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Projector troubleshooting 2013


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Here are some tips for projector troubleshooting as well as some hints for using them more effectively …

Here are some tips for projector troubleshooting as well as some hints for using them more effectively

Bill McIntosh
School Vision Inc ( my consulting company)

Authorized Dukane Consultant

Phone :843-442-8888
Twitter : @OtisTMcIntosh

SchoolVision Website on Facebook:

You can find information on all of Dukane products here

Here is the main the main Dukane website

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  • 1. Please note : It’s been over 10 years now, since I decided to sit down one Saturday andwrite down all the tips and tricks I had learned on how to get and keep a projector “upand running” . What started out as a few quick tips grew into several pages over severalSaturdays. While technology has changed in all areas, and especially in terms ofpresentation technology, as I review the information in this document most of it remainsas relevant, and hopefully useful as it was a decade ago. I hope you find this useful.However, technology is akin to what Alice said about Wonderland “It takes all therunning you can do to stay in one place” I have updated some sections of this to reflectthe changes that have occurred.I will add that I am an authorized Consultant for Dukane ( but Ihave made an effort to make this a “non Partisan”, “platform-agnostic” help guide.Updated, March 20, 2013. Trouble Shooting your Data Video ProjectorNumerous studies have shown that the one phobia that most peopleshare is the fear of public speaking. When you add to that fear, theconcern that your data video projector may not perform as you expect,you have a syndrome that my friend, David Pogue, the author ofnumerous “How-to “ books, and the Technology Correspondent for theNew York Times, once referred to in an article as “Panic at thePodium”. But even David, who can explain almost anything, hasn’ttaken on explaining projectors.In fact, although I hadn’t seen him in 13 years, I sat in the front row forhis keynote at Infocomm in Las Vegas a couple of years ago. It wasgreat presentation, and he combined some real insights into Web 2.0with some songs he had written, including accompanying himself onthe piano. Infocomm is the big international show for all the AV nerdsin the world, and there was just ONE small problem with his demo: theprojector was out of focus the whole time…It was a rear screenprojector and he assumed the AV nerds who set it up knew what theywere doing and had everything ready to go before he started. They
  • 2. didn’t. So even the great and Powerful Pogue can fall afoul of someAV glitches.So I am going to boldly go where even the most powerful propellerhead fears to tread and give you some tips and hints fortroubleshooting your data video projector, so you don’t have “Panic atthe Podium”.First of all I need to explain the term “data video” projector. That is themost accurate and precise term to describe an external device whosejob it is to project data from a Pc or Mac, or video from a video player(DVD, VCR, or even a PC that plays DVDs) onto an external Screen.You will also see these incorrectly described by the internal hardwarethat produces the image. There two most commonly used hardwaresare LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) or DLP (Digital Light Processor) anda lesser known and used hardware is LCOS (Liquid Crystal onSilicon). There are also new projectors using LED technology. But thepoint here is how the image is produced is mostly irrelevant and youcan read about the differences at such websites aswww.projectorcentral. Com. My role here is to help you make thesedevices work and the term data video projector is most descriptive inwhat these devices will do, leaving aside HOW they do it.The first step in trouble shooting any data video projector is to take aDEEP BREATH. Chances are it is something easy to solve.If you don’t want to read any further: I will make a QUICK TIP list hereand now
  • 3. • Step 1--Check and make sure you have Power. That includesmaking sure plugs are firmly plugged in.• Step 2 Check the cable from the PC to the projector. Make sure it isplugged in the right place and firmly seated.• Step 3-If using a laptop, use the video mirroring key to toggle thevideo (If you don’t understand this, read on)• Step 4I f you have already turned on your computer, shut it downand restart. The UVRS (Universal Reset Switch), also known as theON/OFF button has been known to be a panacea for many computerproblems)* Step 5-Once it is turned back on confirm the Projector is set to theright source or input.Now, if you want to understand why these steps work, or if they didn’twork and you want to know what to do next, read on further.Projectors are actually very reliable technology, and it is completelyextraordinary for one to precipitously fail. So, if your projector is notworking as you expect, it is not working for a reason. You just have tofigure out what that reason is.Very few people love to RTM (read the manual). Alas, the manualsthat come with your projectors will vary in their usefulness and clarity.These were often written by technogeeks, not real people. However, ifyou do have the manual, you might want to have it handy as you readthese suggestions. If you do have the original manual, and have notdone so already, make a photocopy and put the original in a safeplace. Some, but not ALL, projector companies now post their
  • 4. manuals in .pdf format on their web site, so loosing the manual maynot be a hassle: but why take a chance?If you have to pay for a replacement manual, it is both a hassle and anexpense. Take care of the one you received, of find the web site foryour manufacturer and look for the manuals. Or just make aphotocopy of the originalAnother important thing to know, especially if you efforts totroubleshoot fail, is exactly which projector you have. Now, this mayseem like an obvious thing, but many people do not know, based onthe calls I get all the time, which projector they have. Some may knowthe brand, since that is usually written in fairly large print on the box,and may also appear on the projector. In fairness, there are noconsistent marking or labeling conventions, so you may have to (gasp)read the manual to see exactly which model you have and the exactversion.It is important to know the brand, and the model number. Some folkshave gotten into the habit of referring to a data/video projector by abrand name. For example, someone might say, “My Epson is notworking”. Or “My Sony turns on, but I don’t get an image” However,sometimes I find folks are using a brand name to refer to ANY datavideo projector. This makes it hard to give them the proper informationthey need. Any projector will have a brand name and a model number:For example, a projector maybe is referred to as a Dukane Imagepro8052, or a Mitsubishi Powerview S5Oux or an Epson Powerlite 50c.Having this exact information is important, because there is adifference between a Dukane 8052 and 8053, and there is adifference between a Mitsubishi SA51 and S50ux and an EpsonPowerlite 50c and 52c.
  • 5. In each of these cases shown above you have a manufacturer, thebrand name for their projector, and the model numberThus: Dukane (Manufacturer) Imagepro (Brandname) 8052 ModelNumberOr Mitsubishi (Manufacturer) Powerlite (Brandname) S50uxNow, sometimes the model number carried significant information. Forexample some models with an “Prefix, are an SVGA projector. But allmanufacturers don’t really use numbers that have an inherentsignificance. But these numbers DO mean something to the peopleyou may need to communicate with. So make sure you know whatthese names and numbers are.The tips I will supply below are meant to be general, but if you needhelp with your projector, you will need this info. If the manufacturerhas not clearly labeled this info on your unit, it is a good idea to putthis information on a label, along with the tech support number.Dukane puts their Tech support # on every projector, but not allmanufacturers do this.You may want to stop at this point and call the tech support people.Some companies have put that number on the projector. Certainly allwill have it on the website. If it is NOT on your projector, take somemasking tape or label maker and put it on there, so you will have itwhen you need it most.Now, lets dive into getting your projector to work.Step 1
  • 6. First of all, DON’T turn anything on yet. There is some checkingthat needs to be done. Start with everything shut down. If you arereading this after already trying. Shut everything down NOW.You should start with everything shut down and turned off: Projector,computer, VCR. DVD player, document camera.Before checking the video connections, be sure you have checked thepower cable. This is an obvious but important consideration. Yourprojector should be plugged into a known good power source. AndYES, makes sure it is plugged in FIRMLY on both ends. I know, I havedashed into a building, soaked from the soggy S.C humidity, takeneverything out, plugged it in, turned in on and “No happenings”. I thendiscovered the power is plugged into the outlet or powerstrip, but theend that went into the computer was not “firmly seated”. It not fornothing that Murphy’s first law of technology is “check the cables” !If using a Power strip, be sure the strip is turned on. Yes, that’sobvious, but necessary.Some projector power on with a toggle switch. Some are on when theprojector is plugged in, and power button engages the lamp.This is also a good time to stop and check another obvious but vitalitem. Have you removed the lens cap? I have started presentationsmyself and had the lens cap still on including once in front of a roomfull of engineers at the Westinghouse Savannah River plant…I musteither have done a good job from there, or they felt sorry for me,cause they bought a dozen projectors! By the way, a piece of velcroon the outside of the lens cap, and on the side of the projector, is agood way to keep up with this easy-to lose item.
  • 7. Once you have confirmed that the Power cable is firmly seated, andplugged into a known good power source. I recently did a demowhere, once everything was plugged in, nothing worked. It turned outthe Power outlet on the wall was not working.(This time the engineers… a different group…. I was demoing to wereembarrassed--gotta love it) This is also a good point to mention thatyour projectors should be used with a quality Power strip/surgeprotector. Some Powerstrips are just plug multipliers. They offer nosurge protection or Power filtering. They simply give you moreoutputs. You want to be sure to protect your investment with a GOODsurge protector. Especially if you are going into a place where thepower may be suspect. I once saw a vendor at a trade show I waswith plug in TWO powerstrips into the same socket in a brand newbuilding where a product show was held. The first went POOF. Hefigured that the Power strip was bad. The second went POOF andstarting pouring smoke. Turns out someone had mistakenly wired thatparticular outlet in this new building with 220 volts instead of 110. Andthis vendor was about to plug a $6,000 21 inch monitor into that outlet.(I guess that tells you that was a few years ago). I also remember thatwas one heavy sucker too.Another handy tip is to invest in a cord reel. These are about $15 atany “big box” home hardware center. This will allow you to quicklyreach the outlet, which is always on the opposite side of the room fromwhere you need it to be. It also makes packing up a snap..just wind upthe cord.If you travel, or if you simply want to make sure your equipment doesnot “wander” , it is a good idea to put your name , phone number andemail address on all your constituent parts. I have screwdrivers andextension cords from Walhalla to Winyah Bay, from Boiling Springs to
  • 8. Beaufort, and left the Power supply for my laptop in Dallas once.Fortunately, I taped my card to the Power supply and got it back.Step 2Data video projectors, as the name implies, can accept input from acomputer. They can also accept video input from a source such as aVCR or DVD player. (Sometimes you will hear LCD(Liquid CrystalDisplay) projector, or even DLP ( Digital Light processor projector).There are now LCOS ( Liquid Crystal on Silicon, and you may hearmore of that soon) In car terms, this is like saying Gas motor ,dieselmotor, or electric motor. Not that you CANT use these terms. Theyjust aren’t correct. The correct generic name is Data-Video projector.With this in mind, its time to state Murphy’s universal law oftechnology again: Check the cables!You will want to confirm that the connection to your source, be it a PCor VCR are plugged in and seated properly.All data video projectors currently available use a 15 pin, male tomale, cable to bring the data from the PC ( or Mac) to the projector.This is also an example of how quickly technology changes. Manyprojectors now offer an HDMI input. HDMI is an acronym for HighDefinition Media Interface and its the common method of transferringdigital media to and from devices. We are seeing a shift from the analogconnection ( the 15 pin male to male RGB cable) to HDMI as an option. Ofcourse the need and ability to use an HDMI cable and connectiondepends on the computer or tablet you are using HAVING an HDMIoutput. RGB remains the standard for most computers. However, thecomputer companies have agreed to what is being called “The Analog
  • 9. sunset” and there is a push for all computers to have a digitaloutput( HDMI) by the end of 2013. There is no need to “panic” asprojectors will certainly have to be able to handle RGB for the foreseeablefuture, but projector manufacturers have taken not of this trend, and areadding an HDMI input to their projectors. All of the current Dukanemodels, for example have HDMI inputs as well as RGB inputs.Back to making a connection with a 15 pin male to male ( RGB) cable:You will want to take a look at the end of the cable BEFORE you try toplug it in. Please note that it is a trapezoid, NOT a square. So upsidedown and rightside up DOES make a difference. You will also notethat the male pins are small and need to be aligned properly with thefemale connection. If you get the cable upside down, and PUSH, youwill bend those pins. That is not in itself an irrevocable mistake. Thepins, if bent out of alignment can be straightened, but that is certainlya case with an once of care is worth several pounds of cure. You alsowant to be sure that if someone else has used the projector prior toyou, that they have not bent the pins. I have also seen rare cases ofwhere someone has BENT the cable in the middle, causing one of thepins to break. This rare , but it does happen. If you have spare 15 pinmale to male cable, try that one instead of the one you have beenusing. Cant hurt, might help.On the projector, you will see a female ( with holes) connection foryour data cable.An often-made mistake occurs at this point.Take a second to look at the connections on your projector.ALL projectors will necessarily have 15 pin female connection. It isnormally labeled “Computer IN” Some projectors may allow two
  • 10. computers to be attached to the projectors at the same time. In thiscase you will have a second “Computer in “Quick tip..If you put your data connection in Computer in 2, and youare looking from input from Computer IN 1, you will not find it.One of the most common mistakes also occurs at this very point.Many, but not all projectors will also have a second female connectionthat says “Computer out”This connection is for monitor redrive. If you have a laptop computer,you will not use this connection. But, if you have a desktop Pc withseparate monitor, the computer out, or monitor redrive connectionsallows a mirror image of what is being projected to you group to beseen on a Monitor, if the monitors cable is plugged into this port.The mistake occurs when you plug the data cable that should carrydata from the computer (and which should be plugged into theComputer IN connection) into the computer out. When this happensthe projectors doesn’t receive any data, and you get a blank screen.This is one of the MOST common mistakes that people made, and iseasily rectified by moving the data cable from out to in.HOT TIP- There is a second use for the Computer Out port. If, bychance you have two projectors and want to show the same image onboth projectors at the same time. , If you run a cable from computerout on projector 1 to computer in or projector 2, you can have a mirrorimage being projected on both projectors. This is a “sales trick” when Iwant to compare the same image on two different projectors. But thismay be useful if you have large group, or have some reason to showthe same image on two different screens.
  • 11. Ok, you have checked and made sure the cable is plugged into thecorrect port on the projector. Now, let’s make sure it is plugged intothe correct place on the computer.You will find, on any computer, laptop or desktop, Mac or PC 15 pinfemale port exactly like the Computer IN (sometimes RGB IN) on theProjector. In this case, it is the video OUT port on your computer.However, FINDING that port may be a problem.Lets take the scenario of a desktop PC. The video out port is typicallyalready in use BEFORE you tried to attach a projector to it. TheMonitor for the Desktop PC was plugged into that port. You had tounplug the monitor to use that port. Hopefully you read the manual,and figured out that you plugged the monitor into the Monitor OUT porton your PC, and have a picture on both the screen (using the datacoming out of the video port, and the monitor (using the data comingto the monitor from the monitor out Port.). Be sure the cable is seatedfirmly into the video port.As you may have already discovered, there might not be a place onyour projector, to plug in the desktop PC monitor. Some projectors,especially very lightweight projectors, left off this port, because someengineer decided that everyone using that projector was going to beusing a laptop and that port would not be needed. If that is the case,(no monitor out port on your projector) and you REALLY need to seethe monitor AND the projector, don’t despair. You can get a videosplitter box fairly reasonably, that will SPLIT the video coming out ofthe one video port to two sources.Now , lets look at the case of a laptop PC. Again, somewhere on theback of the laptop, you will see a 15 pin FEMALE port, like the on theside of the projector. This is where you will plug in the cable from the
  • 12. projector to the laptop. Once again, if you are troubleshooting makesure this cable is seated firmly.Now, again, before turning on your projector and computer, here issome information vital to know:Step 3HERE IS THE NUMBER 1 REASON FOLKS DON’T GET APICTURE ON THEIR PROJECTOR.Pay close attention. This is important.The main problem that causes people to panic, curse their projectorand call tech support technicians in a panic is caused by the averagepersons lack of understanding of a an aspect of laptops PCs calledvideo mirroring..A laptop PC has a monitor that is built in. The PC and monitor are awhole , not two separate pieces. Laptop PCs are also designed withthe idea that people may get tired of looking at the small screen andwant to add an external monitor. So almost all( and notice that I saidALMOST) laptops have a port for an external monitor. And it is thatexternal monitor port, or video out, that allows us to use that signal ,meant for an external monitor , and with the 15 pin cable , connect itinto a projector, and thus project the image up big where everyonecan see it.Now….here’s the rub. The engineers that designed PC laptops said,“Hmmmmmm. Some folks might never use two monitors”So , they built into every laptop PC( that I have seen” a FUNCTIONkey or F key that allows you to
  • 13. 1-Send all the video to your laptop screen and NONE of it to theexternal video out port2-The same key can SPLIT the video and send half to the externalvideo source( it can be either a projector on a monitor)3-To send ALL the video to the external source and none to the laptopscreen( Why in the heck would you want to do this? Stay tuned)The problem, dear user, can often be not in your stars, or in yourprojector, but in your computer. It is a fact, which folks often find outAFTER they bought a projector, that the laptop they chose, were givenor inherited , is not really ideal for driving two monitors, which alsomeans it cant drive a projector as well.The key factor here is another one of those acronyms that computergeeks love..VRAM or Video RAM.Now, lets hope by now anyone who has bought or been given acomputer to use, by the year 2012 , knows what RAM is . It is theamount of active memory your computer has available to use to openprograms, and to do tasks. (Random Access Memory, if you still don’tknow the term.) However, what most people don’t know (because theyhaven’t HAD to know is that all computers don’t have the sameamount of VRAM. Video RAM is memory assigned to the monitor. Itdetermines how many colors you can display…256 color to 16 million.Colors. Some PCs , to save money , only include enough VRAM todrive ONE monitor at millions of colors. That is why the PC engineersgave you the option to drive the internal monitor, to drive two monitors,or just to drive your external monitor. If you don’t have enough
  • 14. OOMPH on your video card to do mirroring. If that is the case, you cansend all the video to the External source.This feature, meant for good reasons, is the Number 1 cause ofpeople NOT being able to show a picture, even if the projector iscorrectly connected to the laptop and everything else is working fine. Ifvideo mirroring is turned off, no matter how hard you pray, curse, ortap dance, you will not get an image on your projector.Now, the good news is this problem is VERY easy to fix.You need to find two keys on your laptop.First, find the FUNCTION key. It is in the lower left hand side of yourlaptop’s keys.Next, Find the row of “F” keys on the top row of the laptop.Now…brace yourself, Not all PCS use the same “F” key to turn videomirroring on and off.It may be Function –F5, It may be Function F7, or Function F 10.The fact is that Bill Gates rules the world, but he rules the world ofSOFTWARE. Dell, IBM, Gateway , and HP and all the 0ther guysmake their HARDWARE however it suits them.And even worse, it is not always labeled the same way. And the samebrand of Laptops ( Think pads for example use Function F7 on someThinkpads and Function F9 on others) Remember, the guys whomake these kinds of decisions are the guys that the Dilbert comic strip
  • 15. is all about. Using the same Function Key for all of the laptops wouldmean some poor engineer might be out of job doing tech support.!But , the good news is that this is EASY to figure out.LOOK at the function keys. If you are lucky, there is a key labeledLCD/CRT . (A CRT is Cathode Ray Tube, which is geek talk for aMonitor). If you have found a key that says LCD/CRT you are almostthere. On the lastest Dell computers I have seen it is F8, but it CAN beanother key.Now, if you DON’T see a key that says LCD/CRT you again, need totake a deep breath. The good news is that it is there..somewhere. Theother label that is used is an Icon( picture) of a monitor. Find it?Ok, once you have found the Fkey , find the function key..Don’t getahead of me here.PRESS AND HOLD the function key. While you are pressing andholding the function key, Press the Fkey. Your projector, should blink“think” and one of three things will happen.1-The video will be “mirrored” between the two screens..projector andlaptop2-The video will all be on the laptop3-The video will be on the projector.Depending on which one of the three settings your laptop was usingBEFORE you pressed the function key, it will jump to the second. Ifyou press the FUNCTION key, and hold it, it will jump to the 3 rd. If youpress FUNCTION, the F key it will jump back to the first.
  • 16. Now, the other thing you will see that , when you went to the mirroringmode., the screen either looked JUST as good( if you have a laptopwith sufficient video RAM) or lousy. (If you don’t) . If the color lookslousy, try sending ALL the video to the external source.2012 Update: The introduction of Windows 7 includes a “connect toprojector” feature in the control Panels. Apparently the Windows folksfound out that this was an ongoing problem and added that feature.Alll of the above steps you will do once you turn on the projector andcomputer. But we aren’t quite there yet.….Step 4-TURN ON ( Or Restart the COMPUTER)….but not QUITEyet.Now , the inevitable question: What do you turn on first, and in whatorder. ?Here is my best advice: Always turn on the projector FIRST. Onlyafter the projector is on, and showing a blank screen, do you turn onthe computer.Here’s why. Most projectors have chips in side that look for, and try togive the best connection to, the computer they are trying to “talk to”.Unless the projector is on FIRST, these chips built into the projectorwont have a chance to work. Now, your projector may work anyway,and that is all good. But basically, when you turn on the projector, it issaying , to whatever is connected to it by the cable “Talk to me!” . Ifthe computer is turned on first, the projectors doesn’t get a chance to“ask” what it is talking to, and either they may not communicate at all,
  • 17. or the “sync” of the image may not be correct, The image may not bedisplayed completely on the screen.I was at a conference not long ago, I was trying to get 4 projectors, infour separate rooms, “going” during a change of presenters. The lastroom I got to, no matter what I did, the projector would not see thecomputer. Being in a hurry, even I forgot to ask a key question. Andsure enough, they had tried to “hot plug” the laptop. Meaning they hadturned on the laptop first and then plugged in the video cable to theprojector. As soon as they RESTARTED the computer, it worked fine.And this was not a “knock off “ laptop, but one of the so called “toptier” PC laptops, so the principal of start with the projector on FIRSTand then starting up the computer applies all, not just some.So, you’ve checked the cables, checked the Power and turned onyour PCOnce the computer has booted( started) all the way to the WindowsDesktop, now you can use the FUNCTION F Key as described above.Step 5You turned on your projector, and checked the cables. The video-mirroring key has been toggled, and nothing happens. What s wrong?Again, a deep breathe. Remember, this is a Data/ VIDEO projector.As such, a data video projector can show data from a computer, andvideo from a VCR or DVD. This is a relatively simple problem toovercome, and it arises from the fact that many people have only usedtheir projector to show computer data. If someone sets it to the videochannel, you can try all the other settings above, and still get nopicture.
  • 18. ON the projector, there will be a button that says either source orinput. This lets you, in a sense “change channels”All projectors I have seen have at least 3 inputs. Data, Compositevideo, and S video. If the projector has been set to the Svideo channelby a previous user or inadvertently, it will stay there until you tell it toswitch to the other input channel.The confusion is compounded by the fact that sometimesmanufacturers refer to the computer data input channel asRGB( again, if you need to know what this means, it is RED, GREEN ,BLUE, the primary colors that computer data uses to make all of thecolors). So either with your remote, our with the source/input button onyour projector, toggle to the input where your computer is plugged in ,and you should see the computer data. Now you can breath.This input situation can get REALLY confusing, as now we have someprojectors with up to 6 inputs. This is a good thing, as it means youcan, in some cases have up to Six devices attached to a singleprojector at one time.The Dukane 8942 is an example of one such projector. It is a 4000-lumen projector, the kind typically used in a conference hall orballroom. Since these are often permanently installed, they haveconnections for almost any conveyable device that could output avideo.It has the following inputs1-Computer data 12-Computer Data 23-DVI/HDMI (HDMI is a newer standard that also carries audio)4-Component
  • 19. 5-Composite6-S VideoI once received a frantic call from a client with one of these projectors.They couldn’t get a picture, and it was 5 minutes before a presentationto a 100 visiting doctors. I made it to the Mills Hyatt House as thedoctors were settling in their seats. I took the remote, pressed RGB 1,and the presentation appeared. Someone had set the input to anothersetting, and although they had tried everything with their computer, itwas set to the wrong input.This is a bit of a tangent from the troubleshooting scenario, but anexplanation of these inputs, and why they are there, is perhaps inorder.As I mentioned, every projector I have seen, including the nowavailable sub 5-pound projector, has 3 inputs1-Computer Data (the 15 pin female connection)Why do some projectors have 2 computer inputs? There are a coupleof reasons.1-If you have back-to-back presenters. It means that 2 computers canbe attached in advance of presentations beginning. This means thereis no need for a ‘break in the action” while once PC is unplugged andanother is attached. It also means in cases where projectors arepermanently installed, a second PC can be attached to thepermanently mounted projector.2-Composite (this is the yellow for video, and red and white for audioconnection. Most VCRs have this connection
  • 20. 3-S video. Also a connection for DVDs or VCRS.Others may have:4-Component –Also a connection for DVDS and some VCRS. It isgreen, blue, and red.5- DVI stands for Digital video interface. I know some projectors havethis interface. A certain number computers came with the option ofDVI out. It is my understanding that HDMI is going to be more widelyaccepted standard.6-HDMI has become more of a standard and while all computers Ihave seen still come with the 15 pin RGB video, HDMI is becomingmore common on computers and it also present on input devices suchas DVR and BlueRay Players. The Apple TV device , which allowsone to share either the computer screen or video from an Ipad or aMac with the Mac OS Mountain Lion Software, uses HDMI from theApple TV box to the output device( Projector or LCD Monitor). TheApple TV box in my house allows me to share video from either myIpad 2 or Macbook Pro on my 42” LCD TV.Ipads also have an option RGB or HDMI adapter, as do Macbooks ,that allow a user to connect those devices directly to a projector.If Steps 1-5 did not work, we get into some deeper nerd stuff. Ifyou don’t feel competent, stop NOW and call tech support.This part causes many users to break out in a cold chill. Because theyare used to just turning on their computer and using it. So when youtell people they need to check the SETTINGS, they are deathly afraid
  • 21. of messing something up. Not to work, this is not going to “hurt” youPC or make your IT manager angry. It WILL confirm that you aregoing to get the picture you need.In the START menu of your Windows PC is a category calledSETTINGS. Click on this and you will see a category calledCONTROL PANELS. Click on this and you will see an icon that lookslike a monitor. This is called DISPLAY. This is the one you need tocheck. Click on Display and the tab at the top on the far right side iscalled SETTINGS. Click on settings.Now, brace yourself for some “geek talk”. Your data video projector isreally, in essence nothing more than a monitor. It shows what ishappening on your computer, just like you monitor does. And just likethe size of the picture and the colors that you see depend on the sizeand capability of your monitor, so does your projector. Here is the partthat 99 percent of the people that I talk to don’t understand.Not only does your computer depend on the size and capability of themonitor, it also depends on the computers own ability to display video.And this is dependent on the video card in your computer.When you click on SETTINGS you will see two things. A “slider” thatlets you adjust the resolution. This slider, depending on yourcomputer, and how new or old it is, and how good the video card is,will let you “slide the resolution anywhere from640x480 pixels up to perhaps as high as 1600x 1400 pixels.Now, this is also where it is VITAL you know what kind of projectoryou have. Here is why.
  • 22. Projectors and monitors can be anyone of the following resolutions.Resolution refers to the number of pixels (dots) in the screen. So a640x480 pixel screen is 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels high.VGA 640x480…there are not many of these left our there, but theoriginal data video projectors were capable of supporting thisresolution, and this resolution ONLYSVGA 800x600 The vast majority of projectors in the K-12 market areSVGA projectors. This is strictly a price thing. SVGA projectors are theleast resolution made now, and projectors companies would have quitmaking these too, if they had their druthers, but schools keep buyingthem, because they cost 20-30 per cent less than a comparable XGAprojector.XGA 1024x768 this is the minimum resolution of most new laptops.Their video card EXPECTS to see an XGA monitor or projector. Well,what if you projector is1280x1024 this is SXGA. SXGA projectors are still relativelyexpensive, especially give the price drops seen on SVGA and XGAprojectors .UXGA projectors.1400x 1280 Yes, there are a few companies offeringUXGA projectors. No one has ever asked ME for one, and most meremortals don’t need them.Now, to get the BEST image on your screen, the setting of your videocard show match exactly the resolutions of your projector. So if youhave an SVGA projector, you video card should be set to SVGA(800x600). If y you have an XGA projector, you video card should beset to 1024 x 768(XGA).
  • 23. 2012 Update: Again, the Windows control panel now automates thisfor you. But it is still good to know the info above.Makes sense, right?Ok, here is the sticky wicket. The program you are using, or thePowerpoint presentation someone did and sent you you make NEEDan XGA setting. If you have an SVGA projector, are you stuck?No, and here’s why. Since the projector companies stopped makingVGA projectors, they built something called a “compression algorithm”into the chip that controls the LCD glass that is inside your projector.The good news about this is that an SVGA projector can display anXGA image, and an XGA projector can display an SXGA image.If you are like me, and once of those people that needs to know HOWsomething works, here it isAn SVGA projector, when showing an XGA image, basically averagesout the pixelsThere are only 800 dots, but is show 1024 dots by going 1 (Drop one)2 (drop one) 3 4 (drop one) 5 6 (.drop one) 7 8.It then takes the actual pixels and the “dropped pixels, smooth it outas best it can, and you eyes see an image that is 1100 pixels wide.Generally, a projector will show the next HIGHEST resolution in thissimulated mode.For more people with an SVGA projector, it can show an XGA imagewell enough for their use. Especially if you are using your projector forPowerPoint and the Internet (which is how most schools use them) it
  • 24. will show XGA just fine. In fact most people with SVGA projectors areshowing XGA images everyday, and don’t know the difference.Ignorance is bliss, and they are in paradise!However, for those who do a lot of spreadsheets, statistical drawingsor CAD drawing, or look at digital photos, they need to for what theysee on their screen, to be what they get on the projector. So thesefolks make a point to BUY an XGA projector.The users of SXGA projectors are people with SUN And SPARCworkstations, and people with a high-end video card, (and deeppockets)Here is the gist of the explanation about resolutions. If you video cardis set to a resolution your projector wont or cant support, you willeither not get a picture, or get a picture you cant use. The resolutionssetting may either need to be slid UP to SVGA or XGA, or down toXGA.Some laptops will now support the higher resolutions, up to 1400 x1280. This how this nice new small laptops allow you to see a lot ofdata on a small Screen. However, if your projector wont supports thatresolution, either high or low, it will NOT give you the picture youneed.NOTE: In May of 2010, I got an email from what turned out to be verynice gentleman in New Zealand. His church just got a new laptop andit would not work with their projector, which had worked fine with theirprevious projector.My “tip” to the problem was “new computer”. I asked what kind ofprojector it was. Turns out is was one with a native SVGA( 800x600)
  • 25. resolution. As I suspected the resolution in the display control panelwas set to 1700 x 1280. His new laptop had more pixels that hisprojector was able to project. He said the resolution BACK to1024x768 and it worked. Now, to show all the “real estate “ his newcomputer was capable of , he would have to updated, but as long ashe designs his Powerpoints at that resolution, he will be OK, and get ayear of two more use from his projector. And I suppose I will be able toget a free cold beverage if I am ever in Auckland.Now, just a second to talk about VGA. The first projectors to come outwhere VGA. And there are still some out there in the schools. I raninto one the other day, and the folks who had it were decrying the factit would not work with their new laptop.Well, I solved the problem by showing them how to set the resolutionthe laptop down to VGA. Keep in mind this will only show a portion thescreen you normally would see on your laptop. But they were happy inthat they could get some use of this older projector.While you are in the setting are of your control panel, check thecolors…It will either show 256 color, Thousands of colors, Millions ofcolors (16 bit ) or Multimillion colors (32 bit). You want to set this asHIGH as your computer will go.Now, we come to a stickey wicket when it applies to laptopsespecially. Not all laptops have as good a video card as others.Remember the explanation about video mirroring. You may ONLY beable to get XGA and 32 bit color unless you TOGGLE the video to allgo OUT to just the monitor. In other words, the video card in yourlaptop will NOT drive its own screen and the external screen (in thecase of the video projector) at the same time. The only way to knowthis about your laptop is to try it. If it will let you turn up the colors and
  • 26. the resolution the highest setting appropriate for your projector, that isall good.If you are getting poor colors, or can drive your projector at XGA , ifthat is what you need. Use the function and CRT LCD keys, asdescribed above, to send ALL the video to the projector.Now, all this explanation of setting displays is something most folksdon’t know, and haven’t looked at . They have turned on the projector,and laptop and it works. Good for them! But remember, this is meantto be a “troubleshooting guide” and if you are having trouble , this isone common cause.Now, we come to a problem that affects a very small percentage ofcomputers, particularly laptops. You can do all the steps above, setthe resolution correctly, and it STILL doesn’t work. Just as computershave printer drivers, that tell them how to talk to printers( and if yourprinter wont print, sometimes you need to reinstall the printersoftware), computers have video drivers that tell them how to talk tomonitors. Software can become corrupted. It doesn’t happen often,but it does happen. Or someone did a bad job of writing the videodrivers for your computer, and the company that sold you thecomputer realized that( after hundreds of complaints) and wrote some“MO BETTER” drivers and posted them on their web site. This issomething your projector tech support people don’t and cant know.There are just too many computers out there. Again, this only affectsmaybe .01 percent of the computers out there, but this DOES happen.A call to your computer tech support line, or a visit to their web sitemay encourage you to update your video drivers. This “Power nerd”stuff, so if you have an IT person, ask them. This is also, in some rareoccasions, why a laptop will work fine with one projector, and notanother. Folks want to blame the projector, which is a dumb device. If
  • 27. it GETS video, it will show video. If it is not getting video, and it is not acable problem, it has to lie in the computer.Sound and your data video projectorA data video projector is designed to be a part of a multimediapresentation. In most cases people use this to present a “single”media form: Powerpoint or computer data images. All projectors havespeakers built into them. The quality of the speakers varies greatly.But it is possible to use the speakers in the projector to add sound toyour presentation. In most cases this is accomplished with a male-to-male min-din connection (the same kind of male male connection thatplugs into the headphone jack on your laptop PC. This cable may, ormay not be included with your projector. When it comes to sound anddata video projectors, your local Radio Shack is the best source toeasily find these cables , and other adapters that may come in handy.The reason you would want sound when doing a Powerpointpresentation is the fact that you can build “transition” sounds into yourpresentation. These sounds are built-in to Powerpoint,and provide anaudible transition alert from one slide to another. These can be ratherannoying when over used, but on the other hand, if used judiciouslycan add to your presentation.To bring the sounds from your desktop PC or laptop to the projector,you would plug the min din cable into the headphone jack on thecomputer and into the audio-in port on your projector.Now, keep in mind, if you have speakers that came with your PC, it isprobably better to plug THESE into the headphone jack, because theyare almost certainly better in sound quality than the sound that comesout of your projector’s speakers.
  • 28. Shameless Dukane plug: Dukane has a wireless microphone great forteachers and other presenters. Some of the Dukane models have aspecific “microphone in” and better than average speakers built intothe projector. As a former 7th grade teacher that kept a pocket full ofthroat lozenges, being able to be hear clearly is something good forany presenter, especially a teacher.The same is true of connecting a VCR or DVD to your projector. Afterall, it is a data VIDEO projector, and attaching a VCR or DVD to theprojector will allow you to show a movie, to a group. The Yellow, white, red cable that came with your projector allows you to carry video andsound from the composite port on the VCR or DVD to the projector.Be sure, when looking at the back of your VCRGetting your remote to work as a mouse.All projectors have remote control. Some remotes( but not all) alsofunction as a mouse. This means you can use your remote as youwould use a mouse. You can move the cursor around on the screen.You can also click a button on the remote ..and this is the mostcommon use…to advance the Powerpoint slides on your presentation.Now, it order to get this function to work, you need to understand alittle bit about how this works.Most projectors talk to the remote via an infrared signal. If you look atyour projector closely, you will see a little black “window” somewhereon the front of the projector. There may be ( but not always) a similarblack window on the back of the projector. This is how your remoteTALKS to the projector. The signal from the remote is read by thatwindow.
  • 29. It is human nature to aim the remote at the screen , where the imageis projected, and that works just fine. What is actually happeninghowever, is the image is BOUNCING off the screen back to thereceiver window. Infrared is always line-of-sight, meaning the image isnot just “broadcast” out in the air …is travels in a straight line from theremote to the projector, except where is can cleanly “bounce” back tothe receiver. For this reason, many projectors, especially one that maybe ceiling mounted (where the front receiver may be blocked, oftenhave a second receiver on the back as well. When using the remote,the one thing you DON’T want to do is aim the remote at the side ofthe projector. I once set up a projector for a demonstration atChattanooga University Hospital in Chattanooga Tennessee. Ourcompany gave our part of the presentation, and I handed off theremote to a software vendor. Presenting to 30 Hospital Administratorsand Surgeons is a little daunting, and this rep was more than a littlenervous. He stood beside the projector, and when he was ready toadvance his slides, he pointed the remote AT the side of the projector.I thought the poor fellow would push the button THROUGH theremote, trying to get his slides to advance. So as unobtrusively aspossible, I walked up and whispered (Psst..point your remote at theSCREEN” . He was fine after that.The main purpose of the remote, is to, of course, remotely control themain functions of the Projector . On/OFF, focus, etc. This sameremote can, in most cases also serves as a remote mouse. But thereis almost always some set up involved before this function is possibleNow, in order for the signal that tells the computer to move the cursoror advance the slides to get from the projector to the Computer, thereIS going to be a cable involved,running from the projector to the PC.There are three kinds of cables. The side of your projector will eitherhave
  • 30. 1-a 9 pin Male serial connection2-A USB cable3-A round PS connectionWhy THREE possible cables.That is because the connection to your computer can be either a1-9 pin serial Male cable2-A PS /2 mouse connection3- A USB connection.As PC laptops standardize on USB , this is going to be a whole loteasier. Most of the new projectors ( introduced in the last two years )use a USB cable. USB, for those of you who are acronym-challengedstands for Universal Serial Bus ..USB.USB cables are fairly easy to recognize and understand. On theprojector there will be a small square connection. On the laptop orDesktop there will be a flat rectangular connection.The problem here is frankly all projector manufacturers don’t includethis cable. I don’t know why, but I suppose they figure USB cables areso common now, that most folks have a USB cable somewhere. If youdon’t , they are fairly easy to find at any computer store: Staples,Office Max, Office Depot etc. Again, this is where a good computerelectronics store can save you some $$$. The USB cable you pay$20 for in a “big box “ store, you will find there for about $5. It is thesame USB cable that goes from a PC to a printer. ( All macs since theG3 models came out use USB. If you need ADB (Apple Desktop Bus )
  • 31. cables you are using a Mac that is fairly old. There are adapters forthis too.But this is a fairly rare need these days.There are a lot of PC laptops that still use either a serial ( 9 pinconnection) on the back of the computer for mouse connections. Iactually had a group of teachers once ASK the difference between amale and female cable. Picture a shy Scotch Irishman turning BEETred. A PS 2 mouse connection is a round connection.2012 Update : USB is now the standard and I would be surprised ifthere are any PCs out there, still in use with serial or PS 2 connectors.But I also know there are some out there somewhere , so again, theabove info may remain useful, if only as “history”Once you figure out which connection your projector has, and whichmouse port you PC has, you simply plug the cable between the two.Again, this is something that should be done in ADVANCE of turningANYTHING ON.Now, there is an alternative to using the remote as your portablemouse. There are a number of vendors that make remote mice. Thesefall into two categories.1-Infrared2-RadioIN both cases there is some kind of receiver that will plug into yourcomputer. The remote talks DIRECTLY to the computer, without thesignal going through the projector.In the case of Infrared , some of the makers of these are Varatouch ,Interlink and several others.
  • 32. There are also some fairly affordable combinations of Wirelesskeyboard and wireless mice. This combination allows you to sitanywhere in the room and control your presentation.Another alternative is a wireless tablet. These are made by severalmanufacturers as well. This gives you the remote mouse capability aswell as the ability to to some kind of annotation, since most arebundled with some kind of software that allows for the “John Madden”effect of drawing arrows or circles on your projected image.One thing to keep in mind when troubleshooting remote miceproblems is that infrared CAN be sensitive to interference, especiallyfrom fluorescent lights. If you have checked your connections, andyour infrared mouse isn’t working, try simply turning OFF thefluorescent lights. This is a fairly uncommon problem, but it doeshappen. I once sent a projector back THREE times to a manufacturer,only to find out if I used the projector in another room, it worked FINE.The problem was that the fluorescent lights in that room were throwingout so much interference; it played havoc, not only with the remote,but with the basic controls of the projector itself. This is the only timethis has ever happened to me, but again, turning off the lights is afairly quick and simple step to try if you are having this particularproblem.
  • 33. What about MACS?For you hearty souls ,who have kept the Apple faith, the good news isthat since Apple introduced the G3 computers, the video produced byMac is PC compatible. Back in the “old days” Macs need adaptersbecause their monitors used a different pin configuration. So , if youmac has video out ( some of the first Ibooks and Imacs didn’t havethis) you can use a data video projector with your Mac. Instead ofusing FUNCTION keys, your Mac will either recognize the secondmonitor( your data video display) on start up, or you will need to go tothe “Display” icon Under system preferences( This is the same thingas video mirroring described above..The current round of Macbook Pro’s DON’T come with a dongle in thebox. (In the past, some did include the dongle) So if you plan to hookone of those Macs up to an external monitor or projector, don’tassume it comes in the box with the laptop. As far as I know, it is now,as they say “sold separately” .I forced to upgrade from a Macbook to a Macbook Pro. I was got todo so because Otis the Wonder Puppy jumped up and knocked a cupof good ole S.C. sweet tea all the way across the table and“SPLOOSH”, right into my laptop.I got two “learning opportunities” from this . The first is that theMacbook Pro uses an entirely different( and incompatible ) donglefrom the one I had for the Imac laptop and Macbook. So I have 3different “dongles’ in my bag of tricks, which I hope will come in handy.The second is I learned it might be good to have one of those“keyboard skins” for my laptop and that is also not a bad trick for atraveling presenter, either Mac or PC. After all, it only takes one splitStarbucks in a strange city to make trip into a nightmare.
  • 34. By the way, if you save your Powerpoint files with the .ppt suffix thatWindows requires, you can move them back and forth from Mac toPC.Here is another ‘new” tip. If you have an account, you can store Powerpoints AND videos there, andplay them on any computer, or tablet without the app! You would ofcourse, need an internet connection, and a wi-fi connection for atablet, but having your files where you can play them anyplace,anytime, is a good thing. That might also be handy in a situationwhere a computer gets “wiped” of personal files. Please check withyour IT person about whether dropbox is appropriate for you to use.If you are interested in exploring Dropbox, here is a link to thatwebsite. It’s free and easy to use.An ounce of prevention is worth a Pound of Cure.I am not sure Ben Franklin was thinking about Data video projectorswhen he wrote that in his “Poor Richard’s Almanac” but it certainlyapplies to data video projectors.Aside from not know how to do the video mirroring, I would say the #1source of an unsuccessful presentation is that someone gets to thesite of their presentation, gets the projector out of the bag, and findsthat the cable or cables they need are not in the BAG! . Now, that iscold sweat time.The two cables you absolutely HAVE To have are a Power cable anda 15 pin male to male cable. The good news is that there is nothingspecial about the Power cable. It is the same three plug female to 3plug male cable used by Desktop PCS, and printers. Chances are if
  • 35. there are any PCs anywhere around, someone will have a spare, oryou can simply borrow one to get through your presentation.By the way, here is a useful tip. Buy one of those 3 female/2 maleplugs that go on the end of a Power cord and put in with yourprojector. WHY ? This is a trick I need to credit my former coworkers,who was a light and sound guru with. Some buildings have static ontheir ground line. ( The bottom plug on a three plug projector). If yousee wavy or rolling lines in your projected image, try using thegroundless plug adapter. This has saved my bacon twice now. I keepone with me at all times.Now, if you left the 15 pin cable behind, you may be in deeper do. Thegood news is that 95 per cent of projectors use the same 15 pin maleto male cables. ( There are a few dinosaurs out there that use adifferent cable, but those are few and far between). So if your hostowns a projector, you may be able to borrow theirs.But , getting back to my point about prevention vs. cure, this is wherea little prior planning can prevent poor performance.If you are the sole user of your projector, you just need to remindyourself to check BEFORE you leave to make sure you have all thecables you need. In fact, I put a spare pair of Power/data cables in mylaptop bag too, JUST in case.Clear Ziploc bags are great. They allow you to store the cables in yourbag without them getting tangled. It allows allows you to SEE whatcables are inside.In fact, if you want to make a mobile projection Toolkit, here are someideas on things to include:
  • 36. 1-a Small flashlight. Sometimes the connections are hard to read, onthe back of the laptop( esp. if you are using a strange one)2- A tape measure. You can guess distance from projector to screenor measure. 15 feet is usually the best, depending on severalvariables.3- S video cable, RCA cables, USB cable, Serial cable( More on theselater)4- Consider taking your own VCR or DVD player. Why? Becausewhen you get there, you know it will work. Take you own. You will beglad to you did.5 Spare cables. Check you local phonebook to see if there is anelectrical/cable supply company before you go to Radio Shack or BestBuy and pay twice as much as you should for these cables. You mightalso want to consider investing in a LONGER than the standard 5 footcable that comes with your projector. This comes in handy if you needto set up your computer farther from your projector than a few feetaway.6 –Gaffers tape. Now , this is a trick that is relatively new to me, butwell known to sound guys . If you are a geek like me that reads moviecredits, you will see Gaffers listed. These are basically guys that setup equipment, especially sound equipment. If you use Duck tape totape down cables so folks don’t trip over them, you are going to havea lovely time getting that sticky stuff off of your cables. Gaffer’s tape isjust stickey enough to work, but when you go to break down, it pullsright off with no residue.7 –Cable covers or raceway. I used to refer to this as “speedbumps”but it that plastic cord cover you can buy that allows you to put cables
  • 37. inside, and sits flat on the floor, so folks don’t trip over it. Again, this isa nice accessory especially in a booth or in a room where folks mighttrip over your projector.8 –A tool kit. Projector uses connections designed to be handtightened. But you basic screwdriver, pliers and etc are always handyto have.9-A USB Flash drive. These are the little flash memory cards, startingat about 250 mb. Someone once said there are two kinds of harddrives…Those about to crash, and those that have already crashed. Ifthe Powerpoint presentation you took a week to prepare getsaccidentally deleted, or if your hard drive crashes , if you have yourPowerpoint backed up on a flash drive, you can easily restore itquickly, or hopefully find another PC to use.10 –Here is a new neat “gadget”. A company, sells a widget called “the projectorconnector’. You can buy two of their “pocket projector connectors “ ata reasonable price and use standard cat-5(Ethernet Cable) to connectthem. If you are a “road warrior” and want to be sure you have a longenough cable for a unseen eventuality, a 25 foot piece of cat 5 cableis a whole lot lighter and easier to travel with than a 25 foot VGA cable, or just travel with the connectors if you are certain you can get aEthernet cable at your presentation site, if you need one. Any good“big box” technology store will have cat-5 cable. Not all will have alonger than 6 foot VGA cable.I invested in a book called “ Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff “( Men’sEdition) and I found some useful ideas , some of which were easy todo and made sense. One idea was that anything you need( andloose ) regularly, get two of . So I have a couple of cell phone ACadapters, several power cables for projectors and various other
  • 38. needed-daily widgets for daily life. It has been my pleasure more thana few times to present with , or support a former Air Force officer in apresentation. You don’t have to tell someone whose life depended on“redundant systems” about the need to be prepared. They havealways come “ready to rumble’.The Care of feeding of your Data Video projectorProjectors are, as I have stated several times previously, generallypretty reliable. And there is not much maintenance that needs to bedone.There IS one thing that you should do regularly, and that is clean theair filter on your projector. If you read the manual, it says to clean theair filers every 100 hours.Now, this is REALLY easy to do. You may have to look at the manual,but generally the air filer is located outside of the fan. . This shouldmake sense, because all projectors have a fan , to cool the lamp. Theair filter is a piece of thin foam usually. Over time, it will get dustier asthe fan has drawn air across it. This is , as it would seem obviousespecially true in an environment like a dusty schoolroom, or arestaurant or bar. Cleaning the air filter simply consists of removingthe filter, and blowing out the dust . The best way to do this is with acan of dry compressed air, which is also handy to clean out your Pc,and can be found in any good office products store. If you are in apinch, you can remove the filter, take a deep breath and go POOF,and blow out the dust.If this task has been neglected long enough, your filter will get soclogged that so little air gets through that the fan cant cool the lampenough, the lamp gets hot , and the automatic temperature shut offkicks in, and your projector shuts off before it can start. This is veryrare, but I have had a couple of instances where, upon cleaning their
  • 39. air filters, a presumed-dead projector started working fine. Thishappens so seldom, that I didn’t include it in the “what do I do “checklist, but if you think about it a clogged air filter is not good, and iseasily remedied.In the last few years, we have seen a new generation of projectorswith long life filters of up to 6,000 hours. That’s great, but I stillencourage people every so often to take the good ole can of air andblow it out.Manufacturers of whatever product are always looking for a“competitive edge”. Three years ago I was lucky enough to attend the“ne plus ultra’ trade show for these products, infocomm, and onemanufacturer of light engines had hired some very attractive girls( they are called “booth bunnies” in the business) to parade around theLas Vegas convention center wearing surgical masks…and not awhole lot more. Well, they WERE wearing T-shirts that said “No filterneeded” because the company claimed there optics were closed. So,I asked a friend in the know about that, and yes, the optics are in anenclosed box, but there is still, as with any projector a fan and a fanmeans dust. So, the makers of the cans of compressed air havenothing to worry about, and you should be careful to clean out ANYprojector. Perhaps you want need to do it as often, or as thoroughlybut if dirty air is coming in, an occasional “poof” is like chicken soup fora cold :it cant hurt, and it might help. “LAMPS..and why do those $@##@$%@#$@ lamps COST so much?Well, lets tackle the price of the lamps first. Generally, replacementlamps run about $400 now..some more a few less, but that is aboutthe median price. If you take 2000 hours( the average lamp life of aprojector, and divide $400 by 2000 hours, you will find that it costs you
  • 40. 20 cents an hour to operate your projector. And if you take 2000hours, and assume that your projector is used 2 hours a day, 5 days aweek , 50 weeks a year, you lamp should last somewhere close to 5years. That doesn’t make the $400 replacement cost any less, but atleast looking at it that way, make you wont get sticker shock!Here’s what one web site on presentation technology said:These LCD bulbs and LCD projectors utilize sophisticated opticstechnologies that allow images to be very precisely projected with aspecific brightness, color mix, and clarity that is far superior to earlier-generation projection equipment. Second, the light bulb is assembled into a cage and is calibrated forconsistent performance. Since the light bulb in a "cage" is a newgeneration of light bulb, it is accompanied by some "depreciateddevelop” costs.Ok, want me to translate?. There is a lot of cost in developing theselamps, they use some expensive components( gold and other metals)and because the manufacturers wont get together and settle onstandard, the lamps are made differently for each new projector, tosqueeze out as much brightness as possible.And , where are all of these lamps made? Not in the USA. So we haveto settle for the prices our friendly Asian WTO partners will give us.There is hope on the horizon. Engineers are working as we speak onsolid state light sources( computer chips that generate light) and wereare most ( not all ) chips made. Do the names Motorola and Intel ringa bell?
  • 41. We are also starting to see projectors with lower priced lamps. TheUST projector ( ultra short throw ) projectors from Dukane now havemore affordable replacement lamps.The good news is that the current generation of metal halide lampsnow in use are fairly reliable and don’t (often) precipitously fail. So, ifyou treat your projector with a modicum of care, clean the filter, andsay your prayers, it should be several years before you have to worryabout a lamp.What CAN cause your lamp to fail before it should is rough treatmentof your projector. The filament inside the lamp ARE sensitive, and theglass in the lamp is under pressure. If you drop the projector, or give ita “jolt” , the lamp may fail. It is very unusual for a lamp to go POOF,but it has happened, but that can normally be traced to someonedropping or jostling a projector.Ok, now let me vent a pet peeve. An organization orders a projector.They are all anxious to spend that $$$ before it gets taken back.Then the projector sits in the box, especially if it came in just beforeschool got out. And when someone finally OPENS the box, and theprojector lamp goes POOF( My Jack Russell Terrier loves everyoneexcept two arch lizards, and men in brown trucks withbrown Bermuda shorts. I have tried to convince him no to bite…thelizards.) So, because the box was dropped on a loading dock, I get acall with someone screaming that the projector that I SOLD THEMdoesn’t work, and what am I going to do about it. There is a keyphrase here to know…Write it down and repeat it afterme..INOPERABLE ON FIRST USE. If you can prove a projector isinoperable on first use, the options you will get a WHOLE lot differentthan in other circumstances. However, if your first use is 8 monthsafter you GOT the projector, I will tell you where in the dictionary tofind sympathy, because that is about the only place you will find it.
  • 42. Being serious, no one can help the fact that a projector arrives duringa break. But as SOON as possible, open your box, turn on yourprojector, and LEAVE it on for a while. If it is going to fail becausesome bonehead dropped the box, it is going to fail right away.Now, there is nothing you can do about the handling your projectorgets going from the factory to your door. But there are some thingsyou CAN do to lessen the chance that your projector will be droppedand damaged.The first, especially if you are planning to travel with your projector, isto invest in a good, well padded bag. Most manufacturers include abag now, because people screamed so much about buying a bagseparately, they gave in a provide a bag. But most of these are“placebo bags” and not well padded or sturdy.You can find a good well padded shoulder bag for about $75. You canbuy a padded rolling back specifically for your projector for about$275.One sort of in-between trick I have found, it so go by one of those bigplastic containers at Family dollar. I generally travel with severalshoulder bags, and they tend to shift in the back of my SUV. If theyare packed inside these cases, if something like a screen orsomething hard and heavy fall on the projector, there is not problem ifthe plastic container serves as a “outer shell”. You can even go furtherand pack it inside with bubble wrap. (Otis the Wonder Puppy eats allof mine, but you can find it at any office supply store.)CHANGING THE LAMPIf you want to hear a brave , veteran teacher, who faces down fiercemiddle schoolers all day get trepidation in her voice, suggest that they
  • 43. need to change their projector lamp. You will hear the fiercest teacherturn meek.However, projector lamps are really, ( trust me on this ) a snap tochange. This is because they are now lamps, not bulbs. If you want toget a look of disdain from an AV professional, ask them about a “bulb”for your projector. Imagine someone’s eyes rolling when you call onthe phone and ask for a “lamp” . It is the same look I get when I tellteenagers how great the Beatles were.Actually, there really is a “bulb” in your projectors, but it is nowencased in a cage, a metal framework, and thus is almost alwaysreferred to as a lamp. And because this cage pulls right out of asocket in the projector, you just pull out the lamp assembly, push inthe new one, and BINGO, you are back in business.Back in ancient times, (10 years ago) , some projectors did use the oldhalogen lamps, that had to be carefully treated, and installed with ascrew driver and a prayer. I have the grey hairs to prove how muchfun that was !The metal halide lamps are in cages, and designed to be quicklyinstalled. Metal halide lamps don’t precipitously quit (unless jolted oroverheated by a clogged fan). What typically happens is, that as yourlamp approaches the end of its normal life expectancy, you will see anotable decline in brightness. Your 1000 lumen projector will go to 800lumens, then 700, then 500. Now is the time to get a lamp.Some, alas not all, projectors have a lamp life counter in the projectormenu. Yes, you have to RTM to know whether your projector does ornot. Most do have that features these days.
  • 44. When you need a lamp, do know everything there is to know aboutyour projector. Not just the manufacturer, but the model and model # .Be SURE of the model number. Even if it is similar projector, made bythe same manufacturer, it may be a different lamp. Most projectorcompanies have a web site with the part # for the lamp you need. ButDON’T call up and say I need a “BULB” for my “Watusi( not a realprojector name) ” because the rep, at that point will already havedecided you are clueless, and even if you HAVE Watusi , braceyourself for a stream of questions. Know this stuff, and make your lifeand everyone else’s easier. And tech people tend to be nicer whenthey know they are not dealing with a buffoon to start with.You don’t Plan to fail, but you may fail to plan.Gentle readers, you may have taken all of my wisdom, andchastisements to heart. You know that your projector is a BrightstarX200(Again, not a real name) , that is has 1800 lumens and is XGA.You have a Dell Latitude laptop, you are fluent in Powerpoint and lifeis wonderful. Until that other teacher /coworker wants to use YOURequipment.You can staple their feet to the floor, until they read the manual , ( inEnglish, German,and Spanish) or you can assume that no one else isgoing to figure this out ,so you can take matters into hand.Digtal cameras used to be rare. Now almost everyone has a mobilephone that takes good pictures. I suggest you take pictures of yourprojector from every angle . Attach the cables and take pictures.Takepictures of all the cables Take pictures of the remote. And use yourPowerpoint wisdom to create a Powerpoint for all of the othermyrmidons with which you work to learn how to use the projector. Ifyou get your projector back in one piece, with all of the cables, then itwas worth the trouble, wasn’t it ?
  • 45. Seriously, a Powerpoint file, now that the war is over, and Bill Gatesrules not only world, but the hard drives of all the computers in it, is agreat way not only to give a presentation, but to SHARE sometraining. Because everyone who has MS Office, can open aPowerpoint, and people who wouldn’t read a manual if the life of theirdear grandmother depended on it, WILL look at a Powerpoint.A Final Thought:Perhaps I am being a master of the obvious here, but one of the mostimportant things I have found in terms of being able to give asuccessful presentation can best be described as a “peoplemanagement “ trick. And that trick is simply managing the people whohave asked you to present to,, especially if you are walking into a newplace. I try, whenever possible to be there an hour early. That issimply because no matter how many questions you ask in advance, orassurances you get, there is always going to be some “gotcha”: roomwithout a handy electrical outlet or one you need to rearrange thetables or chairs. Being there early simply means you have time to geteverything in, set up, and ready to go, before people come in and startasking you questions. Your presentation will go smoother, and youwill be more confident if you can manage to get their early and seteverything up and do a “dry run” before your start.Another tip is never let people “help you pack” , as well-meaning asthey might be. You will find if you have adapters or cables if you taketime to pack carefully AFTER the show, you will be able to find themnext time. Now, once everything is packed, I am always wiling forpeople to help me “tote”, but only after I make an ‘idiot sweep” of the
  • 46. room to make sure I haven’t laid down a remote, or a cable or aPowerstrip somewhere.One final thought. The subject of designing good presentations isanother subject for another time. However, I attended a conferenceand heard a presenter who gave 2 simple rules for designing a goodpresentation1-One graphic per slide2-Only one line of text per slide.Sadly, many folks don’t follow these simple rules and the results arelike these : Update.iPads can easily be directly connected to a projector . However, aswith the Macbooks, the “dongle” or connector you need is NOTincluded in the box with the iPad.There are two kinds of connectors you can use, an RGB or HDMIadapter. You will also need a 15 pin Male to Male RGB cable or asimilar HDMI cable.While there are , of course, sources for all kinds of Ipad accessoriesoutside of Apple, here are the products and part Numbers from theApple Store website :VGA adapter
  • 47. Adapter ability to use the HDMI cable will of course depend on your projector having anHDMI input port.As of this writing , all data video projectors have the 15 pin RGB input. So you arepretty much assured that the RGB adapter will work .In fact, some projectors , including most ( not all) of the projectors offered byDukane have two RGB inputs. That’s a feature that is not always a benefit , sincemost people will have a single computer connected to the projector at one time.And some people simply haven’t realized what that second input can be used for .So , my point is simply if you have a projector with 2 RGB inputs, you can keep thecomputer you have been using in RGB input one, and put your ipad on RGB #2 ,as needed. Use your remote for the projector to switch between RGB 1 and RGB 2.If your projector is not ceiling mounted and you can “touch it’ you can also use the“top of the projector “ controls to switch between inputs.( By way of disclosure, I do work as a consultant for Dukane. Of course, I know theymake excellent products, so I chose them for that reason).Now, you can now connect an iPad or Mac with Mac OS Moutain Lion wirelessly toa projector or large screen LCD TV using an Apple TV box. Again, this is where anHDMI input comes in handy because it require an HDMI connection from the AppleTV to the output device. I have an Apple TV box at home and it works fine withboth..Which is better ? The direct connection works first time, every time. Apple TVconnects to your school or office internet connection and network. If your network isfast and trouble-free, no worries. If it is not, the results with an Apple TV box isgoing to be as good as your network connection.Here is the Apple TV info on the Apple store site :Apple TV
  • 48. you connect on of the “other tablets” that use Android or Windows 8 to aprojector?You probably can.I try to limit my advice to things I have done myself, or information that comes froma trusted source. two different people and if I get the same answer twice, I feel safeto share it.There are so many Android and Win 8 tablet coming on the market, and I haven’ttried them, I simply do not know. I am not making a value judgment on Ipad vsAndroid or Win 8 . I simply have not had a chance to try it, so I dont want to shareinformation on something I cant independently verify.If you have tricks or tips or wisdom to share, I would love to knowthem.You can email me at WKMcIntosh@Comcast.netAnd, just in case these insights don’t help at the crucial moment, Irecommend any movie with Gregory Hines or Fred Astaire movie fortap dance lessons.Bill McIntoshPlease note:
  • 49. This file was done for the use of my customers, clients. and friends .Feel free to print it out, to forward it to a fellow worker, and otherwiseshare it as needed.I would, respectfully ask that this file is not published or excerptedwithout my permission.And if you do receive this file from someone other than me, feel free todrop me an email with your comments .Here is my contact info :Bill McIntoshSchool Vision Inc ( my consulting company)Phone :843-442-8888Email :WKMcIntosh@Comcast.netTwitter : @OtisTMcIntoshSchoolVision Website on Facebook: opinions expressed above and mine alone and do not reflect those ofany manufacturer, past or present, that I have worked with, includingDukane.
  • 50. I have made every effort to make this “non denominational” in terms ofnot making references or recommendations to a particularmanufacturer. I did, in a few cases use “real” names simply because Iknow those products and was confident in the facts about them.The facts are true, to the best of my knowledge, keeping in mind thatwith technology things change quickly.I encourage everyone to consult with whoever might be theirtechnology/IT/Ed tech expert . The information here is simplyinformation based on questions I have been asked, and information Ihave gathered in working with educational technology for almost 25years.Document revised : December March, 2013.Addendum.. Here is a generic “service request form” . MostProjector manufacturers have a fax number. You can use thisas a guide to what you need to have handy before you make acall, or, if you are having trouble getting through, you maywant to consider using this form. One thing I have foundholds true, is while people can ignore phone calls or emails,they hesitate to ignore a fax, because you have written proofthat you did contact them.I also know, being a former teacher that time to chat on thephone or via email with a tech support rep is precious.Sending a fax may help to get an answer quickly.You might also simply copy and paste this into an email,answering the questions as you do. That would be the ideal
  • 51. for a service person, to have this info as they seek to answeryour question. Good tech support is a 2 way process, andproviding a service tech with good and accurate informationmakes everyone have a a better day. Audio Visual Service Request FormDate:__________________________End User name _____________________________________________________End User Company Name: ____________________________________________Address:___________________________________________________________City:_________________________ State:___________ Zip:__________________Contact:______________________________ Phone No:_____________________Model No:___________________ Serial No:__________________Date Purchased:_____________________ Product under Warranty: Yes NoDescription of Problem:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 52. How would you like to be contacted regarding action taken?( ) Phone( ) Fax( ) NeitherAction Taken_____________________________________________________Date:___________________________________________________________Technician Comments:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________