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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Interactive Projectors in Technical; Is or has anyone used Interactive Projectors (turn any surface into an interactive touch screen)? Any pros/cons on using them? ...
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    fiza's Avatar
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    Interactive Projectors

    Is or has anyone used Interactive Projectors (turn any surface into an interactive touch screen)?

    Any pros/cons on using them?

    We are looking to replace some of our standard projectors with either short-throw lampless or these interactive ones.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I used an epson one in my last place. worked well although the cons were then pens are heavy and the cost of replacements is high.

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    We fitted 30 SMART 40wi Projectors over the summer. They seem to be liked and well used by the teachers. Our only complaint (so far!) is around issues with the latest SMART software which I think is documented elsewhere.

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    Yes fitten lots, most are good cost of pens can be high on some, Hitachi ones are good.

    Marc
    Projector Engineer

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    Chris_'s Avatar
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    We've got a couple fitted. They're fine as a projector. The interactivity lets them down though - especially the software. It's much more inferior compared to the Smart and Promethean software.

    IMHO you're better off going for a non-interactive projector and a decent board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
    We've got a couple fitted. They're fine as a projector. The interactivity lets them down though - especially the software. It's much more inferior compared to the Smart and Promethean software.

    IMHO you're better off going for a non-interactive projector and a decent board.
    Er...?

    You normally use what ever software you want with them either the Promeathian or Smart an interactive projector is no different to a whiteboard or any make they are just a mouse.

    Marc
    Projector Engineer

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    Maybe he means Hitachi/ Epson software is not as good as Smart or Promethean.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc-Engineer View Post
    Er...?

    You normally use what ever software you want with them either the Promeathian or Smart an interactive projector is no different to a whiteboard or any make they are just a mouse.

    Marc
    Projector Engineer
    Only if you buy an extra license!

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    broc's Avatar
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    We switched over to using Epson interactive projectors just under 2 years ago ( we have 40+). We had a long discussion with Promethean about licences, Promethean wanted a licence per user (not projector) & they wanted silly money so we bought a site licence for RM Easiteach Next Generation at a fraction of the cost. This package is similar to the Smart & Promethean products but is hardware agnostic.... so it will work with our few remaining legacy Promethean boards too.

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    The pens are big and expensive, also they are laggy. The batteries only last 2 months (which sound ok until the lessson starts and noone has an AA about) The pens being so laggy and large it makes handwriting all but impossible (Primary school speed and size would be ok). They don't touch my old as heck Promethean Boards for speed and accuracy. The USB ones work as fast as you can move the pen making them a real viable alternative to a whiteboard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Only if you buy an extra license!
    If your decommisioning a whiteboard to install an interactive projector you have the licence from the whiteboard.

    Marc
    Projector Engineer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc-Engineer View Post
    If your decommisioning a whiteboard to install an interactive projector you have the licence from the whiteboard.

    Marc
    Projector Engineer
    I would test that with Promethean....

    We were prepared to store the old Promethean boards or even hang them on the wall as static projection screens for the Epson projectors so we could use the licences but it made no difference; we were told we had to be actively using the board hardware with the software.

    We were quoted £500 per user to use ActiveInspire with the Epson projectors ..... very funny...... we paid less than £1000 for a site licence for Easiteach Next Generation.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc-Engineer View Post
    If your decommisioning a whiteboard to install an interactive projector you have the licence from the whiteboard.

    Marc
    Projector Engineer
    Nope. You definitely don't. The terms and conditions in SMART notebook specifically preclude this. You must buy a collaborative license to use the software with interactive technology that isn't SMART.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc-Engineer View Post
    Er...?

    You normally use what ever software you want with them either the Promeathian or Smart an interactive projector is no different to a whiteboard or any make they are just a mouse.

    Marc
    Projector Engineer
    Like others have said, the licensing is the issue with that. Smartboards you have 4x pens and a rubber which makes them much more friendly for teachers not having to use the pen to select a different colour/tool.

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    We had problems with the original pens supplied by Epson, they were replaced by later versions & they have been much better. They are definitely more chunky than the Promethean pens; feedback from staff varies, some prefer the Epson pens, others preferred the Promethean. I am not aware of any serious shortcomings with battery life.

    Installing the projectors requires care as they are heavy & the walls need to be robust. The ultra short throw is good for avoiding glare. Mounting height can be a problem, you need to check your ceilings are high enough. In a couple of our classrooms the sloping ceiling was too low to accomodate the Epson projector & deliver a suitable screen size at a useable height. Calibration takes longer, there are more 'points' on the screen to calibrate.

    Staff made the transition to Easiteach Next Generation with minimal fuss, it is available as a download for trial purposes. User feedback suggested it had a 'fresher' look & feel to it vs ActivInspire although it lacked some features. They have a user forum & encourage fedback for users.

    The bundled software that came with the Epson projector is very basic. The Epson networking software is handy, it lets me see the status of every projector... faults, power, temperature, lamp life & you can remotely turn them on/off on a timer & even switch source. You can push out a slideshow from a central point too, which will override whatever is being displayed. We signed up to 5 year warranty & Epson self-maintainer scheme which means we have a spares onsite & can swap projectors out & request exchange units; we have had two projectors swapped in 2 years.

    Screen surface is critical, a semi-gloss or glossy screen is not a good idea. I believe Epson recommend a matt finish surface. The projector can be affected by direct sunlight shining onto the screen, especially movement of a narrow shaft of light; this caused phantom movement of the mouse pointer much to the amusement of the students (but not the staff).



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