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Knowledge Center

What is a Screen Mirroring System and Why You Need One in your Meeting Room Now

Why a Screen Mirroring system is an essential tool to facilitate collaboration.

BenQ North America
2019/12/04

BenQ InstaShow S: Best Wireless HDMI Screen Mirroring for collaboration

Screen Mirroring In - Messy Cables Out

Screen-mirroring technology can wirelessly connect your notebook, phone, tablet or media player screen to a display – eliminating the need to run cables in your meeting room. Screen mirroring is an essential tool to facilitate collaboration during meetings, display your content during a presentation, and instantly switch presenters in a classroom or lecture hall.

This article will teach you what screen mirroring is, what it isn't, and what features you may want to consider for your meeting room or classroom use.

What screen mirroring is not

A Google search for screen mirroring will deliver a vast array of results– many of which are not “screen mirroring” solutions. Futuresource recently began covering this emerging category – and here are a few examples of what is not a screen mirroring system.

Cable Based Control Systems

The White House Situation Room has one of the most famous examples of a cable-based system for collaboration. The President taps the control screen in front of him to select the content (or source) he wants to see – and which screen or screens he wants to watch it. These systems from AMX, Crestron, and others are ideal for collaboration – but expensive to install – and maintain - and are not wireless screen mirroring systems...

BenQ InstaShow vs Online Conferencing Systems
Streaming and Casting Systems

Popular consumer solutions such as Apple TV or Chromecast adapters technically can be used to share content from a computer – but they were meant to download content that is already on the internet to your display. Screen mirroring systems use your content that you use for sharing with your meeting room or lecture hall.

BenQ InstaShow Wirless HDMI Screen Mirroring
Online Video Conferencing Systems

Skype, GoToMeeting, and WebEx are popular online collaboration systems where subscribers and visitors use the cloud to share screens, live video, and audio during a collaboration session. True screen mirroring systems are local – enabling you to keep your confidential information inside the meeting room – without having to connect to the internet.

BenQ InstaShow vs Other Casting Systems
How screen mirroring works

To get your PowerPoint, Keynote, or spreadsheet on the screen from your computer, media player, or mobile device – you need two things.

First, screen mirroring systems have to capture and wirelessly transmit the video signal that normally goes through a cable. Then there is a receiver that takes that signal and changes it back to an HDMI signal your TV, projector, or touch panel can understand. Screen mirroring systems use a variety of ways to transmit and receive the data, and understanding the tradeoffs are important.

Screen mirroring protocols such as Apple AirPlay and Windows Miracast are built into most computers and many mobile devices. If you have a compatible receiver attached to your display, you can use these protocols to mirror your screen wirelessly. The problem is an Apple TV will only work with AirPlay – and many Miracast devices won’t work with your Mac. And none of them will work with devices such as digital signage players, Blu-Ray player, or document camera. This is also a problem with third-party screen-mirroring solutions with cross-platform compatibility – they only work on certain devices.

How to mirror your screen from nearly any device
Mac OS and iOS devices

If you have a group of Mac users with new MacBook Pro’s, older MacBook Air’s – and a smattering of iPads and iPhones , you can use either a physical transmitter button, Apple’s native AirPlay protocol or a screen mirroring application such as InstaShare to mirror your screen.

  • Transmitter Buttons- Connect a transmitter such as an InstaShow USB-C button
  • AirPlay – Swipe or click to access and use the Control Center to select screen mirroring from your device. It will find the display if it is on the same network as your device
  • Software applications – use a software program that is compatible with your receiver to transmit your screen to the receiver.
  • Windows

    To mirror your screen to share PowerPoints, Excel spreadsheets, and other content – the process is the same – except that Miracast is the native screen mirroring protocol instead of Airplay.

  • Transmitter Buttons- Connect a transmitter such as an InstaShow HDMI button to your Windows notebook and you are connected in seconds
  • Miracast – Swipe or click to access and use the Control Center to select screen mirroring from your device. It will find the display if it is on the same network as your device.
  • Software applications – use a software program that is compatible with your receiver to transmit your screen to the receiver.
  • Chromebooks and Android devices

    To mirror your screen to share PowerPoints, Excel spreadsheets, and other content – the process is the same – except that Miracast is the native screen mirroring protocol instead of Airplay.

  • Transmitter Buttons- Connect a transmitter such as an InstaShow HDMI button to your Windows notebook and you are connected in seconds
  • Miracast – Swipe or click to access and use the Control Center to select screen mirroring from your device. It will find the display if it is on the same network as your device.
  • Software applications – use a software program that is compatible with your receiver to transmit your screen to the receiver.
  • Blu-ray and Digital Signage Media Players

    These devices have closed operating systems – but a wireless HDMI transmitter button such as the InstaShow can connect and transmit information to the screen.

    Read more about this – click here

    Linux Computers

    Linux devices such as data servers, Raspberry Pi and Beagle Board are increasingly common – and output critical video content for engineering projects and load information. You can use an HDMI transmitter button to share wirelessly

    Read more about Linux and engineering screen mirroring here: screen mirroring information

    Who uses screen mirroring technology?

    According to Futuresource, corporate meeting rooms are the largest adopters of screen mirroring technology, followed by education classrooms in both K-12 and higher education classrooms. Wireless screen mirroring is also used for home entertainment for applications such as gaming or movies people don’t want to run cables to connect to a TV or projector – and may want to switch from one source to another to switch player views – or switch from a TV box to a Blu-Ray player...

    Corporate Meeting Rooms and Huddle Spaces

    Professional screen mirroring systems are perfect for businesses – and the technology makes it easy to share presentations or reports, brainstorm, and collaborate in a meeting room or huddle space – without having to pass a cable around to switch presenters. Most companies use a simple button system, where a presenter plugs in a button – then taps to present their content on the screen. It's easy – reliable – and intuitive, enabling the meeting to stay focused on content rather than hassle with loading and running apps on their devices. The most popular ones also enable you to interact on a touch screen with a Windows computer and can support both AirPlay and Miracast for mobile devices.

    BenQ InstaShow Wirless HDMI Screen Mirroring
    Education

    For K-12 and higher education collaboration, screen mirroring systems are rapidly replacing complicated and expensive cable-based systems. With a wireless screen mirroring system, you can connect up to four different sources on the screen at the same time – using either transmitter buttons, application, or standard screen mirroring protocols such as AirPlay or Miracast. The best part is that you can present from anywhere in the room – perfect for flipped classrooms with mobile displays.

    Events and Home Entertainment

    Movie lovers can stream movies right from a Blu-Ray player – but gamers and event managers appreciate the ability to switch sources with the tap of a button. Switch from screen to screen in a gaming tournament, or switch back and forth from childhood photos and videos, and live camera feeds at a wedding reception. Because the InstaShow HDMI buttons switch instantly without any software – it can easily replace an expensive HDMI switcher for event venues.

    BenQ InstaShow S Wireless Presentation System Plug-n-Play
    How to evaluate a screen mirroring system
    Criteria #1 - How easy to set up and use?

    Setting up a screen mirroring systems can be as easy as connecting a receiver and putting transmission buttons on the meeting room table. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some screen mirroring systems that use a corporate network require extensive port configuration, changes to Quality of Service (QoS), and testing to ensure the corporate network performance is not adversely affected.

    The other element is what the user has to do to use the system. For example, do they need to log onto a special network to use AirPlay, Miracast, or a proprietary app– or can they connect via a transmitter? Also, some companies “lockdown” their notebooks and don’t allow any additional applications to be installed by the user. If your meeting room has visitors – look for a screen mirroring system that avoids having to load software on the computer before using.

    Criteria #2 - How easy to switch presenters or sources

    One advantage of screen mirroring systems over traditional cables is the ability to either switch presenters on display – or have multiple presenters share content on display at one time. The best systems enable you to and intuitively switch presenters with a touch of a button on a transmitter. Software programs can also be easy to switch – but can be a challenge if you want to use a device such as a media player or camera. Look for a system where you can use either a transmitter button or application that enables you to quickly switch presenters in a room without having a complicated process.

    Criteria #3 - How secure is your screen mirroring system?

    While traditional cables are typically secure, not all screen mirroring systems are secure. For example, a home entertainment screen mirroring system may be fine for broadcasting a movie for your media room, the lack of encryption could enable a hacker or employee to wirelessly “listen in” on a confidential salary review presentation at a startup. Other screen mirroring systems that use the company network may open the door to malicious hackers who take control of passwords – or even deny service. There are two security concerns for screen mirroring.

    Network – screen mirroring device security is especially important for companies and education applications since they could be used to gain unauthorized access to the network. In 2019, at least were found to have significant vulnerabilities nine different wireless screen mirroring systems

    Look for a wireless screen mirroring system that minimizes the network attack profile and been checked out by cybersecurity experts . Also- if a vulnerability is found, you want a manufacturer that has enough resources to stand behind the product and address the issue effectively. These companies typically provide white security papers and other resources to enable you to ensure that your network will be secure when using a screen mirroring system.

    Content – effective collaboration involves the free exchange of ideas and data – in a confidential meeting. Since wireless screen mirroring involves broadcasting data wirelessly, you want to make sure your spreadsheets, presentations, and reports sent to the screen cannot be received by an unauthorized employee or other bad actors. Imagine having an executive salary review or reorganization session re-broadcast or recorded by a disgruntled employee.

    Look for a between the transmitter and receiver screen mirroring system that uses advanced encryption . For example, the BenQ InstaShow system encrypts all the transmissions from the device before transmitting it to the receiver. By contrast, many home entertainment screens mirroring systems and some lower-cost commercial systems don’t encrypt the data – increasing the risk of someone gaining access to confidential information.

    How much do they cost?

    Like all technologies, the cost of screen mirroring will vary depending on the type of product and usage model. For example, you can use an AirPlay with an Apple TV for just a couple hundred dollars – or spend up to $4000 on a secure button-based system designed for a corporate meeting room.

    In general, the less expensive systems typically can be more complicated to use with multiple presenters, and may not have many security protection features many organizations are looking for. Other features such as interactive touchback, 4K support, and the ability to support different types of devices generally cost more – but can make your meetings more effective – lowering your meeting room cost.

    Finally, several screen mirroring systems have extended subscription plans for software updates to ensure adequate security and new features. These subscriptions can cost as much as $400 per year per device.

    Comparison of popular screen mirroring systems

    Here is a comparison of popular screen mirroring systems ranging from a basic Miracast system to a more complicated commercial system.

     

    Nyrius Aries Prime

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10 BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20 Mersive Solstice Pod Barco ClickShare CS-200

     

    How Easy to Use?

    Nyrius Aries Prime

     

    Moderate - uses HDMI transmitters and receivers

     

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10

    Easy

    -Plug in button

    -Tap & Button

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20

    Easy

    -Plug in button

    -Tap & Present

    Mersive Solstice Pod

    Moderate -

    Log into Network

    Load App

    Select Screen

    Barco ClickShare CS-200

    - Plug in button

    -Download software

    -Open Software

    -Start presenting

     

    Video Playback Frame Rate

    Nyrius Aries Prime

    Smooth Video

    Up to 60fps

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10

    Smooth Video

    Up to 60fps

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20

    Smooth Video

    Up to 60fps

    Mersive Solstice Pod

    Relies on Network Performance

    Up to 30fps

    Barco ClickShare CS-200
    Up to 60 fps

     

    Number of Presenters on One Display

    Nyrius Aries Prime

     
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10
    One
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20
    Four Different Presenters
    Mersive Solstice Pod
    Unlimited number of presenters on one display
    Barco ClickShare CS-200
    Two Different Presenters

     

    # of transmitters included

    Nyrius Aries Prime

     

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10

    Two Buttons

    Supports up to 16 HDMI or USB-C buttons

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20

    Two Buttons

    Supports up to 32 HDMI or USB-C buttons

    Mersive Solstice Pod
    Uses WiFi network and software app for screen mirroring
    Barco ClickShare CS-200

    Two Buttons

    Supports up to 16 USB or USB-C buttons

     

    What BYOD devices are supported?

    Nyrius Aries Prime

     
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10

    Windows

    Mac

    Chromebooks

    Mobile devices

    Blue-ray & other media players

    Digital Signage

    Digital Cameras

    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20

    Windows

    Mac

    Chromebooks

    Mobile devices

    Blue-ray & other media players

    Digital Signage

    Digital Cameras

     

    Mersive Solstice Pod

    Windows

    Mac

    iOS/Android

    Barco ClickShare CS-200

    Windows

    Mac

    iOS/Android

     

    Software Free Design?

    Nyrius Aries Prime

    Yes
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10
    Yes
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20
    Uses Proprietary App
    Mersive Solstice Pod
    Uses Proprietary App
    Barco ClickShare CS-200
    Uses Proprietary App

     

    Security

    Nyrius Aries Prime

    None
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10
    128-bit encryption
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20
    128-bit encrption
    Mersive Solstice Pod
    128-bit encrption
    Barco ClickShare CS-200
    128-bit encryption

     

    MSRP

    Nyrius Aries Prime

    $250
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10
    $999
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20
    $1499
    Mersive Solstice Pod
    $1400
    Barco ClickShare CS-200
    $1750

     

    Annual Subscription

    Nyrius Aries Prime

    No
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-10
    No
    BenQ InstaShow S WDC-20
    No
    Mersive Solstice Pod
    Yes - Up to $400 a year
    Barco ClickShare CS-200
    No

    Consider the BenQ InstaShow when evaluating screen mirroring presentation systems for your collaboration space

    The BenQ InstaShow platform makes it easy for everyone to effectively collaborate by enabling them to instantly present from nearly any device. It uses the popular button approach to simply connect to your computer, camera, or media player by plugging in a button. No software, no network, and with the InstaShow S, you can have four different presenters mirroring their screens at the same time.

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