project desktop onto a screen. good or bad idea?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by billyboy, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    In my head
    #1
    Hi

    Am I barking up the wrong tree thinking that for full classroom sizes, we could invest in a 1024x768 or higher res projector and I could display whatever is going on on my desktop clearly on a humungous screen or at a push, on any well painted white wall?

    I use my PB a lot for teaching English as a foreign language. I have an extensive selection of material and the kids love doing exercises based on photos, video clips and music (as do I). With a wireless gyroscopic mouse, I dont have to get in the way of the screen to stop and start clips, and I am also free to flick around iLife without having to prepare minutely judged "presentations".

    With this set up, the PB is an ideal tool for groups of up to 6, but thereafter the screen is struggling for size.


    I am out in the sticks and am researching all this without ever having even seen an lcd projector! I understand from just reading reviews that DVDs are pretty spectacular as in a home theatre setup, but apart from marketing bumf like "it works great with Powerpoint demonstrations", I cant seem to find any meaningful 3rd party info about the sort of use I am thinking of putting the projector to.

    Thanks for any pointers.
     
  2. johnnowak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, New York
    #2
    We used to use a projector in my high school a few years ago. It was hooked up to the Windows box in the classroom. Worked very well for Powerpoint presentations and such... text on websites was readable too. It was a Smart Board thing.. where you could touch on the screen it projected onto to press the buttons and such... drag window around, whatever you'd do with the mouse. It worked pretty well.
     
  3. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #3
    This is an excellent use for a projector - today's models have good resolution, brightness, and clarity, and as such are perfect for what you're talking about. Now, I wouldn't expect quality approaching that of high-end projection video (for movies), but you'll definitely get good use out of it.

    The other nice thing is that with the Mac, it treats it like any other external monitor, so you don't just have to mirror your desktop, but can use it as an extension of it (so that menus, etc., are out of the way).
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    We do this for meetings at work all the time. Since you're probably going to be looking at a lot of text, like you said, get a 1024x768 native resolution -- so that you don't all get eyestrain from the blurries. :) And you may end up playing around with colors and font sizes a tad, but other than that...
     
  5. billyboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    billyboy

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    In my head
    #5
    Thats encourageing (as he nervously fidgets with his wallet) Anyone got any tips for what to look for when deciding on a projector, as in accessories it definitely should include, the ideal lumens and all that jazzy tech stuff that I dont understand
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    Don't know if there is an "ideal" lumens, but more is generally better. Particularly if you are typically in a fairly bright area (for example, the shades don't really block the sunlight).

    As for accessories, it sounds like you already have a wireless mouse, so that kind of stuff may be less useful for you, but many come with wireless remotes. If you need those, make sure they're Mac compatible.

    If it can match (or improve upon) the resolution of your Mac, that's best.

    Size may not be an issue if you don't need to lug it around, but if you do (or need to secure it in a small space), make sure to look at that.

    Otherwise, I don't know that there is all that much that differentiates - lumens, size, cost. Figure out how much you want to spend, find one that plays well with the Mac (in terms of resolution), then get the brightest one in that price range.
     
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #7
    Many models of iMac have shipped with video mirroring output for this very purpose-- Teachers wanted to be able to hook up projectors in their classrooms. It's an ideal use. You can get a decent digital projector for $1000-1500 and have the ability to show DVDs, surf the internet, and demonstrate software to the entire room. In my HS, we didn't have ready access to a digital projector, so we used this curious LCD panel that fit over an overhead projector, giving a really bad, washed out picture. If that was good enough for us, the sharpness and color you'll find in today's projectors will serve your students well.

    The gyroscopic mouse will be perfect for driving this, many are equipped with a standard roller inside, so you could even put it on students' desks and let them interact (without them having to master the gyro concept).

    In terms of products, our A/V guy at work (the guy that is in charge of top-level presentations) recommended HP to me for my home theater, for under $2,000 you can end up with a very good projector (and educational discounts will probably apply). The biggest problem you'll face in low-end projectors (they range up to $15,000 or more easily) is brightness, so higher lumen output will be important, especially as it's hard to get classrooms totally dark.

    paul
     
  8. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Home of Al-Qaida
    #8
    We have a InFocus LP500 in the lab. Does 800x600 but the pic quality's high and not fuzzy at all. Comes w/ a wireless remote control that can control powerpoint slides on both PC and Mac notebooks. We got it for around $1500. Then again, our conference room is only 25ft length.
     
  9. billyboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    billyboy

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    In my head
    #9
    Good point about the size of room. I thnk I need to see one of these things in action.

    Anyone know if there is a technical restriction on how far your PC is from the projector? I am looking at the classrooms and wondering if there isnt a wireless way around being able to use the laptop where i want.
     

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