Technical S-Video/AV Question

Jaded God

Established Member
Ok here is the question...

I have a gamestop switch box that has about 6 inputs for AV connections.

I have my PS2, PSX, Gamecube, Dreamcast, Saturn all running through it *the gamecube one I share it with my N64 and snes plus the cube by pulling the connector out the back and switching* anyways...

The Switchbox is currently hooked up through Composite standard AV cables to the TV... The Switchbox does have a S-Video Cable to connect it to the tv...

So, say I just buy an S-Video Cable for my PS2... And I hook it up to the PS2 to the Switchbox... Then I hook up the S-Video cable from the switchbox to my TV, and unplug the normal Composite AV cable connection..

Can I play the other systems that are connected through AV composite through the Svideo cable that is plugged into the TV?? Meaning the other systems don't have S-video cables running through the system to the switchbox.
yes, yo can even have both, the S-Video and Composite connector both plugged in (If your cable has both) and just swith on the TV between teh two signals. I love doing that (I have almost alll my sistems switched via the home theatre and a box such as teh one you describe.... they are conected in cascade, the switchbos to Video 3).

The box will switch both the and the Composite, so you will ahve no trouble at all. But if you have both, you can show your friends the difference between them, and how much detail is lost.

I don't think anybody cares, but I also have the RCA audio and Optical audio connected at teh same time, and switch between them to show the difference.

Jaded God

Established Member
Artemio, your still alive
Glad you replied..

So let me confirm this with others... I can have the Svideo plug from the switchbox running into my TV instead of the AV video cable in... And play other systems that are hooked up to the switchbox via AV Composite cables just fine? No distortion or loss of quality/problems?

I would think there would be some quality loss since It is trying to carry the AV signal from the cords/switchbox to the Svideo connection in the TV. :huh
It would be like this:

PS2 -> SVHS -> Switchbox -> SVHS -> TV

Other Systems -> Composite -> Switchbox -> Composite -> TV

So you have both cables from the switchbox to the TV, and each system will only output the signal that It is giving as input to the Switchbox. In that hypothetic setup, only the PS2 will be by S-Video and the other by COmposite (The yellow RF cable)

Jaded God

Established Member
Oh so your telling me if I leave the Yellow RCA composite cable plugged in the tv and the Svideo in at the same time ... the switch box will know what signal to put out for each system... EX: the ps2 for svideo while having svideo running through ps2.. and composite running through the other systems utilizing the RCA yellow cable through tv and not the svideo connection???
Sort of .. the switchbox doesn't "know" a thing.. it just has two paths that it switches at the same time (and possible the two RCA audios as well) It doesn't matter to it.


Established Member
However, many tv's share the composite and s-video ports, so you can only use 1 or the other at any given time. On tv's like those, it's possible that having both types of cable plugged in will make it choose one or the other at all times, and not necessarily the correct one. S-video cables are so cheap that you are probably better off just going and getting s-video cables for all your systems, then it won't be an issue and you'll have the higher quality video.
A switch box does ABSOLUTELY NO conversion between svideo and composite. It's just a simple passthrough that happens to have two types of inputs.

Modern TV's will show the svideo input by default and switch to composite if they find no svideo signal. Since you're playing from one swtichbox you have to have both the svideo and composite cables comming out of it connected to your tv on the same shared input (usually labeled Video 1, 2 etc for all 4 plugs, svid, comp, L/R).

Jaded God

Established Member
Yes I know this, but I think my tv shares the S-Video and AV connections on the TV.. meaning if I have both plugged in, it will only use one.

Because I know I only have a Video1 on my TV... No Video 2, or 3.
Like I said if you have a relatively modern tv (last 5-7 years) then it will auto detect which video input has a signal and will most likely choose svideo over composite. Since you're only playing one console at a time (if you're sane that is) then you shouldn't even run into this problem in the first place.


Established Member
Of course, that's disregarding my 2 month old tv, that ignores anything having to do with composite video if you have the s-video cable plugged in ^_~.
That's most likely because it only checks for a ground connection on the cable to determine if there is something there. (or even possibly physically checks for a pluged in cable.)


Established Member
I'm fortunate enough to have two s-video connections. However, they screwed up by making the component and second s-video connections share the RCA audio. I've got enough plugs to run everything at once without a switchbox, EXCEPT for that shared RCA audio! Does anyone know of a automatic stereo RCA switch? If not, i'll just get a manual switch, but I'll have to find a good place to put it. So much stuff in the way.