May 10 2024

Review: Hold Presentation Reservations with the AirServer Connect 2

Instead of fumbling with Wi-Fi on congested networks, this mini server creates a local space that connects presenters to large screens.

Even within dedicated conference rooms, setting up a connection between a laptop or smartphone and a large display often proves tricky. Joining via an agency’s wireless network is also trouble-some, requiring a strong signal and an uncongested network, especially when streaming high-resolution content.

AirServer Connect 2 simplifies those challenges while also strengthening security. It generates a small local wireless network whose only purpose is to connect presenters to a nearby display or multimedia system inside a dedicated meeting space.

Separated from other agency networks, this network has its own security and passwords, and can be used only for authorized presenters to connect seamlessly to local displays or sound systems.

When set up properly, there is no issue with getting the attached display to work as presenters log in to the private network. Administrators plug the mini-server into the display using an HDMI cable, then set that up as the dedicated connection method.

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A Dedicated Wireless Network for Presentations

Authorized presenters who connect wirelessly to the AirServer can stream presentations up to 3840x2160 (4K Ultra HD) and with Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD 7.1 channel sound. Having a dedicated wireless network for presentations on a single display or multimedia system means the network is never congested. Up to eight presenters can connect simultaneously for screen sharing or to hand off presentation duties.

In addition to a dedicated connection, AirServer also offers greater security than an open connection or allowing presenters access to the main network, particularly when they are guests or nonfederal employees.

The AirServer wireless network can be used strictly for presentations and is likely accessible only in the area near the display device.

Even with those inherent design protections, AirServer shields its local wireless network using WPA2. With a Gigabit Ethernet port, IT staff can have AirServer automatically update itself with the latest security patches, ensuring the hardware and the wireless network it creates are fully protected.

AirServer Connect 2 benefits


Pushing the Power of Presentations with an AirServer Connect 2

The AirServer Connect 2 has an entire 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless network dedicated to presentations on a single display, which offers an incredible amount of bandwidth free from other users and applications.

To test this out, I connected an AirServer Connect 2 to a 43-inch LED monitor. This was extremely easy using one of the display’s two HDMI ports, as was setting up the AirServer’s secure and dedicated wireless network that would serve as the testbed.

Once that was complete, the first test involved connecting to the AirServer network using a laptop running Windows 10. I streamed a 4K-quality movie through the private wireless network while also listening to Dolby TrueHD sound through a set of external speakers but using the same wireless network and HDMI cable. The presentation was seamless, without any lag or artifacts forming on the screen.

LEARN MORE: How can high-resolution displays be protected against attack?

Next, because the AirServer 2 supports up to eight simultaneous connections, I wirelessly connected an Android smartphone and a Mac notebook. I also activated a monitor-testing suite on the notebook to test whether the wireless connection caused any deterioration in quality.

It didn’t. In fact, the monitor got an almost identical score for image quality while sharing the signal for the test with two other video streams on the same AirServer 2 network.

Incidentally, when I tried the same test using my lab’s main wireless network (which was busy with other users and activities at the time), not only did the quality of the presentation drop, but I also hindered access for people performing other activities by hogging a big chunk of the available bandwidth.

It was far better for everyone for the presentations to use the private network generated by the AirServer Connect 2. The presentations looked amazing, and no one on the main network experienced any slowdown or lag with their applications because it never touched their bandwidth.

That makes the AirServer Connect 2 quite an elegant solution for use within busy federal agencies where the wireless infrastructure may not always be able to support mission-critical, high-bandwidth presentations.


DEVICE TYPE: Dedicated mini server for presentations
CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS FOR PRESENTERS: Apple AirPlay, Google Cast, Miracast, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n/ac
APPS WITH DIRECT CASTING SUPPORT: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Spotify, many other Chromecast-enabled apps
DIMENSIONS: 2.8x2.8x1.3 inches
WEIGHT: 9.17 ounces


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