A pain-free way to give presentations.
If you’ve ever had to give a presentation, then you know exactly how frustrating it can be to have technical difficulties. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my PowerPoint or video ready to go on my computer just to have the connecting devices for the big screen in the room fail. I’m left standing there with a dumb look on my face and people start getting restless while I try to figure out what went wrong. With my track record of technical difficulties, you can imagine my excitement to be able to test out the
The InstaShow from BenQ is a plug-n-play wireless presentation system that does not require any special software for use. The system allows up to 16 presenters to lead from devices they prefer. The system features:
- True Plug-and-Play Wireless Presentation Solution
- PC, Mac and Smart Devices Compatible
- No Software Installation and Execution
- Split-Screen Presentation for Collaboration
- Trustworthy Security Protection with AES 128-bit security encryption and WPA2 authentication protocol
There are two models of the InstaShow — InstaShow WDC10C and the InstaShow WDC10. I was provided with the WDC10C, which includes the USB-C connector. The specs for this model are provided below.
- Video outputs: HDMI 1.4, comply with HDCP
- Frame Rate: Up to 60 fps depending on environment
- Output resolution: 800 x 600, 1280×720 (720P),1024 x 768 (XGA),1280 x 768,1280×800(WXGA),1280 x 1024,1280 x 960,1360 x 768,1440 x 900,1400 x 1050,1680 x 1050, 1920×1080 (1080p)
- Input resolution: Up to 1920×1080
- Simultaneous connections: 16 pcs
- Audio: Stereo, Radio quality 16bits 48KHz
- Wireless: IEEE 802.11ac, 5GHz, 2T2R
- Data rate wireless: Up to 867Mbps
- Authentication protocol: WPA2 (WPA2-PSK (Pre-Shared key) / WPA2-Enterprise)
- Security (encryption ): AES 128 bit
- Support platform :Windows, MAC, Chrome. Any OS supports HDMI standard 1.4
- Reach: Max. 8m between InstaShow Button and InstaShow Host
- InstaShow Button (2)
- InstaShow Host
- USB Power Cable (150cm, USB Type A 3.0, micro USB)
- HDMI Cable (80cm)
- Antenna (2) (Black)
- Velcro Strap
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety Statement
- Double-sided Sponge Tap
- Rubber Feet
The InstaShow system arrives in a single BenQ branded box. There are many parts to it and cables that attach the base unit to your display or projector. This would normally be a negative in my book because I don’t like lots of parts/cables because it’s easier to lose multiple parts to systems and cables clutter things up. That said, the InstaShow has a tidy system that is very easy to set up.
To get started, you plug the HDMI cable into the base unit and the other end into your display (or projector) and then plug the Micro USB cable into a power source. BenQ does provide a power adapter for use with a wall outlet, but I was able to power the base just fine using the USB port that was built into the TV I ended up using the InstaShow with. Once those connections are established, you plug one of the button units into your computer. To link the button unit with the base unit, you simply press the button on the button unit. The button LED will turn from red to green and will immediately start showing your output video signal.
I absolutely love that there is no software to fool with. I’ve used a similar presentation device called the AirTame before, but it requires a companion app to be installed on your machine in order to stream your computer’s output signal. While the initial set-up of that system is not particularly difficult, I prefer not having the hassle of connecting through an app because it’s not 100% reliable when it comes to connecting. This is the main reason why I’m glad the InstaShow does not require software to connect.
The first time I used the InstaShow it was the same day the shipment arrived. I opened the box, took a quick look at the instructions and was able to get the entire system and my screen displayed on our office television within about 5 minutes. This is one of my favorite features of the InstaShow actually — quick set-up. What it means to me is that I could take this system with my ANYWHERE and be able to start a presentation within minutes. That is worth the investment to me.
Last night, I had the opportunity to give the InstaShow a really vigorous workout. I had a conference call scheduled using Google Hangouts. The host was going to be broadcasting video and walking through a presentation of demo material for a product we are testing. I knew the phone call might take some time and trying to crowd around a single computer monitor was just too much for this type of meeting.
So, about 20 minutes before the scheduled call, I connected the base to our office television and the button unit to my MacBook Pro. We did not broadcast video on our end, but I did connect a studio microphone to my MacBook so that the team on our end could be heard easily by the meeting host. Even though I had that microphone set-up for input audio, the output was still being fed to the TV speakers. The entire event was beautiful. The meeting ended up lasting approximately one hour and we had zero problems with the connection of the InstaShow.
It did a great job of broadcasting my MacBook Pro on the big screen television across the room and the picture was crystal clear. I do want to note that after the call, I noticed that the button unit was very warm. I took a temperature measurement using an infrared thermometer and it registered 138 degrees.
The InstaShow is quite an investment. At around $1,000 per system, it’s a great option for organizations that do regular presentations and video conferencing, but probably not a wise expense for the occasional user. The technology is incredible and it just simply works.