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Just like the Xbox 360, the 540C has a removable faceplate and removing it reveals a set of controls that allow you to change how the LCD displays; changing the names of channels, the backlight and the output settings of the Xbox 360 input. It would have been nice to have this functionality on the remote, but the faceplate is easily removed and you shouldn’t have to do it too often.
The remote itself is a fairly functional item; Joytech supplies a pair of batteries and the remote allows you to switch between each channel quickly. Again, it would have been nice to see some extra functionality for the remote but what it does it does without fault.
Naturally all the major action is on the back of the unit with all the various connections – and there are a lot of them – all situated there. Thanks to the moderately large form factor all the inputs are well spaced out, making it none too difficult to get at any individual connection.
Everything is well labelled too, whilst the Ethernet hub is totally self contained just below the output connections for easy and quick access.
The addition of an Ethernet hub is also a minor stroke of genius, especially when you consider that not only consoles but also next-generation DVD players and HD television receivers utilise Internet functionality.
Were you, for example, to combine the 540C with Powerline adapters – such as the Netgear HDXB101s that Ed recently reviewed – then you could get your Internet connection to all your equipment without resorting to a potentially unreliable wireless connection.
Joytech also includes an Ethernet cable for good measure, along with a fairly cheap set of component video, composite and stereo audio cables and the Xbox 360 AV Interconnect Cable. It goes without saying that if you really care about image quality then it’s worth investing in a decent set of component cables - no manner of expensive gear will deliver top notch picture quality if you’re using poor quality cables.
All of which leads us nicely on to the all important topic of image quality. The Control Center is capable of outputting in 480p, 720p and 1080i using component cables and will of course output at standard PAL resolutions too.
Our main source of testing was naturally the Xbox 360; comparing the output from the 540C using the proprietary interconnects cable and using standard component cables to connect to the unit.