How AV Installations Can Benefit from Patch Cords & Patch Panels

Ron Tellas

Have you ever seen a “spaghetti installation”? You know what we’re talking about: Long cable pieces that connect equipment to end devices without any patch panels or patch cords.

Homerun approaches like this may have been status quo in previous AV installations (where cable runs from a central distribution point to each device on the network), but this method can quickly become disorganized and out of hand.

Avoiding the use of patch panels and patch cords in AV installations may save money, but the benefits of doing so end there. When you need to add or move a device, you’re faced with a mess. (The worst “spaghetti installation” we’ve seen was inside a notable downtown Chicago high-rise. There, different installers run their own cables. When a change is necessary, no one can find the cable they need – so they install a new one. Imagine the mess that creates!)

Instead of approaching AV installations that way, the use of patch cords and patch panels creates a “nerve center” for AV installations, consolidating cable and streamlining end-device connections. It also supports efficient moves, adds and changes so you can quickly rearrange, add or remove AV devices. It bundles connections together so they can connect via a patch cord to another location (to a different port, an end device, the Internet, etc.). Using patch cords and patch panels provides a simple, neat and easy-to-manage way to connect incoming and outgoing lines to multiple wall ports spread across different locations.

When patch panels are part of an enterprise network, for example, they may connect computers to outside lines, which then connect to wide area networks or the Internet. In AV environments, they may connect AV equipment – projectors, screens, videoconferencing components, intercoms, etc. – to outside lines.

This streamlined approach offers several benefits in AV applications:

  • Scalability: Easily add new devices without running new cables end-to-end

  • Improved cable management: Because patch panels are located closer to equipment, you can use shorter patch cords to connect the panel to the next network or device

  • Potential cost savings: Because they allow you to use shorter cables than you did previously, you may be able to decrease cabling costs

  • Fast maintenance: In addition to adding new devices, patch panels also make it fast and easy to move, maintain or make a quick repair if needed

Belden’s REVConnect® Connectivity line makes using patch cords and patch panels in AV installations easy, with core technology that utilizes one termination method for every component, from displays to access points. It’s ideal for IoT and AV applications and can be fitted with a FlexPlug to directly attach to end devices. Suitable for applications up to 100W, it can handle today’s smart AV technology while helping you complete patch panel deployments up to 50% faster. Learn more