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Wireless Projector Guide.

With the advancements in technology, the ways in which we can send data to a projector is becoming more and more flexible. The traditional way is to hard wire a cable between your source and projector, generally the cable used will be VGA or HDMI or for high-end projectors via a network cable.

Using a hard-wired cable will produce the most stable form of data or video transmission, however in a number of circumstances, hardwiring between source and projector may not be possible. This is where wireless transmission of data and or video can prove very useful.

There are a number of ways to transmit your content wirelessly to a projector ; your source equipment and content will govern which methods are open to you. Below are the most common methods at the time of writing this advice guide.
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Projector Manufacturer Wifi dongle.

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If your current projector or the projector you are looking to purchase has a USB type A input, chances are it will be compatible with the optional Wifi dongle accessory from the Manufacturer (if you are unsure give us a call and we can check for you). Not all projector Manufacturers offer optional Wifi dongles for their projectors but the likes of BenQ, Epson, InFocus, NEC, Optoma and Sony do. The dongles themselves cost in the region of £85.

This form of wireless transmission is only suitable for data such as Microsoft Word, Excel, basic PowerPoint slides or general web browsing use. It is not suitable for video transmission.

To use this method, firstly you need to install the Manufacturer's proprietary wireless software (via a supplied CD with the projector or as a separate download from the Manufacturer website) on to your Windows or MAC PC as this will work in conjunction with the Wifi dongle.

The Wifi dongle is then inserted into the USB type A port on the projector (projector needs to be on the USB input when your turn it on). Next you need to make a wifi connection between your PC and the wifi dongle in the projector. This is done by selecting the SSID from the list of available wifi networks on your PC that corresponds to wifi dongle in the projector.

Once connected, simply launch the Manufacturer wireless software you installed. The software will look for the projector, once found it will display the contents of your PC screen on your projector. It is worth bearing in mind there is a slight delay while using a wireless projector between the source and the projector itself, due to the processing time involved in interpreting the data over the wireless signal. This has a very minor effect for most presenters but it does limit animation in PowerPoint slides.

What about security?

You might have heard concerns about wireless technology and security. It's a legitimate concern - what if your competitor is sitting outside your building with a laptop? Can he pick up your presentation using a wireless enabled laptop and get inside knowledge?

Fortunately you can encrypt the signal. This is a software option that comes with the projector software. You can normally choose 64-bit or 128-bit encryption. However, while this protects your data it also slows down the display refresh rate slightly, as the laptop and projector have to do more work to encode and decode the signal.

Coverage?

Generally this type of wireless transmission is limited to 10Mtr and this figure can vary significantly due to the environmental factors of your setup interfering with the strength of the wifi signal between source and display.

Apple TV.

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The Apple TV is an accessory (approx £100) with dimensions small enough to fit in the palm of your hand that connects to your projector via a single HDMI cable. Anything that is on your Apple iPhone, iPad, iMac or Macbook can be streamed in up to 1080p resolution to the Apple TV using Airplay. (some Apps prevent you from streaming video from your iOS device over Airplay to the Apple TV)

Airplay lets you wirelessly stream in up to 1080p Full HD resolution what's on your iOS device to your projector or "mirror" exactly what's on your display to the projector screen. Display photos, videos, spreadsheets even web pages.

When Apple released iOS 8, a new feature they included was peer-to-peer Airplay* capability. So what exactly is this feature? Put simply before peer-to-peer Airplay, your Apple TV and iOS device needed to be connected to the same wifi network in order to stream between device and Apple TV. With peer-to-peer Airplay the iOS device and Apple TV no longer need to be on the same network. The Apple TV detects your iOS device and makes the connection automatically without the need for connecting to wifi networks and entering passwords.

Coverage?

Like the optional wifi dongle method of wireless transmission, the coverage distance will vary based on the environmental factors of your setup interfering with the strength of the wifi signal between iOS device and Apple TV.

*To use the peer-to-peer Airplay feature requires a Mac (2012 or later) with OS X Yosemite or an iOS device (2012 or later) with iOS 8 and works with Apple TV Version 3(model A1469) and later running Apple TV software 7.0.

Wireless HDMI Sender Kit.

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Send content wirelessly around your home or office with leading edge WHDI technology. Currently the best wireless technology available, WHDI sends uncompressed up to 1080p resolution video and zero delay.

The Kit is made up of a transmitter and receiver unit which require a separate power connection for each unit. The transmitter features two HDMI inputs so you can connect multiple sources in a busy environment. An HDMI output on the transmitter passes the selected source on to a local screen. The receiver unit connects to your projector via a HDMI cable.

Most wireless HDMI sender kits have IR Pass-though. If your source device has a remote control e.g. BluRay or SKY HD box you can use the remote control for these devices at the receiver. A cabled IR receiver plugs into the transmitter which receives your remote control commands and passes it back to the transmitter, then through a cabled IR emitter to the source.

Corporate or Consumer?

With its extended range, 128 bit encryption, and advanced features this product is suited to professional AV applications in meeting rooms and boardrooms. It can also be used in schools and at home to get content from A to B without running cables.

Coverage?

Most of the HDMI Wireless HDMI sender kits have a coverage range of between 2 to 15 metres for HD content, but environmental room factors will imapct on the distance you can achieve. Too close or too far away and the image will degrade or not display at all. The kits generally use the 5GHz band that modern wifi wireless routers use so the transmitter and receiver can be hidden and the signal passes through walls, just like your laptop's wifi. It uses Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) to select a clear channel for transmission.

Wireless HDMI Sender Kits cost in the region of £220.

ViVitek NovoPRO.

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Vivitek's NovoPRO is a wireless presentation and collaboration device, designed for meeting room and classroom learning activities. NovoPRO supports true screen mirroring from Apple iOS and Android devices. It features screen preview/moderator control, 4-to-1 projection, video streaming, instant response system (IRS), file sharing, and access to cloud-based resources. Built-in, whiteboard-interactive features encourage meeting or classroom participation, and all Novo's can be managed remotely over the network.

The NovoPRO supports all types of WiFi enabled devices including iPads, iPhones, as well as their Android equivalents, alongside Chromebooks, laptops and all types of desktop PC. NovoPRO has the ability to stream 1080p video content up to sixty frames per second to ensure smooth, high quality wireless video, thanks to a powerful Quad Core Processor. Featuring a built-in Ethernet port and WiFi allow for standard dual network support for both a wired and wireless connection.

For guests to join the meeting instantly, the optional Launcher set allows for instantaneous screen sharing though this plug-n-play USB connected device without installing any software to their laptops. The Launcher set consists of a hub with 4 devices and operates with Windows and Mac.The four placement buttons that assign the split screen and connect button are very intuitive.



Full details on the Vivitek NovoPRO.

Barco ClickShare.

Christie Brio.

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Like Barco's ClickShare, the Christie Brio range of products have been designed with the business user in mind.

The Christie Brio product allows up to five computers, smart phones, or tablets to wirelessly stream content on to displays and channel the audio through a meeting room or classroom's sound system.

Participants can share content, edit in real time, save their work and capture action items for quicker follow-up, avoiding the challenges of traditional collaboration sessions.

The premium offering is the Christie Brio Enterprise which integrates smoothly into your local area network for access to Internet and network services.

Automatic content layouts: Effortlessly display content using Christie Brio. Simply connect to a Brio unit and your content will be automatically placed and scaled on the classroom or meeting room projector display, maintaining your content's aspect ratio and resolution.

Whiteboard feature: If you're looking for the most interactive collaboration experience, Christie Brio turns touch panels into interactive whiteboards, allowing participants to add to or edit an image using various writing and drawing tools. As ideas come together, participants can map a new solution, highlight action points on the fly, edit diagrams or sketch out a project design.

Unique to the Christie Brio family is its ability to share the same whiteboard in real time among participants, in the same or in different locations. The whiteboard is also available through a browser window on a contributor's personal device. Users can write or sketch on the shared whiteboard, upload and annotate images or save the end result back to their personal device for later use.

Annotation: Get everyone on the same page with shared annotation. Similar to the whiteboard feature, Brio also enables annotation over any displayed content, including video. The end result may be saved as an image for later use.



Full details on Christie Brio.