Wireless Presentation Systems
What Exactly is a Wireless Presentation System?
What is a Wireless Presentation System?
Wireless presentation systems are popping up everywhere people meet and collaborate. In this article we'll unpack how they work and why you should consider one for your organization.
A wireless presentation system is a multimedia device that uses screen mirroring technology to allow users to stream content from their personal computing device to a large screen or projector.
The very point and purpose of a wireless presentation system is to allow clients (users) to connect their device to the display without the restrictions and compatibility issues inherent in a cabled connection.
For example, one MacBook Pro might have Mini-Display Port as its video interface, while another employs USB-C. Getting both connected to the display requires different adapters and cables. With a wireless presentation system, both users would connect without cables or adapters.
Why would I need a wireless presentation system?
If your organization uses TV displays or projectors for meetings, classes or presentations, you’ll likely benefit from the installation of a wireless presentation system. Instead of fumbling with cables, and hunting for video adapters, your users would connect to the display wirelessly, saving time and keeping the session focused.
If your organization regularly shares the screen between multiple users during a session, you’re likely to experience even greater benefits from a wireless presentation system. Every time you switch users, you’ll be saving from 10-18% of your meeting time, by using a wireless presentation system, instead of a wired interface.
While a wireless presentation system saves time, that’s only half of the story. The other half is the boost in productivity, gained from keeping your team focused. Disruptions of flow attributed to connection issues, are practically eliminated through the use of a wireless presentation system. Better flow means better outcomes whether in the classroom, or the meeting room.
How do wireless presentation systems work?
There are three types of wireless presentation systems, made by a variety of manufacturers. And, while many seem quite similar, there are fundamental differences based on the way they have been designed, and the way they work.
I the case of Hardware-based wireless presentation systems, there are two components to the system. One component plugs into your TV display with an HDMI cable, and can be thought of as the “receiver”. The second component plugs into your laptop, either by USB or HDMI and can be thought of as the “transmitter”. Pressing a button on the transmitter starts streaming content to the wireless presentation system receiver, to display on the TV.
In the case of Software-based wireless presentation systems, the receiver is any available PC that connects to the TV display. That PC runs a software application that acts as the virtual receiver, capturing a stream and sending it to the display. Likewise, users will run an application on their PCs that acts as a transmitter, capturing their screen contents and sending them to the wireless presentation system receiver application.
While Hardware and Software-based wireless presentation systems have been available for several years, a new product category has emerged more recently. The Hybrid wireless presentation system employs a hardware receiver that connects to the TV display, but clients run a software application on their devices to act as a transmitter. Hybrid wireless presentation systems are less expensive, easier to deploy and are gaining market share quickly.
What are the key benefits of a wireless presentation system?
First and foremost, wireless presentation systems offer a productivity boost by eliminating the downtime between presenters as they disconnect and reconnect to the display. Even shaving a couple of minutes off this process adds up, as the time savings are multiplied by the number of people taking part in the session. Studies have shown that up to 18% of meeting time is wasted trying to make the technology work. Wireless presentation systems can cut that wasted time dramatically.
Wireless presentation systems also eliminate another major meeting or class disruption, the act of relocating the presenter and their laptop, to get closer to the video cable or projector. Instead of disconnecting their laptop power supply and weaving through the other participants to get to the screen, with a wireless presentation system, the user simply presents from where they’re seated. That was easy!
Are wireless presentation systems secure?
Security is a big issue with IT administrators and rightly so; hackers are everywhere, and they’re after your information. Wireless presentation systems that are properly designed and deployed should pose no security risk, but that doesn’t mean they’re all safe to deploy. Recent press has shown that some major-brand systems have some serious security vulnerabilities that could put corporate or school networks at risk.
The wireless presentation systems that connect to your network and only accept traffic from that network are generally the safest to deploy. Your network is already protected with authentication procedures, firewalls and other sophisticated measures designed to keep the bad guys out. Whether the wireless presentation system connects to the network over a wired or wireless connection, it becomes part of your overall security infrastructure.
What should I watch out for when shopping for a wireless presentation system?
Make no assumptions about device compatibility, supported features, or operational uniformity when shopping for a wireless presentation system. Every manufacturer has taken their own path to the goal of wireless collaboration, and every wireless presentation system is different in some significant way. Here are some key questions to ask when shopping for a wireless presentation system:
Can I mirror my screen from Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chrome devices without installing an app?
Can I enforce password restricted access to the screen from Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chrome devices?
Does the wireless presentation system offer a Touch Back feature for use with touchscreens and shared remotes?
Can my audience view the presentation inside a browser window as it is being streamed to the big screen?
Does the wireless presentation system integrate with secure network or does it allow users to make peer connections directly to it?
Does the wireless presentation system offer a Moderated mode, where the moderator can preview the users’ screen before making it live?
Does the wireless presentation system come with a Free setup wizard and a Free remote management application?
Does the wireless presentation system come with a 3-Year warranty?