The ProPresenter Guide to Presentation Remotes (Clickers)
It is common for a speaker on stage to desire to control their own slide changes. Presentation Remotes or “clickers” can be a great solution for this. There are 3 main options for this: generic and cheap remotes, the production industry standard, and apps which can provide more flexibility and control.
Generic remotes: the Logitech R400, R800 and similar
Logitech makes a couple of very common models, and there are a ton of similar options on Amazon or the local office supply store. These work the way you’d expect: they have buttons to go forward/back, and maybe buttons to clear the screen, or a laser to point with. They generally use the same spectrum as WiFi, and have a range up to 100’ or so. They generally cost $20-$150 (the R400 is $70), and have a dongle that plugs into the computer over USB to receive the signal.
The downside is using the WiFi spectrum, so the range and reliability drops in WiFi-crowded areas, like office buildings with lots of Wifi routers. Some clickers do come with Bluetooth, which uses a different frequency spectrum, and could give better connection results depending on which class of Bluetooth device it is (Class 1 is over 100m, Class 3 is under 10m).
Pros: Easy to use, plug and play.
Cons: Can miss clicks or have complete dropouts in Wifi-crowded areas.
Gold standard: DSAN PerfectCue
DSAN makes the industry standard for presentation remotes in their PerfectCue system. It uses frequencies in the AM radio range, so there’s no conflicts with WiFi, and the transmitter range is more than 250’. The receiver can connect to 2 computers simultaneously, so a backup machine stays in sync. It also supports multiple systems in proximity to each other, if you’re doing a conference with multiple presentations in adjacent rooms. However there is one catch: the price tag starts around $350 and gets into the thousands pretty quickly.
Pros: It’s the best. Great range, great reliability, designed for mission-critical applications.
Cons: Cost. Starts at $350 and gets into the low thousands for more elaborate systems.
Modern option: ProRemote App
The ProPresenter Remote app is available on Android and iOS, and allows the presenter to control ProPresenter using the WiFi. It’s affordable, works well, and connects directly to ProPresenter. It also works on both tablets and smartphones and shows images of each of the slides, making it as simple as possible for speakers to control their own slides, especially if they bounce around a lot between slides.
Pros: Cheapest option, custom-built for ProPresenter, shows thumbnails of each slide, enables speakers to jump around easily.
Cons: Requires your mobile device to be connected to the same network as ProPresenter machine, and to be able to communicate. Bad WiFi, poor connectivity, and firewalls can block this.