenes when sitting close. If you unplug the optical cable then it immediately clears up and the picture looks fine. This is consistent across all 4 inputs that have optical. Of course the other 2 component inputs look fine since they don't have optical inputs. I've tried two different units from two best buys and they both behave exactly the same so this issue is systemic.
- I've read reports of rolling/screen jitter during very bright scenes. This seems to only happen with CRT's. I never experienced this since I'm using a LCD flat panel.

vs

Score(Pelican) Universal System Selector Pro 2.0

- $100 at gamestop ($80 at frys)
- 5 component (6th input on the front is composite/svideo only)
- 3 optical
- remote with descrete IR codes for each input
- LCD desplay only lets you toggle between preset labels. You can't write your own.
- Backlight is on all the time.
- Picture does NOT jump/roll during bright contrast scenes.
- Quality looks very good on input one. But on inputs 2-5 there were various problems. Several inputs showed lots of wavey lines, one looked completely purple. I exchanged it for another unit (from a different gamestop even). This time different inputs were broken and exhibited similar problems. Input 1 was always perfect but at least 2-3 of the other inputs were really really bad. It seems there is a major build quailty issue. I ended up returning it.

If you can find a working unit the Score isn't too bad for the money. Right now I'm learning to live with the Joytech. The distortion really isn't noticeable during gameplay. Besides I really need the 4 way optical switch with remote. The cheapest I found that is for $90 so think of the video switching as a bonus.


What I'm really waiting for is this joytech switch:
4 way component, 4 way optical, with remote, $99 retail
http://www.joytech.net/5/products/xbox360/4/106/Control-Center-540C.htm
It's suppose to be out in a couple of months. I hope it fixes the optical interference issue.
UPDATE: It seems to be out now:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4244402

Additional info:
http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/interfaces/switches.html
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=612573&page=1&pp=30
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/archive/index.php/t-168748.html

4 way optical switch with remote:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_10_4/sound-professionals-toslink-optical-switcher-10-2003.html (not sold anymore?)
http://www.inday.com/da4x/da4x.htm ($120)
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=180-980 (3 way manual)

cheap way to combine two optical (as long as both devices aren't on at the same time)
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10401&cs_id=1040108&p_id=966&seq=1&format=2&style=

bandwidth:
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?postid=1221843#post1221843

THE top of the line (and the most expensive):
http://www.zektor.com/
http://www.inday.com/
http://www.inday.com/reviews/rgb4x-review.htm

Other higher priced tier options:
https://www.audioauthority.com/indexh.php
http://www.video-storm.com/categories.asp

4 way component only switch
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10112&cs_id=1011201&p_id=3027&seq=1&format=2&style=

4 port HDMI switch
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10106&cs_id=1010602&p_id=2721&seq=1&format=2&style=

5 port HDMI switch
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=2777&seq=1&format=2&style=

another hdmi/video only switch:
http://www.markertek.com/Product.asp?cat=ROUTERS&subcat=&prodClass=HDMISWITCH&search=0&off=0&baseItem=HDMI%2DSW1 - thanks curtis104

3 way component/optical with remote
http://www.uniqueproductsonline.com/coviandtosww.html $65 + 11 shipping (never heard of these guys: http://www.resellerratings.com/seller10284.html)
http://www.avtoolbox.com/avt5831.shtml
http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%5Fid=3103&sku=40324
http://www.impactacoustics.com/product.asp?cat_id=1002&sku=40324 (review) - thanks 13th shadow
http://www.showmecables.com/viewItem.asp?idProduct=4371

UPDATE 4/9/06
A new switch: Psyclone Source Selector PSC01 just showed up at Best Buy for $100. It's a 4 way component all with optical. My friend just got one so I should have more info soon. He says the quality is great. No loss in picture quality. The only drawback, and it's a pretty big one, no discrete remote IR codes. You only get up/down select buttons.

UPDATE: 11/26/06




- Psyclone PSC01 Component Switch with the new 7 button advance remote
- $105 at best buy
- You can't tell by the box if it has the new remote. Just open the box (it's not sealed) and the remote should be taped to the center of the switch. Just look for the extra buttons.
- I tested all 4 ports with X360 over component 720p with optical 5.1 sound. It all worked perfectly with excellent video quality across all 4 ports. Quality is better than the Joytech 240c.
- The new remote is great with discreet input selection.
- Switching is smooth and pop free.
- I didn't test the ethernet since I have a dedicated 16 port ethernet switch I'm already using.
- 4 sets of inputs each with component, composite, s-video, and optical. 1 set of outputs.
- LCD display which you can customize. It seems to stay lit (and it's pretty bright) all the time unlike the joytech which fades to black after a few seconds.

This is hands down my new favorite near $100 switch with great functionality, quality, and value.

UPDATE 12/17/07
- I reviewed the Monoprice 5X1 HDMI switch (REV 2.1) at the end of this post:
http://blog.arogan.com/2007/10/home-theater-upgrade.html

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice consolidation of video switches :)

bill.mcdaniel said...

Thanks a million for the photos - I've been looking for PROOF of the toslink fiber audio i/o ports on the back panel of the psyclone, and now i have it! i'm off to ebay to hunt for a deal!

Bill Sturdivant said...

I'm having a problem with the Psyclone switch. My TV loses sync when the screen is all or mostly white. Everything else is great about it.

Joshua Branam said...

After my all 4 of my composite video inputs on my XBR CRT just crapped out, I started doing some research. I found your post and wondering if you could help me out.

- Can I run a composite cable into one of the inputs on one of the switchers in your review, and connect my TV via component video and receive a picture. Or, is it neccessary to run a composite output, if you are running a compsite input.

- Also, it is clear to me that you have done your researh, with that do you recommend the Psyclone Source Selector PSC01, as your choice of the pick.

ARogan said...

1) No, most of the switches I've come across don't do any conversion. Basically if you want composite out you need to feed a composite signal on the input side. This is the same with svideo or component. Now some of the higher end matrix ones which will actually convert an input signal and spit out multiple video output signals in different formats but that's going to get quite expensive. Composite <-> svideo is easy. conversion to component? quite a bit harder I believe and is out of the scope of my research. You'll have to dig a bit deeper on your own.

2) yeah my favorite is the Psyclone PSC01 for the near $100 range of switches. Read the above avsforum thread I link to for more info since a few people have reported issues with this switch but on my TV it works great. YMMV!

Mike said...

Hello...
I am having an issue with this psyclone switch as well. I have a DVD Player, my ipod, a ps2 and an xbox (original xbox not 360) that im tryin to get connected. I am using the component video ins and outs, however nothing will work other than the DVD player. I can plug the dvd player into any input, and get audio and video out, however none of my other sources work with any of the inputs... I have searched high and low for some help from the manufacturer, but i cant seem to find them. any ideas? I am using the monster cable ipod cord, and an after-market xbox cable, but just the normal ps2 output cable and a regular red/white/yellow rca on my dvd player...
Thanks!
-Mike

Will said...

Mike you will not be able to use the RCA cables for your PS2. You need to have the Component cables. I am guessing that the XBOX and IPOD are the same way. This switch is S-video or Component only.

Simple Rob said...

I have an Epson Powerlite 76c projector. I have a Panasonic SC-HT640W 5 DVD Home Theater System. I also have the the Motorola QIP6416 which is for the Verizon Home Media DVR features a multi-room DVR. I will be getting a PS3 in the near future. I just purchased the Psyclone PSC01 switcher. For the output to the projector, I use the VGA to Component video cable. Everything coming in to the switch is component. I send the VGA to Component video cable into an A/B selector fo VGA, so I can switch between my laptop and the devices listed above.

The issue at hand seems now that I have the Fios HD DVR box, I have to run the Fios straight to the projector rather than through the switch. Before changing cable providers, I had Brighthouse and everything was hooked up the same exact way, but I had no problems switching between the devices or the laptop.

Could this possibly be an issue with the switcher or what? Please help.

Rob said...

I have the same problem as Bill, and have had it ever since I got my PSC01 in 12/06. Near all-white screens cause the switch to cut out. No picture. When the screen dims back to an acceptable range the switch cuts back in and the picture returns. If I cable directly to the TV there is no problem.

Email Psyclone about it and they are aware of the problem. Suggected I try their lated batch of hardware. I did, and the problem persists. Thing is, I don't think they have a switch that works.

Erik Johnson said...

Thanks for the great images and information. There is so many products out there to choose from!

Erik said...

I am very curious how long that Joytech AV Control Center 240C lasted? Or is it still working? Very curious. Will tell me a lot about thier products.