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Which Is the Best Wireless HDMI Technology for Sharing High-Resolution K-12 Classroom Displays - BenQ, Mersive, or Airtame?

  • BenQ
  • 2020-08-21
Wireless Screen Mirroring Options for K-12 classrooms - which is the best?


Wireless presentation systems (WPS) allow users to share their ideas to the screen wirelessly from their device. In a classroom, they allow teachers to conduct more engaged, successful lessons, and allow for social distancing needs and are highly effective to allow students to connect to the presentation while maintaining social distancing. Modern flipped classrooms demand the alternative placement of displays; teachers are delivering on their promise of improved student performance, many IT administrators are looking at how they can incorporate wireless screen mirroring technology to enable students and teachers to mirror their screens in classrooms intuitively.





Here are important considerations for IT and technology managers when examining these solutions.

Tip #1 - Consumer Wireless Presentation Systems aren't designed for the classroom


While Miracast, Chromecast, and Apple TV/AirPlay are inexpensive, they are not classroom-ready. For a classroom, they require a third-party application, which has to be licensed and managed for each type of device. For example, a teacher may be using a PC-based notebook while students are using an iPad or Chromebook, requiring three different licenses. As a result, staff is saddled with more labor than they originally budgeted.



Tip #2 - Beware of Wireless Presentation Solutions that require network access


Systems that rely on your network, such as Kramer Via and Airtame 2, can require lots network bandwidth — up to 25mps per user when sharing video. If four students are streaming to the screen, that’s already 100Mbps, which can impact overall network performance. IT managers also have to closely monitor security because these network-dependent solutions can create network vulnerabilities.



Network Security


Keeping the campus network secure is critical – and wireless presentations that are highly dependent on network access need to be managed and updated to ensure that hackers don’t use the system to access or shut down the network.




Solution – look for a system that minimizes the need to use your campus network – and keeps it safe.



Tip #3 - Wireless Presentation Systems need to be HDMI-ready


From Chromebooks to digital microscopes and STEM Beagle Boards, more electronics have an HDMI port. In addition, school districts are using a mixture of devices. These are all sources that need to be shared to the projector or interactive flat panel (IFP). WPS built for the classroom should handle computers, Chromebooks, Blu-ray Players, microscopes, and any HDMI source on the horizon.



Tip #4 - It needs to be simple to use


From Chromebooks to digital microscopes and STEM Beagle Boards, more electronics have an HDMI port. In addition, school districts are using a mixture of devices. These are all sources that need to be shared to the projector or interactive flat panel (IFP). WPS built for the classroom should handle computers, Chromebooks, Blu-ray Players, microscopes, and any HDMI source on the horizon.



Tip #5 - Choose a wireless system that embraces your future display needs


IFPs are replacing projectors. With that in mind, look for a WPS that offers “touch-back,” which allows teachers to annotate files being shared from their notebooks



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Eliminating software or license keys, BenQ’s InstaShow S is an affordable plug-and-play WPS. Designed from the ground-up with ease and security in mind, just plug it in, press the button, and present. It’s also the only WPS that can operate independently of the network, truly eliminating the access risk to the network, while ensuring a 100% 128-bit AES-encrypted content stream. InstaShow can present almost any source or device with an HDMI port, giving schools a scalable solution even as technology evolves. The WDC20 model supports up to 32 participants or sources at a time, and when paired with an IFP, the touch-back feature allows teachers to control their laptops directly from the screen. InstaShow S’s split-screen mode enables up to four laptops or devices to be controlled directly from the display.



What are the most popular systems - and how do they stack up?


According to Futuresource,over 30 companies are offering wireless presentation system today. So which popular systems offer the best solution for K-12 classrooms? Here is a comparison of a few of the popular systems being used today in K-12 classrooms.



 

BenQ InstaShow 

BenQ InstaShow S Airtame2
Kramer VIA
Mersive Solstice

 

Maximum Resolution

BenQ InstaShow 

1080p
BenQ InstaShow S

4K

Airtame2

1080p (720k for video)

Kramer VIA
1080p
Mersive Solstice
4K

 

Network Bandwidth Requirement

BenQ InstaShow 

None
BenQ InstaShow S
None
Airtame2
Up to 16 Mb/s per user
Kramer VIA
Up to 25 Mb/s per user
Mersive Solstice
Minimum 20 Mb/s bandwidth availability

 

Dependent on-campus network for performance

BenQ InstaShow 

No
BenQ InstaShow S
No
Airtame2
Yes
Kramer VIA
Yes
Mersive Solstice
Yes

 

App Free Design

BenQ InstaShow 

Yes
BenQ InstaShow S

Yes 

Optional wireless app

Airtame2
No - requires a proprietary app
Kramer VIA
No - requires a proprietary app
Mersive Solstice
No - requires a proprietary app

 

Device Support

BenQ InstaShow 

Windows

Mac

Chromebooks

Mobile devices (via HDMI button)

Blue-ray & other media players

Digital Microscopes

Document Cameras

Beagle Boards

Any HDMI 1.4 output

BenQ InstaShow S

Windows

Mac

Chromebooks

Mobile devices

Blue-ray & other media players

Digital Microscopes

Document Cameras

Beagle Boards

Any HDMI 1.4 output

Airtame2

Windows

Mac

Chromebooks (limited)

Mobile devices

Linux (limited)

Kramer VIA

Windows

Mac

Chromebooks

Mobile devices

Mersive Solstice

Windows

Mac

Mobile devices

 

Connection Method

BenQ InstaShow 

Simple - plug and play
BenQ InstaShow S
Simple - plug and play
Airtame2
Requires network login - and Airtame app
Kramer VIA
Requires network login- and Kramer app
Mersive Solstice
Requires network login- and Solstice app

 

Touchback Support

BenQ InstaShow 

No
BenQ InstaShow S
Yes
Airtame2
No
Kramer VIA
No
Mersive Solstice
No

Why would you choose BenQ InstaShow for your K-12 classroom?


The answer is simplicity. The InstaShow connects to your display without a hassale or complicated network configuration – and enables teachers to connect either with the InstaShow button (both version) or the InstaShare app, Miracast, or Airplay. With its 4K resolution and touchback capability, the InstaShow S is designed to work with any modern interactive flat panel, all at a cost that is much less than other leading systems – and still can be centrally managed by the IT team.