INF: Wireless Computer Video

By now, most of us have felt the giddy liberation afforded by 802.11abg (a.k.a. ‘WI-FI’) wireless Ethernet. Most college campuses now brag about their "ubiquitous computing" initiatives and many companies and hospitals are following suit. Girl

Wireless computer video is the next logical step toward true mobility. Just imagine: Walk into the classroom, walk up to the podium and open your laptop (*poof* you’re on the Internet), select the projector to display your computer image (much as you select a printer to which to print) and *poof* you’re presenting your materials no-strings-attached!

Current products that advertise "wireless VGA" functionality lack bandwidth (30 frames per
second, please), open architecture (only works as long as all projectors are Brand-X) and device independence (I should be able to roll in that UNIX workstation and wirelessly connect to multiple display devices).

The few companies in this "Wireless VGA" market, typically ship the computer’s desktop image wirelessly over 802.11b to their proprietary devise that plugs directly into the projector’s DVI port. These devices present themselves as "ad-hoc access points" forcing users to choose between sending video or accessing the network*. Many enterprise-grade LANs (including those at UNC) prohibit the deployment of ad-hoc access points because they generate false network errors (and associated support calls) when users accidentally connect to them instead of the institutional access points.

Magicbox

Characteristics of Solution…

Item#1. A "Magic Box" with a wired network port (to receive the packetized image from the computer across the LAN) and a DVI port (to output a high-quality, lossless video image to the projector).
Item#2. A device driver that lets the computer "find" and connect to available projectors on the network (as if you are browsing for network printers).

Remember the goal: To display you computer image from a fixed projector without the need to fuss with cables. This does not require network connection at the projector to be wireless (most well-planned venues currently provide wireless networking).

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