This is the second of my SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2011 cool product show reviews for those of you unable to attend or too busy with booth duty. I tried to stop and or look at every booth but might have missed a product. If that's the case please get in touch with me and let me know why your product deserves a review too.
What first caught my eye by Televes H45 Spectrum Analyzer was the HDMI port feeding a flatscreen television. How cool is that? I also noticed the small unit was displaying a QAM "haystack" along with its power, MER, BER, and the demodulated picture just beside the measurements. The picture was on a high resolution display, not the low quality displays I've seen in the past, so tiling or macro-blocking would be apparent to the user. See the picture below:
So I really needed to see more. The unit is super lite, super small, and super inexpensive (well under US$10k) compared to it's competitors. Its also super easy to use. No more programming in channel plans. Just tune to any any channel and the spectrum analyzer auto-detects and locks to the signal (analog or digital modulation). You don't even need to tell it the QAM modulation as the H45 will figure it out. What's more is that it works in the satellite band, so it can be used in the headend or satellite TV up to 3.3 GHz for satellite testing.
Now the real icing on the cake is the optical input! This will come in very handy for testing forward path receivers in fiber nodes or fiber deep / passive optical networks (PONs). No longer will you need a separate device for the optical to electrical conversion. Just plug the fiber connector directly into the Televes spectrum analyzer with their dedicated optical input and your in business.
The last bullet of 5lbs of weight is quite impressive. Anyone lugging around current "portable" spectrum analyzers would think twice before climbing a telephone pole with one. Its common to drop a piece of Series 6 coax cable to the truck for any aerial measurements. The H45 is lighter than most laptops and does have a carry bag with a carabiner, so its designed for climbing.
The only request that I put in to Televes was to decrease the lower end of their measurement frequency range from 2 MHz to at least 500 kHz. As most know, it is quite important to identify low frequency RF ingressors such as AM radio frequencies that can cause non-linear impairments and laser clipping in return path lasers. I've already had feedback from the General Manager of Televes that he has communicated it to his engineering team and they are investigating the effort required.