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Recently Rextron gave me a simple brown box full of toys.
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I love toys but sadly I had to give these ones back after I was done playing with them. Ah, the suffering we will endure to bring you, our dear reader, nothing but the best in reviews.

What they sent me was The VGA+USB 2.0 Extender over CAT5. I will include the spec sheet after my review bit you can see it online here: rextron.com VGA over USB2 extender

These two simple boxes comprise a device that lets you have a computer way over there but view and play with it over here. The extender consists of a local and remote unit connected via CAT5. You can extend your computer screen to anywhere that you have a second monitor and some USB devices, kind of like an ultra extended USB hub/KVM switch. It uses the CAT5 cable to transfer the USB and VGA signals from your computer to the target area up to 180 feet away. While this particular unit does not have sound capabilities, other options from Rextron do have it. This unit is specialised to have USB transfer.

As you can see here there are six USB slots and five usable slots on the remote unit:
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While I was able to use it in a way that was perhaps not intended, this device does have many uses out of the box and it is quite flexible. It would be a great device as a display or kiosk extension; any time you need a monitor but no sound. It would be great for outdoor displays of advertising or menus for instance, or to show information in a waiting area TV. It could also be used to add remote card reading, scanning or email to a slave terminal as it can connect many usb devices. For a gamer or computer enthusiast like most readers of OCN, you could take a high-end server and put it in a closet, then run four of these units out to different parts of your house, with one main account for gaming and the others run in virtual machines for others to use.

However, I desperately wanted to use it as a video extender. In order to use it as I wished I simply had to overclock it a bit.
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To do this I fully abused the USB connections provided. I had a wireless mouse and it worked perfectly, as long as I could find a good mouse surface. I used a long cable on my keyboard and wished for a wireless version. I can now see the usefulness of wireless mouse/keyboard combos designed for living room use. For my test this was enough and it did work as needed.

I wanted to watch movies and other media on my TV. To do this I needed sound! A simple USB sound card was all it took. I connected it to a pair of battery operated MP3 player speakers. They did the job adequately. This unit is not at fault for not having sound; actually, it is a feature. Many other options from Rextron do have sound capabilities such as the ones with HDMI. But with the USB ports I was able to get sound anyway.

Actually hooking up the device was almost too easy. I had CAT5 cables already deployed so it was simply a matter of hooking it up at both ends. It did take me a few seconds to figure out why I had only one power adapter for two devices. The local unit is powered by the USB, thus saving you a plug in and some wires. Clever Rextron. My TV does not support EDID so I did have to manually change the resolution on my computer screen. I can see how EDID and automatic screen resolution changes would be a nice feature for newer set ups. Other that that it was truly plug and play. I plugged it all in then went to play!

After all that connecting I did not expect much. With much trepidation I double clicked on the first test video. WOW! It blew my socks off. Everything worked and worked well. There was no streaming delays or issues, it felt just like I was sitting at my computer. I was able to sit and eat my popcorn while the video played at full HD resolution on my TV. I was able to do anything in my living room that previously I could only do at my computer. I was delighted.

I have not seen retail price for this in USA, but in the UK the non-USB version seems to be about £51.00 to £62.00. This price does go up with more features however. If the price is $50 I would buy this unit instantly but at $100 or up I might have to look at the other options, so it is a mater of cost to benefit, as always. This CAT5 system seems a lot easier than hard drive units that need to be plugged in and transfer files. LAN or WiFi extenders seem to be much more expensive. Much as wireless would be great, it adds a whole other layer of complexity. This CAT5 variation seems to be quite a good middle ground in price vs features. Other than the price you need to look at your tolerance for wires. This solution does need a dedicated CAT5 cable between each end.

In conclusion I was very pleased with my test unit and sad to pack it up to send back. I will definitely keep my eyes out for an HDMI version for my own home. I can say however that this VGA and USB version would fit quite well and appeal to my frugal side as well. I have been looking for a home KVM solution and was happy to have this chance to try one out. You would be doing yourself a favour to keep Rextron in mind for your own KVM or video extender needs.
Quote:
********* 9/10 Features: I had to take one off for no sound, but it sure delivers what it says it will
********** 10/10 Performance: The only issue was on my end. It did more than what it said it would
******* 7/10 Design: It is not a beauty but very professional and utilitarian
******??? (6 to 9)/10 Value: It seems about right for cost vs value but shop around
******** 8/10 Overall: I give it 8 stars out of 10, but I can only see that going up with the next versions.
The VGA+USB 2.0 Extender over CAT5 allows user to extend from 1 to 4 USB peripheral devices up to 180 feet via Cat5 / Cat5e / Cat6 UTP cable. The extender consists of a local and remote unit via CAT5 connection. There are no device drivers required to run the VGA+USB Extender and the set up is simple plug and play. The VGA+USB 2.0 Extender is compatible with all leading operating systems, and supports all USB device types from high-speed web cams, hard drives, printers, scanners, audio devices, touch screens, digital cameras and game controllers.

*
◆ Extend VGA +USB 2.0 signal up to 60 meters away from a local unit via one single CAT5 cable
◆ EDID Copy function makes the best resolution for your application
◆ Extend 4 USB 2.0 signal transmissions up to 60 meters by CAT5 cable
◆ Support the USB 2.0 high-speed host controllers
◆ Support the video resolution up to Full HD (1920 x 1080) / WUXGA (1920 x 1200)
◆ Plug-n-Play system without any driver or software installation
◆ EQ (Sharpness) adjustment for the best video quality
◆ Local Unit can be powered by the host PC
◆ Perfect for digital signage applications
◆ Windows and Mac system supported
◆ Suitable for most of popular USB devices (e.g. USB sticks, USB printers, ......USB web cams, USB Scanner,
external hard disk drives, etc.)
◆ Optional VESA mounting bracket supported (for VESA mountable display attachment)

EVXU-M206

Local Unit
EVXU-206L

Remote Unit
EVXU-206R

Input
HDB15 x 1
RJ-45

Output
HDB15 x 1
HDB15 x 1
RJ-45

USB Interface
USB-B x 1
USB-A x4

EDID Copy Button x 1

LEDPower / Link Status x 1
(Dual Color)x 1 (Dual Color) USB Connection
x 1 (Dual Color)
x 1 (Dual Color)

Max. Resolution/ Extension Distance

60M (CAT5) @ 1920 x 1200 ( WUXGA)

Connection: CAT5,5e,6

Enclosure: Metal

Power Supply Voltage:
DC 5V
H x W x D (mm)
23 x 75 x 100 (Per Unit)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If you stop by and read this, please leave a comment or just say hi. I am feeling lonely
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bump. I could use your feedback here
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