What’s Trending in KVM World?

  • With David Kirk

What’s Trending in KVM World?

Contributing Editor David Kirk examines the latest developments in the world of KVM technology...

Keyboard/video/mouse control units at their most basic allow an individual operator to control two or more computers or monitor display screens from a single workstation, originally on a single desktop. The following short summary looks at a selection of developments in this category over the past year. Most notable is the broadening application of IP technology to increase operating flexibility and connection range. Still no sign of support for head-up displays as a supplement to these devices. Although HUDs are logical way to view multiple displays, or even entire virtual control rooms, currently available HUDs have yet to be proved ideal for use as media-related workplace tools.

Adder Technology announced two new additions to the ADDERLink  Infinity 1000 Series. Designed based on user feedback, the 1102 (DP) transmitter and receiver, and 1104 (HDMI) transmitter are designed for use where only single-head KVM is needed. ”Adder's product range has not only gained immense popularity but has also consistently adapted to meet the ever-evolving needs of the broadcast and ProAV industries,” comments Scott Noble, sales manager at UK distributor DigiBox. The new models deliver  2K single-head video, digital and analog audio, plus USB2.0 over a 1GbE IP network. Adder's portfolio now comprises single and dual-head options that support various connectivity types such as DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. The new transmitters could lower operating costs by using up to 50% less power than their predecessor. Three units can fit into 1 U of rack space.

IHSE has partnered with Fraunhofer IIS’s design team to develop a next-generation KVM system based on the JPEG XS codec. JPEG XS is designed to allow subjectively lossless video data transfer over standard Ethernet or other wired connections with limited computing resources. Fraunhofer goes a step further by providing functionality for encapsulating code streams into file formats and transport streams. “By using Fraunhofer’s JPEG XS SDK and IHSE’s JPEG XS IP core for field-programmable gate arrays, innovative and ultra-low latency broadcast, in-house and gaming video routing can be realised with predictive and precise rate control,” says Dan Holland, Marketing Manager at IHSE USA. “The library will be integrated into our Draco Con App. The software-based KVM solution enables users to access an IHSE KVM network via IP protocol from a standard, network-connected PC.”

IHSE-owned company KVM-Tec’s Media4Kconnect series KVM extenders can be used standalone or as part of a larger KVM switching system. Switching can be controlled via either the on-screen display menu or directly through switching manager software. Customizable setups eliminate the need for external signal and conversion adapters. The units can be configured to support two images simultaneously displayed as either dual-4K, 4K+downscaled HD or upscaled 4K and HD. The units support 4K DisplayPort 1.2 using a single duplex fibre-optic SFP module that extends the signals up to 300 metres with multimode fibre or up to 120 kilometres with single-mode fibre. Signals are transmitted in 4:4:4 at 8-bit colour (standard models) or up to 10-bit in uncompressed models. Display resolutions of up to 4096 x 2160 at 60 Hz are supported.

Matrox Video offers IP KVM extenders (Extio 3) that move signals over standard network infrastructure and long distances. The company recently introduced the Matrox KMLync USB keyboard and mouse switch which enables users to control multiple systems or Matrox Extio 3 IP KVM devices through a single keyboard/mouse setup. Extio 3 IP KVM extenders facilitate remote access and connectivity for studios, control rooms and OB vans by enabling 4Kp60 4:4:4 and up to quad 1080p60 4:4:4 video extension and switching over LAN, WAN, or internet. Compatible with 1 Gigabit Ethernet networks, Extio 3 IP KVM extenders are compatible with standard networking equipment and infrastructures so operators can access multiple broadcast systems from any user station. Available as a standalone keyboard and mouse switch or as an accessory to the Extio 3 IP KVM product line, KMLync enables mouse switching between up to four different input sources (KVM or other). When combined with Extio 3 IP KVM extenders, KMLync enables new workflows for larger multimonitor workspaces. Operators can monitor and control multiple sources across a quad 4Kp60 monitor setup or even larger configurations with up to 16 1080p60 monitors. When KMLync is paired with Extio 3’s multiview capability and fast switching over IP, operators can visualise more information and improve response time. “KVM devices have become almost ubiquitous in broadcast studios, control rooms and OB vans for their ability to save space, streamline control, minimise physical interfaces and reduce operational costs,” says Angus Mackay, Matrox Video Product Marketing Manager. “With more broadcasters making the move to IP infrastructure, they need KVM equipment that not only works on standard IT networks but makes the most of their network bandwidth. With Extio 3, Matrox Video offered the world’s first KVM extenders to deliver 4Kp60 4:4:4 at unprecedented low bit rates over 1 Gigabit IP connections. Then we made the IP KVM workflow even more efficient with KMLync. As broadcast demands evolve, Matrox Video’s IP KVM products will evolve with it.”