Optoma UK

Insight, commentary and discussions on the AV and projection industry, with the odd ‘how to’ article thrown in for good measure

Kitting out your boardroom: saving money in the long run



With the onward advancement of technology and the increase in expectations, a flipchart and pen simply doesn’t cut the mustard for business meetings any longer.

Technology now allows us access files, work collaboratively on screen and stream data wirelessly.  Upgrading your meeting room technology can seem like a costly investment but making meetings more effective can have big payoffs in terms of increased productivity and more efficient group collaborations.

Is your business taking advantage of the tools that it could be using that could save you money in the long run?

BYOD
What is becoming increasingly expected of businesses is for visitors and clients involved in meetings to be able to bring in a device (whether it’s a tablet, laptop or smartphone) and connect seamlessly to your display equipment. It is important that the projector in your boardroom or meeting rooms can accommodate this.

Working together
New interactive functionality in projectors allows several people to work simultaneously on the screen without using a pen. It is easy to annotate on the projected image, open Microsoft office files or web browsers and interact with the content without even touching a computer. 

This ability to work collaboratively on documents and presentations in meetings is a real asset to companies.  The work can be saved to a computer and distributed to participants and non-attendees after the meeting.

Conferencing
Conferencing equipment is essential for companies that regularly meet with people in different geographic locations.  Face-to-face meetings remain important but installing conferencing equipment gives you and your clients the possibility to slash travel costs and staff travelling time.

Around 1.8bn hours of Skype video calls are made each year with an increasing number of these coming from business conferences and video meetings.  Data conferencing lets you share text, images and data in real time. Videoconferencing uses telephone or data lines to transmit audio and video. A projector allows you to share content in your meeting on a super-size screen.  A large flat screen display would cost significantly more than a projector to achieve the same image size.

Going wireless
Using tablets and mobile devices as the interface between the presenter and the on-screen presentation is becoming ever more popular. Whether it’s controlling a slideshow, pulling up and manipulating data or simply used as a script/prompt for reference data, tablets are changing the boardroom and improving the way we conduct meetings.

Most projectors now have wireless functionality to stream data from mobile devices using wireless HDMI devices such as the Optoma WHD200 or Google Chromecast or Optoma’s mini WiFi dongle. 

Future proof your investment

It is important to future proof any investment in equipment.  Review the inputs and outputs you might need. Look at what sources you are using now but also what you might want to use in the future.  Most new computers and laptops have HDMI outputs enabling Full HD 1080p resolution.  Multiple HDMI inputs in your projector allow you to switch between sources easily. 

There is a growth now in HDbasedT functionality.  HDBaseT not only allows data to be sent over a much greater distance than HDMI but can also carry HD video, audio, ethernet, power and control on a single cable.  This significantly cuts down the number of cables needed for a typical business installation.

Optoma has a range of business projectors that have wireless, interactive and HDbasedT functionality.  Most have internal speakers avoiding the cost of installing external speakers.  They also include audio output if an external sound system is required. 

Most of these can be controlled remotely with full support is provided for Crestron, Extron, AMX, PJ-Link and Telnet LAN protocols. Once installed, the projector can be monitored and controlled over LAN.

Kitting out your boardroom is not just about impressing customers – it also makes financial sense.  It can save time and money by reducing off-site meetings and installing future proofed equipment in your boardrooms gives your team the tools to work more effectively.