Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of the shared conference room PC, a device which leaves in its wake an imposing and far-reaching legacy. Although this legacy is mostly built on a foundation of headaches, frustration, despair, we must remember that the device did work on occasion. And when it worked, it worked well. Or at least semi-well.

To say that the shared conference room PC left us too soon would be wildly inaccurate. Nor can any of us say with a straight face that it will be missed. But to openly gloat over its demise at its own funeral service (as many of us here are no doubt tempted to do) would be tremendously undignified. It is therefore with the utmost solemnity that we extend our condolences to its surviving relatives—the conference room chair, the conference room table, and the dry erase board.

From the moment it was first introduced into the conference room, the shared PC demonstrated a faint glimmer of potential. In fact, for end users who finished their PowerPoint projects a day prior to their presentations, it was almost the ideal solution. All the end user had to do was e-mail the PowerPoint file to the IT department, who would then load it onto the shared PC, and—provided that there were no compatibility issues—the presentation would be ready to go.

Sure, it didn’t always work seamlessly. Login procedures were complicated, boot up times were slow, and software updates were constant. But it got the job done most of the time. Who here among us could have predicted that it would flame out in so spectacular a fashion?

Then came the BYOD era and, along with it, the beginning of the shared PC’s sad decline.

When your laptop screen can be shared wirelessly with just one click of the button, why bother sending your PowerPoint to the IT department 24 hours in advance? What if inspiration strikes you on the morning of your presentation and you want to make a revision? Then you have to send IT a new version and cross your fingers that the old version doesn’t play by mistake. Sorry, but no one wants to go through all of that.

From IT’s perspective, the benefits of ditching the shared PC were even more obvious. Why go to all the effort of making sure the shared PC always has the latest version of PowerPoint (not to mention all of the other presentation programs that are quickly gaining popularity) prior to every meeting? Why waste time downloading 12 different presentations and making sure that they all play when your connectivity issues can be solved in one second?

I can’t think of a good reason either.

And so on that note, we bid adieu to the shared conference room PC, an inadequate device which we all grudgingly tolerated because we had no other choice. And now that a choice exists, we can safely send it off to be reunited with the overhead projector in the big conference room in the sky.

This concludes today’s service. Coffee and snacks will be served in the lobby.

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

The first colour laptop, the Commodore SX-64, hit the market in 1984. It came with two video ports: an S-video port and composite video port. The device didn’t have batteries, weighed 23 pounds, and used a floppy drive that was bigger than the monitor (5 1/2 inches vs. 5 inches).
The laptop has come a long way since 1984, and so too have the ports that they come with. Over the course of just the last 8 years, laptops with one or more of the following ports have been in widespread use: VGA, DVI, USB, miniport, HDMI, Thunderbolt.
Prior to 2012, the multiplicity of video ports did not have a significant impact on the efficiency of business meetings. Most conference rooms had a shared PC connected to the TV or projector, so as long as everyone’s PowerPoint project was transferred to the shared PC prior to the meeting, presentations could go forward without too much difficulty.
In today’s BYOD era, this is no longer the case. If the shared PC hasn’t already gone extinct, it’s certainly high up on the endangered species list. Nowadays everyone brings their own laptops, and hooking up all those different laptops with all those different ports to a TV or projector can be a bit of a nightmare.
Luckily, 99.99% of today’s laptops come with WiFi capability, and connecting laptops to a TV or projector through WiFi is a lot cheaper and more time-efficient than hiring an AV company to drill thousands of dollars worth of wires, adapters, and cable management boxes through your walls and conference room tables.
In the three videos below, an unfortunate IT manager learns this conference room AV lesson the hard way…

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

Today, most employees bring their own laptops to work, eliminating the need for a shared conference room PC. However, many companies still like it the old way and insist on having a shared PC in their meeting room even if it is more of a headache than of a help.
In fact, one of the major challenges for the IT professionals tasked with supporting conference room technology is maintaining shared PCs. Here are some reasons why companies no longer need a shared PC in their meeting rooms:
The latest survey by Tech Pro Research shows that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is booming, and over 74 percent of organizations are either already using or planning to allow employees to bring their own devices to work. This rising BYOD trend has resulted in immense benefits to both employees and organizations. It obviously improves opportunities for collaborations and makes meetings more efficient and straightforward.
BYOD also brings significant benefits to conference rooms. Sharing content across tablets and smartphones makes these devices useful for various meeting scenarios ranging from training to sales presentations to planning sessions.
Failure of PC as a Connectivity Hub
There are several effective methods for accessing content during a meeting such as connecting to a tabletop AV content, connecting directly to a display or projector, accessing files from USB storage device connected via DVI or HDMI cable portable storage, etc.
However, many of these methods frequently fail because they rely on the shared PC as a connectivity hub. Whether accessing files on the corporate LAN, connecting a USB drive, or accessing the web, the shared conference room PC has serious shortcomings, including constant software updates, long boot times, and complex login procedures. As a result of this, shared meeting room PCs or laptops can be nightmares for the IT support staff.
Compatibility Issues
By relying on a single shared PC or laptop to run a presentation, you open yourself up to the following scenarios: Not having the latest version of a software that supports a particular file, having to update to new software minutes before a presentation, and dealing with users who want to share documents that only run on apps compatible with Macs.
Quite often we see conference room users run around and stress out trying to figure out a way to get the presentation to run, especially if it contains some sophisticated attachments.
Requires Extensive Maintenance
The shared conference room PC often keeps the IT team on its toes. Making sure the laptop is in proper working order, that the cables are connected to the display, software is updated, and various other tasks eat up a lot of IT team’s time.
Eliminating the shared conference room PC and investing in a wireless presentation system can help businesses save on a lot of time, energy, maintenance expenses, and above all, make meetings much more productive and effective.
Wireless Conference Rooms vs. Cabled Conference Rooms: Which Has the Better ROI? 
Top 10 Conference Room Cable Management Fails of 2016
5 Must-Have AV Products For Your Conference Room