Switchers

Switchers

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A switcher is used to “switch” between multiple audio/video devices and multiple displays. AV switchers are available in a variety of formats: HDMI, DVI, VGA, Composite, Component, and analog/digital audio. Many switchers today utilize HDBaseT technology which allows audio, video, ethernet, control, and power to travel long distances over a single Cat5/6/7 cable. Many also have built-in scalers for compatibility with devices of different resolutions.
When choosing the right switcher, you’ll need to know what devices and displays you have and how many. You’ll also want to know the distance from your switcher to your display. In typical residential applications, you may have many sources (e.g., game consoles, cables boxes, movie players) but a lack of input connections on a TV. In this case, a 4×1 switcher (4 inputs and 1 output) would suffice.

How about commercial applications for a restaurant or bar wanting to show different programming on different TVs? Depending on the number of input devices and TV outputs you’re dealing with, an 8×8 or 16×16 matrix switcher would be ideal. The benefit of using a matrix switch in these environments is the speed and simplicity of changing channels on different TVs throughout the establishment.