For TVs specifically, access to multiple sources is especially important. Some of those sources might include the following: the cable or satellite box, DVD player, AppleTV, Playstation, and Roku. If you do happen to use all or many of these, don’t worry! You don’t actually need access to each of those at each of your TVs, and here’s why.
Often the most optimal solution is to centrally locate your video sources while using a video switch to distribute the video to each of your multiple locations. This allows you to minimize the sources needed for each television. For example, given that you will rarely watch a different satellite TV program on each of 8 televisions, you can share a smaller number of boxes with those 8 TVs while saving money. Yet another benefit of this method is that you will greatly reduce the clutter, boxes, and cords that would otherwise surround each TV. With a video switch, all that equipment can be stored in one closet out of sight.
A video switch comes with a specific number of inputs for those various sources paired with outputs for each of your additional televisions. Typical sizes for these switches (listed by number of inputs or sources followed by number of outputs or televisions) are 4×4, 4×8, 8×8, 8×16, 16×16, etc. The necessary cabling for each separate TV consists of an HDMI cable and cat6. For longer distances, the cat6 cable can be paired with an HDBaseT Balun. All of your sources are hooked up directly to the video switch inputs via HDMI cables. That is all it takes for all your TVs to have access to any source!
Today’s smart video switches allow for easy integration into your home automation for easy TV and source control via a remote, smart phone, or tablet. An additional bonus is that having all your video equipment in one location in your home or business make it easy to integrate your video sources into your preferred audio distribution solution.