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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Troubleshoot Projector Problem

article, troubleshooting, projector, hardware, tips and trick
The big moment is at hand—that make-or-break presentation. You know your material by heart, but your projector/notebook combo is acting up. The show must go on, and with the help of these handy tips, it will.

An Ounce Of Prevention
You can head some problems off at the pass by always carrying a spare parts bag. You can never tell when a favorite cable, an adapter, or the projector lamp is going to fail.

Get Connected
Use as few adapters and as short a cable as possible to make connections. The more cables and adapters you use, the greater the likelihood of problems.

Try to use a digital connection, usually DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort. By avoiding VGA, RGB, S-Video, and other analog connection options, your projector and notebook are more likely to work in automatic mode, where they detect the connection type and self-adjust for the best images.

If you are using the projector’s remote to control a presentation, be sure to connect its mouse cable (usually USB) to your notebook. After making all of the connections, turn the projector on before booting your notebook. This gives your notebook the best chance of detecting that a projector is attached and what resolution the projector wants to use.

No Sound
Test the audio by generating a system sound on your notebook. An adjustment to the volume control should produce a reassuring ping over the speakers. If you don’t hear anything, make sure your notebook isn’t set to mute audio and that you’re using the appropriate audio out jack.

If that doesn’t do the trick, check that the projector‘s audio volume is set correctly and not muted. If you’re using an audio system provided by the venue, ask one of its support staff to ensure the audio system is set up correctly.

No Image
That heart-stopping moment when you turn your projector/notebook on and don’t see an image usually feels worse than it is. The possibilities could include a burnt-out bulb, bad cables/adapters, or a notebook or projector that’s set to the wrong inputs or outputs.

Start by checking the projector lamp. If it isn’t lit, try accessing the projector’s built-in menu system or test image. If the bulb is OK, it should turn on when you use the projector‘s built-in functions. If the bulb doesn’t turn on, it’s time to dig out the replacement bulb.

Cables and adapters can be loose or break down after long use. Make sure all of the connections are tight. If necessary, try a different cable or adapter.

Many newer notebooks will detect when a projector is plugged into one of its video outputs and automatically turn the port on. However, not all notebooks do this, and even those that do might still not produce an image if the notebook isn’t set to have its desktop duplicated or extended to the secondary monitor (the projector).

Most notebooks have a function key combination you can use to toggle the projector port on or off and set how the display will be used; check your notebook’s manual for specifics. We prefer to use the control panels in Windows to perform this function, that way, we know the exact settings.

Windows XP. Right-click a blank area on the Desktop and select Properties from the pop-up menu. In the Display Properties window, click the Settings tab. Use the drop-down menu to select the second display. Select the Extend My Windows Desktop Onto This Monitor checkbox and click the Apply button. Your Desktop background should appear on the projector.

Windows Vista. Right-click a blank area on the Desktop and select Personalization from the popup menu. In the Personalization dialog box, select Display Settings. Use the drop-down menu to select the second display. Select the Extend The Desktop Onto This Monitor checkbox and click Apply.

Windows 7. Right-click a blank area on the Desk-top and select Screen Resolution. Use the Display drop down menu to select the second display, and then select Extend These Displays from the Multiple Displays drop-down menu.

Win7 also has a pop-up display for selecting the content that will be sent to a projector. Press the Windows key-P to bring up the selections: Disconnect Projector (turns the projector display off), Duplicate (mirrors your computer‘s Desktop on the projector), Extend (uses the projector as an extension of the Desktop), and Projector Only (uses the projector as the main display).

Finicky Focus
Room conditions can deceive auto focus projectors. If you’re near the projector, make sure  you are familiar with its manual focusing system. If you’re using a remote, be sure you know how to adjust the focus; never rely on just the auto focus function.

Also, use high-quality images whenever you can. Heavily compressed images tend to look soft or even a bit blurry when projected to a large size. Likewise, avoid images with resolutions meant for Web pages; high resolution images are ideal when sharp focus is a goal.

Display Cuts Out
If the projector’s display shuts off during your presentation, you may think your notebook’s screen saver is the culprit. Your notebook’s power management may also be to blame, especially if you
are running your notebook off its battery. We suggest using the AC adapter when possible. Check your cables, too. Loose connections can cause the display to cut in and out.Troubleshoot Projector Problem

Optoma HD20 High Definition 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector (Grey)Using A Network Projector
Many businesses are using network projectors, which connect to the company’s network as a shared resource. Vista and Win7 make connecting to a network projector a simple process. When you connect to the company’s network, click the Start button, select All Programs, click Accessories, and select Connect To A Network Projector. If the network connection wizard reports that your notebook‘s firewall is blocking the connection, click the button to allow the connection. If you know the name of the network projector, select Search For A Projector. If you know the address of the projector, select Enter The Projector Address.

Once you make the connection, the Network Presentation window will open and then minimize to the taskbar. Next, you will open the Network Presentation window and select Pause to suspend the presentation or Resume to start or resume the presentation. The network projector is treated as another monitor attached to your notebook. ▲

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