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Old 04-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
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Techy Additions To Camper

We got our first camper last fall and love it. We're looking forward to many years of enjoyment. I've done two small mods to make things a bit more enjoyable for us.

1) We bought a 19" lcd TV/DVD combo. That works fine but we get next to nothing when trying to get over the air TV channels. We also don't have any sort of cable hookups where we go and we don't have satellite TV.

Anyway, a few years ago I bought an iPhone and I also bought a slingbox. A slingbox is a device that connects between your home cable box and your home TV. You connect the slingbox to your home network and then it allows you to watch your home TV from just about any internet connected device. Anything you can watch or do at home, you can watch or do away from your home. We live in New York and my wife went to take some classes in Spain a few years ago. She was able to watch our home TV while in Spain.

Apple has a simple little adapter that plugs into the bottom of your iPhone. You can then connect a standard HDMI cable to this adapter and then connect it to the TV in your camper. This allows you to watch anything you want and you don't have to deal with satellite dishes and fees and what not. The adapter shows your iPhone screen on your TV screen. The slingbox is a one time purchase of around $150. There is NO additional fees to use it. It's awesome. Oh, it also comes in HD too!


2) I wanted our camper to have speakers inside and out. Unfortunately, the camper we wanted only had indoor speakers. We have to use a portable boom box radio if we want music outside. That's fine, but we also wanted to be ale to listen to the same music inside the camper and outside the camper. The only way to do it was to listen to the same radio station on the portable radio and then camper radio. Does anyone even LISTEN to the radio anymore? lol

I have an old iPhone that I strictly use as a music player now. I then purchased a decent FM radio transmitter. Simply plug my iphone playing music into the transmitter and I then tune the camper radio and the outdoor portable radio to the same radio station and I now have the same music, MY MUSIC, playing both inside and outside. Having the portable radio also is better because you can place the radio on your picnic table and have it at a lower volume. With speakers on the side of your camper you would have to play it a little louder in order to hear it where you are sitting. Here's the transmitter I have. FM Transmitter

It works really well after a slight mod. It's gone up to 50' through a wall and still gave static free reception. The mod is simply turning a screw and if you have any questions I'll be sure to help. The transmitter doesn't work well without the mod, but ANYONE can do the mod.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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I don't watch live TV, period. Can't stand all the commercials and there's really too much junk for my taste. That said, I love watching Netflix, Amazon TV, Hulu, etc. So here is my question: Does your Slingbox require an active Internet connection via your iPhone or are you watching content stored on your iPhone or what?

For music I use a synchronized group of Logitech Squeezeboxes at home. It doesn't matter whether I am outside or in any part of the house, they all play the same thing at the same time and you can't detect any echo or delay. For TV, I use Roku devices and/or my Apple Mac Mini. Since the Roku weighs next to nothing, it would be easy to bring along, access Netflix or whatever but having a reliable Internet connection capable of streaming is a necessity. Same with one of the Squeezeboxes....

Usually when we go to a state park to camp, cell coverage is iffy at best and even with our Android and the ability to set up a Wireless Hot Spot, I'm skeptical that streaming would be doable.

So can you elaborate on your setup?
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quahog View Post
I don't watch live TV, period. Can't stand all the commercials and there's really too much junk for my taste. That said, I love watching Netflix, Amazon TV, Hulu, etc. So here is my question: Does your Slingbox require an active Internet connection via your iPhone or are you watching content stored on your iPhone or what?

For music I use a synchronized group of Logitech Squeezeboxes at home. It doesn't matter whether I am outside or in any part of the house, they all play the same thing at the same time and you can't detect any echo or delay. For TV, I use Roku devices and/or my Apple Mac Mini. Since the Roku weighs next to nothing, it would be easy to bring along, access Netflix or whatever but having a reliable Internet connection capable of streaming is a necessity. Same with one of the Squeezeboxes....

Usually when we go to a state park to camp, cell coverage is iffy at best and even with our Android and the ability to set up a Wireless Hot Spot, I'm skeptical that streaming would be doable.

So can you elaborate on your setup?
I'm not a fan of live TV either and actually don't watch much of it. The slingbox allows you to watch live TV or programs you may have stored on your DVR. I also have netflix and can stream movies to my phone and show them on my camper TV too. We went camping last weekend and it got down to the 40's after the sun went down. It's a bit woodsy there and we haven't had much rain so they banned fires. We went inside to watch the NHL playoffs via my phone. lol

As for music at my house, be prepared to have your socks knocked off. lol

I used to be a DJ so I have tons of music. I used a computer to play my music at gigs so I could leave my cd's at home. The program that I use allows you to categorize your music into a multitude of genres. Simply type in "1970's & Pop & Favorites" and my program will instantly display a list of songs that meet all three criteria. That means that I have gone and categorized all my music and created a category called favorites that has about 2,000 songs.

I have my computer hooked to a receiver at home as well as my main TV. The computer is ALWAYS playing my "favorites" category and my receiver is always on. The wires from my receiver then go into a distribution panel in my attic. From this panel I run speaker wire to volume controls in just about every room of my house. From the volume controls I run to speakers in the ceiling.

All I have to do is walk in a room and turn the volume dial which looks like a dimmer light switch. I then have instant music and it's playing only my favorite songs. I've got speakers in my backyard, bedrooms, garage, living room and even the bathroom. It's great listening to music while showering.

To make it even better, I can use my iphone in my house or backyard and access the computer playing my music and I can pause, stop and even select new songs.

Oh, to take it a step further my program also broadcasts an internet radio station. I can listen to my home computer playing my favorite music from any internet device. If I'm taking a trip somewhere I can plug my phone into my car radio and it will play the music coming from my home computer.:hihi:
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Ok, I didn't think it was possible but you're worse than me!
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
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Do you have an iphone 4? I was under the impression that the slingbox app didn't work so hot through the apple to HDMI connector. I am pretty certain the apple to RCA doesn't work. So, for verification your DOES play audio and video through the apple to HDMI cable to a tv thus showing what is on your iphone on the tv? I have had a slingbox for years and the last time I checked it was not doable. That was several months ago though. I have an iPhone 4 not a 4S.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #6
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I used to try to stream live TV but it has just been so spotty. Now I throw one of my Apple TVs in the camper hooked to the TV and use airplay from my iPad or iPhone to play a preloaded video. I will put 10 or 15 movies on it in case we want to watch something. At least one night we put up a sheet and our friends bring their projector - we have a drive in movie around the campfire. I can still stream live (or my home DVR) if I want.....in all honesty we don't watch that much TV, but it is nice if you have a long rainy day.

As far as music...I purchased my wife a portable boom box that pairs via bluetooth so she can carry it with her just about anywhere....love it....
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilldawg79 View Post
Do you have an iphone 4? I was under the impression that the slingbox app didn't work so hot through the apple to HDMI connector. I am pretty certain the apple to RCA doesn't work. So, for verification your DOES play audio and video through the apple to HDMI cable to a tv thus showing what is on your iphone on the tv? I have had a slingbox for years and the last time I checked it was not doable. That was several months ago though. I have an iPhone 4 not a 4S.

Thanks!!

I originally planned on using my old 3G to hook to the TV because I didn't want my actual phone being used for the TV. No luck as the 3G isn't supported with that cable. So yes, I'm using the 4S with the apple connector out of the bottom and then running an HDMI cable from the apple connector to the TV. It transmits audio and video over HDMI. I even use a 1/8" male/male cable to attach the headphone out of my TV to my camper radio AUX input to get some better sound.

I was watching a hockey game while camping and the service was 3G. The picture on my phone was great but it wasn't as great on the TV, but it was still watchable. The picture comes in a lot better if you have wifi.

And for picture proof, here's a picture of my taking a picture of the my 40" TV. lol

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Old 04-26-2012, 12:42 AM   #8
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This is a great topic. I like it when you guys explain how you hook up your various inputs. It gives me a idea of what's possible. I was familiar with sling box but didn't know anyone who used one. Ever since I went thru chemo I've found it hard to watch tv for any extended period of time. I have the origional iPad which I hook up to the 22"tv that came with our RV using a HDMI cable. I put a 19 " tv in our bedroom which I hook up with RCA cables because it doesn't have HDMI. Both systems work fine but limited to what the iPad can hold. 32 gigs. I also bought the antenna add on which brings in the HD channels. With our new trailer I am able to pick up 3x as many channels ota as I use to with the old trailer. I was very pleased by this. I think when the signals went digital this may have also helped.
I would like to get xm radio in the trailer. Will have to look into that.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:52 AM   #9
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If you subscribe to XM on the computer... I think it's an extra $2.99 a month, you could simply call it up on your smart phone, plug into AUX on your RV radio and be all set. They also sell small portable radios (I had one on my old Harley) that are removable... you just need an antenna in that case.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:09 AM   #10
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The Internet version of xm doesn't have as many channels as a dedicated xm radio though.
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