Network Addressable DVI Switch?

I hate KVM switches. They are expensive and under-featured. Occasionally, they lose their minds and my mouse goes all wonky. The tangled web of cables beneath my desk would make a tuna net jealous.

I like Synergy. It makes sense to use the LAN for low bandwidth stuff. The flexibility of a software solution enables neat tricks like clipboard synchronization, simultaneous desktop locking, etc.

This begs the question: is it possible to do 100% of this stuff over the LAN? Alas, I fear the answer is no.

Gigabit Ethernet = 1 Gb/s = 125 MB/s
1600x1200x24bpp = 5.5 MB * 30 fps = 164 MB/s (conservative)

Yes, 10Gb Ethernet exists, but what will you buy first: new network hardware, or a 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display?
30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display
Yes, one could employ VNC, or some fancy X forwarding, or RDP. Fun experiment: try playing WoW like this.

If I was a hardware hacker, I would design a box with a bunch of DVI ports. I’d skip PS2 or USB entirely, and instead ship with a copy of Synergy. My gizmo would also sport one Ethernet port, and a simple open protocol with messages like connect port X to port Y.

Come to think of it, this gizmo could actually be built into the monitors themselves. Talk about value-add. Please Apple, hear my cry. Put 4 DVI inputs on your monitor and make it software switchable over Ethernet. (Oh, and advertise the protocol over Bonjour, thanx.)


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