Quantcast Patchbay suggestion for a/v installation? - digitalFAQ Forum
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02-20-2015, 10:20 AM
Patlamm Patlamm is offline
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Hi, I'm considering a patchbay for my a/v installation. I have many format of video, s-video, composite, component, sdi from my decks, plus the audio connexion that goes with it, rca and xlr.. I guess I will need two patchbay, one for video, one for audio. Would a ADC PPI-2224RS-75N do the job for video ? Any suggestion will be appreciated. Thanks !
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02-20-2015, 11:14 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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It fully depends on the end goal, and workflows required to reach it.

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02-20-2015, 09:18 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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+1 on lordsmurf's note.

Patch bays make sense if you have a large number of source (outputs) and destination (inputs) devices that need to be connected with great flexibility and the routing changes frequently. Especially if they are not close to each other as is often the case in a studio environment. They bring a large number of I/O points into a single, convenient location - no need to crawl behind the gear. They also look cool in a techie sort of way. But they need to be well executed - the more connections the more places for issues such as poor connections, cables failing, noise pickup, impedance mismatch, and so on. You also may encounter the need for plenty of adapters. Serious patch bays typically used BNC for video and 1/4 phone for audio; not RCA, 1/8 " phone, or s-video.

At one time I used a 1/4" patch panel for my home audio system. I could connect my tape deck directly to my amp with a single 3' RCA cable, or I could connect the deck to the patch panel with a 3' cable, connect the amp to the patch panel with a 3' RCA cable, and then use a 24" patch cord to make the connection. The former used 3' of cable and 2 RCA plugs between the deck and amp. The latter has 3 separate pieced of cable, 4 RCA plugs and 2 RCA jacks, two phone plugs, and two phone jacks (per channel). Which do you think is more reliable and problem free? More flexible once setup? Lower Cost? Easier to use? (I can tell you my wife hated the patch panel.)

You have to decide if then benefits of a patch bay are worth it for you use. Lay out (on paper) the devices you plan to connect, and the interconnection variations you need to have available, and how often you will need to make changes. This will guide your decision process to decide what is right for you. Some folks use electronic switches or fancy receivers to provide the I/O switching capability they need.

One last thought. If picking up used gear, consider the prior use. In some cases the seller may be unloading it because the jacks are worn out.
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