Wireless and PC Free Projectors
Wireless broadly falls into two categories:
- Wireless network ready projectors and
- Memory card compatible projectors
With the advent of cheaply available wireless network hardware it has become possible to connect a projector, without cables, to a PC in order to view a presentation stored on that PC. The obvious advantages are less cabling to carry and greater flexibility on the positioning of the PC and projector. This could be ideal for ceiling mounted projectors or if you want to keep your laptop near you and the screen rather than near the projector.
The disadvantages are two-fold. The first time you set up a wireless projector can be problematic, particulary if your laptop is set up to wireless network security. The second problem can be compression and latency. Because of the limited bandwidth of current wireless technologies the data being transferred to the projector needs to be compressed by the PC then de-compressed by the projector. The compression algorithms used are lossy which means that this type of connectivity is not suitable for video and photographic work but if your presentations are more chart and text heavy then it may be the perfect connectivity solution. The compressions, transmission and de-compression operations also mean that the projector will not react quite as quickly as a wired connection. When you click to the next slide it can take a second or two before it is displayed.
Currently available wireless network projectors:
PC Free Projectors
This is a class of projector for where you do not necessarily require a computer to give presentations but instead opt to use a portable memory device, such as USB keyring memory or Sony MemoryStick. The benefits are multiple: no need for the extra bulk or cabling or a laptop, memory devices are more robust than laptop hard disks, portable memory is now cheap enough to buy both a primary and backup device and finally it makes the projector more easily useable for more than one person. An example of the last might be a camera club, where members can each bring along a USB stick with their photographs rather than each needing a laptop or having to write images to a CD and share a laptop (not advisable for virus proliferation reasons).
Currently available PC Free projectors:
©Ken Davies, Ivojo Multimedia Ltd.