Yeah, I know, this is not a brand-new topic, but we have made ever so much progress — possibly — and I felt that you deserved to know about it.
WARNING. Some material on this page may be too intense for less nerdly or geeky audiences. Sooz said I had to provide this warning.
I think I mentioned that we’ve used DVRs for a long time, and that we like the option to watch a favorite show or movie when we want to, not when it’s scheduled to air. We think this — our preference for TV flexibility — may be a thing even when we’re doing Wilderness Camping, although we don’t yet know for sure.
So we have Tivo at home, because why wouldn’t we? And we have an Android tablet (it’s a Google-branded tablet, which I convinced Sooz we needed when Google was a client of mine for a year or two). NOTE: the Android tablet is Wi-Fi only, doesn’t get mobile network signals. This may be important, or maybe not.
Google (the client) has since wised up and moved on to other providers of marketing blather, but I still have the tablet. And I have a 19-inch, high-def Sharp LCD TV that sports a single HDMI input. That HDMI input is an important part of this conversation, but it won’t be clear until I reveal the dongle. So wait a minute. As of yesterday morning, thanks to Amazon and the always-welcome-at-our-house UPS brown truck, I have a new dongle. It is a Netgear Push2TV device.
This is something I can plug into the TV’s HDMI port, which I believe I accurately predicted might be important. The device is capable of something called Miracast, which I just learned about. Miracast is a name for the ability to transmit HDMI info (high-def video and audio) wirelessly from one device to another. In this case, I will (according to everything I’ve read), be able to transmit whatever is playing on my tablet to the dongle, and it will play on my TV.
Of course there is the issue of getting something to play on the tablet, because, as I mentioned, it just has Wi-Fi, not mobile network capability, and when we’re out there camping in the wilderness there’s not going to be Wi-Fi. Maybe, sometimes, some mobile network (Verizon, in our case) coverage will be avaiable, but no Wi-Fi. So to get internet to the tablet, we’re going to need to get our smartphones to grab the mobile network (assuming it’s available), and act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and then our tablet will connect to it via Wi-Fi.
That can all work. But then wait, will the tablet be able to receive Wi-Fi signals from the smartphone and then send Wi-Fi signals to the dongle all at the same time? Because Miracast, it turns out, is really just a specialized kind of Wi-Fi. I’m going to find out as soon as these pain pills wear off.
Through the magic of taking two days to get this post published, I already have the answer to this question: yes. The tablet can receive Wi-Fi and Miracast-transmit to the dongle. I got it working this morning.
But wait (as we say in the marketing drivel business), there’s more. According to Tivo’s website, I’m going to be able to watch, on the tablet, anything I can see with our Tivo at home, even though it’s back here on our sprawling estate and not with us. And with the dongle thing we can watch what’s on the tablet on our expansive 19-inch Sharp TV screen.
Again, the secondary fermentation of this post kicks in with more info: alas, I will have to buy an additional Tivo device, for $129, to be able to stream live TV and anything on my DVR to the tablet. And get this: if only I had iOS devices instead Android devices, I could also download stuff to the tablet and watch it later, with no Internet connection at all. Total, wilderness-ready TV. Wow.
But, as always, Android is the stepchild. I wonder if this will ever turn around. I do not know.
Now, back to our story: Maybe we can even get the sound to make its way to our Bluetooth speaker as well, but that’s too much to think about today. Especially with this next round of pain meds.
So, let’s review, because I don’t know about you but my head is spinning, and honestly the meds haven’t really kicked in yet.
Home Comcast content –> Home Tivo –> Internet –> Verizon (our mobile provider) –> Smartphone with WiFi Hotspot turned on –> Android tablet running the mobile Tivo app –> NetGear Push2TV dongle –> Sharp 19″ TV. Still not sure about the sound and the Bluetooth speaker. I think that might require another dongle, and it might be hard to sneak that by the team CFO. Hmmmm.
What I am sure of: maybe it’s time to just get a few books out of the library and leave all the electronics at home.
But I bet we won’t do that.Sharing is caring!
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