Picture of AV Selector Box
I have a DVD player, a VHS video, and a mini-DV video camera. I record off the mini-DV to my PC, I'm also recording VHS to digital in a similar way. Sometimes I take audio-video from the DVD to the PC.

I used to feed composite-video to my PC's graphics-card, and the audio to Line-in via a hacked SCART adapter. This was a pain with regard to switching inputs behind my PC, especially as the current video outputs audio in mono, and I had to bridge connectors with a paperclip to feed both L & R channels. This is pictured on the introduction.

As I've got a lot of bits from old stereos, TV's Videos, I had everything I needed to make a switching box / vision-mixer, so it was about time that I did.

(I use AV to mean Audio/Video)

Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
From TVs / Videos I unsoldered the AV sockets.
From an old stereo I removed (with much difficulty) an input selector switch bank. Pushing one of these switches releases any others that are engaged, so you only have one "on" at a time.
Out of a McDonnel Douglas P-LAN node, some wire.
From my kitchen, an empty mustard tin.
From a laser toner cartridge, some heavy black plastic sheet.
From I can't remember what, screws

Also used:

rachten1 year ago

Hi there, great build! Do you think it would be possible to automate those switches via Arduino?

kidos1001 year ago

Where did you get the input selector?

jbaker223 years ago
Nice can you show me how to convert the video out put to my mac. I would like to build a dvr with scraps and under $20.
fazl3 years ago
Great job.
somugsundar5 years ago
g8 idea and work...
gantyman5 years ago
is there any way to make this wireless?
monkeys985 years ago
would you be able to make this for a USB port so i can plug AV input devices into my computer?
lemonie (author)  monkeys985 years ago

You need electronics to convert video to pass through USB. Buying a device is your best bet. Some products here

lemonie (author)  monkeys985 years ago

Yes it is, but a TV-tuner-device might be a good thing to have?

djlolypop5 years ago
u sould make a hd cable one now
Derin5 years ago
Kryptonite5 years ago
Awesome stuff, I like the SCART adapter, it's given me a few ideas...
lemonie (author)  Kryptonite5 years ago
That was a very easy mod of something with sockets on it. The SCART not being used.

Mmm I noticed, but I still have an idea for that kind of thing to record video using the little camera featured on Kipkay's spy camera Instructable.
jojoba5 years ago
im flanimals yonger brother
Oh hey there!
lemonie (author)  jojoba5 years ago

jojoba5 years ago
hi lemonie i im a new instructables person
Hello, again

I have a camcorder, which records to DVD's. The quality is quite good when i put the DVD in my DVD player. Although when I put it in my computer and rip it the qualtiy is messed up. The camcorder comes with a scart lead. Looking at your design it seems that I could connect my camcorder to my computer with the scart?
Just wander, do you know of a comemraily available product which connects scart's to USB's as it don't have many TV's lying around.


lemonie (author)  oscarthompson5 years ago
If you look at the SCART adapter, the audio is a "piece-of-" and so is the video. If your PC has composite video-in it'll be straightforward (with / without one). Any USB device you would have to buy, so I'd do this:
Which will lead you to places like this:


madrasi5 years ago
I am in the process of building one of these my self, I have just been procrastanating on it for the last 2 or 3 months.

Great job though on yours. If I had a my cam I would show you mine in progress. I guess I need to get it done now huh
lemonie (author)  madrasi5 years ago
It's the switch bank from a stereo (or otherwise) that you need - I just had one.

madrasi lemonie5 years ago
Yea I know what it is I was just complementing you on yours and saying that I have been putting one together and just needs to finish it.

You did give me some new ideas for mine though
NachoMahma5 years ago
.  Nice job.
lemonie (author)  NachoMahma5 years ago
Thanks. And it actually does something useful...

Focker5 years ago
 *bows* Sir, you have just created the one thing all nerds need, and I commend you on such a great ible! I am thinking of doing 2 of these in tandem, one for component and regular rca cable and the other for just audio.
lemonie (author)  Focker5 years ago
Thanks, I hope you get yours built.

pashanoid5 years ago
very nice and useful device, I'll be using your instructable for my lcd behind drywall project...
lemonie (author)  pashanoid5 years ago
You need the right switches, these stereo input selectors are two DPDTs in one. I added another diagram to step 3.

Goodhart5 years ago
Very nice :-) 
Incanus5 years ago
To prevent any confusion - the text implies that vision mixing is taking place "This was not designed for vision-mixing, but it does the job rather well regardless."

This is source selection there is no vision mixing of any kind taking place. Vision mixing allows one or more sources to be viewed at the same time as in a fade for instance.

Not a flame just don't want anyone to think they can actually mix video with it.

lemonie (author)  Incanus5 years ago
I was thinking of switching between sources, as a vision-mixer (as they are credited on TV productions) would switch between cameras / tape. I wouldn't claim that this does anything else.

GianniMora5 years ago
 sweet, i dont know what it is but it looks cool
lemonie (author)  GianniMora5 years ago
It switches multiple video inputs, you could use it on a TV.

 oohh ok :)
Chromatica5 years ago
Great job.
Joe Martin5 years ago
Great idea on the project case.

You did a really good job on this! 5*
lemonie (author)  Joe Martin5 years ago
Thanks, I'm more pleased with the way it works though, but the case is super-compact.