Networking a Projector with Windows and MAC

I was presented with a task to find something that would take an overhead Projector, and a room full of computers running both MAC OS and Windows XP and network them together.  The Projector is HDMI, the room is already on a wired network with Wifi as a possibility.  

I have found devices that allow you to connect multiple windows based OS to a projector but nothing that works for Apple.  They are looking for a small device that you can plug in an RJ-45 and HDMI and works for both Apple OS and Windows OS.


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PlantwizConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Sorry for the delay, I need to review the specs on several things.

I recall you needed something that you could use both MAC and PC and also the limitations currently experienced by users who only have PC (or workstations rather than a portable device).

The blackbox link I provided is a networked device that support wireless connections.  Your signal will be (or could be) sent from your users computers to this device and broadcast tot he projector for presentation.  You are also given the option to host 4 split screen presentations so depending on the need, two or more users could show a presentation in tandeum with their own data displayed.   Obviously, not ideal for MOST applications, but if you held a conference and needed to show how your application ran on Windows and on Mac simulatenously, both could be presented in a's a strech, but I think you see where I'm gonig with the possiblities.

So, your devices would connect via 802.x and not need to worry about HDMI.  The projector connects to the BlackBox device and the blackbox device wirelessly to your network.

I believe this provides a great deal of freedom for your users, pehaps I am mistaken, as I think I understand your need, this seems like one option for you.

I've used blackbox products for several of my clients over of the past 10 years and they do have very good quality products.

So, I'd recommend the AC1131A for review and it should work with your current projector :

Tech Specs
IP Address Configuration — Automatic DHCP or manual (static)
Output Resolutions — SVGA (800 x 600), XGA (1024 x 768), WXGA
(1280 x 768)
Standards — IEEE 802.11b/g (2.4 GHz), 802.3/3u (10BASE-T/100BASE-TX)
Video Formats — MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, Divx 3/4/5, Xvid, WMV 9
Video Streaming — Up to 30 fps
Wireless Channels — 11
Wireless Encryption — WEP 64- or 128-bit
Wireless Frequency — 2.4 GHz
Wireless Range (Maximum) — 300 ft. (91.4 m) under optimum conditions
Wireless Speed (Maximum) — 54 Mbps
CE Approval — Yes
Connectors — Network: (1) RJ-45 (10BASE-T/100BASE-TX);
Video: (1) HD15 F (VGA);
Audio: (1) 3.8-mm jack;
Detachable wireless antenna: (1) SMA (-3 dBi)
What sort of projector do you have?

Depending on budget:

Do you need to be able to instantly switch between the Windows and MACOS simlar to a KVM would handle it (button or dial)?  Or can you use something that completely detaches from the PC and MAC side?
I use my DVI cable to connect to my projector and I use a VGA for the PC/Linux notebook.  

What sort of issue have you run into when you state 'cannot find something that works for Apple"?  This is why I'm wondering if you may be looking for a KVM type device (although, it wouldn't be a KVM perse.
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pwdellsAuthor Commented:
Currently people are taking their computer up to the HDMI port and plugging it in for presentations.  The problem is that they would like something that works easier and the people who have desktop computers can connect to it.  

What I'm looking for is more like this:
or this:
EDIMAX Technology

The product you linked to is something similar to what I'm looking for but I don't think it would work because I'm working with about a dozen computers and MAC Desktops to connect to this one projector.  

I've also seen some projectors that can be networked as well like this:

The only problem with the above solution is I can't seem to find if they are supported with both Windows and Mac, or if they have drivers for both to use in order for them to connect to it.
The product such as ProjectorPeople lists is not driven by the OS, it simply broadcasts the data pumped into it...

The other two I'm going to review right now, but for the last you list, it is both.

Here is an example, with the educstion package they offer, the remote (or Presentation Pilot Pro) lists it works with both MAC and PC

Otherwise, the projector takes the feed by whatever means (any of the cables you select to fit) will work.  

I'll take a peek at your first two.  
One product (both Projection servers listed) at edmax - only works with WIndows in their description:

The Projector Server from Lindy also only lists that it is compatible with Windows:

Micronet has a case challenge here:  Their SP3364F ADSL2+ supports MAC/Linux/Windows and this works together with SP926 Wireless Projector save the user from needed VGA cables as everything is connected via Ethernet.

BlackBox also has a product that supports Windows and MAC

Thanks for clarifing.  I didn't see why it mattered if you had a MAC or a PC because for the projector I use, I can simply plug in any device and the image is broadcast to the screen.

Now Epson has some projectors too that have a wireless capability and a device sold separately that Supports MAC and PC
•Wireless capabilities — via the optional wireless module with either the included software (Mac and PC) or an optional Quick Wireless Connection USB key (PC only) for fast, ad hoc wireless connectivity

This one (or any Epson) I'm looking to see if is designed for multiple connections to 1 projector of it is simply a single source projector, but the source may be changed.
pwdellsAuthor Commented:
I will look at the information you have provided.  I would like to also thank you for your help in this matter.  I was impressed with the speed in the response to this thread.  
pwdellsAuthor Commented:
The one thing they really wanted was to have it be HDMI as well.  Both products you have shared are VGA.  

Do you know of anything that might have that feature?
I'll look for a specific model.

I first wanted to make certain we were in the same place in respect to a possible hardware solution for you.  There are many cabling solutions that will assist you with the change from VGA to HDMI,or.&wrapid=tlif129908062961510&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=9458832826542602804&sa=X&ei=gGZuTf-oJ4L48Aa-1cWIDw&ved=0CIgBEPMCMAA#

Projectors with HDMI inputs tend to be a fair bit more costly and I don't wish to imply you shouldn't seek out exactly that item, simply wanted to show you CAN do what you want.

I'll scour the models and look for something more appropriate.
the Epson projector listed above does have HDMI

SO, the Blackbox and edimax and Lindy items are the ones where you have concern?  I'll dig further  on those...
On windows if you had something like ab tutor / impero or even a vnc solution you could remote onto the said users desktop and people in the room would see it from your computer if you connected the main computer to the projector.

On the macs you should be able to enable screen sharing as of 10.5 and 10.6 afaik otherwise you will have to use chicken of the vnc or something like that for the mac side of things - again remoting onto the relevant mac.

If all computers in the room were assigned static ip addresses - it would just be a case of using those or having a naming convention that was easy enough to remember and use ie


where cmp is computer

rm is room and the number indicates which computer 01 being computer one, 02 being computer 2 etc

pwdellsAuthor Commented:
@gecko_au2003,  This is a valid answer however they have a projector in place and I'm dealing with a marketing office so they like big visuals.  :P

@Plantwiz: you have provided great information on the products and I wanted to thank you for your help on this.  You have shared some pretty amazing little tools.
pwdellsAuthor Commented:
Great help with links and specs.
You are welcome!

Good luck!   Post back when you run into other projects!
pwdellsAuthor Commented:
Just to add a note to this, I received an email from a Sales at Micronet stating the SP926 media projector server was discontinued. He didn't suggest another model or option either.  :(
pwdellsAuthor Commented:
@Plantwiz: Quick Question.  

I know the Black Box VPS is all about the wireless connections, and it has an RJ-45 connector to connect to the internet.

Here's the question and it may be dumb but I want to ask just to be clear.

If the computer does not have a wireless card would it still be able to connect to the Black Box VPS via the LAN.

I haven't seen anything that says it can or it can't.  All the guides say to make sure the WLAN is enabled on the PC.  
pwdellsAuthor Commented:
NM about the above question..   Hmm so new question, How do you remove dumb comments that one makes here?  I don't see an edit or delete option for me.  :(
Unfortunately,I've posted dumb stuff and it is here forever! :)

No worries.

The quick answer if I had a chance to answer would have been at the very least, get a USB wireless card that can be used between your different devices IF they all don't need 802.x at the same time.  If they DO, then certainly each would need their own.

I once liked the Linksys cards, but the past 6 months or so have been real pleased with Buffalo FWIW

>Just to add a note to this, I received an email from a Sales at Micronet stating the SP926 media projector server was discontinued. He didn't suggest another model or option either.  :(

That's poor sales!

Well, maybe e-bay or some clearing house has some floating around...OR they weren't great and didn't get used much and were discontinued due to issues???  Don't know.

However, I see you are now looking at BlackBox a little more closely!
pwdellsAuthor Commented:
@Plantwiz: I agree that it is poor sales, I was surprised that they didn't even try to suggest another product.  It was like a dead end.
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