Use KVM extenders for a better work environment

What is a KVM extender?
KVM stands for “keyboard, video, and mouse,” and a KVM extender is basically a device that extends these interfaces and enables remote access to a computer over distances from a few feet up to several miles, or even over the Internet. A KVM extender unit consists of a transmitter device, sometimes called “local unit,” and a receiver device, also called “remote unit.” These devices can be connected over either CATx copper or fiber cable, and the newest technology can even extend signals over a standard IP network. You can connect your PC to a transmitter at work and plug in the receiver at your home office and work at your computer, just like you would with a direct connection.

What are the interfaces being used?
The video interface is usually either DVI or HDMI on most modern devices, while older computers might be equipped with VGA only. In the past, keyboard and mouse were always separate interfaces and were using a PS2 6-pin mini-DIN connector. That technology has been almost completely phased out, and now USB is the standard connector. It usually doesn’t matter where you plug in your mouse or keyboard, as long as it is a USB port. Other optional interfaces that can be supported are audio and RS-232.

Scientsits monitoring computersWhy would anyone need a KVM extender?
Computer fans are loud, and computer CPUs have fans for cooling because they generate a lot of heat. Plus, they take up a lot of space. None of these features is ideal in an office environment. By using a KVM extender, CPUs can be backracked in a server room in a temperature-controlled environment. All the user needs is a tiny receiver unit on the desk where the keyboard, video display, and mouse would be connected. An industrial environment has different challenges. The work environment might be dusty or dirty—areas where regular CPUs with fans will not last long. The fans will pull the dirt into the cabinet, clogging it up and causing the computer to overheat. By using a KVM extender, the PC can be relocated to a cleaner environment, and the keyboard, video, and mouse workstation can be connected to a remote KVM unit that is fanless. These are just two examples of how KVM extenders are being used, but the variety of applications for KVM extenders is extensive. Learn more at Blackbox.com/KVM-Extenders or check out our KVM Extenders Selector.

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6 Reasons to switch to digital KVM

Analog technology can’t keep up in the digital marketplace. Digital video is sharper and digital KVM is faster. Don’t get left behind in the digital revolution.

1. The VGA standard is being discontinued.
The VGA standard will not be supported going into 2015. Analog KVM and video won’t work any longer either. VGA sources and displays are getting increasingly difficult to find. We recently heard from a client who had to buy VGA parts on eBay.

2. Digital technology is distinctly better.
Digital technology improves users’ experiences by providing crystal-clear images at any supported distance. HD video is delivered pixel by pixel to digital displays at higher resolutions and increased color depth.

3. Digital systems are bigger and better.Broadcast Booth
New larger matrices and IP-based systems increase flexibility and enable connecting to a much higher number of endpoints. Thousands of devices can be incorporated into one unified system. On a digital matrix system, I/O ports are interchangeable, making changes and adds as simple as plugging a device into a port. Continue reading

Case Study: Major broadcaster adopts multiuser matrix system for upgraded studio

Broadcasting studio personnel, from engineers to editors, are on the search for extension and switching solutions that work for multiple users. Issues to avoid are delayed switching times, no simultaneous access for multiple users, and limited USB device support. Broadcast engineers need to reliably extend and switch high-quality video and audio. They also want to use the most up-to-date infrastructure to hand and have a scalable, future-proof system.

A major network studio in Chicago came to us with a wish list for its broadcast studio upgrade. The chief hardware engineer was looking for a video extension and KVM matrix switch that would work over the existing Ethernet network in the studio. The system needed to enable forty producers, directors, studio technicians, and operators to gain access to more than sixty computers, servers, video sources, and camera feeds from any desk location.

The Chicago studio produces live broadcasts. Transmission glitches were unacceptable. The system needed to enable forty producers, studio technicians, and operators to gain access to more than sixty computers, servers, video sources, and camera feeds from any desk location. Flexibility and scalability were vital.Broadcasting

The system that had been deployed prior to our involvement cased daily problems and numerous help desk tickets. The problems included delayed switching time, lack of simultaneous access for multiple users, limited device support for USB HIDs, uneven video and audio quality, and poor system reliability and durability. We needed to address all these issues at once. Continue reading

Making teamwork a snap in the broadcast booth

The Dayton Dragons are the very successful Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and currently hold the longest sell-out streak in all of North American professional sports. They were even voted one of the top ten hottest tickets to get in all of professional sports in 2007 by Sports Illustrated. Owned and operated by Mandalay Baseball Properties, the team continues to produce high-quality, family-friendly entertainment and provide unsurpassed customer service to a large, loyal fan base. Mandalay Creative Services, a division of Mandalay Baseball, helps meet that goal by providing in-house system design, technical integration, and production services.

The Dragons’ commitment to creating an unmatched fan experience led them to upgrade their video, audio, and control systems prior to the start of the 2014 season. The team is unique in that they produce two separate productions—an in-house and a broadcast feed—with two separate crews sharing core system components. The caveat was that the crews and components were split between two rooms: one space for each production.

Mandalay Creative’s first key goal was to enable the two small but efficient teams to work across multiple systems, producing shows that would normally require big-league budgets and staffing. Their high standards also demanded no sacrifice in video quality, maximum uptime, and enterprise-grade reliability.

Mandalay BaseballAlso vital, the Dragons required a solution that would grow with them, providing easy and cost effective ways to add additional servers and users to the matrix routing system. Continue reading

On-demand KVM and Wireless webinars

Catch up on our latest on-demand webinars from this past month:

“Wireless Solutions for M2M, Security/Surveillance, and Temporary Data Networks”

  • Learn how cellular wireless routers can be a reliable and cost-effective alternative for Internet or WAN/VPN access compared to POTS, DSL, and cable modem technologies.
  • Explore how cellular routers can support the necessary interface types, environmental requirements, and protocols associated with remote SCADA applications.
  • Understand how 4G cellular wireless routers support the throughput and latency requirements for backhauling security/surveillance video.
  • Learn how to quickly set up temporary, mobile networks in field applications, such as sporting events, outdoor gatherings, and digital signage installations.

 

“KVM Outside of the Data Center”

  • Acquire a high-level understanding of the KVM technology solutions spectrum. Understand the market forces that are shaping the need for KVM technologies in different industries.
  • Understand the thought process behind selecting a KVM technology for a specific application scenario.
  • Understand the return-on-investment benefits that KVM solutions can provide.