HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface KVMs are a great option where hi-def video is required such as pre/post production, broadcast and studio environments, CAD, medical imaging applications, digital signage and home theater setups.
QV-4KVMHDMI Typical Application
Like all KVM switches, an HDMI KVM switch will allow a user to switch between 2 or more computers using a single keyboard, mouse and monitor setup/console with the added benefit of supporting digital, hi-def video. These switches typically support 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p video modes and are an excellent choice for flat panel displays, data projectors, plasma screens and HDTVs. Additionally, some HDMI KVM switches may support digital audio via the HDMI interface, if both the display and computer support it.
Besides the standard features to look for like USB peripheral and audio sharing capabilities, one important feature to consider is support for HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encryption. This is especially important if the HDMI KVM will be used in a home theater setup with an HDTV. Another feature to consider is support for EDID - Extended Digital Identification Data pass-through. Some form of EDID support will help ensure digital displays are utilized at their ideal resolutions and will sync properly when the source is switched.
In terms of KVM technology, high-definition, digital-video-ready KVMs that directly support HDMI, are a relatively new on the market. This limits the number of options available, but as demand for high-definition video grows, more options should become available.
Besides fully dedicated HDMI KVMs, another option is to add support to existing technology. For instance, Raritan added HDMI support to their enterprise level Dominion KX II line with the release of Computer Interface Modules (CIM) that connect directly to HDMI outputs and a firmware upgrade version 2.5.