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Different types of amplifier systems are often based on the particular type of signal they are intended to amplify, as well as the particular function they often serve. Some of the most common amplifiers or amps are those meant to boost audio signals, either for improved performance in sound systems or for people with difficulty hearing. There are also amps that are designed to improve a television signal, often used with input from a cable signal to boost picture quality. Other types of amplifier systems can be used with different communications setups, including Radio Frequency (RF) amps and amplifiers for other wireless or wired signals.
Many amplifier systems are intended for general use, and include a variety of different systems for boosting audio signals. These are frequently used as part of a home theater or other audio/video (A/V) setup. An audio amp can be used to boost a signal from a media player, radio receiver, or other device to improve audio performance of speakers. These types of amplifier systems are often included with a receiver, though secondary equipment is used in more elaborate setups.
There are also audio amps that can be used for improved hearing or for security. These devices are often long-range microphones or other amplifier systems that allow someone to hear audio signals from a great distance. Use of an audio amplifier can be illegal in some situations, however, as these devices can violate some privacy laws and may be regulated or restricted. Other audio amplifiers are intended to boost only short-range audio, allowing people with difficulty hearing to more accurately perceive spoken conversations with another person.
Some amplifier systems can be used to boost a television signal, such as those sent to receivers for users of cable or satellite television systems. If someone wants to split a signal from one input to two or more output devices, such as televisions in separate rooms, then a splitter with an amp may be necessary. These splitters boost the signal as it is split, which better ensures higher quality images and audio on the displays that receive the amplified signal. Simple splitters may be effective for only two televisions at close proximity, but additional displays or great distances often benefit from splitters with amps.
There are also amplifier systems that can be used for communications signals, such as Radio Frequency (RF) signals. These types of broadcasts are often used by wireless devices, including computer networks, in both commercial and consumer settings. The use of such amplifier systems allows a company or individual to have devices at greater distances still receive a signal. Some businesses can also boost these signals to make communication between different machines and devices over a wireless network possible, which can be used in manufacturing and other settings.
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