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Old 10-12-2015, 08:59 AM   #1
GDT
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Chromecast and Apple TV in RV?

Hi, folks --

I did a search and didn't find anything directly relating to this, so...multiple questions:

1. Does anybody currently run Chromecast or Apple TV in their unit?
2. What would be the setup while boondocking -- no shore power, no external WiFi?
3. Assuming you can't run the generator, how would you power the Apple TV (which apparently only connects to AC power)? Has anybody successfully run the Apple device using a modified sine wave inverter, or does it require a pure sine unit?
4. Has anybody successfully used the cigarette lighter type connections that are available in the house section (powering the TV's) to run a small inverter?
5. How difficult is the install if you want to permanently wire an inverter?


I'm assuming I'm going to need:
- For Chromecast, a USB connection for power (from either the TV or one of the very handy USB ports on my 2016 3170) and a wireless travel router like a HooToo (which has its own battery pack and not directly dependent on external power to run).
- For Apple TV, a small inverter (looks like even a 150W unit would more than suffice) and the wireless router.


Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:38 AM   #2
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I cannot speak to the power issue as we typically camp in full hookup sites. That being said signal strength and quality are an issue with Apple TV's. I had one in the camper for awhile and used a MiFi, and in many instances it was not enough as it kept buffering. I ended up removing it from the RV and just use it in the house.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:05 AM   #3
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boondocking usually means you are out of signal range of cell towers for a mifi, or tethered to your cell phone connection

you even mention a router...
so first question is, where are you going to get a signal from for streaming?

even if you might hook up to a public or campground service somehow, most of those will quickly throttle your connection speed or completely block you from streaming sites...

you are always better off to spend the money for a pure sine wave inverter as long as they have sufficient power you can use them for most any device that requires 120VAC whereas you may have difficulty with a modified sine wave inverter in SOME applications... you may not know if the modified unit will work until you actually try it out on your VAC unit...

a cigerette outlet connection for your inverter is usually limited to 200 watts of output or less, higher power units require more substantial wires and better connections to the battery supplying the VDC
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:29 PM   #4
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The Apple TV can be converted by modding it with a new power supply. Google "convert Apple TV to 12v"
As far as programming I use the Apple TV to stream movies from my iPhone without wifi. The third gen version of the Apple TV Dan be streamed to without a wifi connection from iPhone or iPad.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies, folks.

rsdata, I plan to use a travel router to establish a local ad hoc network. The source material will be both owned videos (stuff I've bought) that is stored on my iPad, and Amazon Prime Video content also locally stored. Prime now allows downloads of selected titles, so playback doesn't require Internet access. So...look ma, no hands!

As to the inverter capacity and what's available through the cig lighter connection...as long as I'm careful not to actually load up the connection (i.e., I keep the load under 200w), is there any issue with using an inverter that is suited for higher loads? I'm thinking of purchasing a 300w (or greater) inverter with the long term goal of doing a permanent install that is wired directly from the batteries.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert8252 View Post
The Apple TV can be converted by modding it with a new power supply. Google "convert Apple TV to 12v"
As far as programming I use the Apple TV to stream movies from my iPhone without wifi. The third gen version of the Apple TV Dan be streamed to without a wifi connection from iPhone or iPad.
Ah, very interesting to know...so you mean that I can run direct device-to-device without needing a local network in place? Nice, thanks.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
As to the inverter capacity and what's available through the cig lighter connection...as long as I'm careful not to actually load up the connection (i.e., I keep the load under 200w), is there any issue with using an inverter that is suited for higher loads? I'm thinking of purchasing a 300w (or greater) inverter with the long term goal of doing a permanent install that is wired directly from the batteries.
The inverters I have seen come equipped with a cig plug if they are 200 or maybe 150 watts or less... larger wattage units come with alligator clips suitable for hooking to battery terminals. If you want to use a larger unit, just get yourself an additional cig lighter adapter. You will know if it is overloaded as most cig lighters are fused for 10 amps or maybe 15. The connection may heat up on you if you fuse it higher. 15 amps times 12.6 volts equals 189 watts input (amps X volts = watts). Your inverter is not 100% efficient so you will probably not get nearly 200 watts output.

Your 32" or smaller LCD TV, your router and other small power supplies as necessary probably won't pull over 100 watts.

There was a discussion the other day on this forum about someone's 32" LCD screen not working with a modified square-wave inverter rated at 300 watts. You might want to try to stick with a a full sine wave which does cost more... but maybe cheaper and better in the long run.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:11 PM   #8
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Ah, very interesting to know...so you mean that I can run direct device-to-device without needing a local network in place? Nice, thanks.

Correct. You have to have wifi and Bluetooth turned on on your iPad or iPhone but the Apple TV doesn't have to be connected to anything. Just swipe up and click AirPlay and the Apple TV should show up.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:59 PM   #9
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We have used our Chromecast once while at an RV park with wifi. We powered it from the USB on the TV. We didn't have any problems with streaming an entire movie. I was pretty surprised that the data wasn't throttled but at the park we were staying at it worked great.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:32 AM   #10
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I can't speak for the Apple TV device but as for the Chromecast we're able to power it directly off of the TV's USB ports and on our 3170 they do work. Another option is the Amazon fire stick which is the device of choice for me, it too powers directly off of TV USB so no inverter required. The Fire stick has its own little remote which makes it more kid friendly.
I have also used a little stand alone media device which plugs into the HDMI port to playback local content from a USB drive. I found a cord on Amazon that plugs into USB outlet of the TV and it has a choice of ends to supply power to any device as long as its 5 volts. Maybe that would work for Apple TV?

Luckily I still have an unlimited data plan on my phone so, we just hotspot to the fire stick assuming there's a cell tower near.
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