Court provided tech or sharing monitors or a projector with opposing counsel can create wonderful efficiencies and allow for the logistically easy presentation of evidence. These systems, however, can create a couple of small hiccups in many laptops as you are switching back and forth between display sources.
One issue relates to your computer autodetecting the 2nd monitor or projector. The autodetect can take a few seconds to establish the connection which can be troubling while you wait for the PC to make the switch. Depending on how your PC handles the switch, you may also see resolution changes or other adjustments that, in an open court environment, can be distracting.
The other issue that we have encountered is dealing with technical trouble. It is not unheard of that after the switch between sources, nothing is displayed. One problem, some projectors auto search for sources so when you manually switch to your PC, the lag in sending signal causes the projector to start hunting for a video source which can be embarrassing. In general trying to trouble shoot in front of the court and the jury is something to avoid.
I know that in the Federal District Courts, their trial technology is a little bit older and there are times when the switch between sources fails and requires that the system be rebooted. It s really important to easily verify that your system is working properly so you know that the problem is with the court’s equipment. This approach helps isolate the issue.
Whenever we are running shared court room display, we always set up a display splitter at our tech table (or cart which is how we set up) so that we have a monitor that is constantly displaying the output signal from our PC. That way, even if the courtroom display has been switched or disabled, we know that our signal is still working.
PC displaying to a monitor and a projector but still feeding the monitor if the projector is switched to another source.
Setup is PC to Splitter, Splitter has 2 outputs, one to your local monitor and one to the projector or courtroom screen. That way if the projector is switched, your PC is still working with a second screen. When it comes time for you to display to the courtroom, your computer is immediately sending video signal with the autodetect lag or any other issues.
HDMI and VGA splitters can be had off the internet for under $20. We recommend this approach to ensuring that your tech is never the problem.