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Topic: Need to play pdf's from a usb drive
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Joined: Jun 4, 2014
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I need a projector that will display PDF's from a usb drive. No laptop, no tablet, just thumb drive. I bought the Epson EX7220 but it only plays pictures files...WTH? I've looked and my choices are non-existent. Not just limited, but non-existent and I find this hard to believe I cannot shoot PDF's directly into ANY projector. Any thoughts?
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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Plug that USB drive into your monitor hooked up to your PC at home. No, not the PC, plug it into the monitor.

Oh wait... you can't do that and play back PDF files without the computer? Better complain to monitor manufacturers!

SERIOUSLY:

A projector is not a computer, if you want a computer, then use a computer. A projector is typically about $500-$1,000 for a entry level business class model, and for that, it does NOT include a built in PC. Many people play back the following file types:
.MKV, .M4V, .MOV, .PDF, .PPT, .XLS, .MP3, .MKV, .ISO, .HTML, .DOC, etc.

All that is needed to play all those different files back is (ready for this?) A COMPUTER!

I understand, you want them to include a free computer with the purchase of ever projector, and just 'throw it in there'.

Heck, while they are at it, they should throw in a free 90" television just in case the room you are in doesn't work nicely with the projector.

Obviously I'm poking some fun at you on this, but projector manufacturers sometimes have the ability to play a few extra files, and eventually may be able to read certain files, but Adobe (PDF) updates their software constantly, including the PDF reader. This functionality would require a projector to be internet connected and to be able to accept Adobe standard update files.

Now, there are a couple of projectors which have come to market which actually run Android on them, and I think that is something we will see grow over the years. As we see that happen, we will see more and more of that functionality you are looking for be built into the projector. But, right now, you are buying a projector. A projector is a device which displays video which you feed into it. A computer is a device which process files and can output video to a projector. The two don't really cross paths, much like your computer monitor doesn't incorporate a PC, unless it's a PC which incorporates a monitor.

The only Android enabled projectors right now are LED driven and aren't bright enough for business presentation work.

I don't believe Android enabled projectors have a huge cost associated with adding Android to them, so I do believe this feature will pop up on more and more projectors in upcoming years. But, the request to play back some random file type (typically PowerPoint) comes up only a few times a year. It's not a hot-button demand item from consumers, and so I don't think the industry is very serious about putting this functionality at the forefront of the next projector model.

Perhaps one of them should.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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Joined: Jun 4, 2014
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Thank you for being brutally honest. I would've thought there was more demand for a projector that plays powerpoints, keynotes, and pdf's without having a computer, thus the manufacturers would want to satisfy this demand and maximize profits. But if presenters have their computers with them anyway, I see your point in projectors being what they are, projectors.
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It's more about economics. Computers are often upgraded every few years, and projectors can last for 5-7 years pretty easily. The technology to do what you want really demands a computer source. While .JPG or .PNG images have been standardized for usability for the next 10+ years, other files just aren't.

Still, I do see Android type capability showing up in system on a chip designs over the next five years on some business projectors. Just not yet.

Manufacturers are just competing on price, so for well under $1,000 you can get a projector that just needs a small connected Android player or similar to do what you want. It'll just cost you an extra $100 or $200 to do so. Which is something other aren't interested in doing and certainly not willing to pay additional for in their projector purchase.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.