What Is a Y-Splitter Cable?

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A Y-splitter cable is a cable used for connecting one electronics device to two other separate devices or components. This type of cable get its name from the side of the cable that connect two components, which resembles the letter Y. There are various kinds of Y-splitter cables, which can used for everything from connecting devices such as iPods to home stereos to connecting two separate computer monitors to a single PC.

Audio

  • One fairly common type of audio Y-splitter cable is the cable that iPods users can use to connect their iPods or MP3 players to a home stereo system. This type of cable typically has a miniplug that attaches to the iPod's headphone jack, with a double-sided RCA-style cable that plugs into the back of the home stereo.

    Another type of audio Y-splitter cable is designed to connect two sets of headphones to one single stereo system or MP3 player. This allows two people to hear the same audio source together.

Video

  • For people who own camcorders, there is a special cable that connects to the camcorder that can then be plugged into a TV set. This type of cable usually has a single-sided connector that branches into a "Y" side that connects to the back or side of the TV.

Computer Monitor

  • A computer monitor Y-splitter cable is designed with a single input on one side that connects to a PC "Monitor Out" jack and a double-sided output connector that can be hooked up to two separate monitors. Though not as common as Y-splitter cables used for audio and video applications, these types of cables can often found hooked up to computers in many home and office environments.

Audio-Video

  • An audio-video Y-splitter cable is designed to carry both audio and video signals, and is used to connect such things as cable TV boxes or digital video recorder boxes to television sets.

Power Supply

  • Similar to a power strip used for connecting several electrical plugs to the same wall outlet, a power supply Y-splitter cable is used to connect two separate devices to one outlet. These types of cables may be used in cases where an entire power strip isn't needed.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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