A few days ago I posted about my brand new, highly portable presentation kit; few minutes of its use immediately highlighted several areas for improvement, and today I am happy to report about the rev.2 of said kit.
One ofe the things I complained about was the risk of not having access to the meeting room wi-fi and how this could potentially derail any coolness credits if you must go clumsily hunting at reception for the password. I also reported that, sadly, my Sammy SII’ portable hotspot bandwidth was not sufficient to support Airplay.
To solve this I bought a cheap TP-Link router (the white box on the left); you see it here connected to my phone spare battery pack (through a clumsy USB micro to USB mini adaptor, but I did not want to spend the 30 euro for a USB mini battery pack I would have no other use for). Once it powers up by simply connecting the battery pack, it generates a 802.11/n wifi network whose login details are memorized on all my devices which will therefore automatically connect.
It won’t access the Internet, although it could simply by plugging a 3G/4G stick in the USB-in port, but in presentation mode I have no need for that; the beauty is that I do not even have to take it out of the carrying bag!
The second area for improvement was the sound department, as the tiny projector speakers are really not powerful enough for anything but the most limited audiences. The Insignia speakers I had originally decided upon could not be delivered so I looked for an alternative and settled for the Cyber Acoustics USB-powered speakers.
Being USB-powered, they do away with the power cord and have a nice magnetized spot on the speakers which ensures they stick together when transported.
A third area for improvement was the huge HDMI cable connecting the Apple TV and the projector: a short, flat cable did improve it a little bit, but this is still something that needs proper addressing, as the spaghetti are still there and the potential for unbalancing the kit has only marginally decreased.
The original carrying case won’t contain all these other gizmos, so there might be a rev. 3 opportunity in a better transport packaging; also the USB cables are really clumsy; there is perhaps a solution in using Airplay-capable speakers, but they have power cords and are currently too expensive for this, so this setup may be the best I can achieve right now.
As to the performance, the sound and video are quite impressive for such a small kit, see/hear for yourself:
Shopping list (addendum)
- TP Link router – EUR 26.90
- USB micro to mini adapter – EUR 4.00
- Flat HDMI cable – EUR 10.58
- Cyber Acoustics speakers – EUR 25.00 (a saving of EUR 9.00 over the previously selected Insignia)