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Home Theater Hacks by Brett McLaughlin

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Hack #59. Understand Component Video Switching

One of the most frustrating things in home video is running all your component video-capable devices into your video output. Get around the limitations of your processor and monitor with a little knowledge about component video bandwidth requirements.

If you've got a DVD player, HDTV cable or satellite receiver, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, you're probably running short of component video inputs. This turns out to be one of the major problems in home theater, albeit one that you can solve easily if you get past the (inaccurate) assumptions made at the local water cooler. Most home theater enthusiasts will insist that running your component video cables through the inputs on your receiver, processor, or even an A/V switch will cause the signal to deteriorate. Instead, they'll tell you, everything should be connected straight to your TV or projector. Because most display devices have only two, or possibly three, component inputs, this can be a real problem, but most people are afraid to use their processor's component video switching abilities. However, that's precisely the right way to get around a lack of inputs on your monitor.

Use the component switching on your receiver or processor for all your higher-end components, such as DVD players and HDTV receivers. Most processors will have at least two component video inputs, and some even have three these days. Then, use an A/V switch (see Table 7-1) when you need additional component inputs ...

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