Wire me up - please! (could do with some lateral thinking)

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by richard plumb, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    I'm at my wits end trying to work out the various combinations of ways to cable myself up, so I'm asking for help and any alternative suggestions (in case I'm thinking myself into a corner).

    I'm about to redo the lounge so cables currently travelling via conduit will be chased etc so I need to make sure I wire it up properly.

    My video sources are:
    Xbox 360 (component at the mo)
    PS3 (component)
    SkyHD (component to projector, HDMI to TV)
    DVD player (component)
    Wii (composite!)

    My video displays are:
    Toshiba 37WLT58 LCD TV (1366x768 native). One component input, two HDMI inputs, SCART, composite etc
    Panasonic PTAE900 projector (720p native). One component input, one HDMI input, one VGA input

    then I have an old Sony STR-DB830 receiver for surround duties

    I feed all of the component kit into a 4x2 component switcher which is on its last legs so will need replacing. That then sends its output to the TV (nearby) and projector (across the room via 10m component cables)

    The wii is only plugged into the TV via the composite cables (don't really see any need to connect to the projector).



    I'm thinking that I don't really need HDMI as I don't buy into all the PR stuff and I'm happy with component as a video source for the foreseeable future. The only thing tempting me to go HDMI is for bluray audio via the PS3 (otherwise its just downmixed DD5.1)



    My current thoughts are

    1) I need twin video outputs. There aren't many 4 input, two output component switchers anymore. So maybe just a 4 input, one output switcher, then into a 1x2 distribution box like that by JS technology. That then feeds the PJ and TV.

    2) Maybe forego the switcher and put the funds towards a HDMI-audio receiver (eg sony 3200ES). I'd still need to split the component output though but not a big deal. The upside of this is that I'd then get proper surround sound from my bluray movies.

    3) If I did use a receiver for switching, I need an alternative solution for at least sky, and maybe the DVD player for when the wife wants to watch during the day. She won't want to faff about with the amp for GMTV/Cbeebies. I'm thinking perhaps just hooking SkyHD up directly via HDMI to the TV as well as via component for the amp. Most other things are used by me so I'm OK having the receiver on for those. Not sure on the DVD player though - I might have to check if it can output svideo/RGB simultaneously with the component outputs.


    4) should I wire up HDMI across to the projector anyway just in case? It'd save me about £100 if I skipped it for now, but would I regret it later?
     
  2. davepuma

    davepuma
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    If it was me, I would run HDMI to the projector, you're bound to need it at some point in the future. I would go for a 1080p rated cable and test it before chasing it into the wall. Check out the powerbuy above, or QED etc which aren't that expensive. You could look for a HDMI equipped receiver that upconverts to HDMI, the Onkyo upconverts to HDMI from component only at around £500, so if you wanted to upconvert from all sources, you would have to up the budget. Something like the Pioneer VSXAX4ASi for £700 would fit the bill. Check it here. I've not seen the Sony's specs but I presume it does the same job. You can get an Octava HDMI 3x2 distibution box for around £200(the last time I checked) but there might be cheaper solutions around now. If you're after audio via HDMI, you might also be better waiting for HDMI 1.3 capable receivers which should be out later this year.
     
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    thanks.

    So if I got a HDMI switching/processing receiver, then route the output through something like that octavia to give 2 outputs - one to the PJ, one to the TV.

    My PS3 and SkyHD go in via HDMI, 360 and DVD player via component and get converted to HDMI.

    Then for the times when I'm not here and the wife wants to watch sky without fussing around the receiver, just route component from the sky box to the TV separately?
     
  4. davepuma

    davepuma
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    That's right, the Octava would give you two HDMI outputs from one input but not at the same time.

    If everything is routed via the AV receiver using one cable, then she wouldn't need to fuss around with it, just turn everything on, you would only be using one AV channel on the TV, so just select sky on the AV receiver and voila' you're sorted. It's easier than it sounds. I'm not sure if you can output from HDMI and component (would require separate audio) at the same time, I suppose so. However, you might have to go into the menu to change settings which would seem like "fussing" to me to alter between HDMI and component or digital/analogue audio. I use a Logitech Harmony Remote and press one button "Watch TV" and it turns everything on and sets it to the correct inputs. Bargain at £50. Some receivers come with programmable remotes but they're usually not as flexible as Harmony, Pronto etc.
     

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