A coaxial cable is a type of electrical cable that is used in a variety of applications as a transmission line for RF (Radio Frequency) signals. This type of cable has the conductor material in its inner core and is surrounded by a tube of insulation, which is in turn surrounded by a conducting copper shield tube. This is all encased in an outer plastic sleeve. Several uses of the coaxial cable include the connection of radio transmitters and receivers to their antennas, measurement electronics, ham radio setups and computer networks. Most commonly, these cables are used for the connection of home video equipment and distribution of cable TV signals.
A coaxial A/B switch is a very handy and useful type of accessory that is the answer to several problems that arise with home entertainment options. Since a coaxial cable is designed in such a way that it can provide signal to only one device at a time, expanding entertainment options can be an issue. A coaxial A/B switch allows two devices that use coaxial cables to connect to one single coaxial signal input. The switch has RF inputs and not RCA. This enables toggling between different coaxial signals while using a single unit as a display device. The function of a coaxial A/B switch can be described as opposite to that of a coaxial splitter.
Let’s take a look at some common situations where the use of a coaxial A/B switch eases out complications. Consider a family that has just purchased an HDTV, but uses an antenna as well as analog cable. Mostly, HDTVs are known to have single RF input. An A/B switch in this scenario would be needed for connecting the antenna and analog cable to the HDTV’s RF input. Coaxial A/B switches are very handy in the case of feeds from two cameras to be viewed on a single display. The display unit would have only one coaxial input that can be connected to the switch. The RF outputs from both cameras would also connect into the A/B switch.
Some people are avid watchers of television and use TV recording technology such as TiVo. In case of owning two sets of TiVo with just only one television set or display device, recording becomes a complication. In such scenarios as well, coaxial A/B switches are a boon. This is an example of where a coaxial switch and coaxial splitter are used in conjunction. The “TV in” cable that comes from the cable TV connection would need to be secured to the input port of the splitter. Then, two coaxial cables would form connections between the output ports on the coaxial splitter and the input ports on each of the TiVo sets. Lastly, connecting the output ports of the TiVos to the input of the coaxial A/B switch and the input from the switch to the display device would complete the setup perfectly. Multiple television programs can be recorded simultaneously, especially if these are two-line TiVos.
Similar to these, there are several other applications that a coaxial A/B switch may be used for. Some of these include recording one TV channel/station while simultaneously watching video from a VCR or DVD player and connecting one DVD player to two display units (TV or monitor). In certain apartment complexes, cable services are provided where in a separate box is not needed as the wire connects to the television directly from the wall. In such a case, upgrading to high definition can be as simple as purchasing an amplified high definition antenna and a coaxial A/B switch to be able to watch both cable as well as HD channels.