A panel that allows multiple devices to connect and be managed in a more efficient manner. Computer networks, sound studios, television stations, etc., use patch panels to deal with components of their electronic systems. The picture is an example of a Cat 5 patch panel.
Computer networks make use of switches, which are essentially patch panels, allowing eight, sixteen or more computers to connect to a single device. In audio and video, an S-Video patch panel can connect multiple inputs and outputs for easier management. Specialized patch panels, like switching routers, make switching between connected devices as simple as pressing a button.