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  1. Member
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    Mar 2011
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    Hello

    I think this is the appopriate forum where to ask about data projectors.

    I don't know anything about projectors, but about every time I go to a conference where they're used, I notice that people have a hard time figuring out how to configure them right so that the video plays OK from a PC or a DVD player. Tonight, it was with an Optoma, but no matter the brand, it's always a challenge.

    So I was wondering: What's so difficult about hooking up a projector to a DVD player or a PC through VGA (or HDMI)? Is it rocket science?

    I notice they often struggle with the size and the aspect ratio. What are the important things to know to get the basics right?

    Thank you.
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Nothing REAL difficult, but you'd be surprised at how technically clueless those presenters, and even their "AV support" personnel, are. Well, maybe you wouldn't be surprised.

    Some thoughts, though:
    VGA outs on laptops have been known to not provide a correct signal on occasion. Have witnessed that myself - so always keep a spare laptop.
    Many projectors do a cyclical scan of inputs, so can "miss" the correct input before they "go around again", and then sometimes get locked into some alternate (wrong) input.
    HDMI of course will have to "negotiate" the optimal connection parameters (incl. sizing), which may hang if it takes too long. Unplugging and/or reboots almost always fix this.
    Biggest issue I've seen is a mismatch between what the output card is set to (or capable of) and what the projector is capable of receiving. That's why one should ALWAYS test first, and if problems arise, you drop down to lower resolution.
    Nothing beats matching the proj w/ the source ahead of time and always using them as a pair. This includes colorcode labelling all the connection points to make it as foolproof as possible (nothing is 100% foolproof!! Fools can beat it every time.)
    Many times, the issue isn't the proj but something stupid with the laptop (bad Internet connection, frozen app, uninstalled codecs, even "NO DVD Player" app, or even "No DVD Drive" - did they think the dvd would play itself?)
    Lots of times, it has to do with the user not knowing where "input selection", or "image properties" items are on the menu/remote.

    People come HERE all the time asking about resolution and AR, so I'm not surprised at all that even LESS technically inclined, non-enthusiast users would be confused. Hmmm...maybe my degree in RTF is still worth something after all.

    Scott
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  3. Member
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    Thanks Scott.

    To matters worse, there doesn't seem to a single major provider
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/portable-computer-projectors.htm

    I found a bit of infos here:
    http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/resources/multimedia/things-that-go-wrong-with-data-projectors/
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  4. Member
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    Incidently, is it a crazy idea to connect either a smartphone or a tablet to a data projector through a USB-to-VGA or USB-to-HDMI cable?
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  5. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Assuming you have hdmi available you might be better off going with a google chromecast as an intermediate step. They are inexpensive. It would connect via hdmi to your projector - again assuming you have hdmi on it.

    I think there is supposed to be some version of android that works directly with smart tvs by swiping the content from the phone/tablet right to the tv directly. Though I might be thinking of the google chromecast commercials.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  6. Member
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    Thanks for the suggestion.

    The idea was that the smartphone/tablet had the AVI and it would simply play from the phone without having to bring a laptop or having an Internet connection.
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  7. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Many tablets (and a few smartphones) explicitly include a micro-HDMI port. Assuming the device's on-board player can play the media type/codec, can't get much simpler or more direct than that. I have an older pandigital tablet (ugh, yeah, I know I know - I'll be upgrading to a Kindle Fire HDX or similar this year) and even it works great doing this.

    Scott
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  8. Member
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    Thanks. I'll give it a try.
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