[3.5 Minute Read]
Wireless presentation systems are growing in popularity, and rightfully so. They allow users to seamlessly collaborate and share ideas, documents, videos, desktops and more on projectors, TVs, and bigger screens. This functionality is ideal for boardrooms, conference rooms, huddle spaces, lecture halls, classrooms and more.
There are a lot of wireless presentation systems in the marketplace. Each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. The right solution depends on a variety of factors like budget, necessary features, required connections, type of users, etc. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself when considering which wireless presentation system would be right for your organization.
1. Who Will Be Using the System? (BYOD or Standardized?)
Will only employees be connecting and presenting or will you have guests too? More users and a greater variety of devices make for a more complex solution. Most likely, your office has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) culture, in which case you’ll need to provide more options for people to connect. It’s best to give them wired and wireless options as well as apps and download options. You need to be prepared for a variety of operating systems so that everyone can walk in and seamlessly connect.
2. How Will You Get the Software onto the Presentation Device?
Options include apps, programs, and downloads. For employee computers, a global installation can be the easiest and quickest route. This allows everyone to connect the same way. Things get sticky when you have guests that need to present or employees with their own devices like tablets and phones.
3. Software Only or External Device?
Some presentation gateways have external connection devices which allow you to click a button and show your screen. These devices simplify the process and can be easy to use. However, they can also disappear and some computers security settings won’t run a program file from an external device. Downloading software is a great alternative, but it can take guests a while to download and install the necessary software to present.
4. Single or Dual Networks?
One of the biggest issues we see is that many of these devices work well on the owner’s network but run into problems when guests come into the building. Typically, guests are not connected to the same network as most employees. Most presentations require you to be connected to the same network to present. Some of the newer devices have two network cards in them that allow them to connect to two networks at the same time. Ex: Guest WiFi vs. Internal WiFi. This enhanced functionality is a game changer if you know that you’ll have guests and employees using the system.
5. Single or Dual Displays?
Recently, a few companies released wireless presentation systems that will show on two displays. These options are incredible for improving collaboration capabilities and efficiency. They allow multiple users to work together and run two displays simultaneously. This enhanced functionality is great, but you will need to budget accordingly.
6. Maintenance and Administration Requirements?
For this, you need to consider the size of your organization. Do you have one conference room in your office or dozens? Some devices will require you to make changes at the device level, meaning you have to log in and update things like firmware or the splash screen individually. Other devices have software portals that allow you to administer all the devices on the network globally. The latter is a huge advantage (and time saver!) if you have a lot of devices or a lot of locations.
7. Any Device Recommendations?
We deal with a wide variety of manufacturers and devices, and the best recommendation can only be made if we know more about your individual needs. But, some of our favorite and most common devices are the Crestron AirMedia, Barco Clickshare, and the Mersive Solstice.
8. How Much Should You Budget for a Standard Wireless Presentation Solution?
This is one of the first questions we get asked, and unlike most vendors, we do our best to be transparent with our pricing. You can budget anywhere from $800-$4,000. Most wireless presentation solutions cost around $1,000-1,500, with some sticking out in the higher/lower end of the price range. It ultimately boils down to what kind of functionality you need. To learn more and develop a ballpark estimate, download our FREE Audio Visual Purchasing Guidebook.