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HDMI Video Passthrough

This is a new exclusive feature available only on PiKVM V4 Plus. It allows you to connect PiKVM to the gap between the target host and physical display. Thus, PiKVM does not interfere with the normal operation of the display and passes the video signal through itself until you need remote access via PiKVM In this case, PiKVM directs the video stream to the Web UI or VNC.

Beta version

This feature is in beta, so it requires manual activation.


  • The passthrough feature supports a screen resolution up to 1920x1200 pixels.
  • Other PiKVM devices besides V4 Plus do not support the passthrough due to hardware limitations.

This is shown more clearly below:

Setting up the passthrough

  1. Connect the display to OUT2 port on the back side of PiKVM V4 Plus.

  2. Update OS and reboot:

    Updating PiKVM OS

    To update, run following commands under the root user:

    [root@pikvm ~]# pikvm-update

    If you encounter an error like:

    [root@pikvm ~]# pikvm-update
    bash: pikvm-update: command not found

    It's most likely you have an old OS release. You can update the OS as follows:

    [root@pikvm ~]# rw
    [root@pikvm ~]# pacman -Syy
    [root@pikvm ~]# pacman -S pikvm-os-updater
    [root@pikvm ~]# pikvm-update

    Next time you will be able to use the usual method with pikvm-update.

  3. Switch filesystem to RW-mode:

    [root@pikvm ~]# rw
  4. Make sure that you have these lines in /boot/config.txt, add them if not:

  5. Add some config to /etc/kvmd/override.yaml:

            forever: true
                - "--format=rgb24"
                - "--encoder=cpu"
                - "--v4p"
  6. Disable old alpha passthrough service and perform the soft reboot:

    [root@pikvm ~]# systemctl disable kvmd-pass
    [root@pikvm ~]# reboot

After rebooting, you will see an image on the physical display.

My monitor does not support the 1920x1200 mode

PiKVM V4 supports the advanced capture mode of 1920x1200. If your physical monitor is limited to 1920x1080, then part of the image from the bottom will be cropped.

To avoid this, you can change the resolution of the host OS, or if the OS does not support this, disable the 1920x1200 mode on PiKVM itself:

[root@pikvm ~]# rw
[root@pikvm ~]# kvmd-edidconf  # Or
[root@pikvm ~]# reboot

Current limitations

Please note the feature is pretty new and will be improved.

  • The colors in the H.264 webstream will be slightly highlighted, this is a bug in the Raspberry firmware, it will be fixed soon.

  • Display resolution must be greater than or equal to that used by PiKVM capture. If the maximum display resolution is 720p and the signal has a 1080p resolution, you will not see the image. PiKVM does not perform any downscaling.

  • At the same time, PiKVM will try to show at least something than nothing. If the input signal has a resolution of 1920x1200, and the display supports only 1920x1080, the image will be shown but cropped from the bottom so that you at least have the opportunity to adjust the image parameters of the host.

  • Audio is not supported at the moment.