Next Generation AV upgrades you didn't know you needed (Part 2)

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posted 10/11/2006 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
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(This is Part Two in a three-part series of articles dedicated to buzz generating (but little known) accessories that will enhance the Next Generation console experience.  Part one is online here)
 
As each generation of Gaming Consoles find there way into homes, their advanced capabilities continue to stretch the limits of consumer's entertainment equipment.  Starting with the Xbox 360 and continuing to the Playstation 3, the "Next-Gen" consoles have arrived, sporting everything from networking capabilities to Hi-Definition output.  As a result, the gaming hub of the player's household needs to become more flexible and accommodate the demands placed on it.  In this series of articles, I will discuss three little known accessories that can and will enhance your gaming experience to handle the next-gen consoles.  The latest product we will look at is the Psyclone System Selector.
 
The ultimate issue in trying to integrate a Home Theater system and a Gaming hub is lack of high-grade inputs.  Most High-Definition televisions offer one or two HDMI ports and two Component ports.  For those that have multiple components that use these high-grade connections (Hi-Def cable/satellite, DVD, XBOX 360, PS3 and older consoles), it can be frustrating to have such a lack of inputs.
 
One solution is the HD system selector.  Once found only in expensive Home Theater receivers or Commercial establishments (think bars and restaurants), the casual gamer is finding these units more readily available with continued quality improvements.  Gone are the days of the manual switch for under $20 (you can still find these, including the Pelican PL970), when you can sit on your couch and change everything with a remote.
 
One of the most popular of these devices is the Psyclone PSC01.  A relative newcomer to the system selector party, the Psyclone has been generating Buzz throughout A/V and gaming forums as well as selling out at major retailers.
 
The unit seems to offer everything that a system selector should, including analog connections (S-Video and Composite), HD compatibility (Component), Optical Switching, Ethernet switching, Customizable Input naming, Remote operation.  All of this for up to four different devices, with picture quality is being reported as top notch.
 
Pros:
Connect up to four sources
Custom Input names (Up to 8 characters)
Optical switching for all inputs
Works with Harmony remotes
Cons:
Remote is small and has only three buttons (Power, Selector Up, Selector Down)
No discreet IR remote codes
No dimmer for LCD
 
The Skinny
While there are plenty of selectors on the market, the price and quality of the Psyclone make it a very attractive add-on to any gaming hub.  Remote switching and custom Input names are just gravy for a product that delivers on its promise of high-quality source switching.
 
Product: Psyclone System Selector
Model:  PSC01
Approximate cost: $99 - $129
Availability: Best Buy, Circuit City, Online Retailers
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