A KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) extender is a device functioned to enable users a protected way to transmit and receive keyboard, video, mouse signals over short and long distances. In essence allowing users to work on a computer from a distance, typically beyond what is possible with a standard PS/2, USB cable, HDMI & DisplayPort, as these are only intended to function for distances of up to 10 feet or shorter.
KVM extenders are an ideal solution to transfer signals from 10 feet to several miles, typically for those looking for distances beyond the normal capabilities of KVM extension cables.
When will I need a KVM extender?
- Optimising workspaces
Many workplaces are now using KVM extenders to design a more ergonomic and optimised environment by taking out computers and moving them into a single room such as a server room, freeing up desk space by decluttering.
- Security in the workplace
These are particularly useful when there is a need to centralise CPUs to a single secure location to protect from unauthorised users or the need to control access, protect from unsafe environmental conditions or temperatures
- Multiple users and sites
KVM extenders are a great solution when multiple users in different locations require access to the same computer for example, university campuses creating a collaborative work environment. Control numerous remote computers
What are the types of KVM extenders?
There are several types of KVM extenders, which can accommodate different signal types and use either CATx cabling, fibre optic cabling, or an IP network.
VGA - with capabilities of supporting up to 1920x1200 VGA resolution and typically up to 150m with a CATx cable or further with fibre optic cabling.
DVI – these KVM extenders overcome the distance restrictions that DVI cable possess. These Digital extenders are used for when higher digital image quality is required e.g. industrial control rooms or broadcasting.
DisplayPort – A very common video connection type capable of carrying digital embedded audio from the system to the display and can support up to 4K60 signals. Ideal for high performance graphic pcs and video processors.
HDMI – these extenders deliver long distance HDMI & USB signals without losing video quality. Ideal for those looking for real-time transmission such as broadcasting as it allows for high resolution viewing with low latency.
Keyboard/Mouse, USB, digital or analogue audio and serial formats like RS232
KVM extenders have been adopted in various industries. These industries include military and industrial control rooms, schools & universities, transportation, media broadcast, healthcare, process & industrial automation, emergency operations & dispatch centres, government.