Monitors. We have now discussed setting up the video input (camera), audio input (microphones), and audio output (speakers). The final piece of the equipment puzzle is the video output—a monitor. Obviously, laptops have a monitor attached and some of them are very capable. But they are also small and cannot be seen from more than a few feet. To bring the remote participants visually into the in-person meeting, you will need an external monitor. Fortunately, many meeting locations will have a monitor you can hook your computer into. You have done this in the past to use various visual aids (slide presentations, video, Internet, etc.) and it is typically easy. Of course, if there is not a monitor available in the meeting room, someone will need to bring one. If the meeting space is large, then it may be helpful to have multiple monitors at various points in the room. Most laptops are configured to have a monitor attached but attaching more than one usually requires the addition of an external video card (a component that powers the image on the monitor) to run more than one. These are readily available. Of course, it is also possible to disperse computers with attached monitors throughout a meeting space. But, as with microphones and speakers, there is more than on type of video connection. A laptop computer may have one or more but still may not have the exact one that matches an available monitor and an adapter, again, quite readily available, will be required. The most encountered types of video and laptop ports are shown below.
If a monitor is not available, or the size of monitor required or the space is impractical to carry, then another option is to use a projector and screen (or a light-colored wall). This, however, can become an expensive option as a projector that is bright enough to project an image that can be seen in a bright room (which may be desirable for note takin, or perhaps because the only other option is totally dark) can be very expensive. There are inexpensive projectors available, but most of them require darkened rooms for the projected images to be seen clearly. Also, the more possible adjustments to the projected image that a projector has, the more expensive that projector will likely be.