Fed up of cables? Need more information about wireless projection? We'll explain the different wireless options along with the best and easiest way to connect your smart device at 100" seamlessly.
Whether it's for home use, travel, business, education, gaming, entertainment or art, projecting your smart device wirelessly can make life a whole lot easier. We do however know how complicated it can be to choose the most suitable wireless projector. This blog breaks down the top Pico Projectors, their Wi-Fi functionality and what you need to make them work for your needs.
How does Full Wireless Mirroring work with a projector?
This term is fairly self-explanatory and means your smart device (iPhone/Android Phone/Tablet etc) display can be fully mirrored through the projector wirelessly. Whatever is displayed through your device will be identical through the projector so what you see on one screen is what you get on the other screen. Apple call this AirPlay and Android call it Screen Mirroring / Quick Connect (amongst other terms). Some projectors have this function built in like the M550 which then mirrors all devices. Other projectors like the M400 Pro work with Android for full mirroring but do not work with Apple. However a variety of dongles can be purchased to make it work with Apple. Typically this feature is only available on high end projectors. See a video of the Pico Genie M550 projector in action using full wireless mirroring here.
These types of projectors work with a wide array of different sources such as DLNA, Miracast, WiFi and WiDi or Android apps that download directly to the projector itself for complete compatibility.
How does wireless mirroring work with a projector using an App?
Some projectors such as the Pico Genie P85 have tiny wireless dongles included that lets the user display content wirelessly. On either Android or iPhone the user can then download a free App like EZ Cast Pro and connect their smart device to the projector directly without the need for a router or 3g/4g data connection.
The app works in a very similar way to the full screen mirroring and just means you need to go via an app to access the different functions. There are a massive number of options which pretty much mean that you can access everything from email, videos, the web, PowerPoint, music and much more. The only difference its not a direct mirror copy of your screen as you have to go through the app first but other than that it’s a great way to wirelessly project almost anything. See a video of the Pico Genie P85 projector in action using the wireless mirroring with the app here.
A further consideration when using the wireless feature is whether or not you will need to connect via a router, hotspot, 3g/4g type connection.
What are the alternatives if there is no built-in wireless? Cables or Wireless Dongles
If your projector has no wirelessly functionality built in, don't worry. You still have options to share your smart device wirelessly. The table at the very bottom of the page shows a wide variety of methods of mirroring whether its using a cable or a wireless HDMI type dongle or system like Apple TV or Chromecast.
Cables - The simplest and easiest way will be using a cable. For Android users this may include an MHL adaptor which must be purchased for the exact model of your handset so its advisable to purchase it from the manufacturer directly. For Apple users there are a variety of HDMI and VGA adaptors that connect HDMI or VGA cables directly to a iPhone or an iPad. There are lots of copies on the market for this type of cable so beware of cheap imitations. See Apple’s website for more details.
Wireless dongles can be connected to your projector via the HDMI port. This will allow your smart device to connect straight to the projector wirelessly. Using a wireless dongle is a great way for users to get Full Wireless Mirroring as above and is often a much cheaper way of getting this feature without paying £££ for a high end projector.
Note that these dongles always require an additional power source so you need a plug for the projector (if its not being used on battery) and you need a plug to power the dongle. However some of the Pico Genie projectors like the P200, M400 Pro and M550 act as power sources ie the HDMI port carries power to the dongle without the need for an extra plug. This is a great feature to have. The best dongles work with everything such as this WiDi (Wireless Display) dongle here.
Also note the dongles will all connect differently to your device. Some will need a wifi or hotspot or 3g/4g connection and others will simply connect directly to your device without needing an internet connection. See the table for compatibility with your phone.
There are a large number of dongles available that are like Android sticks that plug into the HDMI port as well and allow you to get TV directly onto the device. The Pico Genie M550 also has this type of feature built into the projector so you can download anything from the internet onto the device via its Android operating system.
A further consideration when using the wireless feature is whether or not you will need to connect via a router, hotspot, 3g/4g type connection. See the table for more details
*The P100 (and very small projectors) do not work with WiDi dongles as the HDMI port is too close to the power port
Alternative Accessories: How dongles/cables for screen mirroring connect - Directly or Via an App
Recommended WiDi Dongle
See Apple AV HDMI Adaptors here
For a full list of Chromecast and other dongles please see this computerworld article: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2824189/computer-hardware/10-mirroring-devices-let-you-present-without-wires.html#slide3
Overall, put simply the projector that connects wirelessly to almost everything is the Pico Genie M550 and the M400 Pro model is great for Android users and the P85 is the best value wireless projector for both Apple and Android users. You can also connect via the WiDi dongle and this will create wireless capabilities to most devices and can be a much cheaper solution.