Using a Breakout Box with Video and Audio Interfaces
Some PCI cards are too small to mount all the connectors for the various input and
output signals available. In this case, a breakout box is included to provide a sturdy
housing for all of the video and audio connectors. For example, professional audio
interfaces use XLR connectors, but these are too big to be mounted directly on a PCI
card. Instead, a breakout box, included with the card, contains the XLR connectors. A
multipin connector on a fairly long extension cable is usually used to attach the PCI
card to the breakout box. The breakout box can then be mounted on a desktop or in a
standard equipment rack, making the connectors more accessible than they would be
on the back of your computer.
For instructions for connecting a breakout box to your PCI card, see the documentation
included with your interface. An example of a setup with a breakout box is shown in
Connecting Professional SD Video Devices
” on page 182.
Note: Some non-PCI interfaces have a similar “breakout box” design to fit all of their
video and audio connectors. These interfaces look similar to PCI card breakout boxes,
but they connect to your computer via FireWire or USB.