Peer Review - Smart-e Smart-Extender

AUTHOR: Inavate

Smart-e's Smart-Extender is reviewed by Alistair Holdoway, Managing Director, Video South Medical TV, United Kingdom.

The Product
Smart-e Smart-Extender (TUSC 1042) + Expansion cards

What I use it for:
In hospitals we link a lot of procedure rooms to seminar rooms and lecture theatres. This often involves multiple video streams and multiple XGA or UXGA Signals. In universities we use it to twin lecture theatres, effectively creating very high quality over-flow facilities. Again that’s a lot of interchange of RGB and XGA signals.

What I like about it:
I like the fact that the same units will do multiple composite video or RGBhv and they all match up with each other. So if I choose to use it for three video sources or I choose to use it for RGBHV it’s the same. It’s like a Swiss army knife. Also, they have delay lines on the receivers, which is really important. When you are using Cat-5e and above and you’re going long distance with UXGA you do get delay issues, which leads to colour separation. I don’t think some manufacturers really recognise this.
The other really good thing about this, and all their products, is that you only need to power one end of the system.

What I would change:
I’d like some smaller form factor card frames. They only make the big one, and then a 1U one, which takes four units, and which doesn’t have a power supply. I’d like a half rack frame. The matchbox products are ok, but in our business we want everything bolted up in racks.
To be honest apart from that, in the course of various discussions they’ve done all the things we wanted with the product.

I recently used it:
We used it in Wessex Heartbeat (InAVate June 07). We’ve used it in the new Royal Alexander Children’s Hospital in Brighton, which is a ten-story tower block. This was quite a challenge really to get all the cabling in, so the fact that we were able to do it all over Cat-5 was great. We were able to pull it through the existing structured cabling. Getting three videos down one cable is incredibly efficient.
Most recently we’ve used it in a 550-seat lecture theatre in the University of Edinburg, where the cable runs are 60 metres because it has to go over the ceiling.