Miracast: Everything You Need to Know

Do you know Miracast?

MiraCastAs the liaison between a device and a display, Miracast utilizes wireless technology to detect, connect, and mirror the screen of one device on the other. The up-and-coming technology serves as a peer-to-peer network to wirelessly transmit screencasts comprised of WiFi Direct connections, comparable to Bluetooth’s function. In fact, Miracast allows content reproduction from TVs, smartphones, and more – all onto users’ PC screens.

If you have a wireless connection on your device, you’re capable of utilizing Miracast’s innovative technology. Designed to be a cross-platform standard for user’s, Miracast supports up to 1080p resolution and 5.1 surround sound, ensuring that user’s enjoy a convenient and impressive experience in corporate settings and classrooms, to name a few.

Let’s break it down a little further.

When using Miracast, one device transmits the content through WiFi Direct, and the other device serves as your display by efficiently receiving and rendering the content. Essentially, the technology works to create a WiFi network between your devices, allowing for content transmission speeds to ten times faster than Bluetooth.

screenbeam meeting spacesAlong with the real-time content transmission, Miracast provides content protection through its support of High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection – or HDCP. The mechanism oversees the transfer of content between the device that originates the content (the source) and the display device, providing an added layer of security to a user’s digital rights.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Miracast, you’ve likely noticed similarities between other technologies, like Chromecast and Apple Airplay. Despite serving the same function, these technologies are not exactly alike.

In comparison with Chromecast, Miracast acts as a standard protocol within the WiFi feature on a device – essentially, a technology that a user has by default. On the other hand, Chromecast acts as a receiver, requiring a TV. Apple uses their own standard instead of Miracast, called Airplay, allowing user’s to stream content from their devices – iPhones, iPads, and Macs – to their Apple TV. In a meeting room setting, Miracast would be a more versatile option, as the technology is designed for cross-platform use. Plus, Miracast is capable of functioning without an active internet connection.

In fact, Miracast technology is available on a variety of wireless devices from ScreenBeam. By prioritizing collaborative environments in meetings, classrooms, and more, ScreenBeam’s impressive array of technology provides efficient wireless content sharing – no cables or wires necessary. Miracast is native to modern Windows devices – detailed on the WiFi Alliance’s WiFi Certified Devices list.

As an up-and-coming technology, the applications for Miracast’s innovative technology are quite versatile. Miracast is an excellent solution for entertainment, meeting rooms, and lecture halls for presentations and videos. Additionally, Miracast is a convenient option for home entertainment, as users can easily stream movies, mobile games, and more, straight to their TV in real-time.

Above all, Miracast’s efficiency and simplicity paves the way for a cable-free, wireless environment. By allowing for seamless content sharing across devices, the technology inspires an inclusive and collaborative environment.

If you’d like to learn more about Miracast and it’s role in ScreenBeam solutions, I encourage you to reach out to me.

Angie Greene
About the Author

Angie Greene | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: ScreenBeam and Panasonic

Did you say BYOM?

The professional audio-visual (Pro AV) industry has witnessed significant growth over the past few years, driven by technological advancements and the increasing demand for immersive and interactive experiences. In this dynamic sector, understanding customers’ needs has become a fundamental aspect of delivering successful AV solutions. This post speaks of the importance of comprehending customer requirements in the Pro AV industry and advocates for the incorporation of Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) devices in commercial AV solutions.

Understanding Customer Needs in the Pro AV Industry

The Pro AV industry is a diverse landscape, catering to a wide range of clients, from corporate enterprises to educational institutions, healthcare facilities, entertainment venues, and more. To deliver solutions that meet and exceed expectations, it is vital to understand the unique requirements of each client. This understanding ensures that the AV solutions align with the client’s goals, budget, and the end-user experience they aim to create.

One of the primary benefits of comprehending customer needs is the ability to customize AV solutions. This customization ensures that clients receive technology that is tailored to their specific requirements, whether it’s enhancing communication, collaboration, or providing a memorable entertainment experience. Understanding customer needs also allows efficient integration of AV solutions with existing infrastructure, which is crucial for minimizing disruptions and cost overruns.

The Role of BYOM Devices in Commercial AV Solutions

Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) devices have become increasingly relevant in the Pro AV industry. These devices enable users to connect their own devices, such as laptops and smartphones, to AV systems for presentations, video conferences, and other collaborative tasks. BYOM solutions provide many benefits, some of which are:

  1. Flexibility: BYOM devices offer users the flexibility to work with familiar tools and platforms, making the collaboration process smoother and more efficient.
  2. Cost-Efficiency: BYOM solutions reduce the need for specialized equipment and training, ultimately saving costs for businesses and institutions.
  3. Enhanced Collaboration: BYOM provides a collaborative environment, allowing participants to seamlessly share content, which is especially important in today’s hybrid and remote work environments.
  4. Future-Proofing: BYOM devices can adapt to changing technologies and standards, ensuring that AV solutions remain relevant in the long term.

Barco ClickShare as the Optimal Solution

In the competitive world of Pro AV, Barco ClickShare emerges as the best option for BYOM solutions. ClickShare offers a seamless and intuitive BYOM experience, which aligns perfectly with understanding the various needs of customers in the Pro AV industry. Its features include wireless screen sharing, compatibility with a wide range of devices, and user-friendly interfaces. The XMS Cloud platform is free of charge and allows for many advanced features that make ClickShare far more advanced than it has ever been before and separates the range of devices from other collaboration devices on the market, yet it’s not being utilized nearly as much as it could be. For more information on this, reach out to us at Exertis Almo and we’d love to assist.

Barco ClickShare’s commitment to customer-centric design, ease of integration, and scalability makes it a top choice for businesses, educational institutions, and other entities seeking cutting-edge AV solutions. By prioritizing customer needs and incorporating BYOM devices like Barco ClickShare, the Pro AV industry can continue to deliver experiences that attract and inspire, driving its growth and innovation in the years to come.

Nathan Dwelly BDM
About the Author

Nate Dwelly

BDM – Brand Specialist

Supported Manufacturers: Barco (East)

Projectors vs. Displays: Audio-Visual Solutions for Equitable Hybrid Learning Environments

Over the past few years, hybrid learning has quickly become the new normal in a variety of educational spaces. In order to accommodate the needs of in-person and distance learners alike, modern educational environments require innovative audio-visual solutions to ensure that classrooms provide a productive and equitable experience for everyone involved.

This poses an important question. Display or projector?

hybrid-lecture-projectorWhen designing or renovating a classroom, there are several key factors that affect an integrator’s decision in choosing to install a display or a projector. Generally speaking, the decision is based on the room size, seating layout, and light levels of the overall environment – both natural and overhead lighting included.

Displays are more commonly utilized in smaller meeting rooms, as they provide clear, crisp images for students viewing at a short distance. In larger classrooms of more than 20-25 participants, integrators usually prefer to install projectors, as they better accommodate the students seated in the back of the classroom and serve as a more cost-effective option for lecture halls and higher education spaces.

The CMZ50 from Panasonic is an excellent addition to any mid-size to large learning environment, as the projector features high visibility and dynamic visuals in bright rooms and flexible installation for a variety of room layouts, including a 21:9 aspect ratio for hybrid learning and remote collaboration. Perfect for the education space, the projector features a compact design and long-lasting power. Plus, the simple set-up and wall-mounted installation provides crystal-clear images up to 120” with little to no chances of projector shadows from the presenter.

Although projectors are a cost-conscious choice for larger rooms, some recently designed classrooms are including both projectors and displays in order to create an equitable experience for students, no matter where they’re seated. By placing displays midway through a lecture hall, these additional screens tend to mirror the content displayed on the main projectors for students seated in the back of the room.

Panasonic’s variety of professional displays for educational spaces create fascinating learning environments that enhance classroom collaboration. With hybrid learning in mind, Panasonic’s education-focused displays are designed for simple use, 24/7 operation, and advanced adaptability to keep up with the evolving education market.

hybrid-lecture-displayAdditionally, we’ve seen an increased demand for both displays and projectors in hy-flex classrooms, which follow a small group-based layout. These learning spaces feature a main projector, or several, at the front of the classroom, but separate students into small groups, each with their own individual display at their meeting table. The professor can walk around the room and supervise the individual groups, with the capability to transmit a video feed from the small group displays to the main projector to share content with the whole class.

In fact, integrating both products into a learning space can be beneficial when there are obstacles in the way, like low ceilings or an obstructed view from a certain seat. Whether these secondary displays are presenting supplemental material or reinforcing the content on the primary projector(s), this combination of technologies is a versatile way to accommodate the needs of every student and prioritize classroom equity.

However, there are some challenges and additional elements to consider when choosing a classroom layout, including fire code compliance, natural light levels throughout the day, and the existing layout of the room. For example, ceiling technologies, like projectors and microphones, have to be adjusted to prevent interaction with fans, HVAC systems, and more.

If you’d like to learn more about the Panasonic, please visit our website. You can also contact me here or reach out over on LinkedIn.
Angie Greene
About the Author

Angie Greene | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: ScreenBeam and Panasonic

Tech Tips with Tom Kehr | LG pt 2 – The Quick Differences

In part 2 of the Exertis Almo Tech Tips with LG video, Tom Kehr, Systems Designer & Trainer at Exertis Almo, and Dan Baker, Technical Business Development Manager at LG discuss savvy solutions for conference rooms, education, and work spaces.

43″ 3840 x 2160 One Quick Series LED Backlit LCD Large Format Monitors

43HT3WJ-B

LG’s 43HT3WJ-B is the all-in-one display for simple and quick video calls. With LG One:Quick Flex’s 43-inch all-in-one display complete with built-in camera, microphones and speakers, there’s no need to stress over online meetings and calls and no more inconvenience of connecting to and setting up video conferencing. Simplicity meets effective collaboration with touch and drawing. Equipped with In-Cell touch technology, the One:Quick Flex turns ideas into reality. With a dedicated touch pen, taking notes and drawing is easy. Work can be saved as files, and easily shared via mobile phone. On the move? This monitor is easy to transport with a movable stand. The One:Quick Flex can be used anywhere indoors where it can be moved by wheels.

Tom Kehr

Tom Kehr

CTS-D, CTS-I, Network+, LEED Green Associate, ISF-C, ATD Master Trainer

In-House System Designer and Trainer

Supported Applications: System Design

Tech Tips with Tom Kehr | LG pt 1 – How Quick? One:Quick

In Part 1 of Exertis Almo Tech Tips with LG video, Tom Kehr, Systems Designer & Trainer at Exertis Almo, and Dan Baker, Technical Business Development Manager at LG discuss how to achieve less hassles with all-in-one video conferencing solutions.

Less hassles with all-in-one video conferencing solutions from LG.

55″ 3840 x 2160 One Quick Series LED Backlit LCD Large Format Monitors

55CT5WJ-B

Video conferencing setup doesn’t need to be stressful. This all-in-one solution features a built-in Windows PC, crisp 4K UHD camera, microphone, speaker and a digital whiteboard. Experience clear video and sound qualities in your meetings.

Tom Kehr

Tom Kehr

CTS-D, CTS-I, Network+, LEED Green Associate, ISF-C, ATD Master Trainer

In-House System Designer and Trainer

Supported Applications: System Design

New Year, New Opportunities for Growth in 2021!

An interview with Sam Taylor, Senior Vice President and COO, Almo Professional A/V

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, we are settling in and setting our sites on new goals in 2021. And yes, while 2021 is already starting with its share of challenges, there is a bright glimmer of expectation for the future, especially in Pro AV!

With recent AVIXA reports showing 7-8 percent growth this year, the Pro AV market continues to march ahead. In fact, according to AXIXA’s 2020 Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis, North American Pro AV revenue is expected to grow to $78.5 billion in 2021, up from $74.3 billion in 2020.

There are other glimmers available to small businesses in our industry. The latest COVID-19 Relief Package signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020 provides a second round of assistance to companies in need. See the see the full article from NSCA for complete details.

Sam Taylor
Senior Vice President & COO, Almo Professional A/V

Many lessons were learned in 2020. Like most companies, the Almo Pro A/V crew was also challenged with cancelled events, the work-from-home learning curve, and moving quickly to offer new ways to keep reseller and integrator partners learning, working and relevant.

We sat down with Sam Taylor, Vice President and COO for Almo Pro A/V to get his perspective on the highs and lows of 2020 and what to expect from Almo in 2021. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: What was the single greatest challenge for Almo in 2020?

Sam: The most difficult part was the inability to begin or complete installations due to facility closures. We’ve experienced a “W-shaped” business cycle with projects at a hard stop in the spring, only to come roaring back in the summer, then closing down again in the late fall with re-opening starting to happen again now.  

Q: How has Almo responded to this challenge?

Sam: Two primary ways, by keeping our partners educated on new trends and opportunities in the industry and providing them with relevant products/services/support they need to keep their business moving forward – either with existing opportunities or with new ones. While many markets like hospitality and onsite events were paused, others like distance learning for education and working from home for corporate businesses had urgent new AV needs.

Q: How is Almo keeping partners educated?

Sam: For the first time in 11 years, and after announcing and preparing for our regional E4 Experience education and networking program to travel to Washington, D.C. and CA last spring, we cancelled our live events and introduced a new virtual platform called E4 Evolution (E4v). E4v was met with such success that it has become a permanent part of the E4 program. With fully curated live and interactive AVIXA-certified sessions led by all-star educators on relevant topics to help attendees thrive, E4v has become the next evolution in live education experiences.

We are soon announcing the next E4v, which will take place in March! Stay tuned for details!

Q: What other measures has Almo taken to support integrators since COVID changed our world?

Sam: We are constantly evaluating and changing direction based on the industry and the needs of our partners. We now offer PPE, disinfectant fogging kits, hand sanitizing kiosks and other point-of-entry products. We supply work-from-home bundles and lecture-capture devices for educators and business professionals. We’ve even entered an exclusive relationship with ARHT Media to offer holographic telepresence technology, which is the next best thing to being live!

At the same time, we’ve expanded our managed services offering, particularly for labor and installation to include drafting and engineering options. So many spaces have to be reworked to accommodate COVID restrictions, like restaurant build-outs and restructured office and educational facilities and most of these changes must be made quickly. Almo provides these services so integrators can use them without having to worry about hiring the experts or managing the overhead. We are ready for you now.

Q: How have you handled shipping and manufacturing delays due to COVID?

Sam: The most common delays we have seen are with cameras and USB audio products due to high demand, particularly for education. We offer multiple manufacturing lines so that if one is delayed, there is usually another to access. We help our partners lock down on product allocations early and build flexible options into their P.O.’s to provide the best possible outcome. Offering managed services to help get those products installed quickly and effectively has also helped our partners complete their projects.

Q: Looking on the bright side, what are some of the positives that emerged as a result of all the challenges in 2020? 

Sam: It’s been interesting to see how some of the changes we’ve been forced to make have actually been beneficial. We have the technology to make working from home a professional, productive experience. Our E4v has enabled partners to participate in more educational sessions worth AVIXA CTS renewal units from the comfort and safety of their remote workspace. New projects and new ways of conducting business have created exciting new opportunities for our industry that we have been able to immediately embrace.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2021? 

Sam: I cannot wait until I am seeing our customers and our vendor partners in person, and getting back to the business of being together as an industry face to face for business and pleasure. While some things may permanently change, many will stay in a “hybrid” mode for some. As COVID vaccines and treatments become more widely available, public spaces will continue to open, making way for existing projects to continue and new projects to begin. The future is bright!

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR SAM? IF SO, TYPE THEM IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!

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