KVM Switch

LunarMist

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I should be receiving a new monitor in April with any luck. The monitor will have DVI-D, DP and HDMI inputs at a resolution of 2560x1440.
My old KVM is DVI DL only and that seems to be a dying breed. Is HDMI the main standard now and in the next 4-5 years or should I use DP?
My laptop will have mini DP and regular HDMI ports, though the quality of the external video doesn't matter too much for that. The internal display is also 2560x1440, so I'm assuming that it will drive the external monitor without any resizing issues.
Which 4-input KVM switch is recommended? It should have separate stereo mini ports for audio; the display does not contain audio like a TV. Thanks.
 

LunarMist

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IMO, you should use DisplayPort. It's the most common interface for multi-monitor setups.

I would be using it for multi-computers rather than multi-monitors, but I'm all for whatever is better and has less obsolescence.
Unfortunately I only find a few 4-port Displayport KVMs and they are rather expensive. Are there any you can recommend?
 

LunarMist

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I don't know those products. Which switch should I buy?
 

LunarMist

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I doubt software would preserve the custom colorspace and calibrations. Even so I want to run one machine at a time or a combination of 2 of 3, plus the company laptop. My goals this summer are to take the main computer off the internet and build something less power consuming/heat producing and still have my backup system and laptop options as usual.
 

sechs

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Perhaps the question should be, why do you have so many machines that are sharing one monitor, keyboard, and mouse?
 

LunarMist

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Perhaps the question should be, why do you have so many machines that are sharing one monitor, keyboard, and mouse?

The minimum would be three, two desktop machines (in case one fails or I am working on one) and one company laptop. I'm thinking about adding a low-power, tiny machine just for the internet and e-mails, but that is for another thread.

I understand some people work on laptops directly, but it is very inefficient and not ergonomic, especially the thin keyboards on the 3lb. machines we have.
Ergonomics important due to my physical issues, which will only get worse. There is also limited space in my workroom for extra chairs, monitors and keyboards.
At one time I did use two monitors, but they were not the same model and accurate color matching was impossible. For some reason I see all the monitor variations easily and it can be frustrating. For example I don't want a monitor artifact affecting my perception when applying a gradient curve across an image.

I just figure that a KVM has to be less expensive than $2000 for a second monitor.
 

sechs

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Why not just use multiple inputs on the same monitor? Not quite as convenient, but considerably cheaper.

You can hot plug keyboard and mouse if you feel the need to share.
 

LunarMist

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Why not just use multiple inputs on the same monitor? Not quite as convenient, but considerably cheaper.

You can hot plug keyboard and mouse if you feel the need to share.

The new monitor is still MIA. I could continue to use the old KVM for the K_M, but I'm not sure about the interoperability of the three standards.
Which ones can be converted with simple adapters and which would require some active device that could compromise the data or change the colorspace?
 

Howell

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Only Vga is not digital, conversion between dvi and hdmi is a simple adapter. However, I'm not aware if the signal is preserved to the degree you need.
 

Stereodude

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The new monitor is still MIA. I could continue to use the old KVM for the K_M, but I'm not sure about the interoperability of the three standards.
Which ones can be converted with simple adapters and which would require some active device that could compromise the data or change the colorspace?
None of them are active in that sense. HDMI and DVI are electrically compatible for displays up to 1920x1200. DisplayPort is different, but can emulate HDMI/single link DVI when the passive adapter triggers it. There are active adapters, but the source doesn't know about them. As such they're just electrical pass through.
 

LunarMist

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None of them are active in that sense. HDMI and DVI are electrically compatible for displays up to 1920x1200. DisplayPort is different, but can emulate HDMI/single link DVI when the passive adapter triggers it. There are active adapters, but the source doesn't know about them. As such they're just electrical pass through.

Thanks. I need to read up on the displays. All the photo people are into the DP. I know that DP and HDMI can support 10 bits, but often don't.
Since I'm not building a new main system I can get a new video card if needed.
 

LunarMist

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The grim reality is that KVM is rather pointless above 1920x1200 unless every device has the same outputs.
DP/mini-DP is the most common denominator of the devices. What do you think of the IONEAR GCS1934 KVM?
 

LunarMist

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Are there any security issues with using the KVM, i.e., could something spread from one computer to the other?
 

ddrueding

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With PS/2 inputs for sure no. USB could in theory pass stuff through memory on one of the devices. A memory stick left in the keyboard? I know some mice have a USB storage portion for drivers/profiles...
 

LunarMist

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I learned something about the DVI last week. Apparently it is possible to use the regular mode (single link) for 2560x displays if the refresh is reduced to 30Hz. :DOH: The Egyptian KVM switch also fails to mention that resolution over 1920x1200 is supported. :(

I read online that 30Hz is considered terrible, but I'm not seeing any difference from any other monitor. There is no flickering at all, even when viewing Trinton Azaleth style.
 

Stereodude

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Of course it's not going to flicker. It's not a CRT. A LCD is a sample and hold display. It just updates less frequently.
 

LunarMist

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Of course it's not going to flicker. It's not a CRT. A LCD is a sample and hold display. It just updates less frequently.

Well, my desktop, PS, DPP, NX-D or the internet doesn't update very fast. :)
 

LunarMist

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I can see some artifacts when the mouse is jerking around.
 

LunarMist

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I beg to differ. It's bad for any sort of scrolling too.

I have mainly older programs that have little to no scrolling. The Scroll Lock works fine between the computers if that makes any difference.
 

LunarMist

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Over 7 years later I'm rethinging the KVMs as the display may need to be replaced in a later cycle.
It seems like the traditional Displayports are becoming less common (except USB-C/Thunderbowls DP) and the HDMIs are more common, or is that incorrect? However the video cards are mostly DP (3 outs) and only have one HDMI out. Is there any drawback to using HDMI as the main input if I get a new display? The new monitors have one each of HDMI, DP, and USB-C, but no DVI. I would be using 60Hz as I don't see any option for 30Hz, which is not necessary anyways on HDMI.
 

Mercutio

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Typically, Displayport supports newer and fancier stuff without needing anything goofy and extra, but I don't think we're going to get affordable 8k displays with extreme color accuracy any time in the really near future. Maybe try to make sure you're getting something that supports HDMI 2.1b just for future-proofing headroom?
 

ddrueding

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Also, HDMI and Displayport at electrically compatible, so passive cables with one side being HDMI and one side being DP are a thing. (Same with the USB-C type).

Example
 

LunarMist

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Which 4-channel 4K KVM do you suggest? Very few have the audio output plugs.
The display would be like this or possibly there will be something newer.

Video Signals
Input TerminalsUSB Type-C (DisplayPort Alt Mode, HDCP 2.3), DisplayPort (HDCP 2.3), HDMI (Deep Color, HDCP 2.3)
Digital Scanning Frequency (H / V)USB Type-C, DisplayPort: 26 - 89 kHz / 23 - 61 Hz
HDMI: 15 - 89 kHz / 23 - 61 Hz
 

LunarMist

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Also, HDMI and Displayport at electrically compatible, so passive cables with one side being HDMI and one side being DP are a thing. (Same with the USB-C type).

Example
If you had Magic balls, which would you expect is most popular in 2028? I feel like DP is dying off. Right now I have that OLD DVI KVM, which will be useless when I need a new monitor.
Ironically that KVM is probably the oldest piece of computer stuff I have other than a UPS and speakers, but it is critical. I run everything through the one display, keyboard mouse and speakers. So my plan is to upgrade the KVM now using the old monitor and be able to easily replace the monitor when necessary.
 

sedrosken

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By 2028 I expect that we'll be largely in the same spot we're in now. By 2034, though, I expect USB-C to have more or less taken over for traditional display ports, period. We'll probably still be in the dongle era for older equipment, but on new stuff, I expect USB-C to be the only real option by then.
 

LunarMist

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If I'm even alive by 2034 I will not need four devices and there may be no KVMs allowed. I would probably have to use the APPLE, which by then would have reverted back to to an all in one. ;) And they still will not allow the APPLE server.
 

ddrueding

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I also think DP and HDMI will both be around in a few years. HDMI because the adoption cycle of home theater equipment is slow, and it will be hanging around, and DP because it is the superior connector. I also think lots of things will be going USB-C, it is just too cheap and easy to stick on things.
 

LunarMist

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So long as nVidias retain the HDMI outputs for several cycles it should be fine.
I don't see future laptops or "NUCs" having a DP, just a slow decline of HDMI and continuation of the USB-C.
USB-C is such a flimsy connector, I really don't like it. Do you guys experience them being damaged in field environments?
I agree that DP is the best physically and even the mini-DP was good.
 

Mercutio

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I haven't run across damaged connectors on USB-C cabled used for displays, but I do notice that monitors connected by USB-C seem to lose their connection and blink off more often than those connected via HDMI/DP. That might just be a Windows thing, but I see it a lot on NUC-size devices where USB-C is the best option for a second or third display.
 

LunarMist

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I've already ripped off a couple and had to extract the remnants of the USB-C plug from the socket very carefully. Maybe the cables are inferior but they all seem to suffer from the same level of flimsibility at the connector. The great failure of USB-C is actually that it is only a "micro" version primarly for mobile devices and not a full sized version as with all other USB formats.
 

Mercutio

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I hear about people screwing up USB-C connectors on their phones. I'm not sure how people do that, but I'd expect a phone's power cord to be damaged a lot more often than anything plugged in to a desktop computer. What are you doing to USB-C cables, man?
 
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