Audio over IP is as trendy as Versace’s fall line, and increasingly the integration market is diversifying to deliver audio, video and KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) over IP to provide organizations of all types with a state-of-the-art means to control their computers and their functions from remote locations.
Long before most of the commercial industry was aware of what IP could do for signal transmission, there were manufacturers examining its possibilities. One of those companies was Adder Technology.
The global KVM company — which produces solutions for vertical markets such as post production, education, broadcast, air-traffic control, government, medical and datacenter — has been researching IP possibilities for the categories for more than five years.
Adder vice president Tim Conway says that as a company that specializes in KVM, it was important to stay ahead of market trends.
“Looking at traditional KVM, there are limiting factors, including direct connections and copper. Regardless of those limiting factors, however, the question comes down to when you need more users. Then you get questions of distance limitations, and how far users can be placed from the switch,” he says.
“As we approach the next generation the conversion becomes what is the rest of the world doing? The world is IP. So we asked ourselves, ‘why can’t KVM be over IP,’ and that was our approach several years ago.”
Utilizing standard networking technologies, Adder developed transmitters, receivers, matrix units, switches, network extenders and redundant power supplies to provide integrators with everything necessary to configure scalable KVM over IP systems.
Emphasizing the flexibility of its IP-based KVM solutions, Conway says the products enable integrators to spec systems for as little as five users, all the way to 50 or however many may be needed for larger systems. Like deploying IP-based products in the networked audio category, dealers can combine Adder’s IP products with network switches from top companies such as Cisco and HP thanks to an adherence to standards, Conway explains.
Bandwidth Fuels Category Growth
Besides the scalability of IP-based KVM systems, another attractive feature of these products is the setup requirements. Like Adder, the global connectivity company ATEN has also been working on its IP-based KVM products for a number of years, and now after several generations the company’s products are mature and easily capable of supporting the requirements that users request, says ATEN’s Rojin Liao, senior product marketing manager.
“People are looking for HD video now instead of SD [standard definition] resolution video like they used to in the past, and people are now also looking for Ultra HD 4K video, too,” he says.
Supporting the ability to transmit these signals at quality levels that users have become accustomed to is a prerequisite for KVM over IP products. Liao says that because these products now offer such capabilities, the KVM over IP market is poised for growth. Liao foresees sales for KVM over IP products and solutions to be robust for the next several years.
“From our perspective, we see it growing over the next five years,” says Liao. “We are working on product development. Right now we are offering our third-generation KVM over IP products. Some of the things we are working on include higher resolutions. In addition, we are also working on the security of these systems. Security is something we are continually working on, it’s something we put a lot of resources into.”