Re-arranging my AV cables

I’ve almost got my MG-35 media player box thingy working. (More to come on this). One of the hurdles was finding somewhere to plug everything in.

Perhaps my TV (a Loewe Profil Plus 9472) is not the best-endowed in the world, but it only has two Scart connectors (which I can obviously use with adaptors to accept Composite/RCA) and an antenna input. It also has audio output, so I can feed back to an amp. Oh, and composite/RCA at the front for camcorders and/or messy people.

But two isn’t quite enough when you’re dealing with:

  • DVD player
  • VCR (remember them?)
  • XBox
  • Digital media player

On the audio-only side, I’ve got the CD Player and the iPod (dock). Thankfully no turntable or cassette deck. The amplifier I’m trying to feed these into doesn’t do too badly, with inputs for two VCRs, CD player, tape, turntable. (Actually it’s a Receiver, since it also has a tuner, but I usually think of it as an amp).

So, how could I get this all working without going out and buying a new switchbox or anything? Well I ended up sitting down with a piece of paper and mapping it all out. I tried to resist firing up Visio to work it all out.

Hifi cables diagram

The priority here was to get absolutely everything plugged-in so that switching between them would involve pressing buttons, not plugging/unplugging. And no cables hanging out the front of the various devices. As tidy as possible.

And miraculously I managed it. After a bunch of re-arranging and rummaging behind things, it’s all plugged in. The only thing that didn’t work was the iPod going into the Phono socket. I forgot those sockets use some different standard thingy so you get distortion. It’s going into the Tape Monitor inputs instead.

Yes it’s true that sound/video quality will obviously degrade slightly each time it gets switched through something, but at present this is not a huge priority. It all looks okay, though if I decide later that the XBox picture looks too fuzzy, I can re-route it direct into the TV (if I have the energy).

Next steps:

  • Teach the others in the house how to run everything
  • Check nothing’s overheating. The XBox sits right on top of the amp, which is not ideal — the amp probably needs some breathing space.
  • Figure out a way of consolidating the remotes (I do have a “universal” remote, but it only talks to about half of it)
  • Sort out a way of plugging everything except the VCR through a switch that can be turned off from the socket, to save power. 7 number of devices sitting on Standby most of the time isn’t efficient, and wastes energy.

I might also get some new hifi furniture. That old Ikea setup isn’t very pretty.

And next time I buy a TV? It’ll be one with plenty of inputs.

6 thoughts on “Re-arranging my AV cables

  1. Randall

    Try one of the Logitech universal remotes. I have one and have got it talking to all of my stuff – eventually. I takes a bit of geeky perseverance and it is not as quick as the native remotes (because it has to, on occasion, cut across to other things to talk to them) but I have found it to be pretty good. A fair chunk of the work is done via web connection and then tweaking at the edges. I currently have mine controlling my TV, set top box, DVD, VCR and Bose system (albeit the Bose is just on/off and volume).

    I am now looking forward to getting the big logitech – the 1000i – all LCD touch screen control – and I can just transfer all my settings!

  2. daniel Post author

    Yeah… I need to have a good go at programming the remote properly; I think it would (if done) solve things. If not, then I might look at an upgrade.

  3. Dave

    That’s what Home Theatre amps are for.

    EVERYTHING plugs into the Amp. ONE video out lead from the amp goes to the TV.

    The Amp does all the switching. Just ensure you get an amp with sufficient number and types of of input connectors.

  4. Anne

    I’ve just done a similar thing with my loewe profil plus 3272. I assume it’s a pretty similar TV. I don’t know why it should be so
    difficult but I can’t seem to be able to get the AV input at the front working (scart works fine). I have the original remote but
    it just doesn’t seem to point me in the direction of the TV/AV button.

    Any suggestions?

  5. daniel Post author

    Anne, on mine (from memory) the two SCART inputs at the back are channels 199 and 198 and the front AV input is channel 197.

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