Video Switching - What's the point?


Standard Member
Forgive me for my ignorance here, as I'm new to this and have just bought my first home theatre system.

Can anybody tell me the advantages & disadvantages of switching your video through your amplifier/receiver?

I have a Yamaha RX-V540RDS receiver and thought that routing all my video inputs through this as well as the audio would somehow make selecting sources easier. I knew that connecting the video through the receiver using the s-video connections was never going to be as good as connecting to the TV direct using RGB, and also, the receiver was likeley to degrade the signal, but was willing to put up with this if the degradation was minimal, and the advantages outweighed this.

I connected everything up, and have great sound and video (to my eyes anyway!), however, the reason for my question is this:

As I'm connected to the TV from the S-video outputs, the TV doesn't auto sense a signal and change to the correct imput as it would if connected using a scart (pin 8 I think), so I have to manually change my tv to EXT2, and I also have to change my amp to the correct input, if this is not already selected.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I connected all my video inputs direct to the TV's scart sockets, the TV would auto sense and change to the correct input when a source was turned on, and I would only have to change the input on the amp for the sound. As well as this, I could connect my RGB enabled devices to the TV's RGB scart and this would cut down on signal degradation as there would be less connections and I believe RGB is preferable to S-video or (god forbid) composite.

So to my original question, What's the point of routing the video through the amp?

Your views on this would be appreciated, as I'm a novice in this area as I've already said and just need to know the best way to connect everything together.

Thanks in advance!


Well-known Member
If you have a freeview box, DVD, VCR, consoles etc you can leave the TV set to the correct AV input.

You then don't need to do anything with the TV as the amp can switch between the sources. You'd have to select the relevant source to get audio and video switches with that automatically so it's no extra hassle.

If you've got enough scarts though I'd recommend going straight to those though rather than routing through the amp.


Standard Member
The main reason for video switching on an amp is i think, if you want to connect all your components in the best possible way, but your display/tv doesn't have enough of that type of input. For example, i connect my xbox and ps2 to the amp via component because my plasma only has one component input.. I must admit its quite annoying that i can't choose to listen to a cd or the radio whilst playing games now.

So if you've got enough of your desired inputs on your tv, then there really isn't any benefit to using your amp for video switching.


Standard Member
Thanks for your help guys, I think I'll see if I can get everything connected by scart leads, I may have to daisy chain some though.


Staff member
As you've already worked out - it is a matter of convenience (source switching for both video and sound done in one place - the amp) and necessity if you have a restricted number of inputs on your display. Those of us who are projector users, and who have several sources, are likely to use this feature (because, typically, projectors have only one or two inputs of each type, and, in any case, saves a fortune on cables).


Active Member
If you got loads connected, like I do, you're forced to use it really. Especially with several Video In/Out devices, like a VCR and a PC, where each wants to be able to record/see what's currently selected.

My television is just a dumb monitor, because its tuner is not as good as the one on my VCR and the sound is terrible compared to my medium/high-end audio setup.

I would go for seperate/component cabling only as an extra.


It all originated from the fact that americans and japanese don't use scart so these connections are the best available.
The biggest valid use is for to connect to a plasma panel which has few connections and doesn't have rgb scart anyway.


Standard Member
Thanks Guys, all your help is much appreciated.

One thing I was thinking of as I added more equipment (games console, sky+) was getting some sort of scart switch. Can anyone recommend one that has automatic switching and also passes RGB signals and also give a rough estimate of price.

Thanks in advance.

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