So you have a DVD Player, high definition satellite, an XBox360, PS3, and a Home Theater PC (HTPC). And your home theater receiver only has two component video inputs.
With the rapid transition to high-definition in the consumer electronics industry, are you finding yourself constantly running short of inputs to hook up your home theater gear? You’re not alone. You are in a position that a lot of people are now finding themselves in. It’s too expensive and just not practical to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a home theater receiver. The good news is that there is a solution. The Audio Authority 1154a Signal Sensing Auto Selector solves your dilemma.
The Audio Authority 1154a is a four-input and one-output switch. The Audio Authority 1154a Signal Sensing Auto Selector offers simultaneous automatic switching of HDTV component video, digital audio (coaxial and optical), and stereo analog audio. The 1154a will not switch between digital audio signals however. You must use either all coaxial inputs or all optical outputs. Should it be necessary to use both, however, you will require both an optical and a coaxial cable to be connected from the Audio Authority 1154a to your home theatre receiver.
The most important part with respect to hooking up your components to the 1154a is determining the priority of your equipment. While the Audio Authority 1154a has the ability to learn your viewing habits, devices that produces “null output” should be connected to the inputs corresponding the higher input number.
Null output is a term used to describe the blank digital audio bit stream of data that is outputted from a piece of equipment when the unit is powered down. For example, a Personal Video Recorder gives off this bit stream, and this can cause the Audio Authority 1154a to be confused and automatically select the PVR, which would interrupt the device that you are intending to watch. It is for this reason that the PVR should be connected to the 1154a in the lowest priority position.
Far more information can be found in the product manual, which is linked at the bottom of this page. While brief, the manual explains the switching process very clearly.
Automatic switching can be overridden rather easily. Opening the 1154a, you will find a number of dip switches that allow you to determine what devices will be ignored by the adaptive switching technology, or what inputs can be disabled (as they are not in use).
The Audio Authority 1154a was setup in our testing facility and we connected up to it a Microsoft X-Box, a Bell ExpressVu high definition satellite, a Panasonic DMR-T3030 Progressive Scan DVD player and DVD recorder, and an HTPC, in that order. This is how we first discovered the switching issues, as being geek's; do you think we even bothered to read the manual first?
We initially thought that the Audio Authority 1154a may have been defective as it kept switching between the Panasonic DVD Recorder and the Bell ExpressVu Satellite Receiver. Furthermore, the 1154a would switch automatically when we went to record with the DVD player. Once we figured out that the unit was designed to switch automatically, it suddenly all made much more sense and we swallowed our pride and read the manual. Setting up the devices that produce null output to the lowest priority made the 1154a run smoothly.
We did not notice any loss of quality by running our devices through the Audio Authority 1154a either. Despite the fact that the manufacturer claims that the 1154a provided true High Definition switching, we had to test it out for ourselves, and we found that the 1154a passed with flying colors. There was no artifacting, no color loss or separation, nor any bleeding from our source material running through the 1154a.
There is one additional feature that we neglected to mention. The Audio Authority 1154a also functions as a composite video switch. For people with televisions that do not support component video switching, but still wish to enjoy digital audio, the Audio Authority 1154a Signal Sensing Auto Selector is the perfect solution.
For people who wish to have the ability to select from multiple EDTV and HDTV sources without incurring significant upgrade cost, the Audio Authority 1154a is also the perfect solution.
· Automatic switching adapts to your viewing habits over time.
· Customizable due to the ability to manually override the automatic switching, and disable inputs as necessary.
· Affordably priced.
· Informative User Manual.
· No remote for switching.
· Can be confusing to setup with respect to how the 1154a prioritizes the devices in your home theater system.
FEATURES - Audio Authority Component Video Switcher:
Component Video Auto Selector
Product Dimensions: 8.5" X 5.5" X 3.25"
Expands the TV's video input capacity
Expands the receiver's digital audio capacity
Automatically selects the active audio input
Converts optical and coaxial signals automatically