How to people work around shortage of inputs?

itm

Active Member
I've just invested in a Samsung UE55ES7000 and am frustrated by the lack of inputs. I had a PC, Humax PVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray recorder/PVR, Sky Plus (non-HD) and Tivo connected to my old TV, but now don't have enough inputs for everything - the Samsung has 3 HDMI inputs, 1 SCART and NO dedicated PC input (so the PC has to use one of the HDMI slots).
I'm sure that other people have this problem, so was wondering whether anyone had any tips and tricks for working around the basic shortage of input connections on some of the new models?
 

aandpwoodley

Distinguished Member
I've just invested in a Samsung UE55ES7000 and am frustrated by the lack of inputs. I had a PC, Humax PVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray recorder/PVR, Sky Plus (non-HD) and Tivo connected to my old TV, but now don't have enough inputs for everything - the Samsung has 3 HDMI inputs, 1 SCART and NO dedicated PC input (so the PC has to use one of the HDMI slots).
I'm sure that other people have this problem, so was wondering whether anyone had any tips and tricks for working around the basic shortage of input connections on some of the new models?

Get a HDMI switch, something like this HQ 4 Port HDMI Switch

You should be able to free up some HDMI slots then.
 

sutton8

Active Member
Use an HDMI splitter. Plenty of info within these forums and cheap from Amazon. I've used Neet splitters in he past and they are around 30.

Alternatively buy an AVR and speakers then you'll only need one HDMI on your telly :)

I have only used one HDMI for years.
 

itm

Active Member
I guess HDMI splitter/switchers are the obvious thing to try, but if you switch between sources alot (as I do) it makes the whole thing pretty inconvenient (not to mention un-wife-friendly). The main issue is having to perform 2 separate operations alot of the time (e.g. switch from SCART to HDMI input on the TV, then switch to the appropriate HDMI source on the HDMI switcher).
Maybe I'm expecting too much??
 

mjcairney

Distinguished Member
I guess HDMI splitter/switchers are the obvious thing to try, but if you switch between sources alot (as I do) it makes the whole thing pretty inconvenient (not to mention un-wife-friendly). The main issue is having to perform 2 separate operations alot of the time (e.g. switch from SCART to HDMI input on the TV, then switch to the appropriate HDMI source on the HDMI switcher).
Maybe I'm expecting too much??

Get yourself a Harmony remote, set up all your activities and, once that's done, it'll handle everything for you, including setting up the correct inputs.

Once you have one, you'll wonder how you managed without it. My wife is the first to admit she wouldn't know how to use our set-up without it.

This assumes that you, for example, install an HDMI switch.

Cheers,

Martin.
 
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itm

Active Member
I don't understand how the Harmony would handle certain activities because my TV doesn't have discrete IR codes for certain operations.
For example, if I want to select my blu-ray player as the source (on HDMI 2) I need to press the Source button, then scroll from my current source to HDMI2 - e.g. scrolling down 2 rows if I'm currently watching live TV, or scrolling up one row if I'm currently watching HDMI3. How would the Harmony remote be able to select a specific input source unless it knows which source you're currently watching?
 

itm

Active Member
This is may main issue with my ES8000, I got one of these 3 Port HDMI Switch Switcher Splitter + 28AWG Cable HDTV | eBay HDMI splitters, yet it causes screen sparkles when using it on a PS3.

How effective/useful is the auto-switching on this unit?
It says that it switches to the first device that's powered on. Once all devices are powered on, does that mean that you're no longer able to switch between devices without switching at least one of them off?
 

mjcairney

Distinguished Member
itm said:
I don't understand how the Harmony would handle certain activities because my TV doesn't have discrete IR codes for certain operations.
For example, if I want to select my blu-ray player as the source (on HDMI 2) I need to press the Source button, then scroll from my current source to HDMI2 - e.g. scrolling down 2 rows if I'm currently watching live TV, or scrolling up one row if I'm currently watching HDMI3. How would the Harmony remote be able to select a specific input source unless it knows which source you're currently watching?

All I know is that my sister and her hubby have a Philips LCD TV whose input selection works in the same fashion as you describe. When you're watching s specific activity, the Harmony does know which source you're currently watching, which means it knows which devices are in use and which are not and, when you change activity, it knows which devices have to be switched on and conversely which ones need to be turned off, plus which specific inputs are needed for that specific activity.

If you want more help and advice, go to the Remote Control forum where one of the moderators, called logiciel, is a font of knowledge.

Cheers,

Martin.
 

Obi_Robz

Active Member
My A/V amp has 4 HDMI inputs and one cable going to my TV's ARC socket (HDMI 2). Even though the TV is Panasonic and the amp is Sony switching sources on one changes the other to the correct source.
 

colin_e

Active Member
I don't understand how the Harmony would handle certain activities because my TV doesn't have discrete IR codes for certain operations.
For example, if I want to select my blu-ray player as the source (on HDMI 2) I need to press the Source button, then scroll from my current source to HDMI2 - e.g. scrolling down 2 rows if I'm currently watching live TV, or scrolling up one row if I'm currently watching HDMI3. How would the Harmony remote be able to select a specific input source unless it knows which source you're currently watching?

You're right, this is a major pain. It's amazing device manufacturers DON'T have discrete codes for everything. I suspect this is something Apple will drive with their upcoming TV product, with their obsession with control they will not tolerate this haphazard arangement.

For the rest of us-

The Harmony tries to "remember" the device in use etc in state variables, and then send the right codes to switch. Of course the device can get out of sync with the Harmony sometimes which will cause issues.

I have a programmable remote that doesn't have variable tracking (a URC), and a moderately complex AV setup with 5 year old Samsung TV. With some tricky programming of the remote, taking account of things like timing differences (some devices are slower to respond to repeated codes, or take a long time to start up), and code side effects, you can sometiomes achieve something reasonably robust results, but it needs a lot of tweaking and testing.

Roll on the day when all devices are on the network and controllable via HTML RESTful interfaces, it's been a long time coming.

Regards: colin_e
 

itm

Active Member
Has anyone come across any reasonably priced remote control SCART and/or HDMI switches? In principle a universal remote could work reasonably well with such a device - sending IR codes to both the switch and the TV to select the correct input. Lack of discrete IR codes would still be an issue, but it would be a step in the right direction.
 

mf9

Active Member
How effective/useful is the auto-switching on this unit?
It says that it switches to the first device that's powered on. Once all devices are powered on, does that mean that you're no longer able to switch between devices without switching at least one of them off?

It's also got a manual switch to switch between the three. Other than the PS3 sparkle issue it seems ok. The auto detect works reasonably well.
 

itm

Active Member
It's also got a manual switch to switch between the three. Other than the PS3 sparkle issue it seems ok. The auto detect works reasonably well.

Once all devices are powered on, does that mean that you're no longer able to switch between devices without switching at least one of them off?
 

mf9

Active Member
Once all devices are powered on, does that mean that you're no longer able to switch between devices without switching at least one of them off?

Once all devices are on, you either have to switch them off to switch devices or use the manual switch to switch between them. Note for devices that are always on i.e in Standby mode / red light / not powered off at the wall - it won't auto detect them, e.g Virgin TiVo, PS3.

I've tested it with the following devices:
1) TiVo - no auto detect.
2) Samsung Anynet Amp connected via Hdmi & Optical - Allows you turn on and off the amp via TV menu, even when the splitter is on another device.
3) Raspberry PI - auto detects
4) PS3 - no auto detect, screen has sparkles.
 
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