A video distribution system is an often-recommended solution for our clients and it is by far one of the least understood services that we offer. There is a lot to know about this particular subject and because I know you are busy, this will be an abbreviated guide. After you read this you will better understand what a video distribution system is, why it exists, how it works, and how it may benefit you. Enjoy!

A video distribution system, simply put, is a fancy splitter. It is method by which you share multiple video ‘sources’ (such as cable/satellite boxes, AppleTV’s, Blu-ray players, computers, video surveillance systems, etc) with multiple televisions or displays. The piece of equipment that handles the video distribution is often referred to as a ‘matrix switch’ and they come in all shapes in sizes and handle many different types of video connections. Below you will see a video distribution matrix switch manufactured (in the USA, no less) by a company called ‘Crestron’, based out of New Jersey. This particular device is a ’16×16′, meaning we can connect up to 16 different video sources to 16 different televisions – simultaneously!

The reason video distribution exists is for convenience, cost savings, and aesthetics. Imagine for a second you live in a large home and you have eight televisions throughout – one in the Kitchen, Master Bedroom, Great Room, Theater Room, Garage, and one in each of the three kids Bedrooms. You really like watching satellite TV, you also like watching YouTube clips through your AppleTV, and you also like watching movies (even when you are in the Kitchen!). In order to do all of these activities in each room you would need eight satellite receivers, eight AppleTVs, and eight Blu-ray players – and then you have to figure out where to put them! A video distribution system allows you to have one satellite receiver, one AppleTV, and one Blu-ray player, and they can all be connected to any of the eight televisions throughout the house and used at any time you wish on a single television or from multiple televisions at the same time.

Now, you and your spouse may not share the same taste in television shows so you may connect a second satellite receiver, and the kids might like to watch a different movie from their bedroom, so you might add a second Blu-ray player. Because of this flexibility, you limit the amount of devices you need in the home and you can place them wherever you wish, they do not have to be located in the room with the television, they could be hidden away in cabinetry or placed in the mechanical room. Getting tired half-way through watching a Blu-ray movie in the Great Room? No problem – hit pause and finish it the Master Bedroom while you doze off.

If you would like to know more about this incredible technology, please send us a message at info@digitalhorizonsmn.com – we love answering questions.

Thanks for reading!