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Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104L E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices
Written by David Ramsey - Edited by Olin Coles   
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104L
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: SOHO KVM Switch
Belkin F1DD104L Detailed Features
USB Switching Functionality
Test Results and Conclusion

Closer Look: SOHO KVM Switch

The Belkin SOHO F1DD104L packaging is an easy-to-open box with a photo and basic specifications on the front. I'm a big fan of packaging like this, that clearly shows you the product and its specifications, and isn't a clear plastic blister pack:

belkin soho F1DD104L box front

The back of the box has more technical details and a labeled photo of the rear of the switch:

belkin soho F1DD104L box back

The Belkin SOHO F1DD104L retail kit contains:

  • The switch
  • 4 sets of cables
  • a small (unlabeled!) power brick
  • a quick setup pamphlet (which oddly calls the switch the "OmniviewSOHO", a term that's not used anywhere else on the switch, its manual, or Belkin's web site)
  • a detailed 36-page manual with instructions, troubleshooting, and service information.

The SOHO F1DD104L is a high-end product and looks like it. Features aside, its appearance exudes a feeling of quality. It's fairly large, but its size is dictated by the space needed for the ports on the back. Belkin's dimensional specifications as shown in the chart in the previous section are wrong: the actual height of the unit is about 1.75", not 5.5". Still, it's gonna take up some desk space. Belkin makes good use of the device's necessary size by providing large 3-way color-coded buttons on the front for switching between the connected computers.

The SOHO comes with all the cables you need: 4 six-foot DVI/USB cable assemblies and 4 separate six-foot audio/microphone cables. I'm not sure why the audio cables are separate: a previous IOGear DVI KVM I used bundled all the cables together into a single assembly, which is neater and more convenient. Retaining screws on the DVI connectors of the cables are color-coded (green, orange, blue, and red) and match the color rings around the buttons on the front of the unit. This is a handy feature if you're crawling around under your desk trying to remember which cable plugs in where...as long as you're not color-blind, of course.

Although 6 foot cable runs seem to be standard for KVM switches, they can be a little short when you're trying to arrange four tower computers within reach of the switch. Belkin offers separate 15-foot cable assemblies, but apparently only for the VGA-PS/2 version of this switch. Of course you can always use separate generic DVI, USB, and audio cables.

belkin soho F1DD104L cables

A small power adapter provides 9v at 1 amp. Frustratingly, the adapter is a generic part whose appearance and labeling provide no clue as to what it's intended for. Label it so you'll know in the future.



 

Comments 

 
# 4 port kvm switchsrihari b r 2010-06-11 03:28
please indicate whether the SOLO kvm switch supports resolution 1600X1200
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LDavid Ramsey 2010-06-11 06:55
Yes, it does. If you'll look on the "Features and Specification" page of the review, you'll see the maximum supported resolution is 2560 x 1600.
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LBrian 2010-06-25 23:38
Anyone tried this switch with an XBOX 360 hdmi to dvi cable?
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LDavid Ramsey 2010-06-26 06:52
Switching an Xbox 360 HDMI to DVI cable will work fine, but remember that this will only switch the video, not the audio...
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# I amplify your awesome.Torley 2010-09-24 07:58
Odd, I downloaded the manual, and it shows the maximum supported resolution is 1920x1200. Which is confirmed correct as of now? #en-us-support.belkin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/247
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LDavid Ramsey 2010-09-24 08:14
No, the manual's probably wrong. If you go here:

##belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=404605

...you'll see the maximum resolution for the F1DD104L is still listed as 2560x1600, which is normal for a dual-link DVI connection. This is also the resolution quoted in the PDF spec sheet you can download from the same page. I suspect the manual's specs are a cut-and-paste error from one of the VGA versions of the switch, which do have a limit of 1920x1200.
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LTorley 2010-09-25 09:33
Thanks David for the great followup, almost a year after your review was posted. I'm appreciative for you providing the info and knowing your personal experiences.

#amzn.to/cCoMVW provided a conflicting observation about resolution, but I haven't found any others like that.
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LGord 2010-11-01 14:00
Careful on this, Website and some manuals say 2560 x 1600, other manuals and Belkin tech support say 1920 x 1200. It doesn't do 2560 x 1600 well, it injects pixels and lines on to the screen. This is on three different units now so I'm almost positive it is the KVM design. Really too bad, nice otherwise and reasonably priced.
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LDavid Ramsey 2010-11-01 14:39
Hm. Either it's a dual-link DVI switch (capable of 2560x1600) or it isn't; the website specifically says it is, but I don't have a monitor of that resolution to test, and your experience argues otherwise...thanks for the info!
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# RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LGord 2010-11-01 15:11
Dell was clearing out 3007WFP-HC monitors so I treated myself. Monitor works directly connected great, all four inputs with various video cards (Nvidia & ATI) produce the same issues. Three KVM's and cables replaced each time, followed instructions to a T. The very first printed manual had 1920 x 1200 in it, the last two 2560 x 1600. Website and product sheet say 2560 x 1600. Online manual which Belkin tech support directed me to today says 1920 x 1200 and it was a hard sell to get her to belive the other documents/websites. Original 2 units came from Dell, other one directly from Belkin last week (Oct 2010). All i can reall say is the speckels appear randomly on the screen with dark colors and the lines are dark and flicker on white screens. It took Belkin just over 6 weesk to get me the "express" RMA. Used direct connection for that time and it worked great on two PC's. If anybody has ideas or sees fault in my logic, I'm all ears at this pont.
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# RE: RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LDavid Ramsey 2010-11-01 16:48
Gord, if it wasn't a dual-link unit, you wouldn't get any video at all, not poor video. I very occasionally see green speckles on my Dell 27" (1920x1200) display. I suspect we're seeing a deficiency in the video circuitry in the switch.
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# RE: RE: RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LGord 2010-11-01 17:31
I think you hit the nail on the head, it does work in dual link just not well. The specks/lines are more than just a few and someting needs to addressed buy Belkin. The thing that really bothers me is that they first threw the manual at me saying that 1920x1200 was as high as it goes, anything higher isn't supported. I understand a misprint but that was their answer to my problem. They are working wth me but if it is bad construction then it something to consider in buying. I guess knowing what I know now, I would have a hard time buying another one of these units is all.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104LGord 2010-12-06 09:30
Just to update everybody on this I did go through three units in the end. All three did show the same problem at the higher resolution (2560 x1600 @60hz). Belkin finally did admit to bug and gave me a refund for the last unit I purchased. I eventually purchased a ATEN CS1784 and so far have been very happy with it. The only other comment is be firm with service rep, every time I contacted them we would go through a checklist of solutions. The same person helped me on three different occasions and each time told me 1920 x 1200 is the max and problems on higher resolution were my fault. Belkin also has very slow response times (3 to 4 days) from their technical support and level 2 was a tad shorter(3 days). Once I started to deal with a fellow in their California office, super helpful, quick replies, and offered constructive suggestions.
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# PropChester Tacka 2010-12-06 04:58
With a keyboard installed on a hub port are there any switching issues?? I have a Logitech G110 (not for gaming....)

THANKS!
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# RE: PropDavid Ramsey 2010-12-06 08:14
You mean on one of the ports that are switched when you select different computers? No, that works fine.
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# RE: RE: PropChester Tacka 2010-12-06 17:27
I am now clear that there is a difference between a USB port and a keyboard or mouse "USB-shaped" interface.... [I do share someone's confusion that the "U" that means universal doesn't mean "universal"...

I know that the G110 won't "switch" if it's plugged into the USB-shaped KB interface. I think, now, that a switch must be software-independent, so that the KB can do all that it can w/the prop. software on each PC....

Disappointment: Both products have been out so long, and there isn't absolute clarity by either/any manufacturer.
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# RE: RE: RE: PropDavid Ramsey 2010-12-06 17:34
Not sure what you mean here. There are several different USB connectors, but all are electrically the same (four conductors for USB 1 and 2; more for USB 3.0). On the Belkin switch, the difference is that the designated connectors for your mouse and keyboard are connected to internal circuitry that emulates a mouse and keyboard so your computer doesn't know when you've switched; the other two ports are "switched" ports. You'll use these if you have a fancy mouse or keyboard with extra features that the emulation would "hide".
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# RE: PropGord 2010-12-06 08:52
No, It will work fine on those USB ports. If you don't use the "keyboard/mouse" ports, there is no emulation mode. This simply means that your computer will initialize the device every time you switch (like you physically plugged in the USB each time. This isn't bad but will take a extra second while the PC "finds the new device". I have the G110 and everything works well in the keyboard port including volume/audio controls (I haven't tested the programmable keys though).
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# Dual-Link DVI issuesMike P 2011-05-17 20:00
David, have you gotten to the bottom of these Dual-Link issues? Belkin's website still says 2560x1600@60Hz but I'm reading conflicting statements all over the place about this switch. I want to buy this for a 120Hz monitor but I need to make sure its capable first. Have you personally tested resolutions like 2560x1600@60Hz or 1920x1200@120HZ to test the switch's Dual-Link capabilities?

Thanks
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# RE: Dual-Link DVI issuesDavid Ramsey 2011-05-17 20:04
Mike, I have a 1920x1200 monitor, and the switch works great with it. The only 120Hz monitor I have available is 1680x1050.

I can't provide any more information since I don't have access to the monitors that would fully test the switch's purported capabilities. You could always get the switch and simply return it if it doesn't work.
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# RE: RE: Dual-Link DVI issuesMike P 2011-05-17 20:07
OK thanks, i'm starting to think Belkin did a bait and switch here
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# IT ConsultantDavid 2012-03-06 23:45
In response to your comment about "why would you want to switch the audio independently of the Video & keyboard?".
1. If you are talking to someone on-line via a headset (ie: Skype) but need to refer to your other Computers.
2. If you are attending a webcast / web meeting & the video is less important (ie: people asking questions), you could swap & check your emails.
3. Some people listen to music from a client machine then switch to a Server or Dev/Test system to do real work.
Hope this helps
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# Dual-Link DVIA guy 2012-05-27 15:50
This unit assuming non-defective works fine with dual-link monitors. I had an older 3007wfp that it worked fine with. That eventually went bad and needed to be replaced. The newer one they sent out 3008 I think or whatever went through a couple before getting one that worked right. The ones that didn't play nice with the KVM also had fluctuation problems in image plugged in direct. The biggest issue I've been having with mine lately is that is likes to go into input hopping mode if all machines aren't on at once.
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