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Has Anyone Used Powerpoint On The Rt With A Projector Extensively Yet?


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This past Sunday, I attempted to use my Surface RT in a teaching setting at church for the first time. I've been doing this with an iPad for the last three years, so my comparisons are primarily made to that.


In regard to a couple of problems I ran into, I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else here has used PowerPoint on the RT extensively yet and what kind of feedback you might offer.


I created the slideshow on my MacBook Pro in Keynote (which will export to PowerPoint format). It's not that I couldn't have done it on the Surface RT, but I generally take the previous week's file and use that as a template for the new presentation. And the previous week, I had used Keynote on my iPad. Also, I wanted a backup plan. I wanted to have my iPad handy with the same presentation on it in Keynote just in case I ran into a problem with the Surface RT. Although I had a couple of glitches, I stuck with the Surface RT for the entire time, but I admit I did come away a bit frustrated.


Since I had not used the Surface RT in a teaching setting before, I arrived a bit early so that I could connect the Surface to the projector and play with it a bit. I had no trouble getting the projector to recognize the Surface RT. The screen on the Surface adjusted itself to mirror the maximum resolution the projector was capable of (1024 x 768). By the way, I was using the VGA adapter that Microsoft makes for the Surface. I also have the HDMI adapter, but this particular projector did not have an HDMI port.


One thing I immediately noticed is that when I swiped the Start screen from side to side, there was a bit of a flutter as the screen redrew itself. It seemed as if mirroring the screen was putting a bit of a strain on the Surface.


Normally, when I use the iPad, I often jump out of Keynote and go to another program such as a PDF viewer to refer to a document. I can do this on the iPad without stopping the Keynote presentation. I simply doubletap the home key, switch to a different program and then do the same to get back. I never have to end the presentation to get out of it or start it agin when I come back. It's always just right where I left off.


However, although I was able to switch to a different program on the Surface RT, the slide projected on the big screen remained the same. In other words, I knew I was not going to be able to switch to a different app, such as Adobe Reader, unless I ended the slideshow first--which I did not want to do. So, I just scrapped that part of my lesson and simply referred to the document without showing it. 


During the actual lesson, at one point, my PowerPoint slideshow completely lost the slide on the projector. On the Surface's screen, it still displayed the presenter view with my notes, slide and next slide, but all that showed from the projector was my desktop background. I have no idea what caused this, and I had no way to bring back the slide. I had to end the slideshow and then restart it to get the slide back on the screen. 


That part bothered me the most. I don't like technology to draw attention to itself, and having to stop to tend to that problem seemed to be a distraction.


In a couple of weeks, I'll be teaching in a university classroom where I'll have access to a projector with an HDMI port. I'll probably try this out again to see if the type of connection makes a difference. 


I'd be interested in any feedback about my experience if anyone here has presented with PowerPoint on the Surface RT in the past. 


Also, is there a quick gesture for ending a slideshow? On the iPad, in Keynote, I can pinch inward on a slide to end the slideshow, but I have not been able to find any equivalent gesture on the Surface. I was using the Surface strictly as a tablet without the keyboard, so I couldn't just hit the escape key. I had to end the show by tapping on the ellipsis symbol and choosing the End Slideshow option.



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Yes I have, here is a thread we have had going;



Supported resolution for the Microsoft VGA adapter 1366x768-1920x1080

Cable length is an issue, adapter can not drive a long cable

Microsoft adapter does not seem to make a good connection at the Surface


Setting up the projector as an extended monitor has helped me PowerPoint works best this way as well, but to switch to a different app you would need to mirror the displays. 


The flutter may be do to the unsupported resolution.

Unfortunately, it is hit and miss with projectors. At work we have LCD tv's in meeting rooms, 1920x1080 res. After a bad presentation experience with the RT, I sat down to do some testing. External displays work best if they are in the supported resolution range. PowerPoint works best if the display extends to the external display. If you need to show other apps, change back to mirrored display.

My 2 cents.

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Thanks for the input and link to the earlier discussion (I apologize for not looking for that before I posted; I usually try to do that). 


It looks like the Surface RT is going to be generally challenged when it comes to walking into someone else's environment and giving a presentation. The university where I teach has higher resolution projectors in the classroom. I'll try things out there next week, but it looks like the Surface RT is not going to be good for teaching contexts with the equipment at my church.

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Hooking up to foreign environments is a challenge at best, with one exception. I've done quite a bit of work in this area and the problem that comes up is getting everything lined up correctly.


For example, even if a laptop and foreign projector are both using 1280x1024 there could be issues such as the image not being centered on the display properly. Often, tweaking of the projector settings is required to get everything aligned properly. Unfortunately, that is often difficult to impossible to do when visiting a location.


The one exception I mentioned above is HDMI. I have had good luck overall when using HDMI to connect a computer to a foreign display device such as a projector or LCD or plasma screen. However, even this hasn't been perfect.


For example, I have a 60" Sony Bravia at home. When I connected an Acer laptop to it via HDMI, I still had to adjust the TV's centering. The same for my HTPC, which uses HDMI to connect to my Onkyo receiver, which then uses HDMI to connect to the Bravia - I had to use the Intel Graphics tools to tweak the display parameters to get the image centered and to fill the screen properly. However, when I use a Mini-DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable to connect my Surface Pro to the TV it works beautifully.




Specifically with the RT, the fact that it doesn't have true 1080 resolution could be an issue. However, it might work well if the was set to 720 for presentations. I'm not sure that it's even possible to set an RT to 720 but, if it is, I think the fact that 720 is a standard HD resolution might improve the compatibility.

Edited by Ikon
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Thanks for the input and link to the earlier discussion (I apologize for not looking for that before I posted; I usually try to do that). 


It looks like the Surface RT is going to be generally challenged when it comes to walking into someone else's environment and giving a presentation. The university where I teach has higher resolution projectors in the classroom. I'll try things out there next week, but it looks like the Surface RT is not going to be good for teaching contexts with the equipment at my church.

I am working with some non-microsoft adapters that are showing some promise. I will post my results here.

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I used the Surface RT with 4 different projectors at a recent meeting to give a ppt presentation. I purchased this adapter from ebay:


Only a little over $17 free shipping. People keep telling me that I should be able to get this much cheaper. This is true for the Surface Pro, however that has a different port. At the time I purchased this I was not able to find anything cheaper.

It works like a charm. The only issue I had was with one projector on which  it would cut off parts of the edges but started working perfectly fine when I turned off "Presenter View". I noticed that this particular projector was older (didn't take a note what exactly it was). "Presenter View" worked fine on the other three projectors and I do remember these were newer projectors. I also attached different monitors to the adapter and it worked fine.



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Glad to hear it works so well. And yeah, images getting cut off, being off-centre, etc. are the most common problems I've seen. HDMI is the most reliable and consistent I've found, which may be why yours worked so well; the source is HDMI.

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I was teaching an IWU class last night at the Louisville campus, so I got there a bit early to see how my RT would fare with their projectors since they are fairly new.  The projector was a Hitachi CP-WX3014WN. I hooked the RT up to it via HDMI, and when it mirrored, it put the black bars on the side of the RT's screen again, but this time they were smaller than when I used the RT with the Epson projector at my church. 


I noticed the same flicker on the RT's screen as I moved the Start Screen tiles--which again seems like creating two images, even if mirrored, is a strain on the RT's graphics capabilities. 


Last night, I wasn't prepared to teach from the Surface RT, but I did want to test it out. After my disappointing experience attempting to teach with the Surface RT at church using an older Epson projector, I'm still a bit gun shy about depending upon the Surface. These classes that I teach at IWU are four hours long. It would take a bit of work to convert my Keynote presentations over to PowerPoint. Even though Keynote has a PowerPoint export, it's not a 100% clean translation. 


From what I've read on the internet, the Hitachi projector's native resolution is 1280 x 800, which although higher than most projectors in use today that I've come across, is still smaller than the native resolution of the Surface RT. If the smaller native image of the projector is the key factor with problems as has been suggested in the comments above, 1280 x 800 may still be problematic for any lengthy use. 


Although I like to play around with these kinds of things, I don't want to ever do it at the expense of my students. If I have time during the run of this course, I may try converting everything over for use with the RT, but have my iPad or MacBook Pro ready as a backup in case the Surface RT gives me problems.

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