Audio/Video Switchers

In the early days of television, over-the-air broadcasts were the only thing you could watch. Before long, the first video cassette recorder (VCR) appeared, followed by the first video game console. The DVD player was supposed to replace the VCR but many people still need to use both machines. Add to that the converter box needed to watch television signals sent through a cable or satellite. Modern televisions have connectors for a few audio/video devices, but not nearly enough to connect all of them at the same time. Few people would want to buy another television so a better option is to use an audio/video switcher.

An audio/video switcher can be useful even when there are enough connectors on the television for all of your audio/video devices. There is no question that modern technology is becoming more complicated and difficult to use, despite the efforts of designers to make it simpler. Many people have no idea how to select an input device from the screen menu on a television. There are too many steps for them to remember, and they quickly forget how to do it when they are shown. An easier method is to use an audio/video switcher, so all it takes is one push of a button to change devices. If the model has a remote control, it can be even faster than using the screen menu.

Adding another audio/video device to a home entertainment system already packed with them might seem like a strange solution, but it eliminates the need to swap cables every time you want to change the input. A typical audio/video switcher is a rectangular box that looks similar to a DVD player or converter box. Except for the selector buttons, there are very few controls on the front panel. The back panel is more crowded and has numerous connectors for the input and output cables. The sight of so many connectors may be confusing at first, but they are well organized and labeled so it’s not hard to work out where the cable go.

The basic audio/video switcher is inexpensive, compact, and easy to install. It has between two and four inputs, and there is also an output for the television. With four inputs, you can hook up a DVD player, converter box, video game console, and keep a spare one for a camcorder. The cheap models only have RCA sockets for composite or component cables, but the better ones also have HDMI sockets for high definition sources. Some models are mechanical switches that do not require a power supply, but they do not have indicator lights or a remote control. An audio/video switcher normally costs under fifty dollars, and some can be bought for as little as ten dollars.

The basic models are fine for the average home user, but professionals in the film and video industry need something more advanced. The type of audio/video switcher they use has a greater number of inputs and outputs, with each one having a wider variety of connectors too. The advanced models are capable of converting a signal between different connectors. This is useful because video editors often need to combine several analog signals into a single digital signal, so it can be edited and saved on a computer. These models cost a small fortune and are not normally used by people outside of the industry.

Before choosing an audio/video switcher, have a look at your home entertainment system and work out how many audio/video devices will use it. This is the number of input ports that you need, plus an extra output port for the television. Remember to check the type of connectors available to ensure that they are the right sort for your equipment. Also, if you want indicator lights or a remote control, look for a electrical model rather than a mechanical one. The only downside is that they cost a small amount to run each year, while the mechanical ones cost nothing at all to run.

This Audio/Video Switchers Review is Written/Updated on Jul 28th, 2011 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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