Picture of the Radio Shack 15312 Audio Video AB Switch, Top View.

Radio Shack 15 312 AB Switch Box Review

We bought the   Radio Shack Composite AB Selector Switch 15-312 (15312)   for the television.  This allows switching between a Comcast cable box and DVD player, as viewing video and audio sources on a single television.

So we installed and looked at this two-input A/V switch a lot.  We found that after more than seven years, the 15-312 still functions well. No loss of video or static sounds in the switched audio ever appeared.

Picture of the Radio Shack 15312 Audio Video AB Switch, Top View.
Radio Shack Composite 15312 AB switch, top view.

Benefits, Pros, Features, and Advantages of the Radio Shack 15-312 Composite AB Switch

Two Inputs and One Output

Two video and audio signal inputs, switched into one output.  Each input accepts both stereo aural (left and right channels) and analog composite video signals. This switcher switches all three signals at its output, between the A and B input jack sets.

Speaker Selector Switch Capable

For smaller stereo amplifiers, this AB switch provides switching between two audio sources into a single set of two speakers, or vice versa.  That is, you can route one stereo amplifier output to two sets of speakers.  Or, you can route two stereo amplifiers into one set of speakers.  To do this however, your speaker cables must have RCA-style plugs.  Why?  Because this unit has only RCA jacks for the audio.  Plus, this unit likely cannot handle very high current from amp to speakers.  So we suggest not using it where audio output power exceeds a few watts per channel.

Composite NTSC Video Only

Works with any devices either producing or receiving composite video and stereo audio.  These include…

  • DVD players.
  • game systems.
  • video cassette recorders (VCRs).

Given its low cost, you could also use it as a good-quality audio exclusive switch. Example: You may connect two computers to a single set of speakers, and then switch which one is actually connected to the speaker system.

The Radio Shack 15 312 AB Switch is Affordable

This Radio Shack composite video and audio A/B switch cost only $20 roughly.

Simple Hookup and Operation

It’s very simple to use.  It has two push-button style switches on the top, and nine RCA-style ports on the back.

Three Plugs per Input Set

Each input on this composite video switch includes one video jack and two audio jacks (for stereo left and right channels).  The single output includes the same jacks.

Plastic Construction

They built this switch from black plastic.  It also sports light gray labeling of the jacks and buttons.

The Radio Shack 15 312 Switch has Very Few Controls

Just two buttons sit on the top of the unit.  These are its only controls.  This is definitely a no-frills A/B video switch.  It is thus, a king of simplicity to learn and use.

Easy to See Current Input Selection

The switch gives a visual indication of which input is currently active.  How?  A brightly colored bar appears above the currently active input button.  This is mechanically done. No electric lighting here.

Appears Quite Durable

The case appears rather thick and the unit feels heavy for what little is inside. This gives the impression of a durable, rugged piece of electronics, and we surely like that.

Users Manual 

Comprehensive Installation and Users Guides provided.

Cable Tags Provided

Self-sticking cable labels included as well.  With these, you tag cables from various devices, coming into this video / audio switch.

The Radio Shack 15 312 Needs No Batteries or Power Adapters

Uses no external power sources or batteries.  In fact, this is a completely passive input switcher. So, it adds no distortion or noise to the composite video or stereo audio signals.

90-Day Limited Warranty

Picture of the Radio Shack 15312 Audio Video Switch, Bottom View.
Radio Shack 15 312 composite audio video switch, bottom view.

Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, and Problems with the Radio Shack 15 312 Composite AB Switch

This AB source selector switch supports neither component video, s-video, nor HDMI signal sources. Just the composite video ones (yellow RCA plug).  So no high-definition HD video. Only standard definition (SD).

High Tension Spring Loaded Controls

Must press the buttons harder than seems normal to choose the correct video source.

Plus, if you press the input selection buttons too weakly, this leaves this switch in a neither-A-nor-B (no video) state.  This means that neither the A input nor the B input is connected to the output.  This might confuse users, as the desired video source does not display when the switch is in this state.  The user may  wonder why his VCR or DVD player does not play.

Warranty Offered but Not Needed

Strange that the sales person offered a two-year extended warranty for this low-priced switch box, for $3.49 (I think).  I just shook my head and grinned.

Easy to Drop

This box weighs very little. So you can easily pull it off a table or any smooth surface.  Thus, be sure to place it where it will not fall, like inside a home theater cabinet.

The Radio Shack 15 312 Switch includes no A/V Cables 

You must supply all audio / video cables for this switch.

Low Power Handling

This signal switcher works with line-level audio, and is not intended for lower impedance speaker level outputs.  But as we said above, you can use this device as a speaker selector switch in a pinch, for lower power speaker outputs.

No HDMI or Other Digital Format Support

No switching of optical digital inputs either.  This is strictly an electrical switch that works with analog signals.

No VGA Computer Video Handling

Switches only composite video (yellow RCA connector) signals.  It does not work on computer VGA signals.

Our Rating on the Radio Shack 15 312 Composite AB Switch

This video and audio switch is simple to connect up and operate. Plus, you can replace it cheaply should it ever fail.  So we highly recommend this AB switch  to people who only have two A/V sources in their audio systems.  But before you buy, make sure that your television does not have the additional inputs you need.  Given all that, we rate this switch box at 96 out of 100.

Where to Buy the Radio Shack 15 312  Composite Video AB Switch Box

Find this home theater accessory exclusively at Radio Shack stores nationwide.

Picture of the Radio Shack 15312 AV Two Input Switch, Back View, showing the three RCA jacks per input (two audio and one NTSC video), and one set of these for the output.
Radio Shack 15 312 AV two input switch, back view, showing the three RCA jacks per input (two audio and one NTSC video), and one set for the output.

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References for Radio Shack 15 312 AB Switch

  1. Product   Users Guide
  2. Radio Shack   Web Site
  3. Where to Buy the   Radio Shack A/V Two-Position Selector Switch

Revision History

  • 2019-03-16: Added key phrase targeting, more tags, and more subheadings.
  • 2015-12-12: Added more appropriate tags.
  • 2015-01-08: Added pictures.
  • 2014-12-14: Added mention of usage as a speaker selector switch.
  • 2014-10-28: Added the References and Revision History sections, and additional description of this A/V switch product.
  • 2011-06-20: Originally published.