Video Switches or “BOMBs”
Page created: 5/21/2014
Video switches (or “BOMBs” = Box Of Many Buttons) like the discontinued Winegard VS-6412 and the current Quest Video Control Center are used in RVs to connect multiple video sources to multiple TVs.
For example, the Winegard VS-6412 was able to distribute video from an OTA (Over The Air) “batwing” TV antenna, cable TV, DVD player, VCR, satellite TV, and another video source to three TVs. Here’s a link to the manual.
VIDEO SWITCHES & ANALOG (non-HD) TVs
These video switches used to be standard fare in RVs but have fallen our of favor because of their limitations. For example, SD (Standard Definition) devices like VCRs and non-BluRay DVD players are being replaced by HD (High Definition) devices like BluRay DVD players.
Also, video switches typically can not distribute HD programming. (However, video switches can distribute HD OTA signals that are received by an RV’s batwing antenna.)
VIDEO SWITCHES & DIGITAL (HD) TVs
Video switches have effectively been replaced by flat screen TVs. Flat screens (or digital TVs) usually have multiple video inputs (HDMI, component, composite, and RF), so the TV itself becomes the video switch.
Video distribution capabilities have become less and less important as the cost of VCRs and DVD players have decreased. For example, instead of distributing the programming from a single DVD player to the TVs in an RV, separate DVD players can be purchased and connected to each TV.
Plus, there was always the question of the “remote” . . . most remote controls are IR (Infrared) and in order to use them you must have a clear line of sight between a remote and the device. This can be problematic if you’re trying to control a living room VCR from the bedroom.
Video switches can still have a place in an RV, but with the advent of HD and surround sound, BOMBs are being replaced with AV receivers, MoCA (Multimedia over COax) devices from DISH and DirecTV, and wireless HDMI connectors.