Review: Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro Wireless Display Receiver

As the use of BYOD tablets and phones increases in the enterprise environment, it becomes more difficult to present information without a multitude of solutions or for users to transfer files onto systems that are compatible with unwieldy clunky meeting room interfaces. The Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro Wireless Display Receiver simplifies the way information can be shared through an interface so simple, even a CEO can figure it out!

Simply put, it’s a small device that plugs into a TV via its HDMI plug and provides an interface to share your device’s screen to. Apple tried this with its Apple TV and Google provide the Chromecast for doing a similar function, but do you really want your presentations going through Google’s servers? Or what if you don’t have an Apple device?

I like the Actiontec SBP for its bulletproof simplicity, it turned up in a box the size of a suitcase and I had visions of some clunky massive device, but Actiontec provided a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 to test it with. The SBP is a very small device, being roughly the same size as an Apple TV. It sets up its own wireless network, but this doesn’t interfere with your current one, meaning you can still access network or online resources but with the dedicated channel between your device and the SBP. But it will still work without a wireless network, meaning you can plug into any TV and display content.

When you switch to the SBP on the TV, it displays a screen with a code. This code locks in your connection and ensures that no-one can hijack your session and display those kitten videos in the middle of your presentation ;)

It works with Intel WiDi and devices running Windows 8.1. It also works with Miracast devices meaning you can screencast the latest android devices to it as well.

Using the Android, it was a matter of enabling Miracast and connecting. With Windows, you go through the Charms menu, select devices, then project and add wireless display. Choose the appropriate wireless display and enter the code displayed on the screen. You’re then connected! With Intel WiDi, just open the wireless display app and select the receiver, type in the pin and you’re then connected.

That’s all the setup required. Not difficult is it!

The Surface Pro works so well with the ScreenBeam Pro, it gives you the ability to mirror your display, extend your desktop or move the entire display to the TV.

And that’s where Actiontec’s solution is so beneficial; it makes collaboration so simple that it positively encourages users to share. How often does that expensive AV setup in your meeting room currently get used?

Pros:

  • Cheap, simple and bulletproof

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work with Apple Airplay

Summary

The Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro Wireless Display Receiver is such a no-brainer. Why have an expensive monitor and a raft of cables in your meeting room? Plug in a SBP to your TV or projector and away you go. Actiontec have also included a USB port allowing you to plug in a keyboard and mouse to control remotely.

Actiontec have done exactly the right thing, they’ve tackled that single pain point of displaying content which has historically been so difficult to do. And they’ve tackled it very well. This can be used just as easily at home for sharing photos or watching videos etc.

Score
4.5 / 5

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