Would someone quickly explain video switching please ??



I've finally ordered my home cinema set up for my new house which includes;
Toshiba 42WP16E Plasma (on order)
Yamaha 430RDS Receiver (received)
Mission FS-1 Speaker Package (on order)
Panasonic Sky Digital Digibox (1 yr old)
Pioneer 515 Multi Region DVD Player (2 yr old !).
I have yet to study the manuals I already have, I will need to as I am new to this game, but my main concern is all the wires and where they all go !!
Reading these forums for the past few months has been very helpful and if I have learnt one thing it is that I will be definitely be needing the John Sim RGB to Plasma VGA ( do I use this for Sky Digital or DVD ?? ) and will no doubt be ordering it soon.
Anyway I digress, what is video switching and will my new Yamaha be up to it ?? Will it mean less wires leading up to the Plasma which is what I am hoping ??
Any help or advice on interconnects etc. would be extremely helpful as I will need everything in place within 2 weeks ...
Thanks in anticipation.


Active Member

This is the way I have my plasma hooked up

Digibox to plasma via RGB to VGA converter unit.

Does your DVD player have component connections if it does use these to hook up your player.

The Yamaha reciever connects to the DVD player with either a optical or coaxial cable.

Hope this helps




This is something that I'm also thinking about right now, I've got the Panny Pw5 on order and what I'm intending to do is this:-

1)Connect the sky box to my amp(Yamaha 630RDS) using John Sim's RGB to S-video converter. I thought about using the RGB-VGA but I need the Plasma screen's "Just" mode which stretches the sides of the screen in a 4:3 transmission to fill the screen, This mode is not available on the VGA input.

2)I also have a Pioneer 515 and I will be hooking this to my amp also using an S-Video connector.

3)Run one S-video cable from the Amp to the S-video in on the Plasma.

I'm hoping to upgrade the DVD player somewhere down the line to something with component outs and Prog scan, but in the meantime I like the idea of only one cable going to the plasma and switching between inputs using the amp.

Hope this helps.

If you do it like this, what would do you do about a VCR as I understand it, the S-Video and Composite inputs are 'shared'

I don't expect a VCR gets used much, but I will still need it connected.

I am in the fortunate position of having Sky+ which I think outputs S-Video as default, so wouldn't need to buy a converter..

But if I used the S-Video, I would be able to us Composite which means no VCR and consiquently no tuner!!
Sorry.. I can see that you are using your amp as a video switch...

Although, I guess my question is still valid, as the S-Video connection would be used, so there would be no composite input.


Thanks for your comments so far.
John, nice to know that someone else still owns the Pioneer 515, it has served me well and I am loathed to get rid of it at present.
In response to Toonarmy's question I don't think the 515 has component outputs.
John, unless there are any other comments or recommendations your way of doing things really does make sense (now need somewhere reasonably priced to order the cables from !).
So to confirm there would only be the S Video lead and power cable going up to the plasma ?? Sounds good to me ..........


Forgot to mention that I would also like to connect my JVC HR-J580 Nicam Video to the set up, this has 1 scart and Audio Out (L/R - red and white) connectors at the rear and not much else ....... any ideas where this fits in ??


If you want to connect the video too, connect it in through the scart on your sky box, there's 2 scarts one marked VCR and the other TV I think, then it should(Operative word being should) output OK. I'm not going to connect a video in my setup so I've not really tested anything out.

So with the above, VCR to Sky box - Sky box to S-Vid convertor to Amp / DVD-player S-Vid to Amp then Amp S-Vid to Plasma you would only need one S-Vid cable. And a power lead too of course :)

And yeah you're right the 515 doesn't have component output. DOH!



John, you have made my life complete .. almost !!!!
Just to clarify then, I would need a scart to scart lead to connect the VCR and Sky, another scart to scart lead from Sky to the S Video Convertor but what then ?? as I do not have any S Video or scart sockets on the rear of my Yamaha receiver, sorry for sounding dense, as you will appreciate I just want to get it right 1st time as I, like many others, will be plastering over the leads.
Message for Dr John Simm if you're watching your advice would be appreciated.
You say you have a back log of orders for your new version of the RGB to S Video convertor.
Any ideas how long delivery would be if I ordered the beginning of next week ??
Cheers, Foxy ....
I am not convinced that connecting the VCR to SKY will work that way.

As far as I know, this would allow SKY to OUTPUT to a VCR to allow it to record.. But it won't allow playback through the Digibox.

So, whilst you can record from Sky, you won't be able to play anything back to the Plasma.

If it was possible, it would be very clever, as the Sky Digibox would be acting as a Composite to S-Video (or even a composite to RGB) converter.


DOH! Sorry Foxy,

I presumed that the 430 had S-Vid inputs/output I've had a look at the specs on the yamaha site and like you said it doesn't. It looks like you can only switch composite inputs/ouputs on the 430 which probably isn't what you want to do.

Might be back to the drawing board on this one, and when it was so close too....



Well-known Member
AFAIK you can playback through a digibox ... as that's what I do with my PS2 with the digibox in standby ..

you won't get RGB from the vcr though, even with a fully wired scart lead it will take the composite signal and pass that through ...


But you would only be able to pass like-for-like signals through the Digibox.

The digibox doesn't convert the signal/presentation.. It would just do a pin-for-pin connection between the SCARTS (probably by relays)

Your example of a PS2 will work, because the output of the PS2 and Digibox is the same (i.e RGB or S-VIdeo)

So, if you connect the VCR to the Sky Digibox (which can only support Composite), you would have to connect the Digibox to Plasma by Composite.

If you tried to go S-Video or RGB, the Digibox would work, but the VCR wouldn't.

If the Digibox-Plasma connection was S-Video you would only be able to pass-through a signal from an S-Video device.. The same would be true with RGB.

The Digibox doesn't do any kind of conversion, it just 'passes the signal through'. In effect, it would be like removing the digibox and connection the 2 cables together (using a Gender changer).


Well-known Member
Yup you're right Jon ... I thought we were talking keeping the vcr signal composite ... I forgot that he's taking the digibox signal out via another route ...


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