I have a rather advanced use-case that I need a KVM-type device for, and I was wondering whether such a thing even existed. I want a 3-PC setup; 2 desktops (PC1 and PC2) and 1 laptop dock (DOCK1). I want to connect 2 monitors, 1 mouse, and 1 keyboard. So far it's relatively straightforward, as I could just switch between the 3 devices.

But here's the kicker; I'd like one mode to output PC1 video to screen1, extend DOCK1 video to screen2, and input keyboard and mouse to DOCK1. I'd like another mode with that video setup, but inputting keyboard and mouse to PC1. Basically I'd like to be able to switch between inputting to PC1/DOCK1, whilst continuing to be able to monitor each by outputting each one's video to one of the 2 monitors. However I want another mode where I can just go dual-screen with PC1 and input keyboard and mouse to PC1, and another mode where I can go dual-screen with PC2 and control it.

Is there any KVM out there able to do this kind of thing? I guess I'm probably looking for some kind of programmable KVM which allows me to specify, for each "mode", which inputs are routed to which outputs.

Oh and in terms of ports I want to use HDMI for video (or possibly DVI) and USB for peripherals; not VGA or PS/2.

  • 1
    Given the complexity of your requirements, you should probably look in a network "KVM" (KVM-over-IP). I honestly read them twice, but I still don't quite grok them. Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 9:18
  • Have you considered connecting one KVM to each monitor such that you can switch them independently?
    – kasperd
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 22:52
  • Sounds like a duplicate of: hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/366/…
    – kasperd
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 22:56
  • @kasperd No. That question has several different requirements.
    – Jez
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


I ended up using the Aten CM0264, which is a matrix KVM switch targeted at the small-office-home-office market; advanced, but not too pricey. While the software is rather flaky (don't bother trying to do a firmware upgrade; it doesn't work), luckily the firmware it came installed with works fine and the physical build quality is excellent.

It had 4 device ports, just enough for what I needed (I'm plugging 2 video connectors in for PC1 to allow dual screen, and one connector for each of the other 2 devices). The ports vary between HDMI and DVI which is a bit odd, but luckily they are basically interchangeable using adapters as long as you only care about video rather than sound, and both use a digital signal (so no nasty analogue stuff like colour bleeding or fuzziness on the screen).

Because it's a matrix KVM, I can independently change which input is being routed to which output console using buttons on the KVM, allowing me to display PC1 in dual screen mode, or just have one PC1 input and one PC2/PC3 input displaying (or even display PC2 and PC3 on the different screens). I can also independently switch keyboard and mouse inputs between devices by switching the USB routing (I plug the keyboard and mouse into the separate USB slots rather than the ones associated with video console 1, as those get switched along with console 1!)

All in all I'm pretty happy with the solution, though I'd be screwed if I needed to add a fifth video input to the setup!

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