How to Choose a Wireless Presentation System

Wireless Presentation

Who doesn’t want options?  We spend our day making thousands of choices including what to eat, what to drink and what clothes to wear.  When shopping online, we read reviews, compare costs, and balance features that are important to us.  Sometimes too many choices can be paralyzing in modern day consumerism.  What if instead of looking at the product, we start from within? What do I really need…before reading every label? Now let’s apply this process to selecting a BYOD Wireless Presentation System.

The devices that enable Wireless Presentation have become commonplace in the modern-day conference room.  These convenient appliances allow you to “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) and present to the display for seamless sharing of digital content through a wireless connection.  Sounds like an easy choice, right? Sure, I’ll take one…oh, wait…how many are on the market now?  There are many variables you need to know before ever assessing the product lineup.

Who Will Be Using the Wireless Presentation System?

Clickshare Wireless PresentationThink through who is going to use the device and what they need to be able to do. Will guests be given access to the wireless presentation features or will this technology be for internal employees only?  What is the technical ability of the user? Do they need something simple to use or feature rich with interactivity?  Some devices are simply a wireless HDMI cable that enables a single user to present whatever is on their computer.  Other devices offer a quad view for multiple inputs. Still, others offer remote viewing of the main display.  The most complex and interactive devices allow on-screen annotation, collaboration, file sharing and even built-in soft codec features. The end user’s technical capabilities and use requirements must be taken into consideration when choosing a wireless screen sharing product.

Which Network Will We Use for Our Wireless Presentation System?

In many environments we see integrated wireless networks segmented for guest and internal use.  Given the user, how will people connect, through which wireless network?  Some devices operate as a standalone wireless access point while others are hard-wired, relying on the client to provide the wireless network.  It’s always best practice to involve the IT department ahead of time to make sure the networks will allow the device to function properly.  The device must be pre-approved by the IT department before deciding.

Does The Wireless Presentation System Require the Use of An App?

Many devices require downloading an app to operate while some allow for connecting with built-in device technologies such as Apple Airplay, Google Chromecast, Intel WiDi Miracast, and others.  Using a specific app will generally offer more features, while built-in technology may be easier to use.  There are also shared apps utilized by multiple manufacturers, such as MirrorOp. These options go back to the end-user question. How they will connect, and what they want to do.

What Content Will Be Shared?

What will the end-user be showing on the display?  Will it be slideshows or spreadsheets?  What about moving video with sound?  The type of content makes a dramatic difference when the specifying the proper device. Another concern when choosing the correct appliance is the bandwidth required for the network infrastructure.  Many device manufacturers publish white papers geared to inform IT managers regarding the requirements and impact of placing these units on their network.  Make sure to get that pdf in their inbox before implementation.

Does My Wireless Presentation System Need to Be Interactive?

I love the word interactive; it suggests images of everyone standing around a whiteboard marking up innovative ideas to solve complex problems.  With technology, this word can mean so many things such as marking up an image file, remote control of the mouse, touch screen connections, and even moving content around the display.  When you hear the word interactive as a wireless presentation system requirement, make sure to ask, what does this really mean, and will that help my team collaborate more effectively?

How Do I Get One of Those Pucks?

Clickshare Wireless PresentationOne manufacturer had a very intuitive idea, plug in a puck and click the button to share.  This concept has spread to a host of other devices of various makes and models.  The puck runs a script through USB-connected flash memory to preload the needed configuration for connecting the device.  For laptops, this has been hugely popular with many variations on the look and feel of the “puck.”  Some things to consider for this type of system are: how many pucks do you need per meeting room, and how many users need to connect at once?  Also, these devices tend to disappear, so it’s a good idea to have extra on hand.

How Will I Manage the Wireless Presentation System Devices?

A term that is growing in use among AV and IT professionals is “mass provisioning.”  This concept has been around for quite some time among the IT crowd, and now the AV industry is catching on.  It means having a centralized management tool to update a multitude of network appliances all at once.  Imagine you have 40 wireless presentation devices deployed at your company. There is a firmware update available that would fix a few bugs or increase performance.  Mass provisioning allows them to all be updated simultaneously instead of requiring someone to go to each device to load software or do an update.  Centralized management tools monitor the status of the appliances allowing owners to be proactive versus reactive to potential problems.

Time to Choose

You’ve answered all the questions, and you know what you need, it’s time to make a choice. There are hundreds of options out there so feel free to reach out to Unified. We can help you pick the device that fits your application and your budget.

Choosing a Wireless Presentation System

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Josh Davis

Director of Engineering at Unified Technology Systems
Josh started as a Design Engineer with Unified Technology Systems in 2014. He is a President's Club member. In the AV industry for more than 10 years, Josh brings invaluable insight into Unified Technology Systems' projects providing an unparalleled level of service to customers and fellow employees alike.
Josh Davis
Josh Davis

Author Josh Davis

Josh started as a Design Engineer with Unified Technology Systems in 2014. He is a President's Club member. In the AV industry for more than 10 years, Josh brings invaluable insight into Unified Technology Systems' projects providing an unparalleled level of service to customers and fellow employees alike.

More posts by Josh Davis

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