Next-Gen, Next Week: Where Do I Hook Up All This Stuff?

Let’s say that I wanted to pick up all the upcoming newfangled machines and run them in their pretty hi-deffyness. There’s the PS3’s HDMI input, the Wii and it’s component cables, my Xbox 360 (which uses component right now, but there’s a HD-DVD drive coming with a VGA connector), my DirectTV HD TiVo, a DVD player that uses DVI … how the hell do you hook all this stuff up to one TV?

Is anyone dealing with this issue at the moment? How are you planning to get around it? My 50" DLP is 3 years old now, so I dunno if current-gen TVs have a plethora of inputs to handle this madness.

pelican system selector for the win

Heh. Well, the HD set I just bought has 2 HDMI, 1 RGB (VGA input), and 2 component hookups. That’s 5 HD inputs, and I think is pretty standard on most new (and moderately-priced) HD sets. So, even with all those inputs, I’m still falling short:

  • 1 HDMI for my PC
  • 1 HDMI for my HD set-top box
  • 1 component goes to the PS2
  • 1 component will go to the Wii
  • RGB goes to my 360

The reason I use HDMI for my set-top box is because it gets banding artifacts, probably from appliances or someone’s particle accelerator somewhere, when run through component. Same thing happened when I used to use an RGB-YpPbPr adapter with the PC. Oddly enough, this doesn’t seem to affect the PS2. So, when I eventually get a PS3, I’m out of luck. I could swap the component currently being used by my PS2 over to the PS3, but I’d much rather use an HDMI slot, because I’ll most likely receive that same banding issue with HD content.

The only real option that I can see are these:

…and I have yet to see one below $100. Oh well, something to invest in later I suppose.

edit: The component switches are cheaper, yeah. But in special cases like mine, I just have to go HDMI.

I need to get a component selector at some point. My tv has 2xHDMI, but my dvd player and my xbox both use component, and I only have one component input. What a pain. I did some research and it seems like component selectors universally suck, and that you are much better off getting an amp/receiver and using that instead. But I don’t really want to drop three hundred bucks for that, cause then I’d have to drop a bunch on speakers and whatnot. Cause what’s the point of having the core stereo component and not using it?

My Westinghouse LCD has a fuckton of inputs. 2 component, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, 2 DVI plus S-Video and composite.

Thus far I haven’t needed a switcher…

8300HD cable box/PVR goes into HDMI (not because it really benefits from HDMI, but because it keeps a component input free and I don’t have anything else that is HDMI yet)

360 is on VGA currently

Xbox 1 is on component 1

Gamecube (will be replaced with Wii) on component 2 .

HTPC plugged into DVI 1.

PS2 died a few months back and despite interest in Okami, I can’t justify buying another PS2 just to play it. Sooner or later I may need a switcher for the component inputs, but so far so good.

Damn. I wish I had 2 DVI inputs. That DVI-HDMI cable I bought for the PC cost me dearly.

$5 isn’t all that dear.

Get a switch box of some sort.

I’m running to the same problem myself as currently my TV is connected to: a DVD player, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Dreamcast and my PC’s TV-out so for the 360 and Wii I’ll have to buy a second switch box.

I’ve got Gamecube, PS2, XBox, and XBox360 all hooked up via a Pelican system selector pro. (Too lazy to check the name, but I think that’s right.) It doesn’t do HDMI, though.

Monoprice has a cheap HDMI switcher too. Everything should use HDMI that can.

Also, get rid of your DVD player. You have a 360, just use that. Getting rid of unnecessary clutter is a cathartic experience. I just ditched my VCR, DVD player, and cable box (I got a tivo s3) a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve never felt better.

That’s a male to female HDMI adapter. You’d still need the HDMI cable. Cheap HDMI cables are cheap, but also crappy. Firsthand experience learned me good.

It’s a digital cable. Either the bits make it there or they don’t.

But, hey, you could go for a $5 adapter that lets you use a DVI cable instead.

Me too, seems to work well. The newer version only has 5 inputs rather than 8, though.

Have you tried cables from Monoprice? In my experience, cheap but /not/ crappy.

And in situations with high interference, bits can get dropped. Firsthand experience here. And I trust firsthand experience more than links on the internet. Mind you, I didn’t blow $100 on the cable, but jumping from a $10 cable to a $30 one eliminated my issues.

That’s what I’ve heard too. Is this Pelican thing actually good, or just the best of a bad group?

I’ve own several and they have been very good.

Cool. I currently have all of my inputs full, which means I’m one new device away from manually swapping cables. Good to know there’s a solution out there for when that happens.

My DLP just turned three years old, and while it still looks awesome, it has no HDMI inputs whatsoever (my Directv HD is routed through the DVI input). Clearly, if I ever get a PS3 (which I’m in no hurry for), I’ll have some interesting wiring choices to make. :)

That’s a terrible idea unless you have a crappy DVD player.