InFocus LiteShow II review
A projector is an essential tool for any boardroom these days. But installation can be complex, with ceiling mounting requiring long runs of VGA cable and lots of hard work tucking the wires out of sight.
That’s exactly what InFocus’ LiteShow II is designed to avoid. It allows you to display presentations on a fixed location projector without the need to physically hook up a cable, and allows presenters to be located anywhere in the room, not just where the cable happens to pop up. This is particularly handy in classrooms or larger meeting rooms, where the speaker’s position may change on a regular basis.
It’s not the first wireless projector system we’ve seen by any means – the Taxan JG-PS125X featured built-in wireless, via an SDIO adapter – but what marks it out is that it’s by far the easiest to use. InFocus has surpassed itself here. It would be extremely easy to just provide an installation CD and expect the user to get on with it, but InFocus has clearly devoted some time and effort in making setup a painless process.
You can of course install the CD on your laptop, but the LiteShow II is designed to be used by anyone who wanders into a meeting room, and here it’s admirably well-equipped. Switch the projector on and you’re immediately presented with a screen containing step-by-step instructions on how to do exactly that. There’s even a version of the software hosted on the LiteShow’s internal http server for instant download.
Once you’ve connected to the projector over 802.11g (ad-hoc wireless connections, or a local wireless access point can be used), it’s a simple matter of selecting the projector using the LiteShow manager software and clicking a button. The software will ask if you want to downscale to the LiteShow’s native resolution or continue at native resolution, and then you’re away.
The quality is surprisingly good. The projected screen responds quickly and doesn’t lag behind the display on the source machine; and the box is even powerful enough to display video at reasonable frame rates (up to 15fps). That’s not enough to watch a movie on, but for presentations it’s perfectly adequate. The box will even pipe audio to the projector via a 3.5mm output.
There are downsides, though: using the wireless connection for projection ties up your internet connection so you won’t be able to demonstrate websites without a simultaneous wired connection; and despite the claims on the website, it can’t display 1,280 x 800 natively.
But for straight PowerPoint slideshows there’s nothing we’ve come across that’s as easy to use and set up as this. And for just under £90, it’s good value too.