Displaying Content: The Path Of Least Resistance

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This is a guest post provided by Patrick Murray from Controlhaus. You can find out more about Patrick and Controlhaus, here.

HDMI, VGA, Buit-In PC’s and Document Cameras. Sometimes Bluray, DVD and even VHS(!). How many ways to present content does an AV presentation system really need? If we could steal a play from the IT managers handbook and tell users, “That is not supported”, what would our systems look like? What is really the minimum requirement for the typical presenter to get their stuff onto the projection screen?

It is no secret that complicated system are more difficult to set up and maintain. Just keeping enough cables on hand for different signal types can be a challenge, never mind dealing with EDID tables and laptop settings. What would the least complicated AV presentation system look like?

The first thing to go are laptop connections. We no longer support bringing your own laptop. Presenters will need to put their content on the network and use the local PC to display it. But why stop there?

If built-in PC’s are mostly used to stream content, let’s replace them with a network stream player. And while we are at it, let’s make the IT administrators job easier too. Presenters will no longer store content on our servers, they can use something like Dropbox or Google Drive. Now we’re talking…

Using online storage services creates a new feature in our system that was previously not available – content sharing from the audience or students. In a classroom setting, giving students access to displaying content is a big security concern. But if a student shares a Dropbox file with the presenter, the presenter remains in control of what gets shown on the display. Real time sharing with this type of security is not available in a traditional AV system.

So we’ve gone from a rack full of gear to a video projector and a streaming device. Add in The Cheapest Control System In The World and we’ve got ourselves a complete AV presentation system.

Would something like this work for you? See you in the comments…

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