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How to Play Your Powerpoint Presentation on a Monitor Using USB port

07/13/15 by EE Team

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Remember the AV series that I did while back, I am going to go back on one topic as it keeps recurring on the show floor. And that topic is when clients come to the show floor with their thumb drive with their PowerPoint presentation and they try to plug it into one of the USB ports on the monitor.  And it does not work!

So I want to explain what the USB ports on the monitor are and what is needed to make a thumb drive work onto the USB port. Let’s first talk about USB ports that are on a monitor. They could just be a

  • Service port  to service the monitor
  • Photo port where you could scan in some photos
  • Power port where you can power in some other devices

What is that you need to do so that your thumb drive with your presentation can play on the monitor. The issue is that the monitor does not have an inbuilt PowerPoint software and nor does the thumb drive. So either you have to have a way of converting the file or getting a source with the PowerPoint software program in it like a laptop. What we are teaching everyone is to give us your PowerPoint presentation and let us convert it to a format that will work with the monitor or what we prefer to use is a media player.

Why a media player? You just put a thumb drive in the media player and then the player will have a more compatible connection like HDMI to a monitor. You can mount the player right on the back of the monitor and with a simple electrical connection and electrical splitter, you are all set to go (click here to see the demo).

Let’s go back to the powerpoint issue for a minute. A player will play video files but they are only MKV, AVI or MPEG4 files. The audio portion of the player will play MP3, WMA  and FLAC files and the photo portion of this player will play JPG, BMP, GIF and PNG files. So you have to convert your powerpoint presentation slide by slide to one of these formats in order for it to work in the media player and onto the monitor. That is where the confusion is as you will not be able to directly connect your thumb drive with the presentation onto the USB port into the monitor. The media players we recommend are the ones which convert to more formats and have the ability to easily, with a remote, do audio repeats, continuous loops and many things that a monitor may or may not have. Especially if you rent the monitors on the show floor, it will be different each time and this media player can go with you to every show.

In summary, when you see a monitor with USB ports, please do not automatically think that you will be able to play your powerpoint presentation on it via a thumb drive. Invest in a media player, have your exhibit company or your video department covert the files to a format that will work with the media player and then you will have this portable system ready to go at every show no matter what monitor you use. 

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.