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2014-159 HR in CT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In an effort to get Phranc's build thread "New Guy On The Board" back to his build thread after getting a bit off track....

Here's where it started:
http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46177&page=8

I figured I'd share my setup as a starting point for this thread...

DIGITAL TV

I have a 12V 19" TV with a built in DVD player... about $119 at BB. Attached to this I have a ham radio antenna for the 144/440MHz bands on a magnetic mount. It works well. I put the antenna inside the van, stuck to a yet-to-be-covered B pillar behind the driver. In CT, I get about 40 channels on a search. Most come in perfectly. In past camping trips, I've always received at least enough channels to get the local news at night.

DVD

The built in DVD player works to allow watching DVDs in remote locations.

ANDROID MEDIA BOX

This box, connected via HDMI to the TV, provides a way to watch home produced video, and non-copyrighted media (ie. legal sources) thru a USB Flash drive. I can also listen to music thru the TV by playing tunes stored on the flash drive thru the box. The media box comes with a wall wart adapter for AC use. The adapter converts 120VAC to 5V DC. So do most USB adapters. I made up a USB cord to provide power to the box from the 12V battery instead of requiring AC.

DISH TV
Last year, I worked out an idea that has been a great way to view media on the road! My DISH subscription comes with a DVR that includes SLING service at no additional charge. The DVR is connected to the internet and streams whatever the DVR can watch via the internet to any of my iDevices or Android devices. So, if I have WiFi, I can watch local home channels or anything live or on the DVR which is sitting back at home.

Wifi. you say? Yes... in a campground that might be from them if it's fast enough. If it's not fast enough (or not there), I use my Android phone as a wifi hotspot and with a DISH app on my Android Media Box (see above) I can Sling whatever to the box, which is displayed on the TV... in Hi Def!

Other approaches?
 

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I just had to buy a new tablet for work I went with the Samsung view. Which is 18.4" tablet. I have AT&T and direct tv so I can stream direct tv and not use data. And when I have no service I have a bunch of downloaded movies.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

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2014 3500ext Gas - VA
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Thank-you Eddie!

VanCave's Entertainment Suite:

1. Pioneer MVHX560BT Digital Media Receiver (12v car stereo): I decided to use a traditional 12v car stereo since I would primarily listen to music.
2. Pyle PDIC60 speakers (x4): Full range 2-way speakers
3. Sony BDPS3500 Bluray player: includes wifi (which I don't plan to use), 300+ apps for streaming media from the internet (which I also don't plan to use), and a media player.
4. Mediasonic HW180STB Digital Receiver/Set-Top-Box: for rendering HDTV broadcast signals
5. 24” Acer S241HL monitor: standard computer monitor with HDMI input... selected for its thin profile since I planned to store the monitor on the ceiling.
6. 1byOne “50 Mile” HDTV Antenna: I mounted the HDTV antenna to an extendable pole with magnetic mounts to affix it to the sides on the VanCave. I connect this to the Mediasonic rcvr and stereo via a coax connector mounted to the side of VanCave
7. Generic PDIF-RCA converter: this converter was needed to convert the Sony Bluray PDIF output to RCA for input into the stereo.
8. Generic HDMI switch: automatically switches between multiple HDMI sources enabling a single HDMI cable to the monitor
9. Netgear N900 wifi router: includes media server capability. By adding a 32GB USB drive I can stream music to any networked device including battery powered wifi speakers (Pioneer SMA3) for outdoor tunes.
10. Portable devices: misc iPads, iPhones, and portable wifi & bluetooth speakers.

Future Enhancements: add a Jetpack or mifi for internet connectivity

I investigated options for making digital copies of my movies so I could enjoy them when outside cellular coverage... however, the digital right management (DRM) lawyers foiled my plans. Until I either spring for a huge dataplan, buy new portable devices with huge memory for storing movies, or someone figures out how to legally store and play dvds without internet, I plan to carry my +/- 50 favorite DVDs in a snazzy new DVD carrier ($12 on Amazon)
 

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Our 19"? Samsung TV runs on 12V and plays movies from a flash drive. We buy DVD's from the thrift stores and MrNomer puts them on the flash drive using free software.

I download movies and TV shows from Amazon Prime to my iPad.
 

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JetPack/MiFi

Future Enhancements: add a Jetpack or mifi for internet connectivity
We searched for "Jetpack & mifi" and found Verizon's 7730L. Like so many things promoted these days, we could not tell what this device really does, why one would want it. What's your take? More specifically, how does this enhance internet connectivity which for us is the real issue?
 

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Our 19"? Samsung TV runs on 12V and plays movies from a flash drive. We buy DVD's from the thrift stores and MrNomer puts them on the flash drive using free software.
I download movies and TV shows from Amazon Prime to my iPad.
I admit to using media on a 32GB thumb drive too, same TV. I believe it was reported that we are violating the DRM rule, although I fail to see who is harmed if I paid for it and didn’t sell or distribute it?? I believe in the rule “no harm, no foul.” I am thinking I might convert an apple TV and use Airplay mirroring to send stuff up from my iPhone or iPad too. I am confused about comments that the device needs wifi to check the DRM to play media as I recently watched “Worlds Fastest Indian” on my iPad while trapped in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for 6 hours in airplane mode. How does this work?
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
We are trying to work out a system for on road entertainment. This is what I'm thinking so far -- any thoughts on improvements would be great...

- We now use my android phone to listen to Audible books with an external bluetooth speaker that works with the phone. This works fine, and since the books can be downloaded to the phone in advance, you don't need a cell signal.

- Would like to be able to watch movies on DVD or Blueray. We carry a Windows10 PC with 14 inch screen, and I was thinking about buying an external Blueray drive that would plug into a USB port. I think that you still have to buy software to play the DVDs or Blueray disks, and I'm thinking about PowerDVD16, which is on sale now for $50 -- maybe there is a better or cheaper package?
The PC has bluetooth, so I'd use the same bluetooth speaker for movie audio.

- We have Directv at home, and they offer a "free" app for tablets that they say allows you to download movies and TV shows to the tablet and watch offline. I tried this on our Samsung Android tablet with mixed results. Does anyone use this method successfully?

- Broadcast TV. Bought a gadget from Hauppauge (WinTV-HVR-9500) that you can plug into a PC, and it lets you view over the air digital TV. I've tested this at home, and it works OK, but have not had a chance to try it on the road yet.



I like the idea mentioned above of DC powered TV with built in DVD player, but we do carry the PC around anyway, so trying to make use of that. But, will look into where I could mount and store a TV.

Edit: Decided to go with a new 16 inch TV with built in DVD -- mounted side wall on a fold out mount. Nice and simple and no software to fight with -- ends up costing about the same as an external drive plus software, and it does regular over the air TV also. Won't play blueray, but not a big deal for us.
Thanks -- Gary

Gary
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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Discussion Starter #10
Addendum:

DISH
Dish also allows you to transfer videos to your tablet or phone for offline viewing. They have no problem with that.

I believe other TV/Video providers have similar options?
 

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Hi,


- We have Directv at home, and they offer a "free" app for tablets that they say allows you to download movies and TV shows to the tablet and watch offline. I tried this on our Samsung Android tablet with mixed results. Does anyone use this method successfully?


Gary
Tried it once at home and it seemed to work. Haven't tried it on the road yet. I don't think you download live shows but rather download the contents of your DVR. It seems that the DVR contents have to be "prepared" before they can be downloaded, which takes almost as long as the length of the program being downloaded. Once prepared, the download goes quickly. There is a setting in the app (or maybe it is on your Genie DVR) to have all DVR programs prepared automatically, as soon as they are recorded, so that they will be ready for downloading without waiting for them to be prepared.

I also seem to recall that you must download DVR contents at home. Your phone or tablet has to be on the same network as your Genie DVR. So you can't download DVR contents once you are on the road. However, you can stream the DVR contents while on the road as long as you have an internet connection or cell signal and your Genie is connected to the internet.
 

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If you have AT&T and direct tv you can watch live TV or shows on your mobile device with no data charges... here's a pic of my monster tablet (mounted in my extra work van seeing as my promaster is still at the dealer)
 

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If you have AT&T and direct tv you can watch live TV or shows on your mobile device with no data charges... here's a pic of my monster tablet (mounted in my extra work van seeing as my promaster is still at the dealer)
I have been told that the free data applies only to direct cell data use. So you can watch it on your phone or you can use screen mirroring to cast it to your TV. But you cannot use the phone as a hotspot and connect other devices to the hotspot. If you use the phone as a hotspot, then data charges will apply.

So how are you viewing on that large tablet, mirroring or hotspot? Or something else?
 

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We searched for "Jetpack & mifi" and found Verizon's 7730L. Like so many things promoted these days, we could not tell what this device really does, why one would want it. What's your take? More specifically, how does this enhance internet connectivity which for us is the real issue?
Winston, The Jetpack is simply a wireless 4G wifi network hotspot that is used strictly for internet data... they generally have a stronger and more reliable wifi signal than smartphone hotspots. Depending on your carrier, you can add them to your cellphone account for a lower monthly connection fee... how they charge the data depends on the carrier.

I don't have or want a smartphone; a jetpack is a good and relatively inexpensive complement to my existing noncontract cellphone (others in my family have smartphones so I wouldn't have to set up a new account)
 

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Hot Spots

Winston, The Jetpack is simply a wireless 4G wifi network hotspot that is used strictly for internet data... they generally have a stronger and more reliable wifi signal than smartphone hotspots.
Thanks for the clarification. We could use a 'stronger' signal but with the FoxFi app we are able to obtain hotspot functionality without any extra fees . . . so we'll just have to sit closer to the phone/van.
 

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For those who are looking to have a library of movies and have a basic level of tech saviness, there is a way to do it, though I don't know the legality of it so you're on your own if Big Movie comes after you :)

To rip a movie from a DVD or Blu-Ray to a file, you'll need a couple pieces of software:
  • AnyDVD which gets around that pesky protection and allows the media to be copied
  • Video editing/creation software. Handbrake is one example which is free and, I'm told, works well.
Load the DVD in Handbrake, choose your quality settings, and you're off to the races. It might take a long time to finish depending on your computer and the quality settings you choose.

If you want to get fancy, you can buy a portable media server which allows you to create a wifi network and stream the media. Here's one example: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016ZWS9ZE/

But if you want my recommendation, get a Kindle and a library card. You can download books for free from anywhere :)
 

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- Would like to be able to watch movies on DVD or Blueray. We carry a Windows10 PC with 14 inch screen, and I was thinking about buying an external Blueray drive that would plug into a USB port. I think that you still have to buy software to play the DVDs or Blueray disks, and I'm thinking about PowerDVD16, which is on sale now for $50 -- maybe there is a better or cheaper package?
This is probably a bit late for Gary, but VLC software plays DVDs, and just about every other media file type out there. https://www.videolan.org/vlc/ Versions for practically every hardware platform and OS. Billions of us happy users. And it's free!
 
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