How to Set-up and Use an iPad to Wirelessly Present a Case

Having been to a few "Technology Trial” seminars at CCTLA/CAOC conventions, I was impressed by the ones using a wireless iPad setup. That is the setup where the presenter walks around the room with the iPad and can change what is shown on the screen through the iPad. There still are plenty of cords used behind the scenes, but the iPad presents wirelessly so you are not tethered by a cord to any specific location.

Being a bit of a tech guy, I decided I wanted to figure out how to present a trial I had in San Francisco, including
PowerPoint and exhibits, wirelessly with my iPad. The purpose of this article is to save you some of the time and money I expended in figuring out a relatively budget-friendly setup that allows you to use an iPad to wirelessly present a case.

With as little as $325, you will have the ability to present from your iPad wirelessly to a projector, TV and/or computer monitor. This setup includes the ability to have a backup system so you can switch, with the push of a button or a remote, to either an ELMO or a PC. This is important if you have an issue with your iPad or simply need to switch to a paper exhibit to present on your ELMO without fumbling around with cords. This setup will also include the ability to share the court projector, TV or computer monitor with opposing counsel at a push of a button of the remote.

With this setup you also will have the ability to present the identical exhibit or PowerPoint from your iPad simultaneously to several different projectors, TVs or computer monitors. For example, you can set up an extra monitor for counsel’s table or for the witness that would simultaneously present the same exhibit that is being presented to the jury through the main courtroom projector, TV or computer monitor.

With Apple’s relatively easy-to-use interface, once setup is complete, the presentation process is fairly user friendly. Below is a list of the items you will need and their estimated prices at the time of writing this article. Pictures of the devices and the complete setup are below.

Devices you will need:
1. Apple TV, $65. This allows you to send whatever is on the iPad screen to a projector, TV or computer monitor.    
2. Apple Airport, $90. This allows your iPad to connect to your Apple TV wirelessly.
3. HDMI Switch, $30. This allows you to switch between different devices with the click of button on the remote.  For example, your wireless iPad setup, ELMO, PC, wired iPad or opposing counsel’s PC.
4. HDMI Splitter, $40. This device allows you to present what is on your iPad or other device on multiple projectors,
TVs, or computer monitors simultaneously. 

Cords you will need:
-HDMI to VGA cord, $20. This cord is only needed if you have an old projector or monitor that does not support an HDMI
cord. For example, some courthouses only have a VGA input at counsel’s table to present to an older courtroom projector or TV. This cable will allow you to use this system with your wireless setup.
-Surge protector, $30
-Ethernet cord, $5
-One 25-foot HDMI cord, $15
-Six nine-foot HDMI cords, $30

Total investment to present wirelessly: $325
How to make it work:

Labels are critical to following the step-by-step process and for ease of future setup. I have placed numbers on the above devices (1-4). The cords that correspond with devices are labeled with the device number and a lower case “a“ or “b.”

For example, a cord that goes into Apple TV (device 1) will be labeled (1a) or (1b).  

Step 1: Plug the Ethernet cable (1a) into Apple TV (1a). Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable (2a) into your Apple
Airport (2a).

Apple TV to Apple Airport


Step 2: Plug an HDMI cable (1b) into your Apple TV (1b). Plug the other end of the HDMI cable (3b) into your HDMI switch (3b).

Apple TV to HDMI Switch


Step 3: Plug an HDMI cable (3a) from the output of your HDMI switch to the input of your HDMI splitter (4a).

HDMI Switch to HDMI Splitter


Step 4: Plug an HDMI cable from any HDMI output on your HDMI splitter (4) into whatever device you will use for
your presentation. For example, a projector, TV or computer monitor.

HDMI Splitter to Projector


Plug everything into your surge protector, and turn the surge protector on. None of the devices above should have on/off
switches, so your setup is now ready to present wirelessly from any iPad. You can plug other devices into the HDMI switch,
such as an ELMO, PC, wired iPad or opposing counsel’s computer. You can then use the HDMI switch’s remote to switch between the different devices. I would suggest labeling the remote with the corresponding devices. 

HDMI Switch with Remote


Now you need to connect your iPad to the wireless system by connecting your iPad wirelessly to your Apple Airport’s
Wi-Fi. You should just be able to connect to it with your iPad by looking for Airport in your Apple iPad settings under Wi-Fi.  The Apple Airport does not have a Wi-Fi password by default. I strongly suggest adding a password to your Apple Airport, or anyone with an Apple device could possibly use your system and interrupt your presentation.

iPad to Airport Wi-Fi

To present wirelessly from your iPad, you simply need to swipe your finger up from the bottom of your iPad. You then press the Airplay button on the menu that appears on your iPad, click on Apple TV and click on mirroring. You should now
see what is on your iPad screen presented to your projector or computer monitor.

Apple Mirroring

Apple now supports applications for Microsoft Office, including PowerPoint. Installing PowerPoint allows you to present your PowerPoint wirelessly through your iPad while not being stuck at a podium or counsel’s table. In addition to PowerPoint,

I would suggest giving TrialPad, TrialDirector or TrialTouch a try.

In my next article, I will discuss adding Internet and using Dropbox with other applications to publish your exhibits to the jury through your iPad.