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Giants Causeway

Welcome to Smart-e’s newest social media series!

Every month we will be showcasing #OnTheShouldersOfGiants, our attempt to remember those inventors, engineers and scientists who have contributed to making out work in the 21st century possible.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, and while many of those featured here have seemingly little in common with the modern AV industry, all have contributed to the ascent of scientific knowledge and ability that is the lifeblood of our trade.

Many of those who we now see as giants in their field have also recognised their debt to those who came before them, realising that success and invention in science does not wholly come from individual enterprise. They understood that the roots of new discoveries can often be seen far back in history, as an unbroken line of knowledge stretching from the ancient world to the present day.

So please join us next week as we unveil the first name, a man perhaps best known for his invention of the electric motor.

 

‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants’ – Isaac Newton (1643-1727)

Faraday Lecture

We are proud to announce the first profile in our #OnTheShouldersOfGiants series, in recognition of those historical inventors, scientists and engineers that make Smart-e's innovations in the AV industry possible. Our first profile is physicist, chemist and titan of the 19th century Michael Faraday (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867).

The fourth son of a northern blacksmith, Faraday grew up in Newton, Surrey after his father moved south to find work. The family lived in poverty due to his father’s frequent illnesses which prevented him from working steady jobs. Aged 14 Faraday became apprenticed to a bookbinder, and despite having only had a rudimentary education he soon became fascinated by some of the books he was allowed to read. After reading the chapter on electricity in the 3rd edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica he was inspired, and built a primitive battery with which he conducted basic electrical experiments.

 

Young Faraday Portrait

 

When Faraday was offered a ticket to attend the lectures being given by Sir Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution he jumped at the chance, and afterwards bound the notes he had taken during the lecture and sent them to Davy with a letter asking for employment. Davy had no current spaces available, but after one of his assistants was dismissed for brawling he remembered Faraday’s letter and offered him the job.

Thus began the scientific career of Michael Faraday, one that led to some of the most important scientific discoveries of the Victorian Age. While Faraday is probably best known for inventing the first electric motor and the first electric dynamo, he was also the first person to produce an electric current from a magnetic field, the discoverer of the effects of magnetism on light, and the creator of the first known compounds of carbon and chlorine, among many other significant discoveries.

 

Old Faraday Portrait

 

Faraday was rewarded for his pioneering work with a knighthood (which he declined) and the position as the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. By the time of his death in 1867 Faraday was already seen as a giant within the sciences, and his reputation only grew as the usefulness of electricity became more apparent. Before his death he had been offered a grave spot in Westminster Abbey, he refused and was buried instead in Highgate Cemetery. A memorial plaque to him exists within Westminster Abbey, not far from the tomb of Isaac Newton.

Faraday’s legacy cannot be overstated, he remains one of the most recognisable scientists of all time, and one whose discoveries and inventions are still important today. His life story as a child born into poverty who became one of the intellectual titans of his era is inspirational, and gives his legacy a poignancy that many of his contemporaries lack in comparison.

Albert Einstein famously had a picture of him on his wall alongside Isaac Newton and James Clark Maxwell, and his legacy has continued to encourage generations of budding scientists over 150 years after his death.

 

‘The philosopher should be a man willing to listen to every suggestion, but determined to judge for himself. He should not be a respector of persons, but of things. Truth should be his primary object.’ - Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

Smart-e SDS-2500 'Hydra'

Hydra in space

Smart-e is proud to present the first product in our new ‘Pluto’ Video Processing range, the SDS-2500 'Hydra'. 

Like its namesake, the Hydra is multi-faceted, able to act as a 2x2 video wall processor, a 4x4 seamless switching and scaling matrix and includes the ability to act as a quad-split PIP/POP processor with multiple user select layouts. Fully HDCP compliant, the Hydra supports four multi-format (HDMI and VGA) inputs, and four HDMI outputs, with additional support for analogue audio and composite video inputs. The unit outputs at full 1080p @60Hz 36-bit colour depth creating a vivid and immersive picture, perfect for any installation requiring High Definition video.

Despite its small size the Hydra is a very powerful tool in any installer’s arsenal of solutions, comprehensive EDID management comes as standard allowing the installer to help cope with the many difficult situations that arise, while software is available for ease of setting up the unit quickly and efficiently for the client's requirements.

The quad-split unit within the Hydra allows it to display up to four different images on a single screen, with both Picture In Picture and Picture On Picture options for display. The switching between different display types is seamless, providing a visually clean transition between sources. Additionally, the video wall unit allows for 2x2 processing, enabling four screens to be combined to show a single image.

The Hydra comprehensive control features allow for front panel buttons, infra-red handset and remote-control options of RS232 and TCP/IP.

This collection of different functions creates a very powerful and versatile product, allowing a single Hydra unit to perform the job of three different basic products. The Hydra is therefore a cost-effective solution for any project that requires more than one of its three functions, fitting in perfectly as part of a monitoring command and control centre. In addition, its compact size and wealth of functions makes it an excellent meeting/boardroom solution that covers all possible needs.

The Hydra is available direct from Smart-e and its distributor network. To assist with the installation process and technical queries, Smart-e is also providing dedicated product training sessions for installers. All Smart-e equipment comes with a 3-year warranty and a high level of unlimited technical support.

Smart-e 4K-8x8-L

4K 8x8 L Photo

HDBaseT Matrix Switcher

With the introduction of the 4K-8x8-L, Smart-e reclaims its place as a provider of quality, all in one HDBaseT matrix solutions. The 4K-8x8-L is a multipoint to multipoint HDBaseT matrix switcher, supporting eight HDMI inputs with eight HDBaseT/HDMI mirrored outputs, in addition to eight audio inputs/outputs and ten infra-red inputs/outputs. The highly versatile nature of the matrix makes it ideal for use in residential and commercial settings, while its small size allows it to fit easily into any available space.

The 4K-8x8-L is HDCP 2.2 compatible, making it a true 4K UHD matrix and future proofing any installation. HDBaseT outputs extend the signals up to 70m of Cat 6 cable, which together with remote powering of the receiver units make any installation quick and easy. Each dual output simultaneously transmits via both HDMI and HDBaseT connections, allowing for up to sixteen displays in total from the matrix.

Complementing this, the 4K-8x8-L has the ability to embed and de-embed audio at the input and output respectively. Eight digital (S/PDIF) and analogue stereo audio connections are available for inserting or extracting audio from the HDMI signal.

The 4K-8x8-L can be controlled either through a standard ethernet connection, RS232 and front panel buttons allowing for maximum applicability to any potential control system. The addition of multiple infra-red ports provides a method of transmitting and receiving IR signals to and from the displays, allowing the 4K-8x8-L to cope with many different installation requirements.

The 4K-8x8-L is a great benefit to any home AV installation, allowing for a centralised, flexible control matrix that removes the need for untidy AV boxes scattered around the house. Rather than having individual boxes installed local to screens, all AV sources can be centralised by feeding them directly into the matrix, allowing control and video distribution to all rooms through a simple receiver unit.

In a commercial setting an additional advantage of the 4K-8x8-L is the ease of security of a centralised control matrix, since an individual matrix can be locked away from danger far easier than a collection of different control inputs.

The 4K-8x8-L is available direct from Smart-e and its distributor network. To assist with the installation process and technical queries, Smart-e is also providing dedicated product training sessions for installers. All Smart-e equipment comes with a 3-year warranty and a high level of unlimited technical support.

 

    VMX16x16Video Wall Matrixes

Smart-e’s new VMX range of products combines video wall and matrix technology into an easily workable and cost-effective package, ideal for command and control centres of all kinds; from traffic and network management to data centres and emergency services.

Smart-e’s trademark flexibility shines through these new devices, Modular I/O and seamless switching matrices combine with output video wall processing to allow for an unprecedented level of switching, distribution and processing functionality for high resolution HDMI, DVI, HDBaseT and 3G-SDI. This is enhanced by the range of products available, which accommodate video walls of 8x8 16x16 and 36x36 connected displays.

VMX products come with Seamless video switching and modular input and output blades as standard, pushing the boundaries of integrated AV solutions and allowing for centralised control via IP, RS232 and keypad. The entire range is also accommodating of analogue input cards, accepting RGBHV, YPrPb, Y/C and PAL/NTSC, and allowing up-scaling to 1080p resolution.

Jon Lane, Smart-e’s managing director, had this to say: The VMX series is the ultimate in video wall control. An accumulation of our extension knowledge of switching matrices together with video processing and software control add to provide the user with a very flexible and reliable solution. Current sizes include 8, 16 and 36 display configurations which are able to match the most demanding of applications”

All models in the VMX range come with full HDCP compliance and incorporate enhanced EDID management, allowing for multi-channel signal switching and distribution for Commercial, Educational and Residential solutions. Built with size in mind, compact 2U (8x8), 3U (16x16) and 7U (36x36) 19” rack mounting chassis make for a smartly designed and space-saving model that can be easily installed where necessary.  

The VMX series is available direct from Smart-e and its distributor network. To assist with the installation process and technical queries, Smart-e is also providing dedicated product training sessions for installers. All Smart-e equipment comes with a 3-year warranty and a high level of unlimited technical support.

SDS 1001 H2

Interactive panel extenders 

We at Smart-e are pleased to introduce the latest update to our highly successful Wall Plate Extender series, the SDS-1001-H. Based on the SDS-1001, the newest feature is the addition of an internal USB V2.0 hub in the receiver, which allows the SDS-1001-H to operate in tandem with the latest interactive touchscreens.

The SDS-1001-H is a transmitter/receiver pair designed to extend signals beyond their standard specification, creating an easy solution to the problem of increasing the range of existing systems. The SDS-1001-H allows for the extension of interactive touchscreens to 30m, as well as being able to provide the services of all previous SDS series models. These include extending 1080p HDMI, VGA and stereo audio together with USB and power through three CAT6 STP cables.

The original SDS-1001 has been an education favourite since its release five years ago, and has been installed successfully in thousands of schools, colleges and universities worldwide. The incorporation of the USB V2.0 hub further enhances the appeal of the SDS series to the modern, technologically minded school.

As Will Lane, Smart-e’s Marketing Executive states, “The SDS series has long been one of Smart-e’s most popular education solutions, and the SDS-1001-H applies Smart-e’s signature quality to the latest interactive panel technology, putting Smart-e firmly on the map in the emerging touchscreen market.”

The convenience and ease of install makes the SDS-1001-H ideal for classrooms and lecture halls, providing a reliable method of extending the necessary connectivity from the PC to the display. This ensures that the PC installation can be situated in a more protected environment, reducing the risk of damage or wear to expensive hardware.

All SDS-1001-H models are manufactured in the UK to the highest standard, and Smart-e can provide direct support to customers and installers at no extra cost. The SDS-1001-H has been extensively tested with Promethean, SMART Technology and Clevertouch interactive panels to ensure the highest level of performance across multiple interactive touch systems. The SDS-1001-H is already installed in number of sites around the UK, and it can be seen and demonstrated at Paragon Multimedia’s demonstration facility in Berkshire.

Grant Allen Managing Director of Paragon Multimedia said of Smart-e: “Working with Smart-e over the last few years has proven to be a positive experience for both parties, our co-operation in the development of integrated interactive flat panel technology has helped to create exciting new opportunities for us within the AV industry.”

The SDS-1001-H is available direct from Smart-e and its distributor network. To assist with the installation process and technical queries, Smart-e is also providing dedicated product training sessions for installers. All Smart-e equipment comes with a 3-year warranty and a high level of unlimited technical support. 

Smart-e 4K-TX940

4K TX940RX 1200

Smart-e is once again at the forefront of the AV industry with the introduction of the 4K-TX940, one of the first true HDCP 2.2 4K HDBaseT splitters on the market. The 4K-TX940 boasts four HDBaseT ports, allowing for high quality 4K video to be distributed to up to four displays using the 4K-RX940 HDBaseT receivers. A looping HDMI input on the rear panel allows for cascading of multiple 4K-TX940 units, increasing the number of possible displays and future proofing the installation.

The input device is connected via HDMI to the rear of the 4K-TX940, the signal is split internally and then fed to 4 separate HDBaseT outputs. These outputs can then be connected across Cat 6 cables to the receivers, or alternatively directly connected to the displays should they have an HDBaseT input. For optimal results and guaranteed remote power we recommend using Smart-e’s own 4K-RX940 receivers.

After connection to a receiver the 4K-TX940 is capable of transmitting HDMI signals over 100m in up to 4K UHD resolution. In addition, each HDBaseT connection also allows for Infrared signals to be received back from the receiver, enabling remote control of the source device.

Power is provided from the 4K-TX940 through the same Cat 6 cable removing the need for bulky PSUs at the display end, a secure lockable DC connector on the splitter provides the required, reliable power connection. Additionally, the 4K-TX940 comes complete with enhanced EDID management, allowing customers to set their preferred output resolution with minimal fuss.

Suitable for all aspects of the AV market, from education to the corporate sector, the 4K-TX940 transmits crystal clear 4K video within a compact and sleek exterior, making it the ideal product for high quality AV solutions.

Smart-e 4K-TX941

4K TX941RX 1200

Last year Smart-e announced the 4K-TX940, one of the very first true HDBaseT HDCP 2.2 splitters on the market. Now we’ve followed up on this achievement by releasing the 4K-TX941, an enhanced version of the 4K-TX940 that includes a powerful new addition, the ability to transmit RS232 signals through the same Cat 6 cable that distributes the 4K HDMI video signals.

In addition to all previous benefits provided by the 4K-TX940, including transmitting 4K UHD resolution HDMI signals over 100m of Cat 6 cable, four HDBaseT ports with POC and enhanced EDID management, the 4K-TX941 allows the source device to send RS232 signals to the displays providing a valuable method of remote control.

Within the AV world RS232 signals have become a requirement when it comes to controlling and monitor displays and projectors. Communicating with displays using RS232 signals allows a user to remotely perform any action that the screen itself can perform. This gives a quick and easy solution to the various problems that often build up within screen installations over time.

All displays ultimately have a finite life-span, and whether they are negatively affected by screen burn, back light failure or projector lamp failure they will all eventually stop working. Using the 4K-TX941, a user can remotely deactivate as many screens as are not currently in use, thus extending their active use whilst saving power and the reducing the cost to the environment.

Additionally, accessible public displays can be manually interfered with, so it is important to check if the input channel or other settings have been altered. Using the RS232 function of the 4K-TX941 allows the control system to monitor the status of the display and change it back to the correct settings when necessary.

In addition to these more major benefits, the 4K-TX941 can be used to control screen features, including volume control and brightness. Connecting the RS232 to the 4K-TX941 is simple, using a 3 pin screw terminal block which allows for the inevitable variation in cable pinout. 4K-RX904 receivers at the display end have the same connector providing ease of installation.

This HDCP 2.2 compliant 4K-TX941 compact unit is ideal for digital signage use in Retail, Houses of Worship, Education and Transport infrastructure.

The 4K-TX940 is available direct from Smart-e and its distributor network. To assist with the installation process and technical queries, Smart-e is also providing dedicated product training sessions for installers. All Smart-e equipment comes with a 3-year warranty and a high level of unlimited technical support. 

4K 9000 angled 199

Handheld HDBaseT tester 

Smart-e launch their first test products, the 4K-9000 series of HDBaseT testers. These comprehensive test tools come with a suite of measurements enabling the installer to easily identify and then rectify problems.

Based on over 5 years’ designing with HDBaseT and over 30 years’ experience in the AV and Broadcast market, Smart-e have used their extensive technical knowledge to produce a pair of testers capable of measuring: cable length, signal strength, bit error rate (BER) whilst allowing for firmware updates to the Valens chip set. Future upgrades will also provide an app for real time data gathering.

As Jon Lane, Smart-e’s Managing Director says “There is nothing more frustrating than completing an installation only to find that there is no image on the screen. In the old analogue days, it was relatively easy to find the problem but now in the world of digital the problem is where to start! This is where our testers come into play, giving the installer information about the problem, pointing to where the issue might be”

The 4K-9000 testers can also be used to ratify an installation or provide confirmation that an existing installation is HDBaseT ready, this allows an installer to provide a chargeable service to the client.

The testers come in 2 versions, a transmitter 4K-TX9000 and receiver 4K-RX9000, both units support native HDMI and DVI. Transparent DDC connectivity provides HDCP V2.2 & V1.4 compatibility whilst a 10.2 Gbps through-put enables 4K resolutions for 4:4:4 colour space @30Hz, or 4:2:0 @ 60Hz together with Deep Colour, 3D, 2K and 1080p resolutions.

The 4K-9000 testers are available direct from Smart-e and its distributor network. To assist with the installation process and technical queries, Smart-e is also providing dedicated product training sessions for installers. All Smart-e equipment comes with a 3-year warranty and a high level of unlimited technical support.

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