How To Connect A Laptop To A Projector Using USB?

Last updated Jul 11, 2021

For more than 15 years, connecting a laptop to a projector was quite an easy task. All one had to do was to plug-in the VGA cable, press the key F5, and start the presentation. However, over the years, with massive technological advancements, every industry is evolving.

This is exactly what is happening with the new age laptops. Most of the current-gen laptops do not have VGA ports, and users have to often carry around a wide variety of adapters just to make it work. 

People of the current times still consider cables as the most secure and the fastest way to connect a laptop to a projector. While the previous generation laptops had the legacy VGA ports, the newer models mostly come with digital ports that share HDCP info with the display to enable the copy-protected content to run. 

If offices and educational institutions are still using VGA cables, an HDMI to VGA adapter will be needed. There are many types of VGA to HDMI adapters that are available, as some just carry video signals, whereas others separate the video and the audio signals so that they can be sent over a legacy analog system.

The main challenge with the wired connections is that many newer models of laptops have different video outputs that require different types of adapters to function. For instance, an older version of Macbook air or pro might have a VGA port or even a full-size HDMI port, however, newer Macbooks mostly have display port or USB-C Thunderbolt video output.

Other laptop manufacturing companies such as HP, Lenovo, Dell also have produced laptops with all four of these wired interfaces. Purchasing, managing, or often losing these adapters can be a hassle and can also waste time in obtaining and setting up the right adapter to make a presentation.

When you want to give an awesome presentation at your next business meeting, a projector can really be useful to make the presentation more impactful. 

By using a laptop and a projector,  can even take these presentations on the go. While many projectors connect to your laptop via VGA cable, there are a few out there in the market that can connect your laptop via USB cable. Connecting your projector to your laptop is not a difficult task.

Connecting a laptop to a projector via USB

If your laptop meets certain system requirements, you can easily send video and audio output to the projector via the laptop’s USB port. This simple guide will make it easy for you to connect the projector to your laptop using a USB cable.

Note: A USB connection can cause a slight delay for content that requires a high bandwidth, such as lengthy videos or movies. An HDMI cable is ideal for projecting movies, online video games, or other entertainment content.

Follow the below-mentioned steps to connect your laptop to the projector via USB.

  1. In the projector’s extended menu, you must set the USB type B setting to the USB display
  2. Now, you can turn on your laptop
  3. Connect the cable to the projector’s USB-B port.
How To Connect A Laptop To A Projector Using USB
Source – Epson
  1. Connect the other end to an available USB port on your laptop.
  2. Wait as messages appear on your laptop screen and the projector installs the USB display software on your system. If the messages prompt you to take any action, do so by following the instructions provided on your screen.
  3. The first time you connect a projector to your laptop, your laptop will want to install drivers that allow the two devices to communicate with one another. After the first time, you should not see this dialog box again.
  4. After the drivers are successfully installed, you can start projecting the content on your laptop without any issues.

Wireless Alternatives to Connect a Laptop to a Projector

If you are looking for an alternative solution to connect your new-gen laptop to a projector, then the wireless option is ideal. For most of the commercial applications out there, Google Chromecast is not really reliable as it was not designed for multiple users. In North America alone, there are close to 30 Plus commercial wireless solutions such as Clickshare, AirTame, and other alternatives, that are designed for businesses and educational institutions.

Choosing the perfect solution can be a difficult task, however, there are 3 key things that you should take into consideration to pick the right wireless projector solution.

  1. Consider a solution that does not require a network connection to function. This also avoids having presentation traffic jam your network, and visitors logging into your network for making a presentation.
  2. Look for a solution that uses highly reliable corporate-grade security and encryption. This will keep the hackers away and there will not be any chances of a cyber attack.
  3. Opt for a device that anyone can use in a matter of seconds (preferably a device that runs without an app).

If you are a businessman or a university student, you certainly know the importance of presenting your content using a projector. A projector, any day will give a larger, clearer picture than just displaying it on a laptop. It can make your presentations more impactful.

Many portable projectors can be either powered through a USB or you can even use wireless capabilities. Pick what meets your requirement and fits your budget.

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