My husband told me about a town meeting where he presented the other day. There was no projector; they used a (~)50″ LCD TV secured to a cart. Using a town-issued laptop to connect to the TV, my husband presented a web page he is redesigning. When he was done, the next presenter connected his own laptop and delivered a PowerPoint presentation from it.
I’m a little surprised this wasn’t really obvious to me before. TV prices have crept down, along with their bulkiness. I keep thinking about the old CRT carts from grade school. It doesn’t really feel like a leap forward.
However, when you think about it, TVs have numerous benefits over a projector:
- TV prices have gone down significantly. This is a 55″ LG LED, energy star TV for $730: http://www.walmart.com/ip/LG-55LS4500-55-1080p-120Hz-Edge-2D-LED-1.4-ultra-slim-HDTV/21693004?_mm=
- The built-in sound of a TV is usually better audio than from a projector and would be suitable for most situations.
- Playing videos from a laptop or from the Internet would be more seamless.
- the picture quality is far, far, far superior to a projector in every way and in any lighting condition.
- there’s no lamp to replace, and no cool down time
- If you walk in front of a TV, you don’t lose the entire picture like with a projector
- TVs are vertically-aligned by design, so no height/angle/trapezoidal/blah adjustments
- TVs are watched several hours per day, so it should have a long life (5-7 years-ish?)
- No matter how small they’ve become, TVs are still much larger and less convenient to move around than a projector. The linked TV is almost 70 lbs.
- Buying a cart is an extra cost to consider. With a permanent space, this is a non-issue.
- You may need to purchase new cables to connect laptops to the TV.
- Setup and fine-tuning the TV could be an extra cost, if needed.
- You can’t resize a TV, though you can move it back and forth with a cart.
- If the TV has a smaller display than your old projector, you should test your PowerPoints and other materials to make sure your font sizes are large enough for the back of your room and define a minimum font size for PowerPoint display.
Is this a complete list? I don’t know. If you can think of any pros/cons, or if you are using TVs instead of projectors for business presentations, please share! I’m very interested to learn how a mobile TV cart has worked out and whether there are other advantages or disadvantages.
As I was writing this, I remembered that laptops connected to TVs (and projectors) are already used at work for large, company-wide presentations/meetings. I didn’t even make the connection. I’ll be honest, I prefer to stand in the back of the cafeteria (where we have these massive meetings), but I can’t ever really see anything on the TVs they use. It looks like a 42-46″ TV to me.