Component video is a type of video signal (analog), that is stored or transmitted after splitting into two or more signals or components. Component video may often be confused with Composite video, the difference being that the video is combined into a single signal in case of the latter. Component video cables carry signals from devices that produce video signals (DVDs, computers, video games) and reproduce them on a display device. These cables do not carry any audio signals and hence a separate cable needs to be used for audio transmission. The component video cables typically end with 3 RCA plugs that are red, green and blue in color.
A component video switch is a device that is not too different in functioning from a regular power strip for electrical outlets, except that it is used for plug-in electronic equipment. This makes the connection and operation of multiple gadgets all at once pretty simple. The component video switch is used in cases where only one video display unit needs to be used with multiple sources of video. These switches are usually available as a device or also in cable form.
Televisions in most homes are ordinarily provided with one, or at the most, two component video ports. This is due to several constraints involving design placement and cost. In fact, this is one of the biggest issues encountered today even with HDTV sets, not to mention the regular type of televisions. Given this scenario, reaching behind the television set to change cables each time a person wants to switch from watching cable TV to DVD can be quite cumbersome. In several homes today it is common to find many video sources such as gaming consoles (X-Box, PlayStation, etc.), DVD or Blue Ray players and Cable TV Boxes to be used with a single display unit, a component video switch becomes a necessity. A simple component video switch box allows the sharing of one television with all these various video devices.
A typical component video switch is pretty easy to find and available in any local electronics or video equipment store. These devices are manufactured by several prominent electronics brands and there would be quite a wide variety of choices to decide from. It is best to choose one based on personal preferences and requirements. Different models of component video switches would have a different number of composite ports, limiting the number of video devices that can be connected to it. It is advisable to go for a greater number of ports than the devices in use, just to make room for any new equipment that may be used in the future. Most component video switch models are very affordable and hence they provide a cheap and effective solution to home entertainment needs. As a result of that, it has become very popular equipment for people looking to have an efficient and convenient home improvement system.
The box component video switch typically has buttons on the front that are in turn connected to the respective ports at the back of the device. Once all the video source devices are connected to the back of the switch, simply pressing the required button will suffice to get the desired video output on the monitor or television set. In some models, the button is replaced by a knob that needs to be turned. This is definitely a more comfortable setup, when compared to manually changing cables every single time. Most of the component video switches are also passive. In other words, they do not need external power operate. Making the connections between video sources and the video output device is also pretty simple, since all the ports and cables are color coded. It’s as simple as matching the color of the plug to the color of the port. The component video switch is hence not only affordable and convenient, but also very easy to use.