Author Archives: kvmtechblog

Which should I use DVI-D to VGA or VGA to DVI-D?

DVI-D to VGA converters connect new technology like a new DVD or Bluray player to aged equipment that have only VGA functionality such as an older monitor or projector.  DVI-D to VGA can be handled with several options.

DVI-D to VGA Converter

DVI-D to VGA Converter

The first is a device like the SCA-DVI-ANA. The SCA-DVI-ANA is a scalar converter dongle with a maximum resolution of 1920×1200.  The resolution is factory set to a specific resolution and once set cannot be changed.  For situations with variable resolutions, the SCA-DVI-ANA-UN is a simple device with dip switches which allow users to define the resolution based on the current installation.  These devices eliminate the need to buy new monitors and can be vital for installations with integrated locked down hardware.

Conversely, VGA to DVI-D converters upgrade analog video signals to digital, this is more likely to occur in timeworn infrastructure settings.  Quality analog to digital converters can automatically detect and display and output the correct VGA resolution on the digital DVI monitor.  The SCA-VGA-DVI has dual outputs (one VGA loop and one DVI-D Single link)which enables user to connect one VGA monitor and one DVI-D single link monitor for dual monitor applications.  This is also handy for confirming that the converter is getting a signal from the VGA source.  These devices also have a maximum resolution of 1920×1200. You can order DVI-D to VGA Video Converters online at KVMSwitchTech.

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VGA Extenders an Ideal Product for Analog Video Signal Extension

This VGA Extender is an ideal product to extend analog video signal up to 1000ft away from the video source. It has an additional VGA loop port on the transmitter unit to connect a local VGA Monitor.

VGA Extender over CAT5e/CAT6 Cable Extends up to 1000FT

VGA Extender over CAT5e/CAT6 Cable Extends up to 1000FT


Some of the key applications for this unit are video monitoring and surveillance, digital signage, IT presentations and demonstrations. VGA over Cat5 extender, VGA-BAL-1000 is available with options like audio, RS232 and IR support. Each of the extender receiver units features a separate gain and peaking rotary switch used for adjusting brightness and skew over long distances

Key Features

  • Extend high resolution VGA signal over a single Cat5e/6/7 cable
  • Adjust GAIN and PEAK levels to adapt for variable UTP cable lengths
  • Supports maximum resolutions up to WUXGA
  • CAT5e/6/7 output via RJ45 Jack
  • Transmitter includes local VGA Monitor Output
  • EDID Compliant
  • 5VDC external power supply included

Advantages of using a VGA Extender

These units are designed to extend audio and video signals directly from your VGA Video source over a single Cat5e/6/7 cable. You can use your laptop, desktop, or a blue ray player to display crisp and clear high resolution images up to 1000ft. These reasonably priced VGA extenders can be used in any environment including SOHO, Commercial, Information Technology and Government applications.

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2×2 HDMI Video Wall with Instaport Feature Is A Must Buy for HD Video Wall Applications

While working with a customer to redesign their corporate office lobby I had the opportunity to try a new Video Wall Unit. Normally, when customers specify a device, I am hesitant and the VW-HDMI-4P was no exception. In my experience video walls can be touchy and the bells and whistles that they promise never seem to materialize.

4x4 HDMI Matrix with instaport feature and 2x2 HDMI Video Wall Processor Image

4×4 HDMI Matrix with instaport feature and 2×2 HDMI Video Wall Processor

The VW-HDMI-4P claims to be a 2×2 HDMI video wall processor with an integrated 4×4 HDMI Matrix Switch and Instaport switching. After un-boxing and setting it up, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Instaport switching really did manage to switch sources from one display to the next without a noticeable disruption on the image. After running through some further simple settings I was able to remotely manage the VW-HDMI-4P using what was a straightforward and intuitive web GUI. I made few bezel corrections and the video wall stretched and ran smoothly.

My Experience: All in all it was an impressive and pleasant experience that the customer will undoubtedly enjoy for years.

Cat5 USB Extender Solutions for Different Applications

Cat5 USB Extenders allow you to extend USB devices up to 330ft away over ordinary Cat5e/Cat6/Cat7 cables. Ideal use is with USB printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, hard drives, and other 1.1 and 2.0 USB devices. These extender units are available in single port, 2 port, and 4 port which extend to one/two/four devices correspondingly. These Cat5 extenders comprise of a receiver unit and transmitter, which connects through USB ports on computers. USB Extender units can be used in homes, offices, educational institutes, and other large facilities that need to connect USB devices over long distances. Cat5 USB Extender products are great for using to connect USB printers in large buildings (maximum 330ft).

What CAT5 USB Extender is best for my situation?

Peripheral device users who need to connect one device like a keyboard or mouse, over a distance less than 150ft can do so using a Cat5 cable and a device like the USB Extender over Cat5 Single Port (USBEXT-1P). This device only allows a maximum throughput speed of 12 Mbit/s because it is USB 1.1. This unit does not require an external power supply.

00-00297 Icron USB 2.0 Ranger 2201 Extender

Figure1 – 00-00297 Icron USB 2.0 Ranger 2201 Extender

Users wanting to connect a single high-speed device with faster throughput like an isochronous web cam over further distances should use a device like the USB 2.0 Ranger 2201 Extender (00-00297). The USB Ranger 2201 uses USB 2.0, which allows higher throughput (up to 480 MB/s) and connects to a device up to 330ft away over Cat5e/Cat6/Cat7 cables. The 2201 operates with USB 2.0 high-speed host controllers and USB 1.1 classic hosts and supports Control, Interrupt, Bulk and Isochronous USB device types. The maximum number USB devices that can be used with this unit are 14 USB Devices or 3 USB hubs with 11 USB devices. Other ideal uses are connecting a single printer, scanner, hard drive, or audio device.

00-00256 Icron USB 2.0 Ranger 2204 Extender with four Port Hub

Figure2 – 00-00256 Icron USB 2.0 Ranger 2204 Extender with four Port Hub

Users wanting to connect a few high-speed devices like multiple backup hard drives over 300+ ft away should use a device like the USB 2.0 Ranger 2204 Extender 4 Port Hub (00-00256). USB Ranger 2204 has basically the same specs as 2201 but allows for up to four devices to be connected. Other ideal uses are to hook up video surveillance via live feed of multiple web cams, or connecting multiple printers, scanners, hard drives, audio devices.

All the devices described are plug and play ready (do not require extra software drivers), and are supported by all major operating systems including Windows ®, Mac OS®, and Linux®. These devices are favorites within the professional information technology community because of their affordable prices, outstanding quality, and ease of use compared to other USB Extender products available on the market today.

Comparing Rackmount Monitor Keyboards and Rackmount LCDs

Rackmount LCD and Rackmount Monitor Keyboard products are still an essential part of IT server room applications. Depending on the application customers can use just a standard 1U Rackmount LCD or a 6/7/8/9U Rackmount LCD. A standard 1U Rackmount LCD is a flip up monitor housed in a drawer. These units fit in a standard 19” Server Rack. Additional Rack mounting hardware is also available for 2 Post Server Rack applications. A 6/7/8/9U Rackmount LCD provides user with the option of rackmount or wall mount. These units are primarily used for application like digital signage and video monitoring.

6/7/8/9/10U Rackmount LCD image

6/7/8/9/10U Rackmount LCD

A Rackmount Monitor Keyboard combo comes with a wide range of different options. You can use a standard 17”, 19”, 20” Rack Monitor with integrated keyboard to control a single server or connect to an existing KVM Switch to control multiple servers. These units are also offered with integrated KVM Switches like a standard 8 or 16 port USB KVM Switch, DVI KVM Switch, Cat5 KVM Switch or an IP KVM Switch. Depending on desired video resolution and video connector these units are offered with standard VGA, HDMI, DVI, Composite/S-Video connectors. As many modern devices come with HDMI ports on them the newest version of high resolution Rackmount Monitor Keyboards are most popular. These units support full 1080p or up to 1920×1200 video resolution.

All these Rackmount products come standard with CE, UL, FCC, RoHS, and TAA Certifications and 2 year Warranty. If you are looking for a Rackmount solution there are a wide range of different options available. The best thing to do is identify your needs and go with the best product available for your specific application.

Powered HDMI Splitter and Extender Solutions

HDMI Splitters are just the latest in a long line of video splitter products used for sharing an image across multiple displays. This is useful for scenarios such as signage solutions in stores; sharing a single TV input in a home; or collaborative meetings in large groups.

KVMSwitchTech's 2 Port 3D HDMI Splitter image

2 Port 3D HDMI Splitter

HDMI Splitters come in a variety of configurations and functionality. The simplest is a 2 port splitter like the HDMI-2P-3D. This splitter provides a mirrored image with support for key features such as EDID, HDCP and 3D. This is a powered unit so there is no video signal degradation.

KVMSwitchTech's 4 Port HDMI Splitter Extender over CAT5/6 UTP Cable Pic

4 Port HDMI Splitter Extender over CAT5/6 UTP Cable

Other HDMI Splitters incorporate both a splitter and extender for transmitting HDMI signals over distances beyond the reach of a standard HDMI Cable. This is accomplished by converting the signal to transmit it over standard Category 5e/6 cables. One very important thing to keep in mind when purchasing a Splitter / Extender product is that every extended output must have a receiver to convert the cable back to HDMI. A good example of an HDMI Splitter Extender is the HDMI-CATSP-8 (8 Port Splitter Extender) which is a kit that includes all the necessary receivers.

8×8 HDMI Matrix Switch 3D with Digital Audio, Infra Red Remote, RS232 and TCP/IP Control

The premium line of splitters would incorporate a Matrix Switcher. The HD-MTX-88-A allows a signal to be broadcast to 8 different displays while also allowing the audio to be split out for projection through a high end audio system. Matrix Switchers also allow a user to use multiple video sources to any of the displays. They incorporate advanced control options such as TCP/IP telnet, RS232, and IR remote control.

Regardless of the complexity of the installation and budget, there is a HDMI Splitter available to meet any need. KVMSwitchTech’s representatives can help configure a solution based on customer specifications.

Comparing different HDMI Extender Solutions

HDMI is one of the most commonly used connectors on devices these days. All the hi-definition multimedia devices like video gaming consoles, play stations, X-box, blue ray players, DVD players, and AV HD camcorders come with HDMI interface. There are numerous applications that call for long Range HDMI signal extensions. If you are looking for signal transmission to longer distances you will need Cat5 HDMI Extender solutions to extend a HDMI signal several hundred feet. The kit included a transmitter and receiver unit and the cable used between these units is standard Cat5e/6 cable.

Option 1

If you are looking to extend HDMI video Signal up to 150 ft you can used a standard HDMI extender that extends over a standard Cat5e/6 cable. KVMSwitchTech offers Part # HDMI-1CATHD that also has a HDMI output on the transmitter unit to connect a local HDMI monitor if needed. It is recommended you use a solid Cat6 cable for optimal video quality.

Option 2

If you are looking to extend an HDMI signal up to 330ft you will need an HDBaseT HDMI Extender for long distance HDMI signal transmission. With the HDBaseT solution you can use a standard extender that supports 3D and video resolutions up to 1080P. If the application calls for POE (Power over Ethernet) you can use a unit that supports POE. If you need bi-directional IR and RS232 there is a different unit that can be used. Depending on needed features and functionality you can choose from a wide range of different options available at KVMSwitchTech.

Option 3

If you need to extend a HDMI signal up to 1000 ft the only option is to use a Fiber Optic HDMI Extender.

KVMSwitchTech's HDMI Fiber Optic Extender up to 1000ft image

HDMI Fiber Optic Extender up to 1000ft

KVMSwitchTech’s HDMIFOEXT-1000, HDMI Fiber Optic Extender allows signal transmission based on HDMI standard by optical transmission technology. Some of the key features are High speed and long  distance transmission using 1 channel SC type multi-mode optical fiber cable, video resolution support up to HDTV/1080P, PC/WUXGA (1920 x 1200).

Comparing different options for DVI-D to VGA Video Signal Conversion

Even though most people don’t give VGA a second thought any more, there are still plenty of VGA projectors and displays scattered throughout the corporate world. Whether the new computer comes with HDMI or Display Port, it is almost guaranteed to still have a DVI port and converting DVI-D to VGA is more cost effective than any other digital to analog converter.

DVI-D to VGA Video Converter, SCA-DVI-ANA Image

DVI-D to VGA Video Converter

There are two different DVI-D to VGA converter options available. The most common type that KVMSwitchTech sells is a SCA-DVI-ANA. It is a simple dongle that comes with a pre-programmed resolution. It supports a wide range of video resolutions (WUXGA|1900×1200|, UXGA|1600×1200|,SXGA|1280×1024|, XGA|1024×768|, SVGA |800×600|, VGA|640×480|), and some wide screen formats but you do need to specify the needed resolution. This works just fine in most situations, but for uses where the resolutions may have to change from display to display a better option is the SCA-DVI-ANA-UN. This converter has dip-switches that allow the user to specify from a wide range of resolutions and is ideal for use in situations when the resolution may not be known before hand.

HDMI Rackmount LCD Monitor Keyboard Solutions

With the prevalence of HDMI video connectors on most of the devices and computers the demand of HDMI Rackmount Monitor Keyboards has been steadily increasing. There are a wide range of 1U HDMI Rackmount Monitor and Keyboard solutions available on the market. The latest and greatest is the 1U 17” Widescreen HDMI, DVI-D and VGA 1080p High Resolution 1920 x 1080 Rackmount Monitor Keyboard.

1U 17

1U 17″ WideScreen HDMI and DVI-D 1080p High Resolution 1920 x 1080 Rackmount Monitor Keyboard Drawer with combo USB and PS2 Interface Touchpad. Source- KVMSwitchTech

What makes this product great is the full 1080p video resolution support. Some of the key features are Mac and Sun Keyboard options with hot key support, short depth design 480 mm (18.9 Inches) deep, 104-key keyboard with either touchpad or trackball and new enhanced aesthetics with molded front handle. There are some other options available as well like the 17”, 19” and 20” Rackmount Monitor Keyboard combos with HDMI and VGA connectors. The limitation with these units is that the 17” and 19” units only support up to 1280 x1024 video resolutions and the 20” unit supports 1600×1200 video resolutions. So depending on your application and needs you can choose which of these products that best fits your application.