Sima SVS-4 Others

SVS-4

AV Switcher and Volume Stabilizer

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
Paul   Casual Listener [Sep 19, 2002]
Strength:

Performs exactly as promoted

Weakness:

Stoped working after 9 months, only 3 month warranty

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?

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Dave Hines   Casual Listener [Oct 29, 1999]
Strength:

Auto dectects input source, converts composite video to S-video, 2 outputs.

Weakness:

Does not convert S-video to composite.

Easy setup, Manual is an easy read, performs flawlessly. Comes with remote, I probably won't need. Found it on onsale.com auction for $99, drop shipped from Sima. My family can now play any laser disk or DVD without worrying about what switch to push. I'm glad I didn't settle for second best.....

Similar Products Used: Radio Shack 15-1966 4 input A/V Selector
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MICHAEL DE CHELLIS   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 02, 2000]
Strength:

Auto on/off auto signal switching, volume stabiliztion, good looks.

Weakness:

s-video input produced brightness artifacts.

There is a lot to like about this unit but the one flaw I found was fatal for me.
When using the s-video input from the DVD player I played The Fifth Element to check it out. At the end of chapter 4 there is bright explosion of a planetoid which created horizontal strobing on the screen.
I called SIMA customer service and was told that the SV-4's
brightness amplification causes the problem. This is a similar problem I had experienced once before when sending an (over) amplified signal to remote locations in my home and so it made sense to me. Because this was an internal problem with the unit it was not fixable and made that feature unusable for me. The converted composite signal did work well in that same situation; however I believe the actual s-video ouput would be of the best quality if it could be used.
To place a perspective on the unit I would note that there is another product which offers only composite video inputs and converts them to s-video out and you have no choice. If viewed from that point the SIMA could operate the same way, if you ignore the s-video inputs, and it still has the other features not found in this other product.
To SIMA's credit they were refreshingly truthful and up-front in their response and I would hope that they would fix this problem and make this the first class product it can, and deserves, to be.












when using the

Similar Products Used: 1:GE passive, manually operated s-video/composite video switcher. 2:Sony passive component video switcher. 3:AV receiver.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Robert   Casual Listener [Jun 25, 2000]
Strength:

Automatically detects input signal, converts composite to s-video, volume stabilization, automatically turns on and off.

Weakness:

Composite to S-Video conversion isn't the best, but tolerable.

I can't say enough about the Sima SVS-4. This thing does exactly what its supposed to do, flawlessly. I just wish it was an SVS-8 so I had more inputs! I have noticed when using composite devices such as a Playstation, that the conversion to S-Video is slightly blurred, most people don't even notice and it isn't a big deal really.

The other reviews here seem to cover my thoughts so I'll cover how the auto switching works, which I get asked about a lot from friends and family who want to get something similar.

Soon as you turn on a device, lets say your cable box, the Sima turns itself on and outputs the cable signal to your TV. Now lets say you turn on your DVD player while the cable box is on. The Sima detects a new signal coming through and assumes you want to watch it, then starts outputting the DVD signal. Now lets say you turn off your DVD player. Bet you think the Sima would just leave you a blank screen? Nope! It switches back to the cable signal automatically.

And even though the auto switching rocks, Sima added features to let you disable all the automatic stuff. This includes the lights on the front, the volume stabilizer, and the auto switching. When you turn the auto switching off you have to use the included remote to switch manually to an input, or use the front panel buttons.

Similar Products Used: A/V receivers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jerry   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 07, 2000]
Strength:

Automatic input selection, Auto volume
stabilization, Composite to S-Video
conversion.

Weakness:

None

I found this little beauty a must have
for my HT system. It
detects current unit in use and
switches to its input automatically,
adjusts sound level automatically, and is able to convert composite to S-Video. See www.simacorp.com for
product spec's. Available at
www.cameraworld.com for $119.99.
Highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Larry Boyers   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 11, 1999]

The Sima SVS-4 is an AV switcher. It has four inputs, two outputs, a volume stabilizer, auto-switching, and Ir remote.
Each input consists of the left and right audio plus video via either an RCA jack or S-Video jack. Each of the outputs also has stereo audio plus video via either RCA or S-Video connectors.

The volume stabilizer can be toggles on/off from your Ir remote and it adjustable via a knob on the unit. The range is from 10:1 Compression to 1:1 to 1:2 expansion. The compression adjustement is not avilable on the remote, only an on/off toggle.

The feature that caught my attention was the ability of the unit to convert an RCA video input to an S-Video output. This allows but my S-Video DVD and RCA video VCR to be fed to my TV via it's S-Video input. This was the only practical way for me to take advantage of the DVD's S-Video capability with my single Video input TV.

The auto-switch mode will turn on the SVS-4 whenever video is sensed on any of the four inputs. If video is sensed at more than one input the source most recently applied will be selected. The auto mode will also switch off the unit when the video signal is removed from all four inputs. Manual source selection is optional via the Ir remote and/or the front panel controls.

Having two outputs adds flexibility. I have set this up so that one output feeds my TV directly while the second output feeds my AV receiver. I use this so that I can run the audio through my TV for watching VHS tapes, etc. while keeping the TV's volume control active but can run the audio directly to the receiver for watching a DVD when getting the best possible audio quality is important.

I have been unable to notice any artifacts produced by the SVS-4. The picture and sound are very clean.

The $135.00 price is a bit below retail. I found it at http://www.mcmelectronics.com/

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Hayden   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 02, 1999]
Strength:

Auto switching,auto on/off,accepts both composite and S-video,variable/defeatable audio compression (for those commercials,:)).

I'll be short.This unit does everything its suppose to. Automatically switches to different inputs when it senses a signal,then switches back to an active one
when one is turned off. It even turns it self off when there is no signal,and turns itself on when it senses one. Basically I've set this unit up and forgotten it. I rarely need to use the remote unless I've
got 2 or more video sources going at the same time. I have 2 VCR's,a webtv unit,a dvd player and laserdisc player hooked to it(the laserdisc player and 1 VCR go into a Faroudja VP100 before going into the SVS-4). No noticeable video artifacts from
any device through this unit. Second set of
outputs feeds one VCR so I can copy from any source. Superb unit for the $149 MSRP.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tony   Casual Listener [Apr 06, 2001]
Weakness:

I hate external power supplies and this product has one. No component video (progressive DVD players) or digital/optical audio inputs.

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.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Fred Dugger   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 22, 2001]
Strength:

Semi-unique product for a niche market. Inexpensive.

Weakness:

Audio volume stabilzation has side effects; cannot use for audio switching only.

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.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Charles   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 31, 2000]
Strength:

Dual s-video & stereo audio outs, four s-video ins, fair price, remote control for most fuctions and gets the job done

Weakness:

weak-link specifications for my particular application and audio compression feature seems a waste

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.





Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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