In our previous post, we left off with a KVM switch conundrum with no shortage of acronyms. EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) is a super-useful data structure that helps video monitors achieve their ideal screen resolution after being “read” by a computer’s graphics card. Acting as a handicap however, is HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), which can impede a monitor’s ability to display its ideal resolution, unless it’s re-booted.
Some KVM switches offer a default EDID to the computers, but this default is just an arbitrary monitor resolution. While an arbitrary EDID may allow switched computers to boot up as though they had read the actual monitor EDID, the chances are that they’ll boot with a less-than-optimum resolution.
While this doesn’t sound like a cataclysmic issue, it can certainly create headaches. In some cases the modern monitor may be unable to display anything when the user actually switches to them using an incorrect default EDID value, or the computer may take a while to re-sync to the correct monitor resolution. In rare cases (with too high a default EDID resolution) monitor damage can occur. The bottom line, none of these situations are desirable.
A complete system meltdown isn’t likely, but lag, synching delays, sketchy looking screens, and other issues certainly won’t make you look good in front of the board of directors. Fortunately, IOGEAR implements a technology called Video DynaSync™ developed by a company called ATEN to solve the switched EDID dilemma. It was originally created to solve video issues for MAC users, but has since been updated to address all the challenges of Windows 7 as well. IOGEAR is one of a lucky few to have access to this innovative video technology.
When a DynaSync-equipped KVM switch, like the IOGEAR 2-Port Dual View Dual Link DVI KVMP Switch, is connected to an EDID-enabled monitor and turned on, the switch reads the monitor’s EDID and stores it in non-volatile memory. This memory is made available at once to all the computers connected to the Video DynaSync equipped KVM, and these computers are able to use DDC sensing to instantly read out the KVM switch’s stored monitor EDID. HDCP connectivity is thereby maintained as well, preventing unwanted blockage of protected digital content.
In the event the monitor is not turned on or connected at the time the Video DynaSync KVM switch is turned on, the switch directly connects the selected computer to the monitor’s EDID so it is still able to get the needed EDID data. Since a suitable EDID is always present for the computers, there is no “seeking” time lost when switching among multiple computers, no blank screen, and no need to reboot computers just to get them to detect the optimum video value. It’s as though the computers each had a direct, full-time DDC connection to the monitor’s EDID information.
Look a bit more deeply and the value of Video DynaSync really starts to sink in. Money is saved in contrast to legacy KVMs because users can switch more quickly and reliably between computers without having to reboot platforms just to get them to display properly. And while it’s rare, DynaSync will eliminate the concern of replacing monitors whose lives were shortened from being driven by a video signal with too-high-a-bandwidth.
Looking more long-term, data centers, production facilities and other venues will eventually be using predominantly EDID-equipped LCD monitors with EDID graphics cards. As this transition occurs, IT professionals and technology managers will encounter increasing frustration with the limitations of an older KVM system, and overall productivity will suffer due to the lost time in switching and trying to get the video to look right (or trying to use a monitor with non-optimized video driving it). In this case, the money spent on installing Video DynaSync capable KVM now will gradually pay itself back.
By computer technology standards, KVM switching is an old science that will continue developing to keep pace with the display and peripheral categories. DynaSync is important because it not only makes current IOGEAR KVM switches more advanced, but also future-proofs them for rapidly developing video and peripheral technologies in the pipeline.
Without a switch that correctly handles EDID signals (via DDC and suitable memory registers) end users will continue to experience slow switching, fuzzy displays when computers don’t set themselves properly or forced reboots to manually reset each computer. Save time and headaches by letting DynaSync technology extend a KVM handshake on your behalf, and the only resolution you be worrying about is New Year’s.
IOGEAR products with DynaSync Technology:
- 2-Port USB DVI-D Cable KVM with Audio and Mic.
- 4-Port Dual View Dual-Link DVI KVMP Switch with Audio
- 4-Port Dual-Link DVI KVMP with 2.1 Sound Audio
- 4-Port HD Multimedia KVMP Switch with Audio
- 2-Port Dual View Dual Link DVI KVMP Switch with Audio
- MiniView™ Micro USB PLUS KVM Switch with audio and cables