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Presentation Cards for Your Pocket PC

by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor
, posted June 2003

LifeView FlyPresenter CompactFlash Card (type I) for Pocket PC

LifeView, the folks who mke the FlyCam and FlyJacket, have bundled their CF VGA/Video card with IA Style’s IA Presenter software in a presentation solution called Fly Presenter. Similar to IA Presenter and Margi Presenter-to-Go, the FlyPresenter’s CF VGA output supports resolutions up to 1024x768 at 64K colors. Not only does FlyPresenter come with IA’s software suite, but also it has a unique add-on feature. FlyPresenter-CF can project full-motion video streaming from Pocket PC to a larger display using a bundled version of Pocket TV player. The card can be used in Pocket PCs with a type I or type II CF slot.

What’s in the package?

A FlyPresenter CompactFlash card, a VGA/Video output cable with both Composite and S-Video connectors, a pen-size remote control and laser pointer combo, an installation and software CD, a Quick User’s Guide and an IA Style FlyPresenter Suite manual.

Bundled software include IA Presenter, IA ScreenMirror, IA Album and Pocket TV for playing MPEG 1 videos.

Installation

The installation of FlyPresenter is quite easy. The installer lists all available software including the CF driver, Pocket TV and IA software. You can click on each application to install it on to your Pocket PC. The IA software installs in a similar fashion to the IA Presenter installation. You can choose to install one of six languages including English, German, French, Japanese, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

There are two Quick User’s Guides, one for the FlyPresenter-CF and one for FlyPresenter Suite (which is the bundle of IA Presenter, IA Album and IA ScreenMirror). There is a web link to LifeView’s web site for you to check new software and driver updates.

FlyPresenter-CF and IA Software

After the installation process, you will see the IA Presenter Converter software on your desktop. The IA Presenter Converter software converts PowerPoint presentations from desktop version to handheld version. You can utilize the Converter in two ways. The IA Presenter Converter can be used as the default converter in ActiveSync for all PowerPoint presentations or as a stand-alone app that you can use to convert the files before moving them to the Pocket PC. Either way, you will have options to determine the display size, output quality and check to keep slide shapes information if your slides contain animations. Once the files are converted to .iap format, you can move them to your Pocket PC using the File Explore function in ActiveSync and then view your PowerPoint files on the Pocket PC. Unlike IA’s own Presenter software, the FlyPresenter’s bundle does not put a shortcut button in MS PowerPoint’s toolbar. IA Presenter does a great job of representing a variety of fonts, but make sure your presentation fonts are at least 20 point and 24 point or above for best results. Otherwise, your text may not be readable.

On the Pocket PC, you will find LifeView Shadow, IA Presenter and Pocket TV software. After you have inserted the CF card into your Pocket PC and connected your Pocket PC to a projector, monitor or TV, you can tap on the LifeView Shadow icon to set up your display. The application will allow you to set up the display Position (Left, Middle, Right), Ratio (x1, x1.5, x2), Resolution (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768) and Output method (VGA, NTSC, PAL). IA Presenter’s interface on the Pocket PC is very easy to understand and convenient to use. The main screen displays the current slide as well as thumbnails of other slides. On top of the main screen, there is a slide selector that lists all the slides. You can jump to any page by selecting it here. At the bottom of the main screen, you will find a menu that includes Edit, View and Tools. There are also two shortcut buttons for flipping slides and changing the thumbnail view to VGA Slide Show, Slide Show, Normal view, Slide Sorter, Notes Page and Quick Notes without changing the current slide view. Long presentations, such as our 79-page test PowerPoint presentation with animations and transitions ran just fine on FlyPresenter.

 

 

 

IA Presenter for Pocket PC

Above: card, cable and remote/laser pointer.

 

IA Presenter on the Pocket PC isn’t meant for editing the content of your slides but rather for manipulating the way you present them. In the Edit menu, you can delete certain slide or select the slides you want in your slide show. If you didn’t put transition effects in your presentation on the desktop, you will find all the tools you need to add any transition you want at three speeds and even sound effects or notes. Very convenient! The View menu allows you to show your slide in any supported format including Zoom. The Tools menu gives you the ability to insert slides from another presentation, save files, set up a slide show and set up Options. In Options, you can set up maximum number of undo steps (from 1 to 30), specify color optimization, and select VGA output and mode.

VGA Display and Remote Control

The VGA connector on the cable has three output modes: VGA, Composite (RCA) and S-video and they are marked so that you know which one is for what display device. Make sure that you select the correct VGA output mode in both LifeView Shadow and IA Presenter applications.

As soon as you select Slide Show in the View menu, the presentation slides will display in full screen mode on your Pocket PC and can be displayed in either portrait or landscape mode. There is a shortcut button embedded in the slide show that will trigger a pop-up menu. This menu allows you to control how the slides will be presented and even has a “blackboard” feature that projects a black screen on which you can draw digital ink strokes. The Pen function gives you the ability to write on the slides in various colors and pen widths, and clear the marks you made with the pen after you are done. IA Presenter slide show also offers one of the features most people will need during a presentation, the ability to access notes and view thumbnails of the entire presentation on the Pocket PC without showing it on the big screen.

The remote control that comes with FlyPresenter is a pen-sized multi-function device. On one end of the pen is the red laser, which you can use as a pointer during the presentation. On the other end of the pen, you will find an IR port. This works with the large IR port on the CF card to give you the ability to flip the pages of your presentation. The round large size IR port built-in to the CF is a very nice touch. It allows you to use the IR remote without having to line up your PDA’s IR with your remote pen.

IA ScreenMirror and Pocket TV

Bundled with FlyPresenter, IA ScreenMirror allows you to mirror your handheld’s screen using a projector, CRT or TV monitor. The options in IA ScreenMirror are extensive, giving you rich features to use when presenting demos from your PDA. There are several Layout options in IA ScreenMirror, including View Arrangement, Stretch data to fit and rotate the screen left. If you choose to split the screen, you can use the Switch option to arrange and select the active view. There is also a Refresh option tab as well as a VGA option tab to help you set various refresh rates and VGA resolution settings.

While the IA ScreenMirror and IA Album are more suited to show product demos using still images or moving pictures/applications that don’t rely on high frame rates, FlyPresenter offers a better app to show off high frame rate videos, Pocket TV. This application can play MPEG movies as well stream MPEG files. Make sure that you install LifeView’s bundled version of the Pocket TV as this version adds an option in Pocket TV to output the videos through FlyPresenter CF card. We tested a 22 fps (frame per second) movie and could get 14 fps through FlyPresenter on a Dell Axim X5 Advanced 400 MHz Xscale Pocket PC.

Pros and Cons

Pro: The generous software bundle makes this product a complete solution for all your presentation needs. Three VGA/Video outputs will cover most of the projecting devices you will use with your PDA. The large IR port built-in on the CF card works with the remote control to free you from having to position your PDA in line with the remote.
Con: The IA Presenter does a pretty good job of converting fonts as long as you keep the size at 20 point or above. Even with Pocket TV playing full motion video, we still can’t get close to claimed 30 fps.

Specs and Price

Supported PDA Devices and Desktop Machines: Pocket PC 2000 or 2002 with ARM, Xscale, MIPS and SH3 and a Type I or Type II CF slot. Desktop/laptop support includes Windows 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000 and XP.

Supported Video Output: Composite Video (RCA jack), S-Video (mini-Din 4pin) and Selectable NTSC, PAL.

Language Support: English, German, French, Japanese, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

One Year Warranty

Price: $119
Web Site: www.lifeview.com

 

Other Presentation Solutions we've Reviewed:

Palm OS solutions
Margi Presenter-to-Go (SD and Memory Stick cards)

Pocket PC

Margi Presenter-to-Go CF Card

IA Presenter CF VGA Card

 

 

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