University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education
http://classroom.umn.edu

Click on any of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below to see the answer and additional troubleshooting tips regarding common classroom questions.

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I am using the HDMI Laptop connection, but not getting any sound from my computer on the classroom audio system. What do I do?

hdmi soundFirst, check that laptop audio cable is NOT connected to your computer. The HDMI cable carries both video and audio signals, so the separate audio cable is only used with a VGA connection.

Second, if you are using a Mac laptop, check your System Preferences. You must select HDMI on the Sound control panel tab marked "Output."

Third, Mac laptops manufactured prior to mid-2010 do not support audio via the HDMI connection. If you own one of these laptops, you will need to use the VGA connection and a separate audio cable for these laptops. Note: a VGA adapter is not provided in classrooms equipped with an HDMI connection.

How do I connect a laptop to the projection system?

VGA-laptop connectionTo see a video guide to connecting your laptop to the classroom projection system, click here.

To connect a laptop:

  1. The cables are located in the pocket of the instructor station.
  2. Connect the VGA cable or HDMI cable, if available, to the laptop.  Be sure to align the cable with the port and push it in straight, taking care to not bend the pins.
  3. Press the "Laptop" source button on the control panel. When the button stops blinking, turn on the laptop.
    • an HDMI adapter for an Apple computerDongle Please note: Some Apple laptops do not have standard VGA or HDMI ports. You will need to use an adapter to connect your Apple computer to the laptop cable. OCM only supplies Mini DisplayPort adapters (HDMI only in HDMI-available rooms, otherwise VGA only). If your device has a port other than a Mini DisplayPort, or regular HDMI or VGA port, you will need to provide an adapter.
    • If the laptop image does not appear after start-up, activate the external display:
      • For PC (Windows-based) Laptops: To activate the external display, you must press and hold the Function key (labeled “Fn”); while holding down the “Fn” key, press the appropriate secondary key (as noted in the chart below). The image should appear on the monitor.
      • Type of laptop Key combination
        Acer or Aspire Fn+F5
        Asus eee mini Fn+F8
        Dell Fn+F8
        Gateway Fn+F3
        HP or Compaq Fn+F4
        HP mini Fn+F2
        Lenovo (IBM) Fn+F7
        Sony Vaio Fn+F7
        Toshiba Fn+F5
        For Mac (Apple) Laptops: To activate the external display, open “System Preferences” on your laptop. Click on “Displays,” then “Detect Displays.” The image should appear on the monitor.

       

       

       

       

       

I cannot get my laptop image to display on the projection screen. How do I fix this?

First, verify that the VGA or HDMI cable is connected to your laptop’s VGA or HDMI port. Then, activate the external display on your laptop (this tells your laptop to display the image from its screen onto the projector's screen). To do this, you need to know the appropriate combination of keys (called "Function Keys") to push, based on the model of your laptop:

Type of Laptop Key Combination
Acer or Aspire Fn+F5
Asus eee Fn+F8
Dell Fn+F8
Gateway Fn+F3
HP or Compaq Fn+F4
HP Mini Fn+F2
Lenovo (IBM) Fn+F7
Sony Vaio Fn+F7
Toshiba Fn+F5

Once you determine which key combination is appropriate for your laptop:

  1. Locate the function "Fn" key on your keyboard. Press this key and hold it down.
  2. While holding down the "Fn" key, press the appropriate function key from the table above.
  3. Hold both keys for two seconds to see if the image appears on the projection screen.

If this does not work, the video card in your laptop may not be capable of projecting simultaneously to two outputs (e.g., the laptop's own screen and the data/video projector). In this case, you may have to choose to which output you want to display. Using the function key combinations listed above, you can cycle between three output options: project to laptop display only, project to external display (projection screen) only, or project to both displays simultaneously.

You may also need to adjust the resolution of your laptop’s display. For more information about adjusting these settings, please read the FAQ entry on screen resolution.

For further assistance or to setup an in-person equipment orientation session, please contact the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086.

My laptop’s projected image does not look right on the projection screen. Is there something I can do to improve it?

The data/video projector in our general purpose classrooms has been designed to operate at a screen resolution of 1024x768 (XGA) or lower. If your laptop display runs at a higher resolution, such as 1600x1200 or 1200x1024, you may need to adjust your laptop display down to 1024x768 or your laptop’s image may appear distorted or may not display at all.

Also, if you have a Windows or Apple laptop with a wide screen (16:10) display (often referred to as “WXGA”, “WSXGA”, or “WUXGA” on Windows), you may need to adjust your monitor settings to a 4x3 ratio for the image to properly appear on the projector. See the FAQ on aspect ratio settings for more information.

For Windows 7, XP, or Vista:

  1. Open the “Display Properties” menu in your laptop’s control panel. To do this:
    • Click on the Start menu.
    • Choose “Control Panel”.
    • Select “Appearance and Themes”.
  2. Click on “Change the screen resolution”.
  3. Ensure the Screen Resolution is set to 1024 by 768 pixels and click OK. If the setting needs to be changed, drag the slider until a setting of 1024x768 is reached and click Apply.
  4. You may be prompted to restart your computer. Choose the OK button to restart your computer.

After you set your screen resolution, activate the external display.

For Macintosh OS X:
This control is located under “System Preferences”.

  1. Click on the Apple Menu.
  2. Choose “System Preferences”.
  3. Select “Displays”.
  4. Set resolution to “1024x768”.

If you have difficulty adjusting your laptop for the projectors, please call the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086.

My widescreen laptop display image is not filling the screen. How do I change the aspect ratio of the projected display?

Widescreen aspect ratio controls are available for video projectors and monitors in select classrooms. This option is available on the system control panel at the instructor station and allows you to take full advantage of the widescreen display by adjusting the projected image from 4:3 to 16:10 (widescreen) formats. Please consult the Widescreen Aspect Ratio Guide for more information.

Classrooms without widescreen projection capability will display in 4:3 format. If you have a laptop with a widescreen (16:10) display, you may need to adjust your monitor settings to a 4:3 ratio for the image to properly appear on the screen.

When I try to project from my laptop, the projector gives me an error message saying "Frequency Out of Range." How do I fix this?

This error occurs when your laptop's screen resolution is not set to the appropriate resolution for the data/video projector.

To adjust the screen resolution on a PC laptop:

  1. Click on the "Start" menu, and select "Control Panel".
  2. Double click on "Display".
  3. Click on the tab labeled "Settings".
  4. In the section labeled "Screen Resolution", change the setting to 1024x768.
  5. Click "OK" to apply this new setting.

To adjust the screen resolution on an Apple (Mac) laptop:

  1. Click on "System Preferences".
  2. Click on “Displays”.
  3. In the “VGA Display” window, select “1024 x 768, 60.0 Hz” from the list.
  4. Click "OK" to apply this new setting.

For more information about required laptop display settings, please read the FAQ entry on screen resolution.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086 or classrm@umn.edu.

How do I use an Apple laptop with the classroom's projection system?

For detailed instructions about using an Apple laptop with the classroom's projection system, click here.

The instructions include information about connecting to the classroom projection system, common troubleshooting tips, and how to use an Apple laptop running Windows while with the classroom system.

Please note that all Apple Macintosh laptop computers require a VGA adapter to connect to the standard laptop cable found in OCM projection capable classrooms. To use the projection system in our classrooms, you will need to use a VGA or HDMI adapter to connect your computer to the laptop cable.

The type of VGA adapter required varies by Mac laptop model and age. Information about adapters is in the instructions. OCM only supplies Mini DisplayPort adapters (HDMI only in HDMI-available rooms, otherwise VGA only). If your device has a port other than a Mini DisplayPort, you will need to provide an adapter.

How do I use an iPad with the classroom's projection system?

You will need an adapter to connect an iPad to the projection system's VGA or HDMI cable. If you do not have an adapter, you can purchase one at any Apple store or the UMN Bookstore. OCM only supplies Mini DisplayPort adapters (HDMI only in HDMI-available rooms, otherwise VGA only). If your device has a port other than a Mini DisplayPort, or regular HDMI or VGA port, you will need to provide an adapter.

Once you have connected your iPad to the VGA cord or, in HDMI-equipped rooms, the HDMI cord:

  • Select the laptop source on the control panel.
  • The display should automatically sync and project the image.

Note: iPad 2 or 3 mirrors by default, displaying your desktop immediately. To prevent unwanted display of passwords or other content, press the video or image mute button on the control panel to black out the projected display.

Troubleshooting

The first-generation iPad (iPad 1) has limited display capabilities. It can display its presentation application, its photo application in "slide show" mode, and limited YouTube content. It does not mirror the screen directly and will not usually display general internet content.

The second-generation iPad (iPad 2 or 3) has broader display capability, working with most web pages and applications. If the display doesn't project:

  • Check that system cable and the adapter are tightly connected.
  • Check that the correct source (laptop) is selected on the control panel.
  • Try syncing the projection system with the iPad by switching sources.
  • Try syncing the projection system with the iPad by unplugging and reconnecting cables.
  • Power off and restart the device.

Note: rooms with multiple projectors will not currently distribute video from Apple devices using HDMI. Use the VGA connection when the HDMI source selection is not producing adequate results. For more information on HDMI, see the HDMI instructions page.

If the iPad still does not display properly, contact your departmental IT staff for assistance.

How do I use Apple TV in an OCM classroom?

To use the Apple TV feature in selected OCM classrooms, please see the Apple TV feature instruction.

How do I use my laptop to play videos from DVDs?

Videos on DVDs can be played in projection capable classrooms using your laptop DVD drive.

In some cases, the video may show up on the laptop's screen but not on the room projection screen. This is because many laptop computers are not capable of displaying video from a DVD simultaneously on both screens. In order to display the video, you must disable the laptop's screen while the video is playing. This can be done either in the laptop's Display Settings or by using the laptop's Function keys. For further assistance with this, please call the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086.

Some rooms have an input jack on the installed VCR, which would imply that you could hook up your external DVD player through the VCR input; however we do not recommend this. The copy-protection encoding on many DVD movie discs will cause the picture to be distorted when played back through a VCR. Our recommended method is to play a DVD movie via the laptop hookup. Each of the projection capable classrooms is capable of playing DVD video by using your laptop DVD drive.

For more information on DVD playback, consult the DVD FAQ.

How do I play a PowerPoint slide show with embedded video?

PowerPoint users wishing to play embedded video should be aware that this will require a lot of computer processing power. Therefore, some computers are not able to display on two screens simultaneously (i.e. the built-in computer display and the classroom projection screen). If you wish to play a PowerPoint slide show with embedded video on the projection system and it does not appear on both screens, you may need to adjust some settings on your computer.

Here are some things you can do to successfully display embedded video:

  1. If you are using a Windows PC, try disabling the built-in screen on your laptop. You should be able to do this by using the appropriate Function keys (such as "Fn”+“F8") on your computer. Press this until only the projection screen is showing an image.
  2. Enable extended desktop mode on the computer. (This step can be used on either a Windows PC or Macintosh computer.)
    • If you're on a Windows PC, go to the Display control panel and check the box that says, "Extend My Windows Desktop Onto This Monitor”. Click Apply. After the screen switches, drag the window containing the slide or video onto the desktop that's being projected.
    • If you're using a Macintosh, go to the Displays control panel and uncheck the box that says, "Mirror Displays”.
  3. Try using PowerPoint in Presenter Mode. The Extended desktop feature must be enabled for this mode to function. To enable Presenter Mode:
    • Go to the Slideshow menu and click "Set up show”.
    • Click on the button that says, "Presenter Mode”.
    • After doing this and starting the slide show, the slide will appear on the second monitor (the projection screen) and the laptop screen will contain the slide controls. The video should also play on the projection screen in this mode.

How do I connect a laptop to the digital display monitor on the 2nd floor of the Science Teaching & Student Services building?

The student study space on the 2nd floor of the Science Teaching & Student Services building is equipped with display monitors for use on a first-come-first-served basis. The laptop connection VGA-laptop connectioncable is located in a wall-box directly below the monitor.

To connect a laptop:

  1. Open the doors on the wall cabinet and uncoil the VGA cable.
  2. Connect the VGA cable to the laptop.  Be sure to align the cable with the port and push it in straight, taking care to not bend the pins.
  3. Please note: Some Apple laptops have a DVI (or mini-DVI) port, rather than the standard VGA port. You will need to use a VGA adapter to connect your AppleDongle computer to the laptop cable. If you do not have a VGA adapter, you can purchase one at the U of M Bookstore.
  4. If the laptop image does not appear after start-up, activate the external display:
    • For PC (Windows-based) Laptops: To activate the external display, you must press and hold the Function key (labeled “Fn”); while holding down the “Fn” key, press the appropriate secondary key (as noted in the chart below). The image should appear on the monitor.
    • For Mac (Apple) Laptops: To activate the external display, open “System Preferences” on your laptop. Click on “Displays,” then “Detect Displays.”  The image should appear on the monitor.
Type of laptop Key combination
Acer or Aspire Fn+F5
Asus eee mini Fn+F8
Dell Fn+F8
Gateway Fn+F3
HP or Compaq Fn+F4
HP mini Fn+F2
Lenovo (IBM) Fn+F7
Sony Vaio Fn+F7
Toshiba Fn+F5

If you have any questions, please call the Classroom Support Hotline: 612-625-1086 (5-1086 from a campus phone).

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is HDMI and do any classrooms have HDMI connection capabilities?

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a digital connection capable of transmitting high-definition video and high-resolution audio through a single cable.

For detailed instructions on HDMI capabilities in general purpose classrooms, including a list of classrooms with HDMI capability, see the HDMI instructions page.