I recently tested a 6-in, 2-out, automatic component video switch from Games Care, that uses 3.5mm jacks to accept signal inputs. This requires the use of cheap adapters, however it also allows for a much smaller switch. It performed great and allows for safe simultaneous outputs. Check the full review below the links for details, but overall, this seems like a great switch for any component video device at any resolution:
The first thing to mention are the input and output jacks: Games Care uses 3.5mm inputs, to save both cost and space. This allows for a much smaller switch than something with five RCA jacks per port, but does require the use of adapters. Performance isn’t affected by the input jack, so this should just be a personal preference. Also, note that it’s easy to reference which connector is video, as it has three metal pads exposed (Y, Pb, Pr), as opposed to the audio inputs’ two:
This switch is fully automatic, with no manual controls. It defaults to the last console powered on and there doesn’t appear to be any interference introduced if multiple consoles are powered on. While I always recommend NOT powering on multiple consoles connected to the same switch, if you do, it’ll stay locked to whichever input was detected first. So, said differently, it stays with the current active input, until that’s powered off or unplugged.
At the moment, the switch only auto-detects YPbPr component video, however there’s a chance a future revision could decent composite video over the green input/output. I don’t think that will be a commonly used feature though and it’s my strong personal opinion that Games Care doesn’t need to spent a lot of time working that out.
The switch also offers simultaneous dual output – I verified this via a scope when testing on my livestream and there was no voltage change when adding or removing the second output from either port. That means it appears the circuit is properly buffered and completely safe to use any combination of the outputs at the same time.
As for video performance, the switch seemed great. I confirmed on an oscilloscope that the voltage (and brightness) were identical when the console was connected directly to the scope, vs through the switch. I also performed my usual SMW test to see if the switch itself added any interference and as you can see here, it does not.
As usual, I also ran the switch through some MD Fourier tests and it didn’t change the audio in any significant way. Of course, if you’re a reviewer, you’ll always want to connect your source directly to your MDFourier-approved sound device! In the context of a switch being integrated into your home audio-video setup, it was great and you won’t hear any difference from the analog audio connected directly! Here’s the MDF captures to prove it – The results on the left is the source device connected directly and compared to itself. The results on the right are direct vs through the switch. As you can see, there’s about the same difference between the two direct recordings (there will always be slight differences in analog recordings) as the direct vs through the switch:
My conclusion is simple: If you live in Brazil and want a component video switch, this is THE switch to buy. Period. The great performance, combined with no import taxes makes this a must-buy for people looking for a component switch.
Outside Brazil, it’s up to you: Do you prefer the smaller form factor, with pigtail adapters? Would you rather have 8in, 2out with RCA via sugperg’s gcompsw? How about a used matrix switch via an Extron Crosspoint? Or would you rather take your chances on some used eBay thing and hope it works? There’s really no wrong answer…but if you decide on this switch, you can use it confidently and know it’s not harming your audio or video quality, from 240p – 1080i.
Here’s the full livestream if you’re interested. PLEASE NOTE!!!: I made a mistake at the beginning of the stream and measured video wrong – I pressed a button on the controller, switching the SNES’ output to the lower brightness color bars. THERE IS NO VOLTAGE DROP USING THIS SWITCH!!!! I quickly discovered this and corrected myself on-stream, but I wanted to let everyone know again, in case you only watch the first part of the stream!!!