OmniView SE Plus Series 4-Port KVM Switch
The demand for high performance video switching has increased over the years, especially with the popularity of high-definition television. Many of these switchers are costly, making them unattractive for the general consumer. High-definition video requires bandwidths that far exceed the traditional standard-definition video products such as DVD. We searched for an inexpensive solution for high-definition video switching needs and found Belkin's OmniView SE Plus Series KVM (Keyboard, Video and Mouse) product. KVMs are specifically designed to allow control of many computers from a single user interface (monitor, keyboard and mouse). The OmniView is designed to be daisy-chained with more units as the user's needs grow. The design supports flash upgrades to current firmware versions and can hot-key switch between systems using the keyboard. We used this product in a limited role to switch between four different high-definition sources without using the keyboard or mouse. Therefore, our review only focuses on the video quality and not the many others features offered with the OmniView. The video bandwidth supported by the OmniView can be as high as 2048x1536@85Hz, which far exceeds the HDTV requirements.
The front panel of the OmniView has a flashing amber light to indicate the active channel. This can be a problem for home theater environments when using the switcher in a dark setting as no one likes to see a flashing light. Since a dedicated button is available for each input on the box, the indicators can be covered to prevent any distraction when watching the display.
The rear panel of the OmniView accommodates four sets of computer inputs. In our case, we used one HTPC and two other high definition sources for testing. The main benefit for our setup was the high-bandwidth video switching capabilities built into the OmniView. Our home theater system has several high definition sources including a Sony Vaio PCV-RZ22G as our HTPC (Home Theater PC) with a MIT MDP-100 high-definition receiver installed. This gives us full high-definition recording and playback capabilities of over-the-air content. We also connected our RCA DTC100 and Samsung SIR-T165 set-top boxes. Belkin supplied their All-In-One PRO Series Plus cables to connect our high-definition sources to the OmniView. Two different versions of these cables are available (PS/2 or USB) up to 10 feet in length. None of the other connections were used during our test.
Video quality was excellent with the OmniView KVM. We watched a variety of program material ranging from NBC's Tonight Show in HD to HBO's HD channel on DirecTV. We experienced no degradation in video quality even when comparing it to a direct connection to the display. Looking at our reference D-VHS tape from HD-Net showed no loss in video quality. It was great to experience such performance from a product that's actually affordable.
Mitsubishi - PD-5010 50"
High Definition Plasma (ISF
|Review at a glance|
Belkin - OmniView SE Plus Series 4-Port KVM Switch
Part Number: F1DZ104T
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