If you are working in a small company or startup – chances are you have a lot of people using Mac’s. But with so many different models and ports on the various models, how can you make sure that your employees, consultants, contractors, and visitors can all connect to a projector?
This article explains three easy ways you can optimize your setup to quickly and easily connect any Mac to a projector – so you can share your vision for changing the world.
While the easiest way to connect a Mac to a projector is with a cable, it can get more complicated in a fast-growing company where you don’t have standardized notebooks. Nearly all the new projectors have HDMI ports, but if you have an older projector with a VGA port, it is going to be a challenge to connect it to your new 27” iMac with the Retina screen your programmer is asking for.
Apple has also been changing its ports on their notebooks, going from VGA, to HDMI, to mini-DisplayPort, and now Thunderbolt 3 using USB-C. So which cable do you put on the table to enable everyone to connect?
If you have an HDMI equipped projector, you can use simple adapters on the cable to convert the HDMI signal to the right physical form to connect to your laptop. The projector won’t know the difference – and all the HDCP copy protection and image quality enhancements such as resolution scaling will work to make any Mac look good on the screen. Apple has a helpful guide on their website.
The other thing to consider is that if you want your conference room table to have a clean and organized look (just like your Mac), hiding and managing cables can be expensive forcing you to spend precious capital to hire carpenters to cut holes into tables and electricians to run cables through walls and ceilings. Of course, if you outgrow your space and need to move – its wasted money.
The other option to connect a Mac to a projector or TV is with a wireless screen mirroring system. If you have a home theater system and use an Apple TV, the built-in Airplay app is an easy way to wirelessly share photos and videos from your Mac, if your Apple TV and your Mac are sharing the same network.
While Apple TV is an easy and inexpensive home solution for sharing your Mac content on a projector, it may not be the right solution for a collaboration space in a fast-growing company. The biggest drawback is that if you have a contractor or vendor that wants to use the projector from a Windows notebook or Chromebook – it just won’t work. There are some other challenges with collaborating using Apple TV that you can read here article.
One of the most popular wireless screen mirroring systems for Mac’s is the BenQ InstaShow. It uses a simple button transmitter you plug into your ThunderBolt 3 or HDMI port to connect to the projector in seconds. Since it comes with two buttons, and they work with any HDMI device, such as a Windows notebook, but also with digital cameras, Chromebooks, and even Linux development boards so your programmers can put raw code up onto the projector from their prototypes. To share from your iPads or iPhones, you can also use Airplay (and Miracast for Android phones), with the InstaShow S model, enabling anyone to share without any hassle.
The other advantage of InstaShow is that it keeps your content and network security. The system encrypts all wireless content and doesn’t require any complicated networking setup. Commercial Integrator found they were able to set up the system in minutes – without any IT help – especially important if you are considering moving offices over the next few years. One other point – like many Mac’s, the InstaShow is the winner of both the iF Design and Good Design award, so it makes your company look good when placed on the conference table.
Since its launch in the US, Mac enthusiasts love the InstaShow. MyMac.com gave it Nemo’s MyMac Tech Innovation of the Year 2019 Award Winner (10 out of 10), while Relaxed Technology rate it a whopping 9.5 out of 10. Projector Central reviewed the product and shared that “InstaShow's combination of video quality with ease of set up and use is nothing short of amazing.”
While cables and AirPlay are a convenient way to connect a Mac to a projector at home, you will want a more secure wireless screen mirroring system designed for collaboration when you are connecting to a projector at work. If you are a company that is looking to improve collaboration with your Mac’s and projectors, we’ll even let you try one for a month to see if you like it – and knock $300 off the price if you want to keep it.