The newest addition to ATEN’s KVM line of products, the CS782DP, was released last month. Simply put, it’s a video control console that can connect two 4K computers to a DisplayPort, allowing you to switch control of the display (to either computer), while using the same keyboard and mouse for both.
Review: Nicole Boyd
This device is ideal for those who multitask between two computers at their workstation, each for different functions. For example, one may be a dedicated build for editing and VFX work, whilst the second machine is built for audio production. Or maybe you have a Mac for work and a PC for gaming.
Switching between computers is done with either your mouse, a hotkey, the (supplied) remote port selector, or automatically by powering on/off either machine. Also, it’s bus-powered, so no need for yet another plug taking up precious space on your power board.
In the past, I’ve always connected both my iMac and Windows machines to my monitor, via HDMI cables. But switching between them meant physically changing the display source, along with owning two sets of keyboards & mice, and umpteen ‘rechargeable’ batteries.
The money I’ve spent on ‘rechargeable’ batteries alone over the years could have fed a small nation, so I do like the idea of only needing a single keyboard & mouse.
Also, I can’t deny the novelty factor of switching between my computers by simply pressing a button (on the remote port selector) with an LED indicating which computer port is in use. I admit to toggling between both many more times than really necessary for this review.
So, I can see the convenience of using the KVM switch when multitasking on a project, it saves time messing with cables, changing display sources and moving keyboards and mice out of your way (and god forbid if the second mouse is out of batteries).
The console’s mouse ports can support any USB 2.0 peripheral and you can also connect a USB hub to it for multiple devices (you’ll need a powered hub for some peripherals).
The output on my iMac is capable of 4K resolution (I’m yet to buy the shiny new 5K iMac, that all the cool indie filmmakers have), and my Windows laptop is fairly new, so there was no issue with resolution changes when switching machines. Both looked crisp, the colour output was accurate and there was little lag when switching.
The KVM switch also supports MST (multi-stream transport) allowing multiple monitors to use a single DisplayPort, but to do so you’ll need an MST hub or monitors (and computers) capable of DisplayPort 1.2 daisy-chaining.
It’s important to mention here that the CS782Dp is is capable of resolutions up to 4K UHD (3840×2160) at 60Hz. So if you need to work in full DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution for film festivals or cinematic projects, you’ll still need to connect your machine directly to your monitor.
Also, for those working in audio production, HD audio is supported (through the DisplayPort playback) but it is limited to only 2.1 surround channels.
The CS782DP comes with DisplayPort, USB and Audio cables (two of each) and the previously mentioned (and pressed many times) remote port selector.
For filmmakers and videographers creating content that will primarily be viewed online or for television, then the CS782DP can be a real convenience and time saver. It was easy to install and worked well.
But there are some limitations – it’s capable of 4K UHD but not the full DCI 4K and the audio output is limited to 2.1 channel surround.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Scorptec currently has the ATEN CS782DP on sale for AU$259. Check online for local prices and availability.
For more info, check: www.aten.com
- One DisplayPort video console controls two USB computers
- Fully DisplayPort 1.2 Compliant
- Computer selection via remote port selector, hotkeys, and USB mouse*
- Superior video quality – up to 4K UHD (3840 × 2160@60Hz)
- Multiplatform support – Windows, Mac, Sun, Linux
- HDCP Compliant
- Supports MST (Multi-Stream Transport)**, enabling multiple monitors to be used via a single DisplayPort connector
- Supports DisplayPort Dual Mode (DP++)*** for directly outputting single-link HDMI and or DVI signals via an externally powered DisplayPort-to-HDMI/DVI DP++ adapter
- Compatible with widescreen LCD monitors
- Power on detection – if either of the computers is powered off, the CS782DP will automatically switch to the other computer
- Audio-enabled – full bass response provides a rich experience for 2.1 channel surround sound systems
- Supports HD Audio**** through DisplayPort playback
- Independent switching of the KVM and Audio focus**** allows convenient multi-tasking
- Supports multimedia keyboards
- Supports wireless keyboards and mice
- Console mouse port emulation/bypass feature supports most mouse drivers and multifunction mice
- Mac/Sun keyboard support and emulation*****
- USB 2.0 mouse port can be used for USB hub and USB peripheral sharing******
- Firmware upgradable