How To Use Presentation Mode on the BlackBerry PlayBook When Hooked up to an External Display

By Kevin Michaluk on 18 Apr 2011 10:25 am EDT

Video PlayBook 101: How to use BlackBerry Presentation Mode when the BlackBerry PlayBook is hooked up to an external display via HDMI

One of the quick videos I whipped up for our indepth BlackBerry PlayBook Review was demonstrating BlackBerry Presenter Mode on the BlackBerry PlayBook. To take advantage of Presenter Mode, you first need to hook the PlayBook up to an external display device via an HDMI cable, such as a television, monitor or projector.

Once the PlayBook is hooked up via HDMI, you can jump into Settings > HDMI on the PlayBook to control different output settings. Though the PlayBook's display is 1024 x 600, it can output to a much higher resolution, and you can change up the settings for things like aspect ratio. I've watched a few full length movies now from the PlayBook on my television and have been loving it!

Beyond mirroring what's on the PlayBook's display, Presenter Mode is a unique feature that takes things a step further. From within PlayBook apps like Videos and Slideshow To Go (Powerpoint), when hooked up to an HDMI output you get a new Presenter mode icon that you can tap from within these apps. When tapped, the output on the external display continues to play the main video output (be it a movie or powerpoint), but while this is occuring you can continue to use your PlayBook normally. So you can be giving a presentation on the display while looking at your slide notes on the PlayBook, or browsing the web while your kids are watching a movie. Furthermore, and as I demonstrate in the video above, you can easily jump between Presenter mode presentations just by swiping between apps. So if you're giving a power point and want to quickly show a movie, instead of having to mess around with embedding movies or leaving powerpoint to open a video, you can simply jump from one app to the next without missing a beat. This is POWERFUL stuff right here. 

We've even caught wind that RIM is working on putting DLNA (wireless streaming) support into the PlayBook with a future software update that will get rid of the need for an HDMI cable. I'm super stoked for that. I can keep all of my videos on my PlayBook, sit back on the couch to watch a flick on a Friday night, and still use my PlayBook the whole time the video is playing. Check out the video above to see it in action!

View More BlackBerry PlayBook 101's 

Reader comments

How To Use Presentation Mode on the BlackBerry PlayBook When Hooked up to an External Display


DLNA will be heaven for lecturing as I now can walk around with my Playbook wirelessly streaming my power point presentation to the DLP projector! No more being tied down to one spot. Impressive.

Can someone please give Kevin a job at RIM...he is making the playbook look really cool with all these videos. RIM's marketing dep't is SLEEPING!!! too many people don't even know this tablet exists, but yet you say ipad, and everyone jumps...i can't stand it.

Would be nice to see a demo of Slides to Go in presentation mode where slides are running on HDMI out while Playbook is showing power point presentation notes. You mentioned it, but didn't show it.

Oh look, a feature that can be used for the purpose of business and/or pleasure. Looks like it will be on the next ipad iteration then EVERYONE...aka the dumb asses...will claim it's innovation by Apple. Blackberry still wins in my book.

PS I want my Blackberry Touch already.

Kevin, does this mean I could open and edit a spreadsheet or Word document in HD resolution on an external monitor? If so, add keyboard & mouse and I've got my new desktop computer. This could be HUGE for an IT department.

Hi Pablo,

Alex from RIM here. Assuming your monitor has an HDMI input then yes, you will be able to open and edit documents on your monitor thanks to the DocsToGo app. Having the ability to open and edit your documents on an external display is just one of the PlayBook’s HD multimedia capabilities. As is noted above, you can also watch 1080p videos on your monitor or even record them thanks to PlayBook’s 3MP and 5MP (front/rear) cameras.

When you get a chance, check out this video highlighting some of the other features the BlackBerry PlayBook has to offer (

Alex, RIM Social Media Team

out of topic comment:

many tablets already out in the market like Galaxy tab and zoom, but they don't receive "killer reviews" as what the playbook is experiencing now. and I know the reason why, beacuse among tablets only playbook is capable of killing IPAD 1 and 2 that is why the company that will be affected by the playbook needs to work hard to kill this potential tablet. I wish apple is not responsible on what is happening now to playbook reviewers, and article/blog writers, else i wish freddy [nightmare] visits you in your dreams.

Hi @nanddm98,

Douglas from RIM here. Unfortunately, Slideshow to Go will not support animation or embedded video on the BlackBerry PlayBook or, as far as I know, any other tablet on the market right now.

Please keep an eye on our Inside BlackBerry Blog ( for the latest PlayBook updates.

Douglas, RIM Social Media Team

Can someone explain the DLNA? What does it do and what hardware will you need?

I am a teacher and use a projector for PowerPoint all the time, would be great if I could move around the classroom with my PB.

DLNA is the acronymn for Digital Living Network Appliance which you can think of as a way to seamlessly connect media from one device to another. Most modern computers support it, as do X-Box, PS/3 and a lot of TV's. You can think of this as a transport to get media from one device (PlayBook) to another (TV) using standards. With this, you don't need a physical cable to connect the devices.

So none of our projectors are HDMI. some have component input, but not all of them.

Is there a VGA solution for this?

This will be important

edit: I suppose one solution is the BB presenter, but it seems a rather clunky solution to the awesome potential of the PlayBook.

If they got rid of the HDMI out i wouldn't consider this tablet. Streaming can be complicated and poor quality. Plus not every Tv Can do it. Hdmi is pretty standard now days on tv's were as streaming is premium feature.

What makes you think they are getting rid of HDMI for this feature? They are peaches and tangerines... DLNA is a wireless streaming protocol. HDMI is a wired audio/video connection. The PlayBook will do BOTH.

I am loving this thing. DLNA capability would be huge! SO PUMPED! The iPad is looking clunkier and clumsier by the second.

I'm pretty hard on RIM and the Playbook but I gotta say the remote control feature and presentation mode are pretty awesome.

I thought the new iPad was better but changed my mind!!!
Can't wait for DLNA!!!
Could you use YouTube videos for presenter mode?