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BenQ Knowledge Center

What is a Wireless Presentation System?

An overview of the different ways you can avoid sharing cables in collaboration spaces

BenQ
2019/12/10

Wireless presentation system is a device that allows you to mirror your notebook or mobile device content on a shared projector, flat panel, or TV without a need to plug in a cable. Presenters can be switched at a click of a button and no precious time will be wasted wasted. According to Gartner Research, wireless presentations systems are one of the top 10 strategic technologies to improve BYOD collaboration in office spaces.

Unlike consumer wireless dongles for screen mirroring, commercial wireless presentation systems are designed to improve collaboration during meetings and enable multiple presenters to share ideas, concepts, and media without having to plug in a long cable. Because these are purpose-built for collaboration, a typical system will have these key elements:

  • Multiple presenters – Most systems come with at least two buttons to enable collaboration out of the box and can support 16 or more different presenters.
  • Content Encryption – Market leaders in this category encrypt the content so that people outside the meeting room cannot wirelessly “listen in” or record the presentation

What wireless presentation methods are used the most?

Buttons

These are the most popular systems – and are very simple to use. To connect to the projector, you simply plug in a button or “puck” to your notebook or device and tap it to start presenting. The button encrypts the signal and wirelessly sends it to a receiver or “host” attached to the display. The Barco ClickShare and BenQ InstaShow are popular models that use this approach.

AV Control System / Video Conferencing Integration

Many traditional AV control systems and video conferencing systems offer wireless connections to their infrastructure to enable presenters to connect without a cable. Systems like the Crestron AirMedia can be integrated into existing HDMI switchers and control panels to leverage existing systems.

WiFi Hub System

These systems typically use a proprietary app to enable a notebook or other device to connect and present to the display using the corporate WiFi network and a receiver attached to the display. Systems such as the AirTame don’t require a button connected to the notebook but rely on the corporate WiFi network infrastructure to be robust enough to enable features such as smooth video frame rates.

Want to see which system is right for you?

Wireless presentation systems typically use one of three ways to wirelessly connect to the shared display.

According to Futuresource, wireless presentation systems that used buttons were the most popular approach, followed by those that integrated into AV control systems and WiFi Hubs. 

What are the most popular brands?

The most popular brands of wireless presentation systems between USD$500 and USD$1000 are the Barco ClickShare, BenQ InstaShow, and Mersive Solstice? according to Futuresource. Each of these solutions is used by major companies, have worldwide availability, and offer strong customer support infrastructures to ensure IT managers get the help they need – if they need it.

What are the most popular features in wireless presentation systems?

High Resolution

For budget reports, calendars and schedules, the ability to read small text on a shared display is crucial to the collaborative process. Most commercial-grade wireless presentation systems will deliver 1080p resolution, while the more expensive versions can deliver 4K.

Smooth Video

Companies rely on videos to effectively communicate their messages to their customers. Different models of wireless presentation systems handle video differenty and depending  on the type and configuration of the wireless presentation system, it can be easy to be able to play videos over the system at frame rates up to 60 frames per second without jittering or frozen frames. 

Multiple Screen Options

Many mid-range and higher-end systems enable you to display more than one image on the screen. The most popular models can provide either a split-screen with two presenters or support quad screens with four presenters. When combined with 4K resolution, this enables each presenter to have a high-resolution 1080p image that makes the details of a spreadsheet easy to read.

Touch Back

When connected to an interactive flat panel or projector, the touch back feature can enable a presenter to annotate and control the presentation directly from the screen – while wirelessly saving the changes and notes on a Windows notebook.

Custom Welcome Screen

Commercial-grade systems typically have welcome screens that can be customized via text or special welcome graphics to provide instructions or reminders to the people in the meeting room.

What types of devices can I connect to a wireless presentation system?

All popular wireless presentation systems can support Windows and MacBooks either using a button connection (BenQ InstaShow / Barco Clickshare) or using the company WiFi network. For mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, you can either plug in a button or use an app running on the device.

Some systems also can connect to Chromebooks and other types of devices, such as Blu-ray players and digital cameras, where the buttons can take the HDMI content directly from the device and enable a wireless presentation without any extra software.

How much do they cost?

Most wireless presentation systems used in corporations are typically priced between $500 and $2,000 per room. In addition to the cost of the equipment, some presentation systems – such as those using WiFi networks – can require special network configurations and setup in order to perform properly. Some brands also require annual subscriptions for features such as security updates.

To compare different types of systems and calculate the total cost of ownership for your organization, learn more about how to apply the Gartner TCO model to wireless presentation systems.

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