Video signal distribution

Many times it is desirable to send video signals long distances or to multiple pieces of video equipment.  Whenever this involves cables lengths of over 6 ft or high bandwidth signals such as HDTV, many factors require special consideration to achieve distortion free video.  This guide will help show you how to design your home distribution network properly or to troubleshoot problems you have.

The goal in video signal distribution is to propagate a video waveform from a 75 ohm source impedance amplifier down a shielded 75 ohm intrinsic impedance conductor to a matched 75 ohm real termination load.  Given ideal components, the original signal can be perfectly reproduced at the termination load regardless of cable length.

Basic networks

All video connections can be modeled as a point to point connection between an active driver (amplifier/source) and a termination load (end device, such as a TV).  In this model, each part of the connection effects the end result as follows.

Modifications to the basic network

Product Input coupling Output coupling Frequencies passed Effect
Passive switches None None All Does not effect compatibility.  If source works before switch it will work after, and vice versa.  Passive switches do have performance issues mentioned above.
VS CB003, CSM42 output B (&C) AC AC >60Hz Compatible with ~95% of all displays.  Has the advantage of reduced line dissipation and better protection of equipment. 
VS CB003, CSM42 output A AC DC >5Hz Compatible with ~99% of all displays.
Inday, Shinybow, & other active switches < $1000 AC DC >5Hz Compatible with ~99% of all displays.
VS CRM line AC DC restoration >5Hz video

0=>5 Hz DC restored to spec levels

Compatible with all displays.  Can also improve compatibility from out of spec sources.
Some high end receivers & digital processors AC DC restoration >5Hz video

0=>5 Hz DC restored to spec levels

Compatible with all displays.  Can also improve compatibility from out of spec sources.

Common problems

Checklist for quality distribution

  1. Start with the right amplifier as your source
  2. Make sure source and all sinks are connected to a good quality common ground
  3. Use RG-6 cable, match lengths for component video
  4. Avoid multiple connectors or cable changes
  5. If you need switching at the sink end, use a good quality amplified switch to avoid reflections

Advanced topics

    If you have more advanced questions or problems not covered here, please ask our experts by email or on our free forums.  We will be more than happy to help!

Additional information is added regularly to our forum FAQ