Best Classroom Wireless Presentation Alternatives to Vivi

  • 2021-05-14
What are the other wireless screen mirroring products that are ideal for classroom use – and which one is best for you?

The BenQ WDC20E is the newest Vivi alternative for a wireless presentation system designed specifically for classrooms. Both offer the ability to wirelessly stream between a computer and mobile device to whiteboards and projectors, offer centralized management, and are very affordable for nearly any school looking to eliminate the health and technology risk of fixed cables. Which one is right for you?  We want to give a fair comparison to help you understand the key differences between the two products by looking at:

A Business Person Choosing the Best Classroom Alternative to Vivi

What Is the Vivi Wireless Classroom Presentation System?

Vivi is an Australian startup that has created a network based wireless presentation system for education. While it is similar to both the Mersive Solstice and Airtame systems, the Vivi is designed for classrooms and uses a small receiver typically connected to the school's network infrastructure and a special software application that is loaded onto the presenter’s device to wirelessly transmit content to a display. But the impact on your network traffic, app requirements, and lower video frame rates are three reasons many district IT managers may want to look at alternatives to Vivi. 

How Easy Are They to Set Up and Install?

Setting up a wireless screen mirroring correctly usually falls to the IT team to ensure that the system works – and is secure. The Vivi system has detailed network deployment guides outlining the ports that need to be opened and other network requirements such as bandwidth availability. For example, the Vivi system requires configuring a dozen different networking ports and requires the IT Manager to deploy proprietary applications on any device that is connecting to the receiver.

 

BenQ InstaShow WDC20E is the easiest Vivi alternative to set up and operate. The button connector means there are no apps or network configurations needed to get it working.  You simply connect the receiver to the display and set the button on the teacher's desk. You can check out how the Commercial Integrator magazine testing team was able to set up the system in minutes – without any IT support.  

How Much Bandwidth Is Required to Operate Each Classroom?

After COVID-19, classroom bandwidth is a precious commodity. Between video conferencing software and the large number of student Chromebooks, school networks are working harder than ever. The Vivi system often uses the school’s network infrastructure to wirelessly mirror a teacher or student's device on the display. Some features, such as split-screen, can require more network bandwidth to be used in a classroom. This forces IT managers to choose between network bandwidth usage – and the quality of wireless streaming.

 

By contrast, the BenQ InstaShow WDC20E is designed to operate without using the school network - freeing bandwidth for more important learning activities. Here is an overview of how these Vivi alternatives stack up on network bandwidth.

 

  Vivi Box BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
 
Maximum resolution
Vivi Box
1080p
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
Up to 4K
 
Maximum Video Frame Rate
Vivi Box
30 FPS
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
60 FPS
 
Airplay Support
Vivi Box
No
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
Yes
 
Split Screen Support
Vivi Box
Yes
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
Yes
 
Network Bandwidth per display
Vivi Box
Up to 18 Mbs
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
No Network bandwidth used

How Easy Is It for Teachers and Students to Use?

Teachers have a lot on their plate – so how easy are these Vivi alternative wireless screen mirroring for teachers and students to use? Here are how they work.

 

For teachers to set up the Vivi system, a seven-step process is used to set up each teacher's laptop that will need to be done by either the teacher or IT. Mersive and Airtame have similar complicated setup processes that involve network login and configuring the app. Depending on the system, this could also apply to any substitute teacher or student who wants to mirror their screen.

 

  1. Download the app from the website or app store
  2. Login and connect the same network running the Vivi (or other receivers)
  3. Find their display on the network and configure their app to connect
  4. Type in a code or enter location information from the display.

 

The BenQ InstaShow WDC20E is simpler for teachers and students to use. You simply plug in the button to the HDMI port on your device and tap the button when you are ready to present.The process takes only seconds – and there are no apps to load. The buttons are available in standard HDMI or (coming soon) USB-C connectors that work with the latest MacBooks and Chromebooks.  Miracast and Airplay are also supported for mobile devices.  

What Classroom Devices Can Be Used With Each System?

Both the Vivi and the BenQ InstaShow support mainstream notebooks, mobile devices, and tablets. But what about wirelessly streaming document cameras, classroom television systems, and media players?

 

Because the Vivi system relies on apps to connect a device to the receiver, it cannot be used with common classroom devices such as digital microscopes or document cameras. The BenQ InstaShow WDC20E can be used with any device that outputs a standard HDMI signal – enabling it to wirelessly connect with an HDCP copy-protected classroom television receiver. With split-screen technology, you can combine images on these devices with other documents for increased classroom productivity.

How Much Do They Cost Over Time?

The Vivi system uses an annual subscription model with the published cost of $195 licensing per room for the first year and typically requires a three-year licensing commitment. The BenQ InstaShow WDC20C has a single unit price of $699 – and no recurring licensing fees or subscription, and special pricing options if you are buying a large quantity. In addition, the Vivi wireless presentation system can have other costs that drive up the cost of ownership over time for schools.  Let’s take a look at some of these costs using the COSN Total Cost of Ownership model, which calculates identified recurring costs and estimated labor costs (IT managers don’t work for free) to support these devices.

 

Annual Licensing Fees

The Vivi typically requires a three-year licensing commitment, which is a recurring cost and significantly increases the cost of ownership for these devices over time. For a three-year window, the cost could be as high as $585 per classroom and higher for a seven-year or longer deployment. These licensing fees can change over time.  The BenQ has no recurring licensing fees – and free lifetime customer support for all its education products.

 

Device and Centralized Management

Both BenQ and Vivi have centralized management software available for their systems. This system supports BenQ, Epson, and other projector brands, BenQ interactive displays, and of course, the InstaShow WDC20E classroom presentation system. BenQ does not charge any licensing fees for schools to use this software.

The Vivi centralized software system will control their receivers, but there may be an extra licensing cost associated with this software.

 

Human Labor Costs

The InstaShow is specifically designed to avoid the IT labor cost of re-configuring the school network, resolving problems associated with port conflicts, and eliminating the cost and time spent deploying a specialized app on hundreds of different teacher and student devices across the district. The InstaShow’s simple app-free design also minimizes the cost of training teachers and students on how to use the system. Just Tap & Present.  

 

Other recurring costs to consider

The biggest unknown cost for the Vivi system is the use of school network bandwidth for wireless presentation. With up to 18 MB/s per receiver, this extra bandwidth could force IT managers to either upgrade their internet service, network switches or reduce image quality to the display to avoid overloading the network. Also, the Vivi system may not support the wireless transmission of copy-protected HDCP content. The BenQ supports wireless HDCP content from any device – and doesn’t use the school’s bandwidth.

Comparison Table

  Vivi BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
 
Bandwidth per classroom
Vivi
Up to 18 Mbps
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
No bandwidth needed
 
# of Network Ports to Configure
Vivi
12+ ports
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
No configuration needed
 
Notebook / Chromebook Support
Vivi
App
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
Via HDMI or USB-C port
 
Document Camera Support
Vivi
None
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
Any HDMI Document Camera
 
Split Screen
Vivi
Four Way
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
Four Way
 
App Deployment Costs
Vivi
Yes
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
None
 
Other potential Recurring Costs
Vivi
 3 Year license renewal
Centralized management
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
Free device management software
Free lifetime support
 
Published Cost
Vivi
$195 per year
BenQ InstaShow WDC20E
$699 – single unit

Bottom Line – Try It Out Risk-Free and Come to Your Own Conclusions

The new InstaShow WDC20E is a very attractive Vivi alternative for many reasons. It delivers a classroom wireless presentation system that eliminates the need to manage bandwidth requirements and deploy software on each user notebook. The InstaShow is easy to install and set up without IT support and enables a teacher or student to connect to any device in just seconds – without any software hassles.

 

How well will it work in your classrooms? Just fill out the form below, and we’ll send you one to try out for 30 days – and if you like it, you can save $200 when you buy it.