In a previous post, we extolled the virtues of using Apple TV ($99 The Hytech Lawyer Store) to enable wireless presentations with the iPad. http://hytechlawyer.com/?p=584 Imagine, a teacher being able to wander the room with a wireless iPad to check the progress of individual students while at the same time simultaneously mirroring the content of their iPad to a projector, TV or Smart Board. For Lawyers (who are also teachers), the ability to use an untethered iPad for presentations (which if properly prepared can be tailored on the fly) has numerous applications—hearings, presentations, mediations, etc.
There is, however, one small technical problem with this vision of iPad presentation paradise for many users. Most smart board systems and LCD projectors have VGA inputs and do not have the HDMI input used by Apple TV (note: HD TVs and some high end projectors do come equipped with HDMI). The first attempt that many make to overcome this obstacle is to try a VGA-HDMI adapter cable. Unfortunately, just using an adapter will not work because HDMI is digital, while VGA is analog. You need a HDMI to VGA converter to convert the digital signal to analog.
On the recommendation of others, we purchased the LinkStyle HD Video Converter ($ 44.98 The Hytech Lawyer Store). After extensive testing, we are pleased to report that it works well. Admittedly, the picture quality is not as crisp as a digital signal using HDMI, but it compares well to the typical LCD projector image quality. Note that VGA does not support audio. However, there is a miniplug audio jack that takes the audio from the HDMI input and allows you to connect speakers or input to a sound system.
It may just be me, but I think that the ability to make a presentation using a wireless iPad has a serious cool factor. Plus, you don’t have to worry about a VGA adapter falling out during your presentation. You can also connect to power during the presentation if you are running low. Most of all, I like the ability to change my presentation on the fly because the iPad is in my hands. This allows the tailoring of the presentation to the audience; e.g., a judge asking questions. Questions anyone?