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Old 08-11-2016, 10:02 AM   #1
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Movie Nights in Our Airstream

Since beginning our Airstream adventures early this summer, my husband and I have sought easy and inexpensive ways to enjoy movies and TV shows without incurring data costs. Amazon Prime offers a great solution.

Unlike other streaming services like Netflix, Amazon allows its Prime customers to download Amazon Prime films and TV shows free of charge on mobile devices (e.g., iPhonees, iPads – but not PCs or Macs). WiFi is required for the download, and shows take little space on our devices. For example, currently have 6 films and the first year of “Mr. Robot” on my phone, with plenty of room for more. (In fact, I'm currently downloading more films while at the local public library.)

Of course, the biggest issue to solve – and the one that took us a moment for us to figure out – was how to get the shows from our iPhones to the TV. Apple TV doesn’t work without WiFi, but it turns out that here’s a much cheaper and more satisfying choice anyway – a tiny attachment called an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter. This attachment hooks into your HDMI cord and provides a separate spot where you can charge your iPhone/iPad with a Lightning chord.

We’ve been extremely impressed with this solution. Because the downloaded film/TV show is going directly into the HDMI, there is no lag and the picture quality is perfect. Furthermore, because Amazon Prime has tens of thousands of films/shows to chose from, we’re quite happy with our new set up!
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:49 PM   #2
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Great idea I might need to sign up for Prime again!
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:35 AM   #3
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Great idea! (As an aside, the latest AppleTV (4) does work without a separate wifi network. But the direct connection you describe is cheaper and easier.) Best, Joe
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:28 AM   #4
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If you do a quick search on this topic there are at least a couple of long threads discussing this. I carry the AV adapter and use it extensively if staying in hotels, and even though my preferred solution is to use a small HTPC most folks miss the obvious and definitely easiest solution. Just about all modern PC have a USB port. The same files you have on your phone can be transferred to a regular USB drive and simply plug into the TV. Select the USB source on you TV and the TV firmware is able to read the file structure and play the files. Even though I have a 2TB drive on the HTPC carrying my entire video and audio collection, I still keep a 64GB USB drive in my pocket with all my current films.This is more than most portable devices and doesn't require any adapter.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jayseejay View Post
Great idea! (As an aside, the latest AppleTV (4) does work without a separate wifi network. But the direct connection you describe is cheaper and easier.) Best, Joe
The AppleTV 3 will also work without a wifi network. See my install video below with the details:

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Old 08-12-2016, 08:44 AM   #6
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Thank you for sharing! My husband and I are Newbies and this will help us!
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:38 AM   #7
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thanks for this. Just purchased a TV for our bedroom and now - i have ordered the apple connector.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:45 AM   #8
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The first real advantage I have seen to Amazon Prime-
Still not sure if I want to give them $99 per year-
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:00 PM   #9
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Actually do movie nights when I am at the desert. I have a portable projector and screen I take.

My setup is like yours. I use a lighting to HDMI. I also use AppleTV, I have a mini-router for this.

DirecTV has a new feature you can download shows to your tablet or phone. If you have an AppleTV you can use the mirror feature.

If you have an Android, I just got this and it works great. It is called a ScreenBeamMini 2, this is a wifi direct unit. Works great!

I have a Harmon Kardon bluetooth speaker which is a kick ass speaker for it's size.

I don't recommend you get a super high end screen because, the last you want to do is damage it in the desert, I got 100" screen for less than $100. I won't cry if this breaks.

A friend of mine gave me a lecture about being in the outdoors shouldn't have a TV, electronics and things. He said, you should enjoy the outdoors. I said, I do enjoy the outdoors, but why not have a little modern amenities too? He just grinned at me.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
If you do a quick search on this topic there are at least a couple of long threads discussing this. I carry the AV adapter and use it extensively if staying in hotels, and even though my preferred solution is to use a small HTPC most folks miss the obvious and definitely easiest solution. Just about all modern PC have a USB port. The same files you have on your phone can be transferred to a regular USB drive and simply plug into the TV. Select the USB source on you TV and the TV firmware is able to read the file structure and play the files. Even though I have a 2TB drive on the HTPC carrying my entire video and audio collection, I still keep a 64GB USB drive in my pocket with all my current films.This is more than most portable devices and doesn't require any adapter.
Great idea for storing/traveling with lots of movies! We already have Amazon Prime, and we can only download to iPhones, iPads or iPods (maybe Android devices, too, not sure). I don't think we can transfer the files to a USB, but we don't really need to. Once we're done with a film, we simply remove it from our phones. I've got 8 films on my phone currently. Plenty to keep me engaged for awhile.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:49 PM   #11
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We've been wanting to do this! What kind of projector do you use?
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:43 PM   #12
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Another option - free

We have a really inexpensive option - it's free! We checkout DVDs at the local library and take them with us. Of course, we only go on 1 - 2 week trips. I guess if we were gone longer that wouldn't work. So far we've binge watched a lot of the Netflix TV series this way - House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Newsroom, and several Masterpiece Theater series, in addition to plain old movies. Works for us and is free.
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:46 PM   #13
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Some campgrounds have a DVD library to loan out while you are there.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:06 PM   #14
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We've been wanting to do this! What kind of projector do you use?
Get something less than $500. Most modern PJ will have an HDMI, if not, get a HGMI to VGA adaptor.
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