Key elements of choosing a KVM extender
Here are the most important things to take into consideration when buying a KVM extender:
Identify video, USB, and audio requirements
As a general rule, the KVM product specifications should closely follow the requirements of the peripheral devices you need to access from a distance, such as the displays, keyboard and mouse, and other USB or audio devices.
Assess video connectivity and resolution
Early analog KVM extender models supported analog video signals (VGA). However, these analog models have limited resolution and distance support. Digital KVM extension solutions feature digital visual interface (DVI), high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI), and DisplayPort connectivity to overcome the limitations of earlier analog models.
DisplayPort and HDMI are the most common video connection standards available on professional workstation graphics cards and displays. The HDMI and DisplayPort specifications establish the maximum supported resolution per revision, the required bandwidth, and the corresponding high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) revision. HDCP is a hardware encryption specification that protects digital content from being transmitted to non-compliant devices and prevents the unauthorized duplication of the content.
Resolution is the number of horizontal and vertical pixels (width x height) that can be displayed on a monitor. The higher the resolution, the clearer and sharper the image displayed. For example, 4K UHD resolution is a commercial standard that supports a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (creating an image approximately 4,000 pixels wide), compared to Full HD (FHD), which supports 1920 x 1080 pixels, and HD which supports 1280 x 720 pixels. Check that the KVM extender is capable of supporting the resolutions that your displays and source system support.