USB continues to evolve and will soon become one of our most powerful connectivity technologies, driving some of the most profound changes in the communications industry will ever see.
Over the past few weeks we have been discussing the wide variety of USB connectivity solutions from C2G, a Group Brand of Legrand North America. This week we will take a closer looks at USB Hubs, Adapters and Extenders.
USB hubs come in a number of configurations and form factors. A couple favorites for keeping a desktop installation clean and simple are the 2-Port USB Hub, which is ideal for students or anyone who travels with a laptop PC or Chromebook, and the 12-meter USB 2.0 A Male to Female 4-Port Active Extension Cable, which can connect several devices in an unbroken 40-foot run. This later product should not be used to connect an interactive flat panel display, however. Displays with multi-touch capability demand more power than such a passive device can manage. We’ll look at the right solution for that application next.
By far the best available in the industry, the 4-Port Trulink® USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hub is the standard by which competing products should be measured. This is the hub you must demand for all of your critical installations!
Sometimes an installation needs more than 5-meters of connectivity. When installing an interactive white board in a classroom or an interactive flat panel in a conference room, run length and plenum demands are environmental hurdles and nothing will suffice except the right gear.
Bus powered USB solutions derive their operating power from the USB port on the host or hub to which they are attached. It’s important to understand the power demands of these devices and the power demands of the devices they are connecting in order to ensure dependable operation. One very effective solution is to use a USB A Male to A Female Active Extension cable and place a powered hub at the far end to re-establish full port power when needed. Legrand active extension cables are available in 16ft and 32-foot CMP-rated versions for plenum installations, or in a 7.5-meter or 25-feet , 39.4-feet or 12-meter standard version for use in Wiremold® OFR overfloor raceway, for example.
When runs are more than 40-feet long, or for runs that need precise custom-length solutions (such as runs through conduit, for example), the best solution is to use a USB Superbooster that deploys a length of category cable (Cat5e is fine) for connections up to 100-meters long. Superbooster solutions come in both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 models.
The Legrand USB 1.1 Over Cat5 Superbooster Extender is designed specifically for use with interactive white boards. This is the perfect solution for high-density K12 classroom installations. This product is available in both a dongle format and a wall-plate format, and you can mix and match transmitters and receivers to get the right form factor for your project.
Legrand Trulink® USB 2.0 Over Cat5 Superbooster Extender solutions are the only solution expressly designed to handle the high-performance demands of state-of-the-art interactive flat panel LCD displays. Also available in both dongle and wall-plate formats for mix-and-match custom applications, this solution ensures that enough power will be available at the end of the run for these demanding devices to work properly. When the product demands multi-touch interactivity and needs USB 2.0 speeds, this is the solution that will meet design expectations.
MHL is a powerful solution that allows mobile devices equipped with a USB Micro-B port to connect directly to a compatible HDMI MHL-compliant port on a display or matrix controller. Using this adapter, it’s easy to connect a smartphone or table to any HDMI equipped display. This is ideal for impromptu presentations or sharing pictures and videos from your phone with a small group. Since almost all newer consumer LCD televisions have MHL compatibility, this is an important connection for anyone who has to make in-home presentations.
For higher performance installations, particularly where multi-display solutions are needed, an active USB 3.0 solution may be perfect. Legrand offers USB 2.0 to HDMI A/V, USB 2.0 to VGA, and USB 2.0 to DVI active adapters. For higher performance, and especially for video intensive installations, Legrand USB 3.0 to HDMI, USB 3.0 to DisplayPort, USB 3.0 to DVI-D and USB 3.0 to VGA adapters are ideal solutions.