Most AV Switchers only handle one type of video. They may or may not handle audio as well, and that can be stereo analog audio and/or digital Coax or Optical Toslink. Some Audio/Video Switchers are flexible enough to handle audio or video on each channel. Not many Switches have this capability, so look for this in the listed features of the product if you need it. Some DVI and HDMI Switchers also switch Digital or analog Audio as well, sometimes even other signals. Multi-format Switchers can convert "lower" forms of video like Composite Video or S-Video to Component Video or HDMI as well as switch between Component/HDMI and the aforementioned converted signals. This gives you the capability of a single output to your Display. Matrix Switchers switch a number of inputs to a number of outputs in a completely independent manner. You should first determine what signal or signals you need your switcher to handle. Next determine if there are also other signals you had not considered that might be a benefit like IR, RS232, etc. After that just find the units that have the correct number of Inputs and Outputs. If you have trouble deciding between several units look for our "Editors Choice". It is the product that we feel has an unusual amount of Quality, Features and Value. Composite video: That RCA connector Cable with the yellow color code. It combines the brightness (luminance) of the picture elements with their associated color (chrominance) information all on a single coax cable. Many hoops were jumped through to get all of the original red, green, blue and brightness information onto, essentially, a single signal. S-Video: S-Video separates the brightness and color signals improving both signals ability to provide more detail. RGB/VGA: RGB allows for Completely separate red, green and blue video element information. Brightness is basically the overall sum of the three Color signal brightness levels. RGB is inefficient, since lots of redundant signal is passed on the three connections. Component Video (Y-Pr-Pb) : Component video can actually mean a number of things, but is most associated with Y-Pr-Pb analog signals. Y-Pr-Pb encoding takes better advantage of available space and bandwidth on the video recording medium and cables, respectively. It is not compatible with RGB despite using Red, Green and Blue color coded connectors. HDMI: Digital Audio and Video in single connection. Todays most popular Audio/Video connection Analog Audio: Either Left/Right Stereo or could be multichannel analog such as 5.1 or 7.1 Digital Audio: Could be Coax or Optical or both for Digital signals.
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