Do you offer a no-install USB-to-Video device?


#1

I’ve loyally frequented two competitors of yours for years. Any one purchase depends on which of them has the better reviews on the item I need that day. I came across plugable on Amazon and I have to say your introduction was made with tremendous fanfare. It’s clear you’ve cultivated a loyal following of your own. I could never ignore customer feedback like yours. So, if you’re able to accommodate my need today, I’ll gladly give you a shot. If not, then keep up the good work, keep making your customers happy, and I assure you we’ll do business in the future.

To my need:
Recently we’ve had clients showing up who have not the system permissions to install ANYTHING. No drivers, no updates, no nothing. A colleague of mine trusted a contractor to make an important decision for him. It didn’t work out. Our video switchboxes sometimes go offline while we need them. There’s no time to get under the conference room table to fix it…so I make Band-Aid’s available in all of our public workspaces. Your competitors offer a number of “driverless” and “no-install” solutions for adding video-out ports to our visitors laptops. For instance, if our HDMI box goes out and our visitor has no other on-board option for sharing their screen, I plug a tiny USB-to-HDMI Wireless adapter into their laptop, and *poof. They’re sharing over wireless HDMI.

The problem? It’s unreliable. They all are. Every “no-install” video device I have has a habit of failing to initiate. Facing the restrictions these guys have on their systems, my hands are tied. I cannot troubleshoot, update a driver, or even pretend to have a solution in place that doesn’t involve asking the ladies in the room to stand so I may crawl under the table.

So, do you offer a USB-to-Video (HDMI, VGA, DVI, wireless, or a combination of them.) that you can tell me with confidence that it will not require an installation.
Note: I’ve been doing this long enough to know how all-encompassing a question that is. I’m fully aware of the impossibility of predicting every scenario, knowing whether our clients laptops will be carrying corrupted drivers, etc. I understand. I’m just trying to communicate exactly the need I have so if I settle on your product, I will know our expectation of performance is aligned. I don’t expect perfection…I just want to know if you are confident that a product of yours will satisfy this need.


#2

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your kind words and for posting to ask.

It’s not possible to have a “no install” USB to video solution. The reason why is there is no class standard for USB video that is supported by common operating systems like Windows

In contrast, devices like USB keyboards can work because of the USB HID class standard, and Microsoft’s support in Windows (the Microsoft-developed hidclass.sys driver); or, another example - USB flash drives and hard drives. They work because of the USB Mass Storage class standard and Microsoft’s usbstor.sys driver. All parts of the chain of hardware and software are relying on the standard – that’s what enables the “no driver” solution (it’s actually a built-in Microsoft driver).

However, there is no USB graphics standard or USB graphics driver in Windows. So every USB graphics device requires a driver to be installed.

That would have to apply to the USB-attached Wireless HDMI adapter that you mentioned, too – it may be that the driver for that has been pre-installed on the machines by someone. And the same rules apply to our products.

All our products (http://plugable.com/products/) with a USB graphics function use chips and drivers from the leading technology supplier in this area, DisplayLink.

DisplayLink’s driver works with all DisplayLink-based products, including ours.

I’m not sure if our product is right for your scenario or not – if you have users for which there is an intent to not enable driver installs, then you’d have to have an IT admin or such install on each system on behalf of the users. But after that, everything would work great.

Hope that background helps!

Bernie


#3