Anywhere Control: The Latest in KVM Over IP

Everywhere you look, audiovisual technologies are migrating to IP networks for a number of reasons, including the ease of scalability and the convenience of remote access. But, the process has been relatively slow as engineers work to clear hurdles of latency, quality, and security. 

For KVM solutions, these three drawbacks are a non-starter. Often found in mission-critical command and control environments, KVM-over-IP solutions need to be agile enough to enable fluid mouse movements, with high enough resolution to see With important details, and robust enough to meet standards of security and reliability.

Related: The Technology Manager's Guide to Command and Control

 The following products check all of those boxes, and are making tech managers’ lives easier and more productive in the process.


Adder ADDERLink INFINITY 4000 (Image credit: Adder)

The new ADDERLink INFINITY 4000 provides support for multigigabit Ethernet, improved video resolutions, and advanced diagnostics, giving customers greater control of when and how they choose to integrate 5K into their IP KVM network. As adoption of 5K continues to rise, so does the need to maximize available bandwidth without sacrificing pixel-perfect image quality. To meet this demand, Adder has introduced multigigabit Ethernet support, which means customers can balance their video quality and bandwidth usage requirements by delivering 5K over varying network capabilities, from 1Gbps to 10Gbps. The release also delivers high-quality, immersive sound via DisplayPort digital audio, and a new on-board diagnostics tool, which allows customers to troubleshoot the KVM network.



ATEN KE9950 (Image credit: ATEN)

ATEN’s KE9950 4K DisplayPort Single Display KVM over IP Extender provides video resolutions up to 3840x2160 at 30Hz (4:4:4) as well as lossless video compression quality with minimal latency. The solution consists of a 0U rack-mountable high-performance IP-based transmitter (KE9950T) that connects to the computer and receiver (KE9950R), providing console access from a separate location. The KE9950 allows 24/7 access to a computer system from a remote USB console over an intranet, enabling users to locate computers in a secure and temperature-controlled environment, which is isolated from users’ workstation. For added security, the extender supports AES encryption for secured data transmissions, while RADIUS, LDAP, AD, or remote user authentication provides an added layer of connection security. The solution is well suited for a variety of working environments including traffic management centers, retail surveillance centers, facility situation rooms, command control centers, utilities process control centers, broadcasting distribution monitoring systems, network operations centers (NOC), and other industries where matrix extending is required.

Black Box Emerald

Black Box Boxilla KVM Manager for Emerald KVM-over-IP

Black Box Boxilla KVM Manager for Emerald KVM-over-IP (Image credit: Black Box)

The Emerald KVM-over-IP system is a future-proof KVM matrix switching solution that supports HD and 4K video at 60Hz and 10-bit color depth as well as USB 2.0 and audio. KVM receivers act as a zero client to access both physical servers and virtual machines within a single KVM network. Emerald is scalable to as many users and servers as required and offers fail-safe network redundancy, making it well suited for MCRs, post-production, and every other critical production environment. Use the Boxilla KVM Manager to maximize performance for any KVM matrix exceeding 25 endpoints. Emerald is developed and manufactured by Black Box with an emphasis on reliability and performance. 

Crestron DM-NVX-D80-IOAV

Crestron DM-NVX-D80-IOAV

Crestron DM-NVX-D80-IOAV (Image credit: Crestron)

The Crestron DM-NVX-D80-IOAV is a compact AV-over-IP decoder that functions as a receiver. The DM NVX D80 is compatible with the Intel Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) for seamless integration with OPS-supported displays. DM NVX technology supports the extension of USB signals, which can be switched and routed alongside the AV signal or separately via a control system. The OPS port of the DM-NVX-D80-IOAV includes USB 2.0 host port functionality, enabling the DM-NVX-D80-IOAV to function as a remote extender. The OPS port receives a USB signal from a KVM (keyboard, video, and mouse) device or other type of USB peripheral device. The USB signal is transported over the network to the USB 2.0 device port of a DM NVX device, which functions as the local extender and sends the USB signal to a USB host device (for example, a computer). 

Datapath Arqa

Datapath Arqa

Datapath Arqa (Image credit: Datapath)

With near-zero latency and visually lossless video transmission, Datapath Arqa brings numerous benefits to end users. The Arqa KVM system utilizes an optimized video-over-IP transport technology that greatly reduces latency and provides instant control. Rigorous testing reveals no difference between operating a PC via Arqa, or having the connection direct to a local desktop. The convenience and benefits of KVM control are becoming increasingly necessary for control room architectures as security concerns increase and AV/IT teams aim for a more streamlined management process. Using Arqa, maintenance teams can have all PCs housed in a single location—saving time, desktop real estate, as well as keeping hardware secure. Another benefit for end users is Datapath’s One Control technology, which lets operators switch between up to 16 independent sources as if they were one desktop, with no button presses required to switch. Since the system behaves essentially as an IP matrix switch, users can have up to 2,000 endpoints in the system from which to choose.

Extron NAV

Extron NAV Family

Extron NAV Family (Image credit: Extron)

NAV is a pro AV-over-IP solution for distribution and switching of low-latency, high-quality video, audio, and USB 2.0 signals over an Ethernet network at low bitrates. Utilizing Extron’s patented PURE3 codec, it delivers lossless video over IP at resolutions up to 4K60 with 4:4:4 chroma sampling and ultra-low latency. The visually lossless video and ultra-low latency make it suitable for high-performance computing KVM applications or any other deployment where real-time interaction with pristine video quality is required. It also supports AES67 audio over IP, facilitating flexible integration with DMP 128 Plus DSPs or other IP-enabled audio components. The NAVigator System Manager features a user-friendly interface for centralized management and control of any NAV system, facilitating easy setup and configuration, plus extensive features for monitoring, diagnostics, and troubleshooting. Purpose-built to support demanding professional KVM and AV applications, the highly scalable NAV platform enables secure deployment of AV and USB signals to thousands of endpoints.

G&D ControlCenter-IP

G&D ControlCenter-IP

G&D ControlCenter-IP (Image credit: G&D)

The ControlCenter-IP combines the advantages of classic matrices with the flexibility of IP systems. Any connected operator station can be granted access to any remote computer. While the network infrastructure takes over the transport of KVM-over-IP using network switches and routers, the ControlCenter-IP contributes the logic. Transmission takes place compressed via category cabling or optical fibres via standard IP-based networks, with a data transmission rate of 1Gbps per line. This enables existing IT installations to be scaled more easily, flexibly, and cost-effectively. The ControlCenter-IP system provides high-quality images and uses the in-house compression technology HDIP. This compression mode allows the lossless transmission of video signals with a resolution of up to 4K at 60Hz. In combination with IP extender systems for DP1.2a and DP1.1a as well as single- and dual-link DVI, it supports a wide range of video signals and resolutions up to 4K over IP. With the ControlCenter-IP, users can integrate generic USB devices and high-speed USB 2.0 into KVM-over-IP installations. It also provides a MatrixGuard function for extra security in case of failures. The MatrixGuard enables the implementation of secure, redundant clusters in a KVM-over-IP environment.



IHSE SIRA (Image credit: IHSE)

Last year IHSE introduced a virtual KVM solution enabling virtual servers to co-exist as part of an existing Draco tera KVM switch system, creating a streamlined multitasking virtual environment where multiple operating systems and applications could be accessed directly from a physical KVM console. This year, IHSE has expanded those network capabilities by introducing the Secure IP Remote Access (SIRA) line of IP KVM solutions. SIRA includes a host of gateway and remote access products that create hybrid KVM solutions. The new SIRA models reduces the time and cost associated with managing multi-site computer sources by combining networked workstations and local computers under a single secure display management system. SIRA connects the KVM matrix to private or public TCP/IP networks, bringing more flexibility to a Draco tera matrix without sacrificing the philosophy of securely isolating the core matrix and signal management from TCP/IP. This allows better high-performance remote access to matrix-connected target devices via an HTML browser or soft client. Encrypted signal transmission via IP ensures protection of intellectual property while still offering the most flexible access from remote locations via private or public networks. 

Key Digital KD-IP1022ENC/DEC

Key Digital KD-IP1022ENC

Key Digital KD-IP1022ENC (Image credit: Key Digital)

Key Digital's KD-IP1022ENC and -DEC are 4K UHD AV-over-IP encoders and decoders with independent video, audio, KVM/USB routing, and video wall processing. It features audio de-embed with volume, delay, and bass/mid/treble control, a two-port PoE LAN switch, HDMI pass-through, three-port IR, and RS-232. For AV over IP, they utilize a managed gigabit network switch to enable video distribution, matrix switching, and extension. For video wall processing, the encoder and decoder systems create video walls with up to 16 vertical and 16 horizontal monitors. Users can also create mosaic video walls using displays of varying sizes and positioning. Begin from templates of popular layouts or create fully custom layouts with graphical assistance using KDMS Pro software instead of terminal coding. With independent switching, video, audio, and USB switching are all independently routable for multi-layer systems. Three multi-function ports may be used as third-party control interface, Compass Control Pro master controller, control extension via IP, or callable via KeyCode open API.

Matrox Extio 3

Matrox Extio 3 N3408

Matrox Extio 3 N3408 (Image credit: Matrox)

Now available with private wide-area network (WAN) support, Matrox Extio 3 IP KVM extenders enable organizations to introduce new remote work and collaborative workflows by allowing users to access, share, and control any centralized workstation located in another building, campus, or city. Featuring 4K and multi-display extension and switching support, the high-performance Extio 3 enables a secure and seamless remote desktop experience critical for a wide range of control room applications, including process control, industrial and automation, military and defense, broadcast, medical, education, and more.

tvONE Magenta Pathfinder

tvONE Magenta Pathfinder

tvONE Magenta Pathfinder (Image credit: tvONE)

tvONE's Magenta Pathfinder provides a scalable, zero-latency KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse and transparent USB 2.0) extension and switching solution for 4K and HD sources capable of more than 3,000 high-quality endpoints using standard IT network switches. Pathfinder offers plug-and-play setup with no configuration of endpoints required, nor any costly user licensing fees. Pathfinder can extend and mix 4K and HD sources via category or fiber cable to create a flexible, wide-reaching KVM matrixing solution. Advanced features include the ability to monitor and control up to four PCs from a single 4K monitor, while using only a single keyboard and mouse to control the PC of your choice. Alternatively, take your extended PC desktop to dual displays via a Pathfinder TX/RX pair. Pathfinder has two configurations: The Pathfinder 800 series offers DisplayPort 1.2 support at 4K60 4:4:4 at a data rate of up to 10Gbps, and the Pathfinder 500 series offers DVI-I, HDMI, and VGA support at 2K60 with HDCP1.4 and a data rate of 1Gbps.

Matt Pruznick

Matt Pruznick is the former editor of AV Technology, and senior editor for Systems Contractor News and Residential Systems. He is based in New York.