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How-To: Setting Up Wireless Presentation Systems

First, Add a Card

Step-By-Step Screencasts
Click on the images below to launch video screencast presentations of wireless presentation tools.

Linksys Demonstration

Elluminate Demonstration

So how do you cut the wires in your presentation system? One of the easiest methods is to buy a compatible, add-on wireless card ($150 to $300) from your projector vendor. Although wireless projectors are relatively new to the market, many nonwireless projectors are now coming standard with PCMCIA slots designed to accept a compatible wireless network card. We tested the NEC LT265 series nonwireless projector with the NWL-100A wireless add-on ($159). The projector plus add-on comes to $3,154.

The steps to set up the NEC system range from basic to complex, depending on whether the system is being integrated into an existing wireless infrastructure or used on its own. The quickest way to get the projector up and running is to use the Easy Connect mode, which actually creates an 802.11b ad hoc wireless network. Users must install the NEC Image Express Utility (available for Windows and Mac OSs) included with the add-on card. The utility automatically configures your laptop's wireless connection and looks for compatible projectors in range. The main trade-off with this method is that users don't have access to the Internet or their corporate network because their wireless card is connected solely to the projector.

Alternatively, you can connect your projector to your organization's existing wired or wireless infrastructure. If you choose to connect to your wired infrastructure, the projector has a 10/100 Ethernet port with more bandwidth than any wireless connection could provide. If an Ethernet cable run is not feasible for your organization, place the projector in Infrastructure mode, where it acts as a wireless client and connects to the wireless network you specify. With either approach, the goal is to connect the projector to your existing network, which serves as the path over which the projector sends the screen images.

The presenter connects (either wired or wirelessly) to the network on which the NEC projector is installed. He or she installs the NEC Image Express Utility, selects the projector, and the presenter's screen is mirrored automatically. This more complex deployment lets clients simultaneously access other resources--the Internet and your corporate network, for instance--in conjunction with the projector, and also make presentations on the projector from anywhere on your network.

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