As much as I love my Hydra Scart switches, they are a tad on the pricey side. I’ve got a few of them for the main bulk of my consoles/computers in the lounge, but I have two more TVs in the bedroom that require a Scart switch solution.
I did try building my own a while back and they kind of work, but I get some weird interference sometimes which needs a re-design on the board I made to overcome the issue. But before spending any more time on that I had a look around on Aliexpress to see if there were any new options on the market.
That is when I came across these:
They looked to be exactly what I was after as they are fully automatic and also have some additional output options such as a 3.5mm audio which I needed as the speakers on my CRT are terrible!
The other thing that appealed to me was the fact it uses relays to switch the sources. This may seem like an old-fashioned way of doing it, but it means the system will likely be robust and minimises the chance of any interference as it will create a physical air gap. The hydras come with a warning (my version did at least) that connecting consoles whilst the unit is scanning could result in the chips being damaged. It’s not the end of the world, but I just think the setup on this unit is a bit less likely to fail.
I have connected one of these up already and have it switching between a Playstation 1, PS2, Sony VCR and a Digital TV box. It just works absolutely perfectly, automatically switching when a new console is turned on, then falling back to the previous source when turned off.
I purchased my units from here https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003688535345.html and they took about 3 weeks to arrive in the UK which isn’t too bad really. So far I am extremely happy with them. I’ll be sure to update everyone if I find any additional features or any issues in the future.