Classroom Technology - Common Problems and Solutions



Problem: No video signal on Monitor!

If it's a PC with a SmartPodium monitor, the Prof often thinks the monitor itself IS the PC.

Solution: Make sure PC itself is on.


Problem: No video signal on Monitor, but I can see it on the projector screen!

New Win10 machines seem to prioritize the projector screen as the primary display.  Classroom Support have been progressively changing/freezing them all to 'Duplicate' mode on all machines we find with this issue.

Extend mode, black screen with mouse icon, can't login. Profs might leave it like this, immediate fix is windows+p to duplicate.

Solution: Press Windows key on keyboard + P button until 'duplicate' is selected.


Problem: Saint Mary's Logo on Projector can't get the monitor to display on projector

The display is set to "On" and the source is set to "PC" but the projector is showing the Saint Mary's logo and they can't get it to display what's on their monitor

Solution: Press Windows key on keyboard + P button until 'duplicate' is selected.


Problem: DVD Won't play!

AutoPlay seems to be disabled on all Win10 machines. User must start DVD video manually. (This goes for USB as well)

Solution: VLC Media Player is used to play any video files stored on USB and DVD. The professor would need to login to with their s# and password then search for VLC Media Player among the other apps and click launch which would install it. Thereafter, the video file or the DVD must be open within VLC Media Player by clicking on Media -> open file or disc among other options.


Problem: Document Camera won't work!

Often the HDMI cable is removed from the back of the Camera, or someone has inadvertantly changed the cable to the 'input' instead of the 'output' socket.

Solution # 1: Check cables and ports on rear of Document Camera. HDMI in / HDMI out (Should be in OUT)

Solution # 2: Make sure Document Camera has power.

Solution # 3: Make sure Document Camera is selected on MPC (Black crestron panel)

Solution # 4: Make sure 'Camera' is selected on the DocCam itself (they have VGA inputs too)

Solution # 5: Make sure all dip switches are in UP position.


Problem: Projector won't turn off/on!

There are a multitude of reasons why this happens depending on the room and equipment.

Solution # 1: Turn projector on manually with remote (Located in Classroom Support office)

Solution # 2: Press Off/On again on Black Button Panel

Solution # 3: Reset Crestron base unit. (pull power)

Solution # 4: Reset Black Button panel (MPC) unit (pull power)

Solution # 5: Pull power and reset ceiling receiver unit.


Problem: No Sound!

Solution # 1: Make sure all volumes are up, Windows master, Software (VLC), and crestron knob on black button panel.

Solution # 2: Make sure correct 'Playback Device' is selected.

Right click speaker icon at bottom right of taskbar, select 'Playback Devices', check that the correct one is selected. Some rooms are 'Crestron' as Default, others are 'Speakers' as default. If you've tried the first fix with no luck, try switching 'Playback devices' to see if that works.

Solution # 1: If system requires a minijack output on default playback devices: Speakers only, then make sure this cable is not unplugged from the green audio port on PC.

Solution # 2: PC display must be SHOWN on screen and SELECTED in certain rooms where the projector is responsible for passing the audio, sometimes a prof will try to play audio from a pc without selecting PC on the screen, then complain that they can't hear anything.


Problem: My Projector Shut Down in the Middle of my Class!

All SMU classrooms have a timer. Often a prof will leave the projector on for the next class. However this will continue to use up the 3 hours until it shuts off. Some rooms such as L278 have a 4 hour timer, L290 has a 5 hour timer.

Solution # 1: Advise prof to 'interact' with the MPC black button panel. E.g. switch to document camera, then back to PC. This interaction will reset the timer.

Solution # 2: Advise prof to turn system off, then on again before class.


Problem: Projector won't turn on! (Lamp light showing)!

Check for 'Lamp' light on projector. If the lamp light is on, the projector has overheated or bulb has blown.

Solution: Move class while projector bulb is replaced/repaired


Problem: Nothing shows on Screen! (Single Screen Room)

Solution: Display On, then Source must be selected. e.g. "Display on" & "PC"


Figure # 1: MPC 2 Step Controller


Problem: Nothing shows on Screen! (Dual Screen Room)

Solution: Display On, then Select Screen, then Source must be selected e.g.  "Display on" & "Display on Left" then "PC"


Figure # 2: MPC 3 Step Controller





Problem: Power cuts/bumps can cause various problems.

Solution: There are too many possible problems to list when a power cut occurs, however a full reset of the equipment can solve the majority of issues.

Note*, Crestron power resets can be performed on the podium in many cases, but often the receiver unit in the ceiling also needs to be reset. This requires a ladder and you will need to located the receiver and pull its power. 


Problem: Files wont open! (Possible Mac shadow files)

*Software / operability issue, technically not for CS?

Often a user will have difficulty opening a file, e.g. Powerpoint, Audio file, Video file and they will blame the PC itself.

Check to see if the file in question is slightly shaded out and see if the size of the file (KB) is oddly the same size as all the others (e.g. 4kb).

Solution: Check the rest of their files for the non-shaded files, those are the actual files!


Problem: Mac adaptors, PC adaptors, Type-C usb and incompatibility with non digital cables (VGA)

We are seeing more and more TYPE-C USB Laptops (MAC mostly) and they will use a supplied TYPE-C adaptor for projecting video in a classroom. So far we have had little luck getting these to work with the standard VGA cables, but they mostly seem ok with digital cables (HDMI)


Problem: Keyboard and Mouse failure!

An ongoing issue that Desktop team are aware of.

Solution # 1: (check for white light on Keyboard (Num lock light / caps lock light), check for red light under mouse) if there are no lights and no reponse, they will likely have failed.

Solution # 2: Hard resetting PC is only way to reliably fix it.


Problem: Monitor has cropped image in the corner of the screen!

We have an ongoing mystery regarding this issue showing up in various places on Windows 10 machines. No permanent fix as yet.

Solution: Unplug and replug VGA cable at PC end, not monitor end.

Science buildings audio passes through a primary projector which is indicate on the M2CE panel (touch panel left+audio) if the right projector is on only, then you wont get sound

  • Sometimes the entire power conditioner will be turned off.

  • BiAmps, SB Theatre, MM Theatre, sometimes all volumes get turned down, check for this. Levels are pre-set by us at around 90%. Reset netgear router in MM theatre if there's no activity from the ones in MM Theatre.
  • Dicolouration on monitor, red, blue, yellow etc. Bent pin on VGA cable, broken cable, replace.


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Article ID: 265
Tue 1/23/18 6:08 PM
Tue 8/9/22 11:34 AM

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