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Updated March 19th 2010


Distribution amplifier

Also called DA, a unit that distributes a signal to a number of identical and buffered outputs so that several devices can be used. Some DAs also provide isolation between the outputs. A DA may also enable the use of long cable runs (except the SDI format due to high bitrates). In parallell to DAs, there are also "switchers" though these only let one of the connected devices to be used at a time, between switching. With a distribution amplifier, all connected devices can be used at the same time.
There are DAs for different purposes. Other types to mention are those below are cable/CATV, RF, (HD/)SDI and DVI DAs. Most DAs are intended for audio/video equipment.
A headphone distribution amplifier is more commonly called headphone amplifier. 2 or 4 stereo channels are common but there are units for 8 stereo channels as well.



Audio distribution amplifier

Available with balanced and/or unbalanced in/out connections. Those that provide balanced inputs and outputs, can handle the same number of unbalanced stereo signals as balanced mono signals (with some cable fixing). So, if a unit has 4 balanced mono channels, any or all of the 4 channels can each serve as two unbalanced stereo channels. As an example, if two channels are used as balanced mono, then four unbalanced stereo channels can be used.

Balanced/unbalanced audio distribution amplifier

Video distribution amplifier

May also distribute (composite) and S-video. Some video DAs include the abilities as of a video line driver with circuitry and controls for cable EQ and video level to compensate for noise and signal losses inherent in long cable runs. Analog circuitry.
Audio video / AV distribution amplifiers handle both audio and video.

Video distribution amplifier

HDMI distribution amplifier

(High Definition Multimedia Interface)
HDMI DAs distribute an all-digital audio/video single cable format. The sources can be such as a satellite box, HDTV, DVD player, A/V receiver. Some units provide reclocking and equalization of the signal.
One common HDMI DA application is to drive multiple HD displays.

HDMI distribution amplifier

VGA distribution amplifier

A VGA DA sends the signal from a VGA graphic card on a computer to several VGA compatible projectors or monitors at the same time. It is useful to assist various presentation environments. Analog circuitry.



Video distribution amplifier




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