KJ Tips | Look! Over there! Is that a Wireless Singers Screen?

Screen Beat 2 For Karaoke

This post was submitted by Guest Blogger and PCDJ customer Robb Ellicson from Spinn Doctors Entertainment And Events located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A few months ago my company acquired a new show at a bar that had recently opened. It was a clean and unmarred by time. The owner himself had rehabbed the space from an empty store front into a beautiful bar that he had sculpted with his own two hands. Needless to say he was very proud of his space and had some very specific ideas about how a karaoke show would ‘look’ in his venue. We were to set up on one end of the bar and have our lyrics projected onto a wall at the far end instead of having a monitor with the high ceilings it would look great and be very easy for singers to read what they were to sing. We plugged our sound into a little port in the wall which is the way the owner liked it clean and no visible wires.

Screen Beam Mini

Did I mention the high ceilings (16 feet), that’s where the projector was located. How about no visible wires? Are you beginning to see the issue here?

We did too – even if we wanted to run a 50-foot cable to the projector every week by getting on a ladder, moving several tables full of patrons at happy hour, and stringing it along the ceiling and then down the wall to where we set up the owner still wouldn’t have liked it. So we had to figure out a way to go wireless without having to get on a ladder ever week.

We found our solution in the ActionTec Screen Beam Mini2, a $50 wireless display receiver. We got ours at BestBuy, but they are available online through Amazon for about the same price.  We now use it at several locations, because it is really simple to use and affordable enough to just leave in the bar week to week.

The way it works is pretty simple. First off the venue needs to have Wi-Fi, whatever device you are using as the monitor needs to have an HTMI input and your laptop/computer needs to be WiDi ready. There also needs to be a power source/outlet near the device you are plugging into OR an available USB port on the device for powering it.

Once it’s plugged in a screen comes up on the monitor that says it’s connected and then your laptop does the rest. Just ‘connect to a projector’ and extend the screen just like you did or wired monitor. This may vary a bit by operating system but I’m sure you get the idea. The picture is clear as a bell, because it supports up to 1080p30 (way more than most karaoke files need).

Here are a few more notes:

At this point I don’t know if you can send a signal to multiple monitors, but I plan on experimenting with it soon, and I will update this blog post when I do. So stay tuned!

If your computer is relatively new it should be WiDi ready, if not I have seen that ActionTec also sells a similar device online for about $30 more called:

Actiontec SBWD100KIT01 Screen Beam Kit Wireless Display Receiver & Transmitter for Non-WiDi Laptops/ Miracast Devices

(I haven’t used this device myself so I can’t endorse it directly, but if works the same way as the Screen Beam Mini2 it would fit your purposes)

Lastly, I’m not a tech guy really, I’m just a karaoke business just like you, but, if you like my writing, or ideas please check out my ’Karaoke Goldmine’ book series available through Kindle.