Do TV Component Switch Boxes need to be HD Compatible?

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Old 12-16-14, 09:15 AM
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Do TV Component Switch Boxes need to be HD Compatible?

I just got a hd lcd tv, and while it seems to be working fine I am wondering if the picture could be even better. It seems a little blurry, especially when there is small print on the screen during a show. I read on another site that "f your TVís connected devices do not have HD capability, they will transmit content to the TV in standard, analog signals". I have a component swtich box that I connect the dvd player, vhs player, xbox, wii, and tv cable box into. It is an old box, it works fine, but I am wondering if there is such a thing as an "HD compatibile" switch box? I don't expect my VHS to look amazing but I would expect tv, netflix and xbox to look a little sharper than it does right now. And yes, I have played with all of the tv picture settings. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-16-14, 09:49 AM
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HD signals are normally carried on an HDMI cable. Your xbox, wii, dvd and the TV cable box may have an HDMI output and that needs to be used to carry an HD picture.

What type of connections does your switchbox use ? RCA type ?
 
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Old 12-16-14, 10:21 AM
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Yes, all of the switch box connections are RCA, except for the coaxial that plugs into the tv. So you're thinking that a modern switch box would have HDMI ports instead of RCA for everything?

Hmmm...looks like they're only $15 on amazon. Might have to give it a try!
 
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Old 12-16-14, 11:26 AM
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Not all the devices you have there will have HDMI outputs so you need to check each device. You may still need to use that existing switchbox for your VHS, etc.

Yes... I see they are relatively inexpensive. Keep in mind that you will need an HDMI cable from each device to the switch and then a cable from the switch to the TV. The price of the cables will exceed the cost of the switch.
 
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Old 12-16-14, 11:32 AM
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You'll like a HDMI switcher must better. RCA boxes are for VGA-quality composite video and analog audio which is far below HD quality. HDMI carries the digital video, digital audio and digital control signals so only the one cable is needed per component.

Buy good quality HDMI cables for your best sources to your TV. Some say it doesn't matter but I've read too often of problems getting the best picture from cheap cables and I've cleared up signal problems in my system by just switching to better cables.
 
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Old 12-16-14, 11:52 AM
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I have a component video switch that I use because I don't like the poor audio I get via HDMI. I see no difference between the HDMI video and the component video.
 
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Old 12-16-14, 12:38 PM
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HDMI and component video are both HD. Component video uses three cables for video.

The OP is using composite video.... single RCA cable.
 
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Old 12-16-14, 01:03 PM
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Sounds more like the "switch box" is also a video modulator, if it connects to the TV with a single coax cable... which means even if you do input HD component video to it, it's probably not outputting an HD signal. It may also be down-converting to a composite signal (usually a yellow jack) for output to the TV. Either way, you'd be losing HD into the TV.

To maintain HD throughout the chain, you'll need to take the component signal (red/green/blue RCA jacks) out of each device, AND from the switchbox into the TV. Of course, you'll also need the standard red/white pair for stereo audio.

There's absolutely no reason an analog component switcher shouldn't look just as good as an all-HDMI interconnect.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 08:40 AM
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Isn't the red/white audio for analog switchers just basic stereo while the HDMI carries the digital Dolby Surround-encoded tracks?
 
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Old 12-17-14, 09:08 AM
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Yes guy..... you are correct. Just going to a TV should be no problem with no surround info.
 
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Old 12-20-14, 10:19 PM
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The OP says he just got a new LCD HD TV and is using a cable box. The first question that comes to my mind is that are you still using the SD analog cable box that was on your old TV? You may need a new HD cable box and/or upgrading your cable service to HD. It sounds like you may still be watching SD cable (most cable companies have a nasty habit of charging more for HD service, so be prepared ) As for your DVD player and VCR, they are lower resolution (480i for the DVD player and 220i for the VCR) so they're never going to display anything near HD quality. It sounds like you need an HD cable box which will output through the HDMI connection, and your present AV switcher should work fine for the SD analog equipment.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 07:28 AM
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Another thing the companies have a nasty habit of is upselling the customers into HD packages without considering compatibility.
Last year I returned an un-needed cable box and a savvy counter person noticed I had been paying for a HD package for 2 years but they had supplied me with SD boxes. I got a lot of nice freebies and cost reduction out of that mistake :-)
 
 

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