PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
Group meetings with PlanGrid

Group meetings with PlanGrid

Reposted with permission from Joshua Little on Medium


Meeting with a subcontractor to discuss issues on a project? Presenting the bid set to the local planning commission? It’s a lot easier to present something visually than it is to try and explain it, but before PlanGrid, getting construction details in front of an audience was a test of your patience.

Thankfully, our hardware partners have kept up with the rapid pace of ever-changing technology, making boardroom frustration a thing of the past. We’ve compiled options for each platform, so you can share PlanGrid with your team — sans headache.

PlanGrid Labs in action

Android

Chromecast

If you’d like to mirror your device screen in a fixed, stationary location (like an office, conference room, or trailer) with good WiFi coverage, the easiest option is to purchase and install a Chromecast device.

Price: $35
Installation: Plug into HDMI port
Setup time: A few minutes
Pros: Inexpensive, wireless via WiFi, and can be used with Chrome and Android
Cons: Requires an internet connection

Tip: To use, simply connect both devices to the same WiFi network, then find either the CAST or SCREEN MIRRORING option on your Android device. Chromecast can also be used to display your Chrome browser windows (on PC or Mac) to a television.

Windows (including Surface)

Miracast

Many Windows PCs have built in Mini DisplayPort or HDMI ports for easy connection to most new TVs and projectors — but they’ve also embraced the Miracast standard for streaming video content (compatible with Windows 8 and above).

Price: Cost of device/s
Installation: None required
Setup time: A few minutes
Pros: Inexpensive, no WiFi or internet required for compatible devices over short distances, and is compatible with the widest range of devices (including some Android devices)
Cons: Low range for non-WiFi connections (23 feet)

Tip: Swipe from the right edge in Windows 8 and select DEVICES, or open the Notification Center in Windows 10 and select CONNECT, and you’ll be presented with the option to setup and use a Miracast compatible streaming device.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

Don’t want to buy a new TV? Try a Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter instead. Like the Chromecast, it’s a fast, easy plug-and-go solution.

Price: $50
Installation: Plug into USB power and HDMI port
Setup time: A few minutes
Pros: Inexpensive, no WiFi or internet required for compatible devices over short distances, and is compatible with the widest range of devices (including some Android devices)
Cons: Low range for non-WiFi connections (23 feet)

Tip: Internet/WiFi access isn’t required for use on compatible devices. Added bonus: it may be compatible with certain Android devices.

iOS

Apple TV

Have an iPad? Great! Apple provides one easy-to-remember device for Wireless streaming: the Apple TV. Setup is a breeze, and in minutes you’ll be mirroring the screen of your iPad to the boardroom projector in no time.

Price: From $69
Installation: Plug into HDMI port and power source
Setup time: A few minutes
Pros: Wireless via WiFi, and no internet required
Cons: Requires the same WiFi connection as other Apple devices and is only compatible with Apple devices

Tip: Swipe up from the bottom of your device’s screen, select the AIRPLAY button, then select your Apple TV.

Direct connection via cable

All Apple Devices and many Android devices support direct video connections via Mini or Micro-HDMI cables, Mini Displayport, and even USB-C and Lightning connections. If your device has one of these ports, it’s as simple as connecting it to the HDMI port on the back of your television — no internet or WiFi required.

Price: Cost of required cable
Installation: Plug device directly into TV/projector via HDMI
Setup time: A few minutes
Pros: Most reliable connection, with no internet or WiFi required
Cons: Being tethered to the screen means less presenter mobility, and switching presenters can take longer

What if we have a combination of devices?

Unfortunately, for multiple devices on different platforms, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Before making any decisions about how to outfit your boardroom, we suggest taking an inventory of all of the devices that could potentially be used, then determine:

  1. What devices (iOS, Android, or Windows) will be used to present to a large format display? How many of each?
  2. How often do you plan on having people present using this ratio of devices?

If you plan on having people present often, and your company allows users to decide which platform they prefer to use, having the ability to connect all of them is crucial. The low cost of streaming boxes means the only concern is whether or not the television or projector has enough HDMI ports — but keep in mind that not all devices need to connect wirelessly. For example, you could purchase the wireless adapter for the most popular platform, and then have the appropriate HDMI cables and adapters on hand for the rest.


Do you have a solution that works best for you? We want to hear about it! Sound off in the comments section below. If you have further questions about PlanGrid feel free to contact us directly via chat, or email us at support@plangrid.com.

NOTE: All prices are in USD and are correct at time of publishing.

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