Remote Administration and Wi-Fi Network Control

By M. David Stone  |  Posted 2008-09-25 Print this article Print

Remote Administration

More and more projectors offer network connections for remote administration, a trick that can save a tremendous amount of time for the admin. The process works pretty much the same way as remote administration for network printers. Typically you can use a browser to connect to a Web server built in to the projector. The Web pages let you monitor the projector status and settings, as well as change settings. Most newer projectors with remote administration features even have e-mail alerts that can send messages to warn you when a cooling fan isn't working, for example, or when it's time to change the lamp.

Presentations by Network

Some projectors use network connections to let you connect and show presentations, a convenience that potentially lets users show presentations from any computer connected to the corporate LAN. Network presentations typically take advantage of proprietary presentation programs-analogous to drivers for printers-so users can send data to the projector. 

Presentations as Conference Tools

Some presentation programs that work over a network also let you show output from more than one computer at a time-typically up to four-dividing the screen into a separate section for each computer. This can be a highly useful convenience in a conference room, where two or more people can show information from their computers on one screen at the same time.

Wi-Fi Connections

Wi-Fi support in a projector adds the ability to connect the computer wirelessly, which is often the easiest way for each presenter to connect his or her own computer. 

Dual Lamps

Redundancy is always a good thing to have, particularly in something like a projector, where, if the lamp blows in the middle of a presentation, you're pretty much dead in the water. Some projectors offer dual lamps, so if one lamp dies, the show can go on.


Eco-mode-a pun that combines economy with ecology-typically extends lamp life by lowering the light output. It also lowers the noise level, since less light means less heat, with the projector needing less cooling and, therefore, less work from the fan. Using less power also reduces the cost of electricity and saves money on expensive lamps, since each lamp lasts longer. All of this is important to anyone's budget and increasingly important in general, given the growing emphasis on greening IT.

Keep in mind too that you won't lose much perceived brightness in eco-mode, so in most cases it's well worth using. Perception of brightness is on a roughly logarithmic scale, which means you have to drop the brightness in lumens by a factor of 10 for people to perceive the image to be half as bright. Most eco-modes drop the brightness by only 15 to 20 percent compared with standard mode. You'll see a visible, but not dramatic, difference in brightness, while lengthening the life of the lamp by as much as 30 to 40 percent.


M. David Stone is an award-winning freelance writer and computer industry consultant with special areas of expertise in imaging technologies (including printers, monitors, large-screen displays, projectors, scanners, and digital cameras), storage (both magnetic and optical), and word processing. His 25 years of experience in writing about science and technology includes a nearly 20-year concentration on PC hardware and software. He also has a proven track record of making technical issues easy for non-technical readers to understand, while holding the interest of more knowledgeable readers. Writing credits include eight computer-related books, major contributions to four others, and more than 2,000 articles in national and worldwide computer and general interest publications. His two most recent books are The Underground Guide to Color Printers (Addison-Wesley, 1996) and Troubleshooting Your PC, (Microsoft Press, 2000, with co-author Alfred Poor).

Much of David's current writing is for PC Magazine, where he has been a frequent contributor since 1983 and a contributing editor since 1987. His work includes feature articles, special projects, reviews, and both hardware and software solutions for PC Magazine's Solutions columns. He also contributes to other magazines, including Wired. As Computers Editor at Science Digest from 1984 until the magazine stopped publication, he wrote both a monthly column and additional articles. His newspaper column on computers appeared in the Newark Star Ledger from 1995 through 1997.

Non-computer-related work includes the Project Data Book for NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (written for GE's Astro-Space Division), and magazine articles and AV productions on subjects ranging from cosmology to ape language experiments. David also develops and writes testing scripts for leading computer magazines, including PC Magazine's PC Labs. His scripts have covered a wide range of subjects, including computers, scanners, printers, modems, word processors, fax modems, and communications software. He lives just outside of New York City, and considers himself a New Yorker at heart.


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