How do you all do your presentation setups for your main assembley hall / stage area?
At the moment we have a plinth on wheels that we roll in when it's been booked, this has a monitor screwed on to the top and a half laptop (screen has been choppsed off because it died/was broken) which is then connected to the sound and VGA leads from under the stage.
Now though we've just got a Casio XJ1750 projector to replace our aging Epson and we're also looking to replace the aging laptop but we're unsure of the best device to replace it with? The idea has obviously been thrown around about changing it with an iPad or windows tablet, but there are learning curves for people who haven't used them before and a USB requirement for a presentation clicker and usb pen drives. My only current idea would be to get a tablet with windows 7 on or keep the monitor in there and use it with something like an intel NUC PC (Would have to be a bit different to the NUC though due to no standard audio output)
At the moment we have a plinth on wheels that we roll in when it's been booked
So do we - well, technically an Argos kitchen trolley modified with some heavy-duty castors on the bottom but it actually looks okay, plus our AV presentation trolley now features a built-in winerack.
Any suggestions or success stories?
I've been wanting to replace the PC we use on our trolley with a Mac Mini, and then get it to dual boot Mac OS and Windows - that should then be able to handle pretty much any format of file any external presentor is going to bring in. I wouldn't hook an iPad up directly to the projector, but you could use AirPlay to mirror the iPad's screen to the computer plugged in to the projector (or buy an Apple TV) and use it that way.
I would suggest sticking with what most people know in this situation. I can see little being gained from using a tablet other than freeing the speaker from being near the PC. However you look a little silly running around a stage whilst poking at a tablet and trying to understand why your presentation is skipping slides.
PCs are cheaper too! An ultra-small HP with win 7 or Mac Mini with OsX/Windows Dual boot will provide you with the easiest solution to deploy and also provide you with the fewest headaches when getting support requests from staff.
We have a HD Panasonic projector on our main hall, which we have two VGA faceplates fixed to the front of the main stage (for the choice of standing to either the left or right of the display). Audio routed to a 100v line amp with 8 speakers around our hall. We use an standard RM CC4 built laptop with a staff account to log into. We currently have no transparent proxy so we do not allow guests to connect personal devices to the network. We give the option of allowing the using a presentation USB mouse if needed.
We have a rackmount cabinet behind the curtains to one side of the stage, containing the amp, DVD player and Freesat box. Projector is ceiling mounted. There's a VGA cable to the projector from there, and another from the front of the stage, so you can choose where to plug in. There's also VGA and HDMI to the projector and two TVs either side of the stage behind the curtain. Very flexible, but quite complex so we have to set it up. No PC inbuilt, we just roll up with a laptop.
We also have a trolley that is taken when booked, but our projector is ceiling mounted with an electronic drop screen. However, weve been experimenting with a new bit of hardware called USB server, it sends video, sound and usb signal through IP wirelessly, then just connects up to your VGA/HDMI/3.5/USB sockets on the wall. the plan is to have a tablet running this which can sit nicely on the speakers plinth. weve tested it and it works, but the RM tablet we used didnt quite have the power to support it.
We had a 4m electric screen and a ceiling mounted projector fitted three summers ago. Some of the best money I've spent in this place.
There's a PC permanently sited in the hall (locked in a cupboard built for us by DT) so that an assembly requires us to: unlock cupboard & turn monitor on for user to log in; click button to lower screen; use remote to turn projector on. This takes thirty seconds
The old system used to involve staging, a Meccano-like screen, a table, a laptop and some speakers, and took longer to set up than the assembly ran for.