Wireless presentation gateways have become a significant product category over the last couple of years, as the BYOD trend has caught hold. For the presenter, or meeting attendee, can enjoy the convenience of presenting from a familiar mobile device while sharing content on meeting room AV. In many respects, a projector is an ideal companion display device to a wireless presentation gateway, being compact, self-contained and affordable.
The key points to consider when selecting a presentation gateway are compatibility with source devices and displays, functionality and ease-of-use. With the greater choice of solutions on the market, affordability is no longer an issue. (The NovoPRO NP2000 is available at ProjectorPoint for £550 ex VAT.) Turning a standard meeting space into a collaborative workspace for this sort of price plus a projector (ideally perhaps a UST model) demands little justification.
We tested the NP2000 with a mix of iOS and Android mobile devices. The device ships in a single box, about the same size as an iPhone box. This is Vivitek’s second generation presentation gateway, and has a truly impressive spec sheet. NovoPro’s Quad Core processor can serve up to 64 client devices, with four concurrent sources displayed on the AV screen (video content only be displayed in single screen mode). The device is able to output 4K, and to stream 1080p video at 60 fps. Its Airplay functionality allows full mirroring from iOS devices. Other features include annotation, screen shots and voting.
The initials set up took about an hour. Like many such devices targeted into the prosumer space, the instructions were less than ideal – fortunately setting up the NP2000 was largely intuitive. For example, you have a number of options for accessing the NovoPresenter app, including a dongle and a QR code. We chose to use the QR code and had no problems loading the app (the USB dongle is good for those companies with IT policies which prevent loading external apps.)
With all the meeting attendees with the software loaded on their mobile devices, we started the ‘meeting’ with a video. This was shown in single screen mode at 1080p on an LCD LFD. Issues that we encountered were latency, and the resulting ‘jitters’ on playback. This we are prepared to put down to Wi-Fi quality. A little strange were the problems encountered using the same content through iOS and Android. Android worked except for the screen rotation function, which meant that we unable to show the video full screen in landscape format. Once the video was playing the NovoPro automatically switched to full screen, leaving the device in portrait mode.
The iOS version had greater problems in that the video on the Apple device would open in its own player – instead of through the app – and so never played properly. This issue would inevitable prompt a call to tech support, so for prospective end-user sales a basic level of tech-savviness is required. The instructions assume you have a prior knowledge of such devices, a problem that will generate a potentially unacceptable level of support calls.
Our recommendation to customers is to be very specific about the precise uses that the NovoPRO NP2000. For the typical PowerPoint authored presentation with spreadsheets, images and text we would not anticipate serious problems. Simple instructions to notice user on using the QR code to acquire the app should see them up and running in moments. For anything more ambitious, it’s probably wise to have some expertise in the room. So does it cure those presentation technology nerves – yes, up to a point.
NovoPro QL200 Launcher
Projector Point is currently offer a NovoPro NP2000 / NovoPRO Launcher bundle for £855 ex VAT. For the small extra cost over the NP2000 alone, the QL200 PRO Launcher is a USB-connected device with software preloaded. Plugging the source (often a laptop) into the Launcher and clicking the button displays the content on the projector or other meeting room display – described by Vivitek as “a true plug-n-play-to-display solution”.
While there’s short delay between the laptop and the LFD, it’s more or less seamless stream. Video stored on the laptop played on the screen successfully as did the other content selected. Instructions were clearer than for the NovoPRO NP2000, which is really the wrong way around because the NP2000 is the more complicated device.
For environments where meeting facilities often play host to guest from external organisations, the NovoPRO is a useful addition.