A patch panel consists of several vertical and horizontal rows of sockets. The inputs and outputs of the video and audio components are connected to the individual marked sockets on the back. These can be connected to each other on the front of the patch panel using short patch cables, which are video or audio cables. Only one input can be connected to one output at a time.
If several inputs are to be connected to one output, this can be done by downstream distributors or via crossbar distributors. Patch panels are available for audio and video and are accordingly called audio patch panel (APP) or video patch panel( VPP).
Audio and video patch panels differ primarily in the interfaces, which are balanced or unbalanced, and thus in the plugs and sockets used.