How to use data projectors

The School of Computing Science provides many data projectors for lectures, presentations and special events.

Each projector may be slightly different. We provide this how-to page to address some of the issues people encounter every day around these projectors.

Please note: in this document, "projector" refers to "data projector".

This page is actively maintained. Please help us improve it.


Overview

Most of our projectors are fixed/mounted to the ceiling of a specific room. Each mounted projector has a companion remote and a motorized screen.

To get best compatibility, all of our projectors accept VGA signals. And a special VGA cable is provided with each projector.

Here is the list of the projectors within the School of Computing Science.

Room Model Native Resolution Special Notes
ASB 9700 Sharp 1024x768 click here
ASB 9804 Sharp 1024x768 click here
ASB 9838 North West
Dell 5100MP 1400x1050 click here
ASB 9838 North East NEC NP-PE401H 1920x1080 click here, (shared)
ASB 9820 Dell 5100MP 1400x1050 click here
ASB 9840 Sharp 1024x768 click here
ASB 9921 Dell 5100MP 1400x1050  
TASC1 9204 West Sony VPL-FHZ65 1920x1200  
TASC1 9204 East Sony VPL-FH60 1920x1200  
TASC1 9408 Dell 5100MP 1400x1050  
(portable) Sony 1024x768 sign out from the reception desk
       
Surrey 4080      

Please note: all of these projectors accept other resolutions but they may not produce a satisfactory projection on the screen. We recommend 1024x768 resolution.

All of these projectors now equipped with mDP-VGA (aka Mini Display to VGA, aka Thunderbolt to VGA) adapter. Please try it out in advance with your own device to see if it works for you.

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About some of the terminologies

Microsoft defines these modes with Windows operating system: the "duplicated desktop" mode and the "extended desktop" mode.

Within the "NVIDIA X Server Settings" tool under Linux, the equivalent terminology for the "extended desktop" (under Windows) is "TwinView"; for "duplicated desktop" (under Windows) it is "clone".

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Basic techniques of using projectors

Before the presentation, get all the equipment connected and ensure everything is in working order:

1) locate the remote for the projector and turn on the device projector

please always point the remote at the projector itself, not the screen or the computer.

2) use a switch to lower the motorized screen. You will find the switch on the wall near the screen.

3) locate the VGA cable that has been connected to the specific projector; connect the loose-end of this VGA cable to the computer you will be using.

if there are two VGA ports on the computer, please always use the one on the added graphics card

if there is no VGA port on the computer, you may have to use an adapter to convert the outputted display signal to VGA mode. Please read the manual of the computer for more details.

4) after the computer is configured to output VGA signal, the projector will automatically detect the signal and start projection.

if the projector does not find the input source, you may manually select input source by using the remote.

During the presentation, if you don't need the projector for more than 20 minutes, please turn off the projector to prolong the life of the bulb.

After the presentation is done, please:

always use the switch to roll up the motorized screen.

always turn off the projector (in general, you need to click the OFF button on the remote twice)

always disconnect the VGA cable

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How to temporarily blank/black the display from the projector?

Sometimes, this is called "video mute", or "blank"

You may find a button for this on most projectors' remotes.

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There is no mounted projector in the room in which I'm presenting. What should I do?

We have a portable projector in our general office (ASB 9971).

Please contact the School's receptionist for booking.

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About using projectors with Windows OS

If you are connecting the computer running Windows 10 to one of our projectors, the projector will be automatically

  • detected
  • configured with the projector's native resolution
  • set as "extended desktop" of the main display of the computer.

In an extreme case, a reboot should force the Windows system to properly configure the connected projector.

For some laptops, there are key strokes to set the projector on "clone" or other modes. Please read the manual of the laptop for more details.

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The projector does not work with my mobile device, what should I do?

There are a few possibilities:

Firstly, make sure you are using the proper adapter - VGA port is accepted globally as of 2013.

Secondly, make sure the projector is getting the signal from the proper input source.

Thirdly, always hook up power adapter to the mobile device for the presentation. Sometimes, the battery may not provide a strong enough signal to the projector.

Fourthly, ensure mobile device outputs proper resolution to the projector. The most promising ones are XGA(1024x768), SXGA(1280x1024), SVGA(800x600) and VGA.

If all these methods do not work, please contact helpdesk asap; CSTS may provide you an alternative laptop on FCFS basis.

A gentle reminder: please book early and test early to avoid any disappointment. If you are using a Macbook, please check out this Q&A.

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The projector could not detect my Macbook, what should I do?

From time to time, Macbook users experience difficulty connecting to the projectors in SFU.

Here are some steps you may try.

Firstly, please make sure you are using proper adapter - the Thunderbolt to VGA adapter, aka Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter.

Secondly, please ensure the projector is getting the signal from proper input source.

Thirdly, please always hookup power adapter to the Macbook for the presentation. Sometimes, the battery may not provide strong enough signal to the projector.

Fourthly, please ensure the adapter has the proper version of firmware.

If all these methods do not work, please contact helpdesk asap, CSTS may provide you an alternative laptop on FCFS basis.

A gentle reminder: please book early and test early to avoid any disappointment. If you bought a new Macbook, please try it out well before the presentation.

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Special notes on using the projector in ASB9700

Prerequisite: make sure the projector is connected and turned on. Before working on the computer, please hit the "Enter" key on the remote of the projector.

When connected to a from CSIL Windows workstation:

Reboot the workstation and the system should detect the projector and set it as the "extended desktop".

The projection screen should have projected content. If you only see blank/black screen, it means you don't have content on this extended desktop :)

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Special notes on using the projector in ASB9804

Prerequisite: make sure the projector is connected and turned on. Before working on the computer, please hit the "Enter" key on the remote of the projector.

When connected to a CSIL Ubuntu system:

Logon to the Ubuntu system, launch the application "Terminal"; execute one of the two commands here:

  • for extended desktop (the projection will be on the "right" side of the LCD screen),

xrandr --output VGA1 --mode 1024x768 --right-of HDMI1

  • for screen cloning:

xrandr --output VGA1 --mode 1024x768 --pos 0x0

(please note: the LCD panel has native resolution of 1920x1080, the projector will only be able to show top-left portion of the content on the LCD screen)

The projection screen should have projected content.

When connected to a CSIL Windows system:

The system will automatically detect and set to use the projection screen as "extended desktop".

If there is no display from the projector, please click "Input1" button on the remote so the projector uses the proper input source.

If you like to further customize the projection, please launch the application "Intel(R) HD Graphics" which is in the system notification area. You may fine tune the resolution and change multiple display settings. Please make sure all the changes work before saving them.

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Special notes on using the projectors in ASB9838 North

Special notes:

The two projectors - one at ASB9838 North West and one at ASB9838 North East - hook up to the same input source (HDMI port) using a signal splitter. To project on both sides, please turn on both projectors and lower both screens.

Prerequisite: make sure the projector(s) are turned on. Make sure you have hooked up the computer to the HDMI port of the projector.

When connected to a CSIL Ubuntu system:

The following procedure sets up identical displays ('clones') on the CSIL computer monitor and two projector screens.

  1. Make sure you have lowered both screens, projector HDMI cable is connected to the PC and have turned on both projectors.
  2. Login. The projector display may not be in the desired state yet. Your primary display for now is the Right Projector Screen.
  3. Right click on the background and select 'Display Settings'.
  4. Select 'Mirror'.
  5. Select resolution "1280x1024 (5:4)".
  6. Select 'Apply'
Notes:
  • The computer monitor will revert to original (higher) screen resolution when the projectors are not connected.
  • The settings for the projectors are kept even if you logout. That is, when you login next time, you won't have to go through the procedure again.

When connected to a mac:

Follow similar steps as when connecting to a CSIL Ubuntu system, but select the resolution "1080x768". You may also try resolution "1024x768".

When connected to a CSIL Windows system:

The system should automatically detect and set to use the projection screen as "extended desktop".

If you like to further customize the projection, please launch the application "Intel(R) HD Graphics" which is in the system notification area. You may fine tune the resolution and change multiple display settings. Please make sure all the changes work before saving them.

when connected to a windows laptop:

Follow same instructions given above for connecting to a CSIL Windows system.

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Special notes on using the projector in ASB9820

Prerequisite: make sure the projector is connected and turned on.

When connected to a CSIL Ubuntu system:

Logon to the Ubuntu system, launch the application "System -> NVIDIA X Server Settings"

Within the newly opened window,

click "X Server Display Configuration" on the left pane

 if you don't see two screens show up in the right pane

click button "Detect Displays"

in general, this will show two screens provided the projector is in working order

click the screen labeled as "DELL 5100MP (Disabled)"

click the Configuration choices, select "TwinView"

(optional) if you prefer bigger fonts, please change the resolution to 1024x768.

click button "Apply"

The projection screen should have projected content!

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Special notes on using the projector in ASB9840

Prerequisite: make sure the projector is connected and turned on. Before working on the computer, please hit the "Enter" key on the remote of the projector.

When connected to a CSIL Ubuntu system:

The Ubuntu system could detect the projector automatically. And it will set its resolution to 1024x768. By default, the system displays in "extended desktop" mode -which the projection screen is the main display.

Here's how to configure "Picture in Picture" or "Clone":

  • logon to the system (you may need to move the mouse a few times to see the login field)
  • click menu "Settings -> Settings Manger”, in the “Settings” window, click icon “Display" (most likely it is showing on the projection screen, not on the LCD panel)
  • (now, we see two devices listed on the left pane: "Monitor" and "Dell 24in".)
  • select "Monitor" on the left pane, on the right pane, UN-check "Use this output"
  • (now, the projection screen will go blank)
  • select "Monitor" on the left pane, then on the right pane, check "Use this output", this will make the projection screen shows a portion of the screen on the 24" LCD panel - we got "Picture in Picture" mode configured!
  • if you like to see identical contents on the LCD and projection screen, please select "Dell 24in” on the left pane, then on the right pane, change the resolution to "1024x768", click button “Keep this configuration” when prompted - now, we have the "clone" mode.

Please note: please disconnect the VGA cable from the computer after each use.

When connected to a CSIL Windows system:

The system will automatically detect and set to use the projection screen as "extended desktop". You could change it to clone mode by yourself.

If there is no display from the projector, please click "Input1" button on the remote so the projector uses the proper input source.

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Questions?

Please contact helpdesk if you need further assistance.

Last updated @2022.03.01