Another Plasma Connection Question

steve-j

Standard Member
I am looking at getting a Panasonic Plasma screen with the JS RGB to VGA converter box. I want to be able to connect several devices using RGB to the panel and have been looking into SCART switchboxes.

Does anyone have any experience of using these? Are there any particular models to avoid or one particular unit that comes highly recommended? Most importantly how do they affect picture quality? There seems little point in getting one if it's going to ruin the picture quality.

I'm not bothered about whether it's manual, automatic or remote switching, I just want the ability to connect 3 or 4 RGB devices to the plasma screen without having to unplug one lead from the JS converter box and plug another one in every time I want to change source.
 

JamesTapp

Standard Member
I use the RGB loopthrough of my DVD player and NTL box to switch between the two.

Both go into my JS Tech box to the component inputs of the plasma.

If you start playing a DVD the system autoswitches to the DVD output, otherwise the NTL box is displayed on screen.



James
 

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
You can get some decent SCART switches that are capable of switching RGB.

I recently bought a 3-1 version for about £12. You can now get one in Argo for £9.75 (Part No. 534/0370). Its a bit plasticy, but does the job...

4 way switchs are also available, but they are MUCH more expensive.

More upmarket than this, you can get a remote controlled SCART switch for about £100, but as far as I can remember, its only got 3 inputs.

You would then connect your devices (by SCART-SCART leads) into the switch and then the output of the switch to the JS converter and onto the Plasma.

I hope this helps

Jon
 

steve-j

Standard Member
Jon,

Does the switchbox you use affect picture quality at all? This is my biggest concern.

I don't mind paying more money for a better quality product. The thought of using a plasticy £10 box from Argos as the central video switching point for many thousands of pounds worth of state-of-the-art plasma screen is a bit scary!

As the old saying goes, your system is only as good as the weakest link and if anything is going to be a weak link it will be a cheap switchbox!

-Steve
 

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
I would say not. But then again, I dont' really believe that cables make that much of a difference in picture quality, so don't take my word for it.

The problem is that if you have nice quality cables (say QED or IXOS) and you connect in/out of the switch box, you arn't getting the same quality connections as you would going direct.

But when you look at the way that the SCART connector is soldered into the back of you DVD player, TV etc, I just can't see how quality cables/connectors make that much of a difference.

However, this is pure contradication, as I would never put a switch like this in my home cinema setup.. To get around the 2xRGB source, I bought a DVD player which has 2 SCARTS.. I then pass SKY throught my DVD player.

I do have on of the SCART switches upstairs to connect my DVD, PS2 and XBOX together and I can catagorically say that the switch makes no difference to the picture at all.

For £10, its got to be worth a try.. As its Argos, you could always take it back.

I would double check that is actually a 21 wire switch.. A lot of the cheaper SCART switches, only switch Composite and Audio.. So, when you connect it, you won't get RGB.

The one I have definitely passes RGB and doesn't make any difference to the picture.

I hope this helps

Jon
 
F

foxmeister

Guest
Steve, you have read my mind, I have just logged on to ask the very same question !!
I too can only really afford one of the JS convertors so was thinking about buying the Argos switch box but like you I would feel a little bit better buying a better quality one from somewhere else (I'm not a snob, Argos handled my wedding list !!).
Could you keep me informed if you find any other retailers that sell these boxes, thanks alot .....
Does anyone else already use these devices ??
 

symanski

Active Member
Originally posted by Jon Weaver
I would say not. But then again, I dont' really believe that cables make that much of a difference in picture quality, so don't take my word for it.

The problem is that if you have nice quality cables (say QED or IXOS) and you connect in/out of the switch box, you arn't getting the same quality connections as you would going direct.

I've had good reports back on the Argos switcher, with the only problem being that it's a manual device.

As for cables, it is worth spending a little on them, but don't go daft. It's better to have the right interface and input signal than the most expensive cable. A £500 SCART to Composite is never going to give you as good a picture as any S-Video connection. And then you've got component and RGB which are better still.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Steve-j

Not tried the Argos box - so cant say if its good or bad; maybe you need to convince Jon W to try it with his plasma and see how it works in that set-up.

Most in the 'trade' use the B-Tech BT941 Quattro+ SCART Management Centre (its called all sorts of names by suppliers) - this has 3 RGB enabled SCART inputs and is remote controlled.

We have installed and supplied quite a few of these in tandem with Johns RGB converters and Panasonic displays and no problems with the picture quality produced - some on this forum have even replaced Panasonics own Tuner unit with this device as it is much 'cleaner'.

Best regards

Joe
 

steve-j

Standard Member
Thanks Joe. I've had a quick look around and I think I've found the unit you mean at both Lektropaks and Keene Electronics for £80. It looks to be the best I'm going to find at the moment and seems to do evrything I want and more!

In fact best of all it even has the one feature I wish every manufacturer would include on TV's and tuner boxes - discrete remote control codes for each AV input. Rather than pressing a single button to cycle through all the inputs until you reach the one you want you can just jump straight there. This makes it possible to set-up decent macros on a Pronto remote control.

OK, I'm pretty much sold on this box. Now all I need to do is make a final decision on the plasma panel itself...

-Steve
 

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
Hi Joe,

It would be hard to try mine on my Plasma, as R.S have so far been unable to supply me with one.

As of Monday (When John Lewis take my Philips back), I will be TV less, but after escallating this issue to R.S, they have commited (At a Director level) to reserving one when they get stock.

If they don't get stock, I guess I will have to go for the series 5 model instead.
 

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