The slightly over $20 solution to the video projector.|
by Shepard & Bernard Gorman
It's hard to find any institution that doesn't see many computer-based
presentation packages like Microsoft PowerPoint, used virtually every
day. One would probably be hard-pressed to not find a computer at any
but the smallest of businesses or schools. But not every room has the
capability to display computer output to large groups. How does the
average presenter remedy this?
A video projector and a laptop computer make a nearly unbeatable
solution for multimedia lecture presentations. However, the price of
this combination however, can be daunting. The cost of good laptops with
DVD recording capabilities, and excellent multimedia tools has dropped
to under $1000. Likewise, the prices of video projectors have tumbled in
the past few years from an initial cost of $2,000to $3,000 to the $800 -
$1000 price range. While this is great news it still out of the
financial reach of many institutions and most individuals. We’re going
to suggest a solution which will bridge the last step so that only
minimal, inexpensive equipment will be needed during presentations.
The solution can be found in the tactic that millions of consumers
prefer in the living rooms and bedrooms. ( Got your attention?) The deal
is the combination of a DVD player and a TV set. This is obvious to
consumers until they become instructors, when they completely forget
this tactic. Usiing this new combination will require no animal testing,
heavy equipment or a new supply of dental floss. However, you might want
to buy extra batteries for the remote control.
While some effort is needed to get started, our approach is
inexpensive, highly portable and easy to save. Neither the DVD player
nor the TV need be expensive. In fact, our experience has shown that
some of the least expensive DVD players, are much more tolerant of many
types of DVD disks and, therefore, far better suited for this purpose
than the very expensive ones. Carefully shopping catalog, on-line and
pre-holiday door-buster special sales, you can locate these kinds of
players for under $20 (after going through the incredibly annoying
Almost any medium to large TV with component audio and-video ( red,
black yellow) input will do. If you want to get fancy, sets with S-video
inputs are better. These aren’t difficult to find, with most TV sets
made in the last seven or eight years qualifying. An expensive HDTV set
is not only unnecessary, but probably unwise for this purpose. A 27 inch
TV is more than adequate for presentations to groups up to about 40 and
should be available from many sources for under $200 in the eventuality
that an institution does not have one readily available.
Once the hardware is in place how do we place content onto the
screen? In fact, this step takes about the same time to explain as
execute. As is usual in our electronic world there are multiple ways to
accomplish this well. The assumption here is that the reader had already
has a computer PowerPoint presentation that has been reviewed and
especially checked for spelling. It's so embarrassing to see the
misspelled words take on a semi-permanent life in large type.
The assumption we’ll also make here it that you have access to a
computer with DVD recording capability and some inexpensive video
recording software.. The research for this article was done with a 512G
RAM, 1.8MHz Win XP computer running Ulead DVD Movie Factory 3 and Nero
Ultra Version 6. (DVD Movie Factory 4 and Nero 7 should work the same
way. They both were being shipped as this article was being written and
will be reviewed at a later date.)
The steps for the actual transformation are fairly easy:
1. Instead of simply saving your PowerPoint file , use the Save As
.. pull-down and save the file as a JPEG. Answer "Yes" when
PowerPoint asks whether each slide should become a separate file. Saving
the presentation files to their own separate folder will make the
process much easier.
2. Open the folder with the JPEG's and rename each of the first 10
files from Slide 1 to Slide 01, Slide 2 to Slide 02., etc This step will
make sure that the slides are entered in proper order in the
3. At this point we can transfer to JPEGs to a DVD in one of 2 ways.
A. Here’s the cheapest method.
1. Open Nero Burning ROM to the DVD menu, and chose "Data Disk"
2. Add the JPEGs from the folder and burn the disk.
Disks made this way , will display on many DVD players that have
video file capabilities. The slides will show with a default
presentation duration that depends on the individual player, but usually
is about 5 seconds. Since almost no one could or should talk that fast,
the judicious use of the "Pause" button to advance slides is in order.