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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Apple TV in the classroom in Technical; I am looking into future purchases for my school and was thinking about apple tv, they are less than £100 ...
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    Apple TV in the classroom

    I am looking into future purchases for my school and was thinking about apple tv, they are less than £100 each so itís not a very big outlay but before I place an order I just wondered if anyone out there was using these in the classroom, are they a worthwhile purchase and what do the teachers mainly use them for ???

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    I purchased an Apple TV and an iPad3 last year for a tech savvy teacher to test uses in the classroom. The major problem we found is that airplay mirroring didn't take up the entire projector screen (in either orientation) and was difficult for students in the back to see. I was hoping he would use it as an overhead replacement (I got him some Wacom pens too) but he hasn't used it for that. He's been using it for specific apps that he's found that don't really add much to his curriculum. He has ended up using the iPad a decent amount, but not the Apple TV.
    Since then when I've had teachers ask about an Apple TV or projecting their iPad I've set them up with Air Server http://www.airserver.com/ which costs $12 for 3 licenses. It installs on the teachers laptop and it becomes an airplay device that they can mirror or push multimedia too. Again it doesn't do a good job of showing up full screen (probably due to the 4:3 ratio of iOS) but it works and the price is right.

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    ass17's Avatar
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    Nail on the head with this one, its up to the developer writing the app to enable content via TV-out in full screen.

    At the moment only photos and videos do this. Hopefully smart will do full screen tv-out with smart notebook.

    The only alternative is to use the zoom on the projector.

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    A lot of functionality is lost due to DRM restrictions that prohibits the mirror of certain types of media to the device itself eg Sky Go to name but one, which only allows audio to be transmitted not video (without jail breaking and what comes with it).
    Thus even at £100 each these devices bring little additional function to the classroom.
    We purchased 4 iPads for one department that was going to transform the way they worked with them and Apple TV.. 3 months later they had dropped and smashed two of them and the others are now just used for email and web browsing...
    Have to admit it Im leaning towards Smart TVs now as a delivery medium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wedemire View Post
    I purchased an Apple TV and an iPad3 last year for a tech savvy teacher to test uses in the classroom. The major problem we found is that airplay mirroring didn't take up the entire projector screen (in either orientation) and was difficult for students in the back to see. I was hoping he would use it as an overhead replacement (I got him some Wacom pens too) but he hasn't used it for that. He's been using it for specific apps that he's found that don't really add much to his curriculum. He has ended up using the iPad a decent amount, but not the Apple TV.
    Since then when I've had teachers ask about an Apple TV or projecting their iPad I've set them up with Air Server http://www.airserver.com/ which costs $12 for 3 licenses. It installs on the teachers laptop and it becomes an airplay device that they can mirror or push multimedia too. Again it doesn't do a good job of showing up full screen (probably due to the 4:3 ratio of iOS) but it works and the price is right.
    Exactly the same here....AirServer is great and we have installed it on all our classroom PCs.

    Apple TV is a great consumer product but there are a couple of things to consider -

    It only has HDMI output so your projectors will need to have it or you will need an HDMI to VGA converter.

    It only has an optical sound output so you will need to either be able to connect your speakers to this if you don't have an HDMI projector with speakers.

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    Another vote for Airserver. We thought that the apple TV would be a good solution to our problems - it wasn't. It's a consumer product, it's not really designed for enterprise use and this is painfully obvious from trying to set it up for any kind of "serious" use. Buy an Apple TV for home if you fancy it and as long as you're big into the Apple ecosystem you'll probably love it. But for the classroom, Airserver just works.

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    Dom_'s Avatar
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    Another one for airserver - using it in a few of my schools, much easier for staff to just have it running on PC rather than changing sources on projector!

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    rdk
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    We put Apple TVs in a new block of 12 classrooms this year. Staff are using MacBooks with OSX 10.8 and the airplay mirroring works great and staff love them. There was some mucking around with subnets but once setup they have been fine. Staff click the airplay icon on their MacBooks, then choose the room they are in. A code comes up on the projector screen, and once that's entered the mirroring is working fine. We found using the code system much better than passwords. So basically a big success and staff now want them everywhere, but trying to work out sound and everything when retrofitting to old projectors would be a pain - HDMI is the way to go.

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    I've found both Apple TVs and AirServer work very well. They are really different solutions though and I'll tell you why.

    The Apple TV combined with a large TV works great and is an inexpensive solution if all you need to do is AirPlay whatever is on the iPad or MacBook Air/Pro. Unlike some of the comments on here, I find the setup to be straightforward for the Apple TV. But don't try to use them with older projectors or you will have problems. Use them with 55" + TVs or HDMI projectors. You can even show DVDs over AirPlay if you use VLC or MediaPlayerX.

    The other solution we use us Mac Minis wall mounted attached to IWBs, and running AirServer. This is a different solution as it can also be used as a traditional IWB with all of the IWB software you are used to. It works with older projectors and if a teacher doesn't have their own laptop they can easily just use the Mac Mini for anything they need. But, if a teacher wants to use their own MacBook or iPad with the IWB, they can do that with AirPlay - no fussing about with cables or projector resolutions, etc. using AirServer. We have installed SSDs in all of the Mac Minis for the IWBs, so it's a highly versatile solution with great performance.

    So, the Apple TV Is a great low-cost solution if all requirements can be met with AirPlay and you are using new TVs or projectors. The AirServer solution works great if you have older projectors/IWBs, but costs more for the dedicated Mac Minis connected to the IWB.

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    We use Reflectorapp. It is the same idea but doesn't need Bonjour installed. Works better than apple tv which has issues with proxies. All our teachers have ipads and we use reflectorapp to mirror to each teacher station.

  11. Thanks to bclarke from:

    dhicks (11th September 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by truebluesteve View Post
    Exactly the same here....AirServer is great and we have installed it on all our classroom PCs.

    Apple TV is a great consumer product but there are a couple of things to consider -

    It only has HDMI output so your projectors will need to have it or you will need an HDMI to VGA converter.

    It only has an optical sound output so you will need to either be able to connect your speakers to this if you don't have an HDMI projector with speakers.
    What you need is a HDMI to VGA+sound adaptor. Sound output is via a 3.5mm jack output on the adaptor.

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