In the Projector People tradition, we have done the research for you. This article will help you understand the networking and file sharing capabilities of projectors - giving you a comprehensive look at what is possible today, and what to watch for in the future.
Years ago a peripheral device, such as a printer, had to be connected directly to your computer in order for a program to access it. Today offices can use a LAN (local area network) to allow several users to share assets such as printers, scanners and file servers, saving end users time and the saving the company costly overhead expenses. Recent advances have now made it possible for video projectors to be shared or accessed through an existing network.
The network projector is just like any other projector with the addition of one key feature - a unique IP address. Using the distinct address, an IT manager can locate the projector on the network, communicate with it, and perform various functions remotely. Network addresses are established by using IP addressable NIC (network interface card) cards, which are either built in to the projector, or added through a PCMCIA card slot or RS-232 port.
There are primarily two different customer needs that networking solves. One is the ability to manage projectors the same way other peripherals are managed. That means remote access and control to perform routine, sometimes time consuming and costly, tasks like troubleshooting and shutting down projectors throughout a large facility.
The other need is the ability to transmit content, like a presentation or a spreadsheet, over a network so that hard copies and computers can be left behind. Imagine a strategy session where each participant can simply access materials directly from the network through the projector. Meetings will be more dynamic, more productive and take less time.
With a projector added to an existing network, IT departments can perform many functions remotely that they previously had to perform in person. Time and money saving functions featured on many new network-capable projectors include:
Presenters like teachers, sales representatives, corporate trainers and frequent meeting attendees, will appreciate the convenience a network projector offers. New file-sharing and on-board computing capabilities make your projector a much more productive meeting tool.
Realizing the rising popularity of Wi-Fi networks, the major projector manufacturers have begun to produce projectors with wireless capability based on the pervasive IEEE802.11b standard. Outfitted with wireless LAN PC cards in their laptops, users can come to a meeting room and wirelessly run their presentation through the projector. No more switching cable connections between presenters. To date, only data signals can be transmitted wirelessly to projectors. But watch for wireless video in the coming months, potentially including wireless HDTV quality video. Learn more about current wireless projectors or view some current wireless projectors »
Some projector manufacturers offer network solutions as an optional accessory and some have built in network capabilities. View some current networking capable projectors »
Or search our database for network projectors by checking the "Wired Networking" box.
Consult a Projector Expert at 1-888-248-0675 for more about which network projector solution will work best for you.
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