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Hardware Thread, All-in-one smartboard unit in Technical; I've been asked by one of my schools to come up with an all in one type smartboard deal or ...
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    contink's Avatar
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    Question All-in-one smartboard unit

    I've been asked by one of my schools to come up with an all in one type smartboard deal or more accurately a smartboard arrangement with the projector using a short thrown and mounted on an arm that extends from the smartboard mount itself.

    Now I'm aware that smartboard has something like this already but I've seen a number of complaints about the system and I don't want to be dealing with a dead duck... So, can anyone point me to any alternatives that use a decent projector, etc...

    All help, advice and opinions gratefully received..

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    We were looking at the Smart version and were advised to go for a Hitachi short throw projector rather that the Smart one on cost. Bulbs are mega-expensive apparently. We are really pleased with the Hitachi (A100 I think) and plan to standardise on it.

    Reduced danger of eye damage, no teacher's shadow and they look really neat.

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    contink (25th March 2009)

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    We went for the Hitachi short throw projectors too. Long term it makes economical sense and gets rid of that H&S problem of projectors shining into the eyes.

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    contink (25th March 2009)

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    I think that a lot of the complaints about projector quality on the integrated Smart ones relates to the early models when they were using a 3M projector - they now use Hitachi.

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    contink (25th March 2009)

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    rad
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    We have the UniFi 45 things with the Toshiba projector.

    The bulbs on 2 of them have gone within a few months of use, but out of the 3 month warranty period. Unsure why they went, one shattered.

    Aside from that problem, they are really good projectors but don't have the integrated Scratchpad which teachers find useful.

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    contink (25th March 2009)

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    Yeah, maybe I meant Toshiba.

    Ours never used the Scratchpad on the earlier models - much less functionality over Notebook, no ability to open prepared material, etc - so we don't miss it.

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    we have a number of the smart all in ones, put the latest one in over the christmas there. No problems with them and not had to change any bulbs yet in the year and a half ive been here (and some were installed before i got here)

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    contink (25th March 2009)

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    We had 6 installed last summer (Smartboard 680i). One has had a failure which was swapped out very quickly once some diagnosis done. Were looking at going for another 3 this year. Not being able to use the speakers without the projector being on has been an issue for one member of staff, (She likes listening to music while preparing lessons) and the same member of staff would also like the speakers to be a bit more powerful.

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    contink (25th March 2009)

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    We have a couple of the short throw projectors, hitachi ones, the quality is excellent even in relatively bright rooms. We have one mobile projector and board, although it turns out its not too mobile as its too tall to fit through the doors so its confined to one hall

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    contink (25th March 2009)

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    Thanks for the info' folks... That's made my problem much smaller..

    Now to find an installer that can provide the necessary without breaking the bank or running off with half a job done.

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    Smart have just launched version 3 (this week!!) which uses a short throw projector rather than a mirror projector. Improves quality and gets rid of the little tiny bit missing becuse of the angle the mirror one has to go at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjohnny42 View Post
    . Not being able to use the speakers without the projector being on has been an issue for one member of staff, (She likes listening to music while preparing lessons) and the same member of staff would also like the speakers to be a bit more powerful.
    That's interesting bjohnny42. With a separate projector everything goes via the usb port and the speakers are active as long as the computer is on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by western View Post
    Smart have just launched version 3 (this week!!) which uses a short throw projector rather than a mirror projector. Improves quality and gets rid of the little tiny bit missing becuse of the angle the mirror one has to go at.
    Just done some digging on those and it seems that RM and Smarttech couldn't care less about the BECTA standards on bulb life:

    Warranty The projector and extended control panel (ECP) have a three-year limited equipment
    warranty. The UF55 projector lamp has a 500 hour/90 day warranty.
    ref: http://www.rm.com/_RMVirtual/Media/D...Spec_Sheet.pdf

    I'm not about to recommend a product that needs £300 of bulb every 3-4 months...

    What I don't understand is that if you look at other sources you get a different picture:
    Total cost of ownership is lower with a projector bulb that lasts 3,000 hours in standard mode and 4,000 hours in economy mode
    ref: BETT 2009 - Press Releases


    Is it just my cynical nature or are RM just completely taking the proverbial?
    EDIT: Seems that smarttech are providing a detailed specification that buries the bulb warranty information while the webpages like these quote the expected bulb life. Interesting that they don't provide a warranty for it though.

    Either way... I think I'll do some digging and see if any of the local(ish) installers will be able to supply.
    Last edited by contink; 25th March 2009 at 07:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer View Post
    That's interesting bjohnny42. With a separate projector everything goes via the usb port and the speakers are active as long as the computer is on.

    Just to clarify that the first generation 600i whiteboard system had speakers as part of the projector unit, so indeed the unit would need to be switched on for those speakers to work. Subsequent generations of the 600i system (600i2 and now new 600i3) have not included integrated speakers, as the feeling was that why include them in an all in one, when some users were not interested in using them.

    SMART sell a USB Speaker system where the independent speakers hang from each side of the Board and are not connected to the projector, meaning that you don't need this on any longer. This will bring audio into your classroom. For those interested in a specialist voice amplification system, SMART has recently released SMART Audio, with teacher and pupil microphones, and 4 wall- or ceiling-mounted speakers to bring audio into all 4 corners of the classroom.

    Information on these items are available from the SMARTtech.com website:

    USB Speakers: SMART - SMART Board accessories,*SMART Board 600 series interactive whiteboard
    SMART Audio: SMART - SMART Audio

    I hope this provides clarity and is of information.

    Best regards,

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    laserblazer (26th March 2009)

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    @contink - I think you're misreading that. It is the warranty which only lasts for 90 days, not the bulb...

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