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Knowledge Center

Best ScreenBeam Alternative

The InstaShow S is an ideal ScreenBeam alternative because it is easy setup and it enables a visitor to start presenting in just seconds.

2019/11/12
BenQ InstaShow S Wireless Presentation System
Best ScreenBeam Alternative

The ActionTec ScreenBeam has been a low-cost wireless presentation system that utilizes multiple streaming technologies over the company network in a meeting room or classroom. ScreenBeam is produced by ActionTec, a privately held company that also makes home networking products, and is less expensive than most other systems. So how does the ScreenBeam compare to other popular wireless presentation systems? We will look at popular options to the ScreenBeam from Barco and BenQ. To evaluate these ScreenBeam 1100 alternatives, we will look at these factors:

  • • How easy are they to set up and install?
  • • How easy are they for employees and visitors to use?
  • • What types of devices do they support?

BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20

According to Futuresource, the BenQ InstaShow is the #2 selling wireless presentation system in Europe under $1000, and the InstaShow S is the latest iteration of the product. It uses a simple HDMI or USB-C button connection, enabling a single tap to present to the screen. Mobile devices on the InstaShow S can also use the InstaShare app, Airplay, or Miracast to present from their device. The BenQ is unique in that it is a hardware-only solution, so there is no application or networking required to set up and use the system. The InstaShow buttons highly secure and encrypt all the transmissions to ensure wireless information is not seen or recorded outside the room. Both models of the BenQ InstaShow comes with two buttons and a tabletop button holder and is the winner of industrial design awards from iF and Good Design.

Barco ClickShare CS-200

The Barco ClickShare was one of the very first wireless presentation systems available and is very popular, especially for corporations. Like the InstaShow, it uses a button system to connect to the notebook, which simplifies the connection. The system uses a proprietary app that is loaded onto the notebook, phone, or mobile device to transmit the presentation to the receiver. The CS-200 model comes with two buttons and is also a winner of the Good Design industrial design award.

How easy are they to set up and install?
ScreenBeam 1100

Because the ScreenBeam system typically uses the enterprise or campus WiFi network to transmit the video to the ScreenBeam receiver, the setup and implementation can be far more complicated than button-based systems. While the ScreenBeam provides a 21-page deployment guide that recommends IT managers use the Quality of Service (QoS) adjustments to prioritize ScreenBeam network traffic and offers the following requirements and recommendations for optimal performance.

  • • Minimize the use of unauthorized or unmanaged wireless devices by policy (e.g., Bluetooth)
  • • Multicast DNS (mDNS) protocol is required on port 5353 UDP.
  • • 802.11n WAPs are the minimum required for ScreenBeam to work correctly.
  • • RSSI Performance: less than 50dbm
  • • Use non-blocking switches/routers to avoid intermittent connection issues over infrastructure
  • • Configure switches to pass mDNS traffic to all stations on a network
  • • Customers must install ScreenBeam CMS software on a PC or VM to manage the receivers over the network

BenQ InstaShow S

The InstaShow S is designed to install right out of the box in just a few minutes without the need for IT support. There is no network configuration needed – or software deployment required. The host /receiver connects to a projector or display’s HDMI port and the USB 3.0 port for Touch Back support, The buttons are pre-paired, so put them on the meeting room table, and you are ready to start presenting. Projector Central said, “InstaShow's combination of video quality with ease of set up and use is nothing short of amazing” and Commercial Integrator found that “It was very easy. The instructions were straightforward. It took us about two minutes to get everything plugged, and we were going very quickly.” Amazon reviews include an IT professional who shared, “From open box to shared video, it took less than 5 minutes.”

Which wireless system is easier to set up and install?

Because the BenQ InstaShow does not require any software applications or special network configuration, it is easier and faster to install without IT support. The ClickShare is the second easiest system since it does not require network configuration, but does require the deployment of a proprietary app.

How easy is it for visitors and employees to use?
ScreenBeam

ScreenBeam relies almost entirely on the Miracast Peer to Peer networking protocol or the Apple AirPlay protocol to work. While this removes the need for a proprietary app such as the Barco ClickShare app, it can impact usability. For example, Miracast only allows two devices to connect at once, and the presenter needs to log onto the same network that the ScreenBeam is using to connect to the receiver. Unlike the InstaShow S, ClickShare CS-200, and the Solstice Pod Gen3, only a single presenter screen can be projected at the same time. Devices that do not support Miracast or Airplay, such as a video conferencing system or digital camera, cannot be used with the system.

Barco ClickShare CS-200

Until recently, the ClickShare button system has been the industry standard for a simple and easy way to connect to a display. Its key weakness is that the ClickShare system relies on the ClickShare app running on the notebook to enable the buttons to transmit to the receiver. Unlike the ScreenBeam and InstaShow, it does not support Miracasting, which can make it a challenge if the visitor is unwilling or unable to install an app on a locked-down notebook. The Clickshare system also does not support Chromebook devices or other non-PC devices such as digital cameras and media players.

BenQ InstaShow S

For a visitor to use an InstaShow in a huddle space or meeting room, they connect a transmitter button to the device using the InstaShow button. According to tech reviewer Dave Taylor “The whole thing works incredibly seamlessly and is terrific in actual use.” No software is needed to be installed on the visitors or employee notebook. The button will work with any HDMI device output, enabling it to work with nearly any device such as a document camera, video conferencing system, or media player. The receiver will also support Miracast and Airplay wireless sharing, as well as the BenQ InstaShare app that can be used on PC’s and mobile devices.

BenQ InstaShow Encrypted Wireless Presentation System
Which wireless system is easier for visitors to use?

While both the ScreenBeam and InstaShow enable employees and visitors to connect without loading an application on their device, the InstaShow’s button architecture makes it easy to connect without network logins and offers the ability to have up to four presenters on the screen at once. For mobile users, they can choose between connecting with a button with their phone or tablet, or via the wireless app with either Miracast or Airplay.

What BYOD devices are supported?

In today’s world of BYOD, being able to support a wide variety of devices is a critical element of choosing the ideal wireless presentations system. With emerging operating systems such as Linux, and the increasing popularity of Chromebooks, how do these systems compare when it comes to device flexibility?

ScreenBeam 1100

ScreenBeam relies almost entirely on third-party streaming technologies from Microsoft and Apple to communicate with the receiver. This means that Windows, iOS, and Android devices can communicate to it, but there is no wireless support for Chromebook, Linux, or other HDMI devices such as a digital signage media player or camera.

Barco ClickShare CS-200

Like the InstaShow, the ClickShare CS-200 offers the ability to connect devices with either a button, their app, or with Airplay. However, the unit does not support Chromebooks, Linux, or other third-party devices such as media players or digital camera sources.

BenQ InstaShow S

ScreenBeam relies almost entirely on third-party streaming technologies from Microsoft and Apple to communicate with the receiver. This means that Windows, iOS, and Android devices can communicate to it, but there is no wireless support for Chromebook, Linux, or other HDMI devices such as a digital signage media player or camera.

BYOD Comparison

The InstaShow S can accommodate far more devices than either the ScreenBeam or the Barco ClickShare CS-200. The ability to wirelessly present from Chromebooks and Linux devices can make the difference in both classrooms, engineering labs, and of course, boardrooms.

Comparison Table

  ScreenBeam 1100 Ben Q InstaShow S Barco ClickShare CS-200
 
Resolution
ScreenBeam 1100
4K
Ben Q InstaShow S
4K
Barco ClickShare CS-200
1080p
 
Ease of Setup and Installation
ScreenBeam 1100
Complicated (21 page deployment guide)
Ben Q InstaShow S
Simple
Barco ClickShare CS-200
Simple
 
Connection Method
ScreenBeam 1100
  • Miracast
  • Airplay
  • ScreenBeam app
Ben Q InstaShow S
  • Standard HDMI button
  • Airplay
  • Miracast
  • InstaShare app
Barco ClickShare CS-200
  • Proprietary USB button
  • Airplay
  • Miracast
  • ClickShare app
 
Simultaneous presenters on screen
ScreenBeam 1100
One
Ben Q InstaShow S
Four
Barco ClickShare CS-200
Two
 
BYOD Devices Supported
ScreenBeam 1100
  • Windows
  • Mac OS/iOS
  • Android
Ben Q InstaShow S
  • Windows
  • Mac OS/iOS
  • Android
  • Chromebook
  • Linux
  • Any device with HDMI 1.4 output (camera/microscope/media player)
Barco ClickShare CS-200
  • Windows
  • Mac OS/iOS
  • Android
 
Extended Desktop
ScreenBeam 1100
Yes
Ben Q InstaShow S
Yes
Barco ClickShare CS-200
Needs Drivers
 
Security White Paper Available
ScreenBeam 1100
No
Ben Q InstaShow S
Yes
Barco ClickShare CS-200
Yes

Conclusion

While the ScreenBeam effectively uses standardized third party streaming protocols to enable wireless connections, it is more complicated to set up, does not enable multiple presenters to share a display at the same time. Both the BenQ InstaShow and Barco ClickShare platforms are proven wireless presentation system that has been installed in large and small companies throughout the world and have well-documented security white papers to ensure that confidential content is secure.

The InstaShow S is an ideal ScreenBeam alternative because it is easy to install and setup without IT support, and unlike the ClickShare, it enables a visitor to start presenting in just seconds – without the hassle of loading a proprietary app on your notebook.

With the ability to display four presenter sources at one time, and effortlessly connect to hundreds of different devices such a Chromebooks, Raspberry Pi’s, digital cameras, and video conferencing systems using either standard HDMI or wireless connections, the InstaShow S offers a significant step-up in functionality and security for a small price difference.

Click for more information on the BenQ InstaShow.

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