CNET First Look
Ask Anything: What is HDMI switching?John Falcone explains how the feature can make a home theater setup a lot less complicated and what to do if your receiver doesn't offer it.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Welcome once again to Ask Anything where there are no stupid questions. I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV joined by our home theater expert at CNET John Falcone. And today we're talking about having a really clean home theater installation where everything you have, all your components are hooked up to one home theater system and sort of switched out. Why is that important? >> It's important because you're using these latest AV receivers to maximize the convenience of your home theater system. In addition to everything else they do, the AV receiver switches between all your audio and video components. And especially on the video end, for maximum convenience, what you want is just a single HDMI cable going from the receiver to your TV and then all of your other video inputs converting into that. And then you only have to worry about switching from DVD to the game console to the cable box. >> All through here. >> Right. >> And this is a pretty serious system, so I'm assuming it's a little more expensive than most systems out there. But also, I notice they've designed it with that in mind because the out is highlighted. And it's just one HDMI out cable to your TV and then everything else would come in to the back of this receiver. >> Right. And this is kind of a higher midrange receiver. But we're starting to see these features even down as low price as 500 and 400 dollars. So don't think just because they were really low budget, that you can't get a receiver that, that actually does this sort of video up conversion. >> Now when we talk video up conversion, a lot of like your old DVD players, if you plug them into here using let's say component video, is that going to up convert through the HDMI to make it HD resolution or what? >> If the receiver has that feature like this one does. It, it can do that. There's certainly many shades of up conversion, so sometimes it just puts it straight through, sometimes it deinterlaces it to 480P, which I guarantee is best compatibility with a lot HDTVs. And some more expensive receivers even have video up scaling built in so you can set the output resolution to any HD resolution that you want, no matter what the input resolution is. >> So I used to sort of do this with my old receiver. I had everything coming into it before HD and just one video out cable, a monitor cable to my TV. But there is a little trick you say, if you don't want to spend so much, you can get a good universal remote that will do this? >> Yeah, if you're not ready to upgrade your receiver, you're happy with your old one, you can for about 100 dollars get any good universal remote that can handle all this stuff. And you just program it so that the TV changes the input at the same time as the receiver. So you hit watch DVD, and your TV goes to component as your receiver goes to DVD input. >> Because the whole goal here is to not leave the couch as much as possible. >> Absolutely. >> Thanks John Falcone, I'm Rich DeMuro with CNET TV. This has been another edition of Ask Anything where there are no stupid questions. Bye bye! ^M00:03:02 [ Music ]