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#1 Skydiver   User is online

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KVM recommendations

Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:50 AM

I saw in the Caffeine Lounge that there was the pinned thread for hardware, but it didn't include anything about KVMs.

The VPN software that my company uses finally patched the split tunneling hole/bug -- technically, they disabled split tunneling over 3 years ago but I could still split tunnel and RDP into my work laptop. Now that I can't split tunnel anymore, I'm going to need to a KVM to use both my home machine as well as my work laptop while at home.

I want to share a 2560x1080 LG monitor that only takes HDMI. Mouse and keyboard are USB. I don't really need audio, but that would be a nice to have. Reliable switching a must. Fast (< 2 sec) reliable switch times would be great.

Does anybody have any recommendations?

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Replies To: KVM recommendations

#2 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: KVM recommendations

Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:37 PM

I love my IOGear 4 port. It is DVI/Audio/USB.
A) They probably make a HDMI version
B) Use a DVI-HDMI adapter cable out of the KVM
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#3 Skydiver   User is online

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Re: KVM recommendations

Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:35 PM

I just sent back an IOGear 2 port... Port #2's HDMI male plug had some kind of loose connection. I've asked them to send me another unit instead of a refund. It should be arriving tomorrow evening.

I was impressed with the clarity of the display and how quickly the keyboard came a alive after switching. Screen switch was felt like 2 seconds or less. Definitely a step up over the old VGA/PS2 and VGA/USB KVM's I used about 15 years ago.

Have you had to do a firmware upgrade on your 4 port IOGear?
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#4 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: KVM recommendations

Posted 18 April 2018 - 03:46 AM

View PostSkydiver, on 17 April 2018 - 06:35 PM, said:

Have you had to do a firmware upgrade on your 4 port IOGear?


Huh... Never dawned on me to even look. So I guess that would be 'no'.
https://www.iogear.c...roduct/GCS1104/
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#5 Skydiver   User is online

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Re: KVM recommendations

Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:50 PM

Replacement unit arrived and things are running smoothly. The remote key switch button offers fast switching with the keyboard and mouse seemingly instantly usable and the screen rendering in about 2 seconds. Using the keyboard hotkey to switch is slower. Something akin to the older KVMs I used over 10 years ago with the keyboard and mouse feeling to be usable around 3 seconds after a switch, and the screen available somewhere around 5 seconds.

I ended up not using the audio switch between machines. I find my work style is to kick off some music on my home machine, and then spend a majority of my time on the work laptop. If I plug in the audio, when I switch then my music gets turned off because I don't have any on the work machine. I could technically setup a mixer to feed both machines' audio into, or I could direct the output of my home machine into the line in of the work machine and have that played back, but it seemed simpler to just plug my speakers straight into my home machine instead of the switch.
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#6 Skydiver   User is online

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Re: KVM recommendations

Posted 27 April 2018 - 06:56 AM

So after about 9 days of usage, I'm seeing/hearing the switch randomly disconnecting and reconnecting to the machine on port 1. I can hear the machine go through its Plug-N-Play device discovery and installation sequence. About 3 out of 5 times, this leaves the video in a 1920x1080 resolution instead of the 2560x1080 resolution that it was at before the random disconnect/reconnect.

I can't find the source of the random disconnects/reconnects. I've not yet simply tried swapping port 1 and port 2 because of the hassle. This was the point of the KVM, cut down on the need to crawl around to plug/unplug cords.
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#7 Skydiver   User is online

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Re: KVM recommendations

Posted 04 June 2018 - 06:11 PM

The IO Gear 2 Port started randomly connecting and disconnecting at odd hours of the night. Not really great for sleep when one or both of the machines are still awake and they would go play the Win10 plug and play sounds as the keyboard and mouse would be recognized.

I'm trying out a Sea-Wit 2 Port HDMI KVM now. One thing I can say right off the bat, I was not swearing up a storm while I tried to plug in the cables from the computers to the switch, and then keyboard, monitor, mouse, and power supply to the switch. I believe that it's because I just needed to plug in 1 USB and 1 HDMI to each machine, and the cables supplied by the manufacturer were much more flexible. Furthermore, they also looked to be better shielded than the IO Gear "integrated" cables.

The video switching is blazing fast! I would say that it is practically instantaneous. As for the keyboard and mouse, if I use the buttons on the switch, it feels to be about 3-4 seconds on the top end Dell laptop, and about 2-3 seconds on my ancient home brew AMD machine. If I use the keyboard hotkey, switch seems to be consistently faster for both machines: 1-2 seconds.

So far I've encountered two problems:

The first is that product manual states that the hotkey is pressing the Scroll Lock twice quickly. Unfortunately, pressing the Num Lock twice quickly also acts like the hotkey. If I had to guess, they use the same firmware as some of the high end products like Avocent and Belkin where the hotkey is Num Lock rather than Scroll Lock.

The second problem is a bit more serious. If a machine goes to sleep, somehow I can't wake the machine up again using the keyboard or the mouse. According to various comments on Amazon, the workaround is to do some tweaks in Device Manager to specific USB devices to disable power management.

For both problems above, I've reached out to the company's customer support to see if what they have to say. According to Amazon, the company is very responsive with regards to support. I'm hoping to get the same experience.

Update: I just heard back from them in less than an hour regarding my email. Unfortunately, there isn't a fix for the hotkey issue. I'll just have to break myself of twiddling the Num Lock key when I'm impatient, or trying to wake up a machine from sleep. As for waking out of sleep issue, they sent me a nice detailed document with screen shots on how to tweak the the USB Root Hub's Power Management settings in Device Manager.
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