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Sima SVS-4
11 Reviews
rating  4.18 of 5
Description: AV Switcher and Volume Stabilizer


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Paul a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I really enjoyed this unit and it performed exactly as promoted. It solved my multiple S-video problem and I was amazed at the quality of the conversion from composite to s-video.

There was only one problem, at about 9months of usage is broke. Actually, the quality of the picture degraded, continuously, until the unit was not usable. This happened over 3 weeks. OK, get it fixed, but the warranty is only 3 months. How pathetic is that? The quote, by Sima, to repair it was not reasonable compared to buying another one. But who would buy another with this service record?

Anyway, it basically sits in a corner, abandoned now. Kinda sad eh?

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: October 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This product works exactly as you would think it should work. Set it up (just plug your devices into it) and forget it is there (just hide it in your entertainment center or behind your TV and you will really forget it is there).

I purchased this product because my TV has only 1 s-video input. And I have 3 s-video devices (soon to be 4).

I especially like the automatic input selection. Basically this eliminated the need to mess around with my tv (switching back and forth from TV to Video). Just put a DVD or VHS in and the SVS-4 switches to that input. Turn them off and it switches back to the last input ... COOL.

Another nice option is the ability to turn off (or dim) the lights on the unit.

And I have also enjoyed the audio stabilizer. I set it for 1:3 and I don't have anymore annoying explosions or commercials to worry about (I have two small children in the house).

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $139.00

Purchased At:   thecameraclub.com

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tony a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This review is quite lengthy and I'm not a audio/video expert, I just think the Sima SVS-4 is a great component. I hope this will provide enough information to convince the average person that the SVS-4 is worth buying.

The SVS-4 is a must if you have multiple devices (S-Video and composite) to connect to TV with one s-video input. The SVS-4 was a must since my TV detects and selects the s-video input over the composite input if a s-video cable is connected even if the only signal was via the composite input. Now we don't have to unplug the s-video cable from the TV to use the VCR. It automatically selects the input from the device we turn on (we never use the remote to change the input selector from the DVD to the VCR!). I like the auto on and shut off feature which turns itself on when it detects an input signal and off there are no input signals(once again we don't have to use the remote). My wife loves the volume stabilization. No more complaints about the loud explosions or commericals and no need to constantly be adjusting the volume via the TV remote. Also the two sets of outputs came in real handy. I have the audio connected to both my TV and my surround sound stereo system. Now we can just turn on the stereo to have surround sound or leave it off and use the TV speakers to keep the noise down late at night. Two little notes here: First if you would like the surround sound effects remember to turn off the volume stabilizer (compression) via the remote, the front panel switch or by setting the compression selector to 1:1. Second you can add some impact to the sound from TV shows (if your TV has audio outputs) and VHS tapes by setting the compression selector to 1:2 (maximum expansion). The ability to expand the audio does wonders to remove noise and hiss and liven up the sound some what. For additional info see the review at Audiophile Audition at the URL "http://www.audaud.com/audaud/NOV99/equipNOV99.html" and it is the second review on the page (you will need to scroll down). It is very informative, even for me.

Now for how it actually performs. In the two months I have used the SVS-4 I have not seen or noticed any picture or sound related distortions or other problems that have been mentioned in this site. Once again the only true issue I have with the SVS-4 (and a pet peeve of mine) is that it uses one of those big brick external power supplies that take up so much room on your power strip.

In closing this is the best audio/video product I have ever purchased. For me it does everything it says and more. The only thing to be aware of if your buying a new home theater system and TV, is that most newer TVs (the $1000.00+ we are looking at to buy) have most of the SVS-4 features built-in like multiple inputs (composite, s-video and even component), auto input selection, and volume stabilization. So double check the features built into your TV if it is a newer model, you may already have the SVS-4 features.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   egghead clearance

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Fred Dugger a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Perhaps I expected something more when I ordered this unit. The reviews were good, and the functionality seemed to fit my needs. I have a Motorola 4DTV satellite receiver and Sony VCR as inputs; a SONY KV FS10 television and the SONY VCR as outputs. I wanted primarily the Volume Stabilizer feature, as we change channels often with our digital/analog C-band satellite reveiver.

The first thing I noticed strange was on setup. I needed to run audio only from my satellite receiver through the SVS-4. I found that unless there was also a video signal present, I could not select that input, even under manual control (you could select it, but no signal passed through.) Then I found that I could not use my VCR sometimes as a source and sometimes as an output; lots of feedback. So, I wound up using only one source (the satellite receiver) for the SVS-4, and one output(the TV.)

This at least left me with the volume stabilization, the primary reason I purchased the unit. Although the stabilation works fairly well (I still have to fiddle the volume controls when a movie varies from high action to soft speech, though not as much), I found that a side effect of using the stabilization was the volume output from the SVS-4. When the maximum 10:1 setting is used, the gain from the unit is increased substantially. I have to decrease the source volume, or the TV volume. Conversely, the 1:2 setting, for enhancing dynamic range, drops the gain so low I can't hear the output with normal amplification. In this fashion, the volume stabilization knob functions just like a volume control as well, although the direction is reversed (clockwise is softer.) The primary irritation here is that I also use the TV for off-air reception (no cable in my area), and I use the VCR. In each of these instances I must readjust the volume back to normal levels for the involved units.

I called tech support at SIMA, and the technician was very supportive, and agreed that yes, that was the way the unit functioned. I think their product is reasonable priced, and their tech support cooperative. Just be sure that the environment for which you intend using the unit matches its capabilities.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   Camera World

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Charles a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I needed some kind of switcher to serve both S-video and stereo audio to a multi-room set-up. The first room's system consists of a monitor with sound from a receiver and the other system is a 27" stereo Mitsubishi TV (circa '83) located in a remote bedroom. The sources are a Dish receiver, S-VHS VCR and a DVD player.

Until earlier today I was using a Wavecom Sr. to send the signals to the bedroom. I finally got hardwired with some 10 meter S-video and stereo audio (shielded subwoofer) cables from BetterCable today. The change was fairly dramatic.

The audio compression feature seems to do very little for something that Sima also sells as a stand-alone product. Perhaps I just don't get it. Or need it.

The systems are:

System #1 (family room)

Sony PVM14M4U monitor (800 lines--overkill)
Yamaha RPU-100 receiver (tall & skinny to fit a tight spot)
Creek OBH-10 ( gotta have a remote volume control )
Sony SA-V812ED speakers
Sony DVP-S360 dvd player
Dish receiver
Pansonic S-VHS VCR
Panamax Max1500

System #2 (master bedroom)

Old Mitsu 27" TV ( with built-in internal amp for ext. speakers)
Yamaha NS-U50 speakers
Extra Dish remote

Thanks to all reviewers.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Crutchfield

Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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