A/V Tips

Graduate students often go to conferences or brown bag talks and use A/V for presentations. Unfortunately, they seem to have some fear of using a projector, screaming like "I don't see my PowerPoint on the projector screen!!!"

It's good to follow this order of set-up:
- If the projector is off, turn it on and let it warm up (shouldn't take more than a minute).
- Connect the projector to the laptop with a VGA cord (this cord should come with the projector, or if you are working with a podium projector, it may be attached already at the projector end and you'll just see the end that connects to the laptop).
- Turn on your laptop. It may automatically detect the projector, in which case you're done - yay! - or you may need to sync your notebook screen with the projector screen. This is actually very very easy to do!

To recap - if your laptop is connected to the projector, both are on, but the projector doesn't show what's on your laptop screen:

If you are a PC user, do one of the following:
(A) PCs generally have a "toggle" option via one of the "inverse" function keys. Look at your function keys, and see which one has an icon underneath the f1, f2, f3 etc. lettering that that looks like a monitor. The most common function keys for this option are F5, F6, F7, or F8. Find the inverse function key on your keyboard; it will probably be labeled "fn" in a color that matches the color of the icons on the function keys (e.g. blue or green). While pressing that inverse function key, press the function key that has the monitor icon. For example, if it's your F7 key that has that icon, hold down the inverse fn key and then hit the F7 key. This should bring up your laptop's display onto the projector's screen. If you find that you've now lost the display on your laptop, just do the inverse fn key+function-key-with-monitor-icon typing again. If you do this typing a third time, it will turn the projector display off (and you can get it back by typing fn key+function-key-with-monitor-icon typing again!).

(B) Setting display settings via the Control Panel

  • Go to "Display" on the control panel.
  • Go to "Settings" and you will see two screens on the window, that represent your monitors (notebook monitor and projector monitor).
  • Click on them to activate, and click on "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor", and click "Apply".

You can turn on "mirror display" (meaning both notebook monitor and projector monitor share the same display) or off, by selecting "Use this device as the primary monitor".

If you are a mac user, just press "F7". You will need a VGA adapter (for mac users, only) that looks like this (you can buy one from the Apple website or from the Textbook store in the Campus Center, or even more cheaply online, like on ebay):


Another way to sync the two screens is to have your projector communicate with the notebook. Depending on the model, it may vary but your projector should have a button that says something like "source" which means what source you are having your video input from (e.g., from your notebook, from a VCR, from a DVD). Keep pressing it until it says "RGB" or displays something that looks like the cable that you hooked onto your notebook. Wait for a second and your projector will automatically sync with your notebook.

Watch the following video for more info (it explains in terms of an external monitor, which you can regard as a projector):

If you are a tech novice and don't even know how to connect a projector to your notebook, start with the following the video first:

When you are done with using the projector, turn it off by pressing the power button. Usually it will say something like "Press the power button again to turn it off." Once you press it again, the screen will go blank and the projector will start cooling off. It is very important that you wait until the fan to shut off and then you unplug!