A KVM Replacement

Ask questions and give answers about computers, mobile devices, game boxes, PC security and all manner of geeky stuff.
Post Reply
User avatar
yogi
Posts: 3774
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

A KVM Replacement

Post by yogi » 02 May 2017, 06:43

I found something that could replace KVM boxes and has the added advantages of being able to see four different displays without a need to be switching between hardware. LG is offering a 42.5 inch monitor that is designed to display up to four displays in one screen. There are multiple HDMI inputs that take inputs from as many as four devices. It has incredible specs and a price that is actually reasonable considering what this monitor does. It may or may not have drivers for Linux, but the concept targets hard line multi-taskers.
https://thenextweb.com/gear/2017/05/02/ ... w_CSAmoCAp

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1616
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by Kellemora » 02 May 2017, 13:46

That doesn't exactly sound like it's new Yogi.
Our TV in the den has multiple ports, and we can view any two ports, one is in a small box up in the corner.
Perhaps the newer TVs or Monitors allow split screen or quad screen using a separate port for each screen.

It don't work anymore, but I used to be able to stack KVM switches, sorta.
I had my regular KVM switch, and used the second one to switch to the upper monitors.
The last time I upgraded, I can't do that anymore. I guess technically I probably couldn't before either, because I only used the video port and switched it by hand, more like a monitor switch.

Heck, even Farcebook now gets confused if I try to open two accounts on it from the same computer. One of the reasons I use more than one computer, hi hi... Not that I do much on Farcebook anymore!

I was watching a home video from one of Debi's cousins who works at the TV stations news department.
I don't know how they do it, but almost all of their daily work monitors in the main working area are all connected together. It looks like nine monitors, but only six of them are the ones linked together as one big monitor. The top three are independent feeds. But the bottom two rows of three in a row are all touch screens and you can move things around to any screen by sliding them. Open something new and move it to another area on another screen.
Really fancy stuff, and I'm sure quite expensive too!
Part of the video also showed where and how they did what you see on TV.
What we see on our TV is nothing like what it looks like when you are there in person, hi hi...
Like the weatherman is standing in front of a green screen (I thought they were blue screens).
They are looking at a large monitor that shows their maps, which is what we see on the TV.
Then there is another computer where the stuff they show at the bottom of the screen is running.

Reminds me of when I went to a filming of a TV shows segment.
Who says actors have to memorize their lines?
There were something like six or seven teleprompters, some high, some low, etc. with direction arrows and a number after a line or during a line, for them to change their view to another teleprompter, so they were always looking around so we don't know they are only reading from teleprompters, hi hi...

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 3774
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by yogi » 02 May 2017, 15:42

There is a meme going around of Sean Spicer during one of his performances for the press corps. He wore a green tie that day and everything looked normal to the folks in the press room. The folks watching on C-Span, however, saw weather maps and various news snippets on Sean's tie. It was hilarious. I've known about the green thing for a long time and it doesn't take too many observations of the weather guy to figure out what he is doing when looking off camera.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1616
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by Kellemora » 03 May 2017, 13:34

I've seen a lot of weird things on the Idiot Box, more so back when they used a blue screen.
Yes, it is fairly easy to pick up on these things during weather or news, but when watching serial shows, you don't catch that they are looking at specific teleprompters to keep their heads moving.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1616
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by Kellemora » 03 May 2017, 13:37

Oh, forgot to mention, I saw a 4-monitor setup on Debian Linux, that is supposed to work now without additional software or hardware, other than an extra graphics card. Each card can handle two monitors as it is.
You can also use two keyboards and meeces, or have two users using the same computer, but only one user has control of the screens. It's still probably way above my head, hi hi...

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 3774
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by yogi » 03 May 2017, 16:29

The idea behind the LG monitor is to project up to four displays from four different computer boxes. I think you told me that you do this a lot to keep track of your work environment which is why the single monitor with four displays seemed suited to your application. Each computer, of course, would require appropriate drivers and hardware, but four computers going to a single monitor seems pretty efficient. Plus no switching is involved.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1616
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by Kellemora » 04 May 2017, 14:49

I've used a split screen, single monitor fed from two computers before, but it was done using a VGR box for the purpose.

Here is something sad. All of my monitors here are LG, as are some other electronics we own. They have been great, and because of this, when we remodeled our kitchen, I went with all LG appliances. Biggest mistake of my life! Not a single appliance functioned properly, some were damaged internally, so it had to have been done at the factory, some had factory flaws, but none of them worked right from day one. Took many months to get two of them fixed, and our fridge is still not fixed.
Then to add insult to injury, the company they used for warranty service got fired, and none of the paperwork for existing work in progress went to the new company. By the time we realized what happened, the basic warranty was up. We did get them to complete the repairs on the dryer, but only because I had a copy of the paperwork myself, but did not have a copy of the paperwork on the fridge, so the parts that need fixed are still broken. A royal pain too because every weekend we have to chisel out a layer of ice from the bottom of the fridge, in the freezer section of course.

What's with everyone who used to sell monitors are now selling only TVs as monitors?
Has the resolution on TVs come up to the level of monitors?
And here I thought it was going the other way. People buying monitors to use with their video feeds instead of TVs.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 3774
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by yogi » 04 May 2017, 15:25

The smart TV's used for computer output are part of the IoT phenomena we have been reading about. These are the devices that can be captured easily by hackers to spy on you without your knowledge. I haven't tried to buy a monitor lately, but I will be very wary of the "smart" ones when I'm ready.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1616
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by Kellemora » 05 May 2017, 13:05

None of my monitors have a camera in them, and I don't have a microphone attached to any computer.
However, the little netbook I have, which is usually off and in it's case, has both a built-in camera (with a black electric tape stuck over it) and a built in mike that I think I have disabled.
About the only time I use this computer is if I want to show Debi something without her walking up to my office to see it.
I just save a copy to the NAS and then look at the NAS using the netbook, which means I have the WiFi turned on long enough to do that.

It's amazing the things some folks will do to go a different route than everyone else.
I was reading the other day where ham radio group designed a WiFi system that uses the 6-meter band.
It has it's own protocol and still relies on normal WiFi for a part of how their system works.
What it sounded like to me was they captured the normal WiFi signal, converted it to 6-meters for the transmission over the airwaves, then converted it back to WiFi at the other end. The reason, distance. A licensed ham could use the power necessary to send his signal perhaps from home to office five or ten miles away or more.
When I used to use 6-meter FM, I talked daily to a guy who lived 30 miles away from me, without going through repeaters. So, perhaps these guys have something going for them. You would need a license to use it though.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 3774
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by yogi » 05 May 2017, 20:18

Most of the people I know want to keep their WiFi transmissions inside their house to keep it from being intercepted by nosy neighbors, or worse. I don't see why a ten mile radius for a WiFi net would ever be a good idea. There is no reason why you could not use any frequency that is legal for your wireless LAN. As long as you have the proper modem to connect to the WAN, how you get there should not matter. I think amateurs are running out of things to do so they are pretending to be state of the art with equipment that never was intended to be that way. It's cute, and that's what the hobby is all about. But practical? Not so much.

There are more ways to spy on smart devices than cameras and microphones. The last time a huge section of the Internet was shut down was by denial of service requests from thousands of hijacked dumb IoT devices. No audio or video required. Likewise, key loggers don't rely on light or sound either. Just using a browser attaches an unique ID to your device.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1616
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by Kellemora » 06 May 2017, 14:15

I hope you realize that Hams are who invented most of the things used to make the Internet and e-mail functional.
Packet Radio worked so well, it was dumbed down for use on the Internet and became the basis for what we now know as e-mail, and other forms of packetized data sent over the Internet.

A Packet Radio system had to do so much more than is required when working over a wire.
It had to listen on the airwaves for the callsigns and intercept the signal and send the pieces of the packet message to the recipients mailbox.

I remember when I bought my first external computer modem that was supposed to have FAX, mailboxes, and even telephone answering. What a RIP OFF... The only way it could work is if it was connected to the computer and the computer had to be left turned on all the time. Plus it cost like ten times more than Ham Radio Packet System, with 10 individual mailboxes, which sat there all alone and did it's thing. The only time the computer needed to be on is when you went to retrieve the messages or wanted to send something back out again yourself.
The computer did not have to be on for other users with mailboxes to connect to it and fetch their messages, nor to send out messages back through the same box.

In other words, compared to a Packet Radio System, the External Modem was next to nothing in functionality, yet as I said, cost ten times more, for a box that did virtually nothing on its own, and back when nobody left their computers on all day unless they had to.

Heck, there would not even be Cell Phone service if it were not for Hams figuring out how to use the otherwise considered useless frequencies. And like always, when we figure out a way to do something, they take away more of our bands and give it to high dollar enterprises who use our technology for free.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 3774
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by yogi » 06 May 2017, 19:46

It's called "amateur radio" for a reason. Hams tinkered around a lot but I'd have to question anything ham radio operators do being equivalent to commercial equipment. I beg to differ with you particularly when it comes to mobile telephone service. I worked 36 years for the company that invented, developed, and commercialized it. We were not amateurs. LOL

It's a bit of a stretch to call 6 meter radio equipment WiFi just as much as it is to say a modem is like a computer or a ham radio rig. There may be some likeness in protocol but I'm guessing DARPA might give you an argument about who invented the Internet - it was Al Gore, of course. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

The good old days were a fun time because you and I were young and full of energy to conquer the world back then. Amatuer radio was one of the highlights of my youth and it certainly did spark my interest in computers and the public network. I was going to be an aircraft engine mechanic, but the local electronics company hired me first because I had a letter of recommendation from one of their employees who was an amateur radio enthusiast. So, I never enlisted in the Air Force and took the job for $2.06/hr. Besides, there was a war going on in those days and I heard my name was on a bullet sitting in Viet Nam somewhere.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1616
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: A KVM Replacement

Post by Kellemora » 07 May 2017, 14:40

I hear ya! I was ducking bullets in Nam myself, although I was usually out of harms way, for the most part.

Almost every invention by anyone takes a large company and lots of money to turn it into something more useful.
But the idea and prototype still had to come from somewhere, and it is usually someone with simple means who figures it out first.

Technology has moved way to fast and made too many great hurdles for me to be able to keep up with it as I should.
I was not afraid to try things on the early computers, and had basic programming down pat, and to the point I could get things to work that normally shouldn't work. Heck, Beagle Bros. even offered me a job, but I turned it down. I knew I didn't know what they thought I did to do what it was I was doing.

I manufacture a product that has now been on the market close to if not over 25 years. I almost got a patent on it, had my patent pending, and then I stopped the process. I already held three patents and knew they were basically useless. Besides, I didn't want to disclose all the steps required to make my product so it would work properly.
One major company tried to copy my product, and spent big bucks promoting it. Trouble is, their product did not work, and it put a bad taste in everyone's mouth for years, so it really hurt my sales, because everyone though my product was like theirs. Obviously it works, and why it is still on the market today. Unfortunately, the market niche is small and getting smaller. New technology and equipment reduces the risks that my product was designed to overcome. Nevertheless, we still have enough users who swear by it, so sales continue onward.

Post Reply