High quality S-Video switch box??

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AlexHiro4
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High quality S-Video switch box??

Postby AlexHiro4 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:53 pm

Guys,

As I've mentioned before, I have a retro gaming setup in one of the rooms of my house. I haven't invested in the whole RGB SCART + Frameister method of obtaining a quality picture yet, but I have invested in great quality S-video cables for the SNES and N64, and I'll be getting two more soon for the original Playstation and Sega Saturn. There's a seller on Ebay from Sweden who uses the the username "gamesnow", and he makes these cables by hand. He typically only makes the Nintendo S-video cables, but I've put in a request for him to make the Playstation and Saturn cables...which he agreed to.

These things provide REALLY amazing video quality, especially considering they aren't RGB. The problem is that S-video cables are a pain to switch out due to their funky design. Therefore, I need an S-video switch box, but I need one that won't diminish the video signal. If the box reduces the video quality, what's the point of having high quality cables in the first place?

Anyway, I realize some of you may hate me because of my particular political viewpoints, but as a fellow brother in gaming....I'd appreciate any knowledgeable input regarding this out-of-date video technology.

Thanks!
Dwight: "One thing about deer, they have very good vision. One thing about me, I am better at hiding than they are...at vision."
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Sonic#
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Re: High quality S-Video switch box??

Postby Sonic# » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:09 pm

I'll piggyback a question on yours: doesn't any intermediary between a box and a display entail some loss in quality? In other words, the mere fact that the signal has to be adapted means that there's one more connection that could mess with the display quality.

I used a basic switch-box that used both S-video and component cables. The method for switching was merely mechanical - press a button down, and it'd switch the connection over. The only (slight) difficulty was that the connection between the switch box and the TV occasionally required some jiggling. That was more a problem with the older TV. Since then, I've gone with a RetroPie setup to simplify the cable issues.

To answer your question directly, it seems harder to find a solid S-video switcher than a component switcher. I'd start with the $20-30 models, read reviews, and refine the search as necessary. In my own search, I found this example of DIY shelving and switcher-connecting. The author used a system of Pelican switch boxes for all his consoles. If they could link one switch box to another switch box to a TV without the image loss bothering him, that may do it for you. I'd just research a bit more about whether the S-video also holds up.

Anyway, I realize some of you may hate me because of my particular political viewpoints


I don't hate you. That said, the persecution complex is more annoying than the political viewpoints.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

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AlexHiro4
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Re: High quality S-Video switch box??

Postby AlexHiro4 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:42 pm

Well, I do agree that there is going to be SOME signal loss, but whether or not it's visible when using a certain box is the deal breaker. The guys from "My Life in Gaming" on Youtube did a video on switch boxes, but they were mostly SCART boxers with a few component boxes as well. No S-video. They showed side-by-side comparisons with direct connections and some of the better boxes, and it was extremely difficult to tell a difference. That's what I want with an S-video switch box. Not necessarily 100%, but a solid 97% would suffice.

Also, thanks for not hating me. Lol. I know I've been outspoken a couple of times, and while I stand firm with what I believe, I fear the possibility of being ostracized to the point where people don't want to comment on my other, more relevant to gaming, posts.

In any case, thanks for the input. I'd actually heard good stuff about Pelican boxes as well. I just need to find a particular model that people agree works well.
Dwight: "One thing about deer, they have very good vision. One thing about me, I am better at hiding than they are...at vision."
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Kizyr
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Re: High quality S-Video switch box??

Postby Kizyr » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:09 am

I can't answer the question directly since I don't use S-Video cables any more, but... are component cables or S-Video cables supposed to provide better quality? I've never had the chance to try both on the same TV to make an accurate comparison, and everything I play older systems on now has component cable hookups so I just use that (..."everything" meaning the same TV that I play everything from NES to XBox360 games on).

Actually on that note, is this being connected to an old CRT TV or a modern one? Asking since my best guess (not being an A/V expert) is that anything digital won't really present the same issue with signal loss as something like a CRT. ...but again, I'm no A/V expert so this is just a semi-educated guess.

AlexHiro4 wrote:Anyway, I realize some of you may hate me because of my particular political viewpoints, but as a fellow brother in gaming....I'd appreciate any knowledgeable input regarding this out-of-date video technology.

The extent that your viewpoints on one topic affect others is really up to you. I generally don't hate people -- I abhor certain actions and ideas, but rarely people -- and that philosophy carries over into the rules of the forum. It's why if you advocate discriminatory actions, even if they're personally against me, as a political viewpoint, it's not the same as, say, calling me an ethnic slur. (To take another example: someone stating they're against same-sex marriage isn't something that even merits a warning, but people have been banned for homophobic comments.) The difference is that specific actions or positions can be kept in the context of the topics or posts where they're presented. So it's in your hands how much you want it to affect your posts elsewhere. KF

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Re: High quality S-Video switch box??

Postby AlexHiro4 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:14 pm

Kizyr wrote:I can't answer the question directly since I don't use S-Video cables any more, but... are component cables or S-Video cables supposed to provide better quality? I've never had the chance to try both on the same TV to make an accurate comparison, and everything I play older systems on now has component cable hookups so I just use that (..."everything" meaning the same TV that I play everything from NES to XBox360 games on).

Actually on that note, is this being connected to an old CRT TV or a modern one? Asking since my best guess (not being an A/V expert) is that anything digital won't really present the same issue with signal loss as something like a CRT. ...but again, I'm no A/V expert so this is just a semi-educated guess.


I'll address some of this with bullet points....because I'm a nerd like that. Lol.

1) In short, component > S-video > composite.

Composite video doesn't separate any of the aspects of the video. All of it is condensed ad pumped through the yellow plug.

S-video is a bit sharper than composite because it separates the video into two signals: brightness and color.

Component video is the best non-digital video type. 3 of the 5 plugs at the end of the cable are red, green, and blue. This signifies that the video signal is being broken down into red, green, and blue color signals. This provides a tremeandous amount of sharpness and color clarity.

On a side note, component video is a more advanced type of RGB, but an earlier version of RGB that never made it to the US is SCART. The TVs over here never had that connection, which is a shame. Several NTSC retro consoles are either RGB native or can easily be modded for RGB. The only options we have over here to use RGB SCART are to buy a PVM CRT and use a SCART to BNC adapter, or to get a Frameister (or a cheaper quality upscaler), and run the SCART through it.

Anyway, the reason why I specified all of this is because you were talking about component cables on my other thread regarding your gaming cables, and I suspect the possibility that you might have them mixed up with composite cables. It's easy to do because the names are annoyingly similar. On that thread, I went a little more into detail regarding why I suspected the mix-up.

2) I know you were talking about having the proper hookups on your TV to hook up everything you want. Unfortunately, while I have the correct hookups on each of my respective TV's, I don't have the right quantity. Therefore, I have to unplug and re-plug different systems as I use them. Other than the power sources of course. If it was just a matter of regular shaped plugs like component or composite cables, I would have no issue with unplugging and re-plugging systems as I need them. S-video plugs are a pain in the butt though because of being shaped kind of funny, especially when the connection is on the back of the TV.

3) To answer your question about the TV I'd be using for the S-video switch box, it's a CRT. I do have an S-video input on both the HDTV and the CRT, but I'm running the 3 of my 4 S-video capable systems on the CRT. The reason I do this is because S-video is not a type of digital signal. Retro consoles that are not modded for outputting digital signals typically look a bit fuzzy or blurry on a modern TV. Modern TVs don't know how to interpret analogue signals properly. With that being said, with retro consoles, if you use a good quality cable on a CRT, it typically looks sharper and prettier than it would on a modern HDTV (unless you're using an upscaler to HDMI). Due to lack of space on my CRT's TV stand, I use the N64 on my HDTV through an S-video hookup (or I will when the cable comes in the mail actually), while my SNES, PS1, and Saturn are all hooked up to my CRT via S-video. The N64 is more modern than the other three, therefore, I felt like it would be the most tolerable our of the four to view on on an HDTV. There's actually a really cool UltraHDMI mod for the N64 that I may invest in at some point....

Once again, I need a good quality S-video switch box to make this a bit more convenient. First world problems. Lol.

Kizyr wrote:The extent that your viewpoints on one topic affect others is really up to you. I generally don't hate people -- I abhor certain actions and ideas, but rarely people -- and that philosophy carries over into the rules of the forum. It's why if you advocate discriminatory actions, even if they're personally against me, as a political viewpoint, it's not the same as, say, calling me an ethnic slur. (To take another example: someone stating they're against same-sex marriage isn't something that even merits a warning, but people have been banned for homophobic comments.) The difference is that specific actions or positions can be kept in the context of the topics or posts where they're presented. So it's in your hands how much you want it to affect your posts elsewhere. KF


I interpret this statement, and your willingness to comment on my gaming posts, as an indication that you don't, in fact, hate me. I'm glad to know that because I definitely believe you to be a very cool person. Truthfully, fighting the temptation to jump in on political threads (even if just to make a brief smart-ass comment) is a difficult task for me at times. I have extremely strong feelings towards particular viewpoints, and I have a pretty abrasive personality at times. With that being said, I don't feel offended or persecuted by the comments of others, but I do get really annoyed and frustrated. With that being said, I'll try to be better about just avoiding political posts that I see on here. It's probably better for all parties involved. I can't promise that I'll be perfect with this action, but I'll certainly try my best.

Back to the topic of retro gaming and video quality for a sec, check out the Youtube channel "My Life In Gaming" if you have some free time. I realize you're probably a pretty busy guy with very little downtime, but if you do get the time....these guys are pretty fascinating to listen to. They have an "RGB Master Class" series of videos that walks you step-by-step through the process of obtaining optimal video quality from retro consoles. Even if you don't plan to go through the processes that they describe, it's interesting to listen to nonetheless.
Dwight: "One thing about deer, they have very good vision. One thing about me, I am better at hiding than they are...at vision."
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