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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Wireless Projectors - Best Practice Guide for Networked Use in Technical; We've had several requests from staff suggesting that they'd like to be able to connect to projectors wirelessly from laptop ...
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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Wireless Projectors - Best Practice Guide for Networked Use

    We've had several requests from staff suggesting that they'd like to be able to connect to projectors wirelessly from laptop devices that are currently on our existing Ruckus Wireless network. Does anyone else on here use a setup similar to the one above?

    All of our existing projectors are currently wired via VGA to desktop computers at the front of class. I noticed a few of them have Ethernet (RJ-45) connectors on them but from speaking to our AV technician he's convinced that you can't actually send video over the network port to them using this and that the connection is purely there for monitoring bulb life and auditing them? I've checked a few of the websites for devices we have and they mention vague terms like being able to "remotely control" the projectors but I'm uncertain whether this means you can actually send an image/audio to them remotely?

    Can anyone recommend a best practice guide for connecting them? Should we be looking at getting wi-fi projectors and connecting the laptops directly to them over this or would it make more sense to try and wire the projectors onto the existing Ethernet network and have the laptops communicate with them via that? Is there any kind of standard for sending AV to a projectors over an Ethernet connection?

    Sorry if this sounds like a noob questions but I've never used a wireless projector before and my google-fu skills seem to be unable to find a clear cut answer to this so any advice would be appreciated!

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    tb2571989's Avatar
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    Our Promethean PRM-25 have a network port, but as far as I'm aware that's just for remote power-on and monitoring the bulb and system. Manual confirms this with "LAN/RJ45 function of the projector through a network, such as remotely manage: Power On/Off, Brightness and Contrast settings. Also, projector status information, such as: Video-Source, Sound-Mute, etc."

    We also have two Epson EB-G5300s, one in the hall and one in a drama studio. This will project over the network (as well as over Wireless) but these are used with VGA > CAT5 cable run > VGA to projector instead of network. I suspect it would work fine if you have the wireless bandwidth otherwise you could end up with "buffering" issues.

    What you'll need to do.
    - Check that the projectors can project over the network
    - Check that you can setup some sort of security (so one staff can't control a classroom down the corridor)
    - Check that you actually want to use wireless and which wireless protocols the projectors support.

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    flyinghaggis (10th December 2012)

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Most of those network ports on projectors are for management only. These can be very handy though so you should definitely make use of them if you have them.

    The VGA -> CAT5 route is simply a media converter so you will never get that working over your wifi... it is only really an option for long cable runs.

    Wireless projectors have mixed results. We tested one here... it worked fine for a plain old Powerpoint presentation but full screen video really struggled (that was from a couple of metres away in a very uncongested airspace). The other thing to consider is that the machines generally pair up over a peer-to-peer type link rather than over your infrastructure.

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    flyinghaggis (10th December 2012)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    It really depends on the projector. Some require an ad-hoc connection to the projector, which means you lose your normal wifi network connection, whereas some allow the projector to join the infrastructure wifi.

    As much as wifi is a nice tool, I would be loathed to be introducing something like projecting images via it just because it could introduce so many issues.

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    flyinghaggis (10th December 2012)

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    We have two Epson you can stream to from anything on the same network via its network port, you have to install some crummy software though.

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    flyinghaggis (10th December 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    As much as wifi is a nice tool, I would be loathed to be introducing something like projecting images via it just because it could introduce so many issues.
    Yep, you'll just know that they'll be trying to show a HD video and will be moaning why it doesn't work or is stuttering.

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    flyinghaggis (10th December 2012)

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input folks. I think the main gist of what our teaching staff were hoping for was a way to have a tablet they could walk around the classroom with whilst controlling the projector. I'm wondering if trying to setup a wired desktop at the front of class and then remotely controlling that might be a better option. A few folks have suggested AppleTV as being one way of doing this but I don't have any expereince when it comes to Apple kit?

    I'm aware this might be blue-sky thinking but staff have asked what's possible so wanted to look into the options!

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @flyinghaggis:

    Which type of IWB do you have?

    If Promethean then you can get a tablet which you can control the IWB with and if connected to a computer as you have stated will play through the computer any video that the computer can stream.

    If not then you might be able to connect via an IPad using proprietry software which will allow you to connec to the IWB through the connected computer and stream video and the like.

    Another is Casio projectors which do have a wireless dongle in some models and with the use of their free software which will allow wireless connectivity from any windows device with the software installed.

    All of these are expensive but will work.

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    flyinghaggis (10th December 2012)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    For a tablet + projector option, you could look at the iPad + AppleTV. I believe they do this.

    Or, you could go for something like the SMART Slate.

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    flyinghaggis (10th December 2012)

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    We currently have a mixture of (mainly) SMART board and Prometheans. We actually tried the wireless tablets before but staff found them very tricky to use as they didn't have a display on the tablet so staff tended to just used the boards instead.

    I think the staff who suggested an ipad/wi-fi projector setup saw it more as an alternative to an interactive whiteboard rather than something that would work alongside it. I think what they're after is an ipad style device they can carry about the classroom that has all of the functionality of an interactive whiteboard though I'm not sure how realistic those expectations are!
    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 10th December 2012 at 12:17 PM.

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    Moving to AV and Multimedia.

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    @flyinghaggis:

    I feel personally that staff just want an IPad so that they can use these at home also, we have had them ask about this kind of setup here which I nipped in the bud because of the cost element for basically streaming a video from our media server. SLT backed me all the way as they too saw it as the staff's attempt to bring IPads in through the backdoor without the knowledge of how or what they would work with purely as they wanted to take them home as they no longer get laptops provided by the school.

    Tricksey Teachers

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    rdk
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    Staff here have MacBooks and with OSX 10.8 it is possible to mirror the computer via an Apple TV. We are just finishing 12 new rooms and each projector has an Apple TV connected via HDMI, with some splitting of audio etc. When staff walk in and turn on the projector they can connect wirelessly very easily. We had the PD for staff for that today, actually. In all our testing streaming video works fine. The latest Apple TV software has made set-up a bit easier also.

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