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KM Switch?

Wicked15

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
102
Location
Nova Scotia
Hi All,

So I've finally moved and have my "Office" desk set up. I work from home usually on Saturday and Sunday mornings and sometimes 1 day through the week.
At my previous house I would just have 1 straight piece of wood but since my computer room was so small(5x6) the desk was not deep enough to put keyboard, monitor and have work/papers in front of keyboard or off to the side due do space.

Since I have my main PC also on the desk, I like to be able to switch back and forth easily between the 2 and in the past I've always unplugged keyboard & mouse(I use the USB pass through on keyboard for my mouse) and plug them into my laptop which I would just set ontop of my tower and then start working.
Now since the desk has my Tower underneath, and my laptop on an upper shelf - I want to avoid having to get on my hands and knees and pull my cables down and re-feed them up once I'm done.

Essentially what I want to do is have a switch of some sort that my keyboard and mouse stay connected to and be able to toggle between my main PC and my laptop while sharing my main PC's monitor. My laptop uses an HDMI cable and my PC uses DVI.

I've tried to read on some scenarios if a KM or KVM switch will work for me and I "think" it will but I'm not %100 sure and am wondering if you guys know of a different/better way or if this will work for what I want?

Thanks!
-J
 

Mr. Friendly

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Joined
Nov 21, 2007
Messages
2,722
Location
British Columbia
hey Wicked, that's exactly what a KVM does...so you can get a KVM to do that or if you're game to upgrade your monitor, a lot of the better one's have a built-in KVM, like my Dell U3415w, which I jump between my PC and my Mac.



check out StarTech.com, they make some good stuff...same with IOGear and if you want something on the higher end of functionality, check out Aten and Tripp Lite.
 

Lysrin

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Mar 10, 2014
Messages
3,150
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Nova Scotia
You might want to look into something like Synergy. It does the same function as a KVM, as I understand, but just through software over ethernet/WiFi, and works with two or more PCs.

I don't have personal experience with it but others on this forum have recommended it before... perhaps one of them can confirm. It looks like a pretty slick solution and doesn't require another piece of hardware in your set up.

EDIT: Ah correction... this might not be the desired option. Synergy wants each PC to still have it's own screen; no video sharing option. So since your OP states you want to use a single screen you are likely back to the physical KVM solution.

Might be a bit tricky to find one that has HDMI and DVI on the same KVM. You may need an adapter to convert one to the other. Quick look for KVMs seem to have only one type of video connector on them, but that was just a quick search.
 
Last edited:

Lysrin

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Nova Scotia
From OP "...able to toggle between my main PC and my laptop while sharing my main PC's monitor."

I took it from that Wicked15 did want the "V" of KVM...? No?
 

JD

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Jul 16, 2007
Messages
9,012
Location
Toronto, ON
From OP "...able to toggle between my main PC and my laptop while sharing my main PC's monitor."

I took it from that Wicked15 did want the "V" of KVM...? No?
Well his "current" setup seemed to just be swapping the KB/Mouse USB cables over to his laptop when needed, didn't mention changing video cables.

I don't think I would suggest gaming through a KVM though, they generally add some input lag and potential interference to the video too. Had 8-port IO Gear ones at work but they had an OSD that would overlay on the monitor signal to show which input you changed to, probably what caused the lag. And for that matter, depending on the resolution/refresh rate combo, a KVM might not even support the output.

Perhaps modern day KVM's are better though, not really a product I watch
 

Lysrin

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Nova Scotia
I've never used them in a gaming context either, just work. I write code reasonably fast but not fast enough to notice any input lag! ;)
 

Wicked15

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Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
102
Location
Nova Scotia
Thanks All,
Whenever I ask a question I always ponder later in the day if I worded it correctly lol.

JD Is right in that I'm not really wanting the Video aspect of it, but if it saves a step I could use it, maybe just for the Laptop HDMI and leave the DVI plugged into my pc at all times?

In my head I picture walking home and laying my laptop on the desk, plugging my power cord&hub in and away I go. Then if I'm done I can just press the button on the Hub and my keyboard and mouse will switch to my PC. I have a docking station for my laptop but I feel like using that would complicate things even further

From what you guys are saying I feel like my brain is telling me it'll work while I keep asking more questions but I just want to double check before I go spend money on something and have it "almost" do what I want lol.
 

Lysrin

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Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
3,150
Location
Nova Scotia
Well if you don't need the video sharing, and you are fine using your laptop screen for laptop and desktop monitor for your desktop PC, separately, then I'd re-suggest looking into Synergy. It's supposed to be a seamless solution, mouse and keyboard transferring between PCs as required, that requires no additional hardware.

Unless I am still misunderstanding your requirement... I'm still working through my morning coffee so bear with me! ;)
 

Wicked15

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Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
102
Location
Nova Scotia
I use a lot of Excel sheets so using my laptop screen isn't an option as I can only see 1/4 of the data haha.
 

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