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Dual Monitor KVM with remappable video ports?

Posted on 2013-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-06-14
I have multiple PCs all with dual monitor outputs and I want to be able to essentially assign any input to any output on the fly. The purpose is so that I can use both monitors with either machine in a dual-monitor config, but then be able to work on the primary monitor of one machine while monitoring the second.
eg:

Normal Dual-Monitor config:
PC1a->MonA PC1B->MonB
PC2a->MonA PC2B->MonB

Crossed outputs:
PC1a->MonA PC2B->MonB
PC2a->MonA PC1B->MonB

I would just use VNC or RDC and do it all through remote desktops, but I often have to be connected via secure software that locks out local network connections.

I could just use multiple KVMs, but I'm really hoping for something a bit more elegant.

Any suggestions?
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Question by:jbenfield
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by:_
_ earned 250 total points
ID: 39243242
A little out of my depth on this one, but something like this?

4 in - 4 out
http://www.kramerelectronics.com/products/model.asp?pid=1215#1

or maybe this one

4 in - 8 out
http://www.kramerelectronics.com/products/model.asp?pid=1090#1

more here if you want to look through what they have:
http://www.kramerelectronics.com/products/search.asp?s=VGA

Otherwise as far as I know, it's a bunch of kvms or a/b switches, and maybe even some Y-splitter cables for the mix-n-match you want to do.
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kode99 earned 250 total points
ID: 39247142
It's fairly expensive to do this.  You will need to buy a matrix video switcher,  these have X number of inputs and x number of outputs and lets you assign the inputs to outputs as you like.  Obviously you do need all your outputs and inputs to be the same kind, DVI/HDMI/VGA or whatever.

Here's a good DVI unit,
http://www.gefen.com/kvm/ext-dvi-444dl.jsp?prod_id=5310

Here's a price listing on it,  street prices are better than Gefen's site so shop around its going to be around $500 though.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/600497-REG/Gefen_EXT_DVI_444DL_4x4_DVI_Dual_Link_Matrix.html

They do have a matrix 4x4 KVM DVI switcher but its about twice the price (it does audio as well).  You could use any old KVM to switch your mouse and keyboard,  just don't connect the video up to switch,  be quite a bit less than the KVM matrix.  If you did it with a USB AB switch the computer would have to deal with disconnect/reconnecting the  devices which would be annoying.

I'm assuming here we are looking at 2 computers and 4 monitors.  I linked DVI but they also have VGA,  HDMI  and maybe display port units as well.

Here's a listing on the Gefen KVM,
http://www.kvm-switches-online.com/ext-dvikvm-444dl.html

It will likely also work fine my only concern is if you only have a keyboard/mouse on one station side if the others will still switch video sources.  I do not see why not but for the price I would check with the manufacturer on that.

There are multimonitor KVM's which you may have looked at but in general they switch all the monitors with no option to split which monitor goes to which computer.

I use a setup where I switch a large primary monitor then have smaller 'monitoring' monitors on each computer with the desktop extended onto the smaller monitor.  So anything I need to keep an eye on I just move over to that area.

The Kramer unit coral47 is very similar to the Gefen KVM matrix and probably would do the job as well.  My guess it has a similar price point or higher.  These type of units are off the consumer beaten path.  

In general if something says it is a matrix switch it likely has the kind of functionality you are looking for.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jbenfield
ID: 39247492
This is exactly the kind of functionality that I was looking for. I knew that the technology existed, but I just wasn't having any luck trying to find it. That's the problem with Google, if you don't know what it's called, it can be very hard to find something :)

Thanks to both of you for your help.
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by:_
ID: 39247894
Thank you much. Have fun.    : )
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