Projectors have become an indispensable part of offices, commercial establishments, and even homes thanks to the technological advances that have lowered their cost. Projectors facilitate presentations in offices and allow residential consumers to have a cinematic experience at home. Traditionally, projectors required wired cables for video inputs.
But today with almost every appliance going wireless, projectors are not far behind. Leading projector manufacturers have retail models that support wireless video input capabilities. The only difference between a wireless projector and a wired one is that wireless projectors allow the input video signal wirelessly while the traditional projectors required a VGA, DVI or HDMI cable.
Why Are Wireless Projectors Needed?
A projector that supports only cables has a few limitations.
The first issue is cable management. A power cable is easier to manage as a power outlet may be installed near the projector, the video input cable, VGA, DVI or HDMI, is harder as the source device like a laptop cannot be limited to a single specified position. Offices having a single projector connected to multiple devices will find a wired projector problematic. Imagine having to pass around the input cable of the projector in the middle of an important meeting. A projector with a USB port can make life easier but it is not feasible with ceiling or wall mounted projectors.
Today’s smartphones and smart devices support direct streaming to display or projectors. Having a wireless projector will eliminate the need to carry a large laptop as a smartphone can act as a substitute.
Hence the need of wireless projectors.
How Wireless Projectors Function?
Functioning of wireless projectors depends on the type of wireless device employed. While Wi-Fi is the most common mode of functioning, Bluetooth transmitters are also employed. The most common types of projectors based on their functioning include:
Wi-Fi Enabled Projectors
Manufacturers today are providing wi-fi connectivity option in their projectors. The network capable projectors come with an inbuilt wi-fi adapter (802.11 b/g/n) and can connect directly to a laptop or smartphone or even to the home or office network. The latter option is great for offices as there is no need to keep the device near the projector. The laptop may be in one corner of the office while the projector may be in opposite corner. JMGO J6S is a WiFi-enabled projector and supports both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz WiFi band for steadier and faster internet speed. Below is a video presentation of JMGO J6S:
Wi-Fi Optional Projectors
Projectors from a few manufacturers do not have preinstalled wi-fi but have a slot that enables installation of LAN modules. The modules may be available from the projector manufacturer or an aftermarket vendor. Installing the LAN module in the specified slot will convert the projector into a wireless one. Epson is a manufacturer that provides optional projectors and expansion modules for them.
Want wireless connectivity without changing your projector? Then a wireless adapter is what you need. There are wireless adapters available from multiple manufacturers that can eliminate the need for display cables. The adapter connects to the input display port of the projector and allows for wireless connectivity with computers, laptops, and smart devices that have inbuilt Wi-Fi. Wireless adapters have an advantage over USB dongles as they allow multiple devices to connect to the projector at the same time whereas a USB dongle only connects a single device. Airtame is one such adapter that supports different display ports via the use of adapters.
USB dongles can convert regular projectors into wireless ones. Unlike wireless adapters that have a single component that connects to the projector, USB dongles have a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter connects to the USB port of the device such as a laptop while the receiver connects to the video input of the projector. USB dongles are plug and play and allow for quick installation. Though they only connect one device to the projector at a time.
Using a Wireless Projector
Before using a wireless projector, the user might be required to install the software. It will depend on the wireless projector and the data transmitting device.
Laptops or Computers
Laptops or computers that have inbuilt Wi-Fi and connect directly to a wireless projector can control it using software supplied by the projector vendor. Manufacturers provide software for common operating systems that include Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Installation of software is easy and allows the user to control projector easily. Projectors with wireless adapters require the user to install the software on the computer or laptop.
Projectors connected via a wireless USB dongle do not require the installation of any software. The USB device is plug and play and allows instant connectivity between the projector and computer. Plug the device in and the projector will start working.
Smartphone or Tablet
Manufacturers of projectors that support smartphone and tablet connectivity provide applications that allow wireless connectivity. Simply install the specified application for Android or iOS device and start using your projector wirelessly.