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Old 08-10-2020, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Adventures in DRM

This is going to seem completely ridiculous, but bear with me...

Many of us like to carry along stuff to watch on TV during periods without Internet connectivity. Setting aside the folks who collect DVDs or who take their home DVR along with them, the most common approach is to use the "download" feature that most streaming apps offer these days. This works very well except for one thing: Most of these services have decided to restrict download viewing to device screens, and have used DRM techniques to block the ability to cast most content to larger screens. So, for example, you cannot use Airplay and an AppleTV to watch downloaded Netflix content on your rig's big screen. This is annoying, so I have searched high and low for a legal way around the issue. I have finally found a foolproof way to do this. It works very well. It is a little wacky, though.

Here is my solution:

camerabox.jpg

All you need is a camera with an HDMI output, your phone, a small cardboard box, and some extruded foam. Cut the foam into a shape that securely points the camera at the phone. Put the camera into manual mode and focus it. Plug the camera into your TV. Feed audio from the phone into your sound system, and start streaming. The video quality of modern screens and cameras is so high that the results are nearly indistinguishable from a direct connection.

Bizarre, yes. But it works great, and the DRM people are going to have a hard time disabling it.

Problem solved.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:44 PM   #2
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Truly out of the box but still in the box thinking . Likely resolution is limited to primary screen not the camera. Great idea.

I often use the Motorola projector with attached directly to the phone Motorola Z family with back side electrical connections, grand kids love it. https://www.motorola.com/us/moto-mod...re-projector/p

For our van we have DVD player.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:38 PM   #3
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on my mac I use "handbrake" ( free) to convert my ( my) dvd's to digital files

& from a thumbdrive play them on my samsung's media player


the rational being that it is acceptable to make a digital backup copy of owned content for personal use.

I still have a dvd player for borrowed from library content


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Old 08-10-2020, 07:19 PM   #4
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The camera box is a good idea

I have an Android tablet with HDMI out so that works well for us. Similarly, an Android box has HDMI out and we used that for Prime Video and Netflix prior to getting the tablet.

The tablet is a few years old now so if it fails or gets too out of date then I'll try the camera box idea.
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
I have an Android tablet with HDMI out so that works well for us. Similarly, an Android box has HDMI out and we used that for Prime Video and Netflix prior to getting the tablet.
iPhones have HDMI dongles available, but recent versions of Netflix, Prime, and the others all block their use. Are you saying that streaming to HDMI via these apps still works on Android? If so, that is an easier solution.
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:40 PM   #6
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I haven't used it for a while. I'll try & report back later.
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Old 08-10-2020, 08:37 PM   #7
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HDMI out still works when using Netflix & Prime on the older tablet. Both Streaming and Download / Playback works. Android 6 tablet. Netflix did ask to update but I declined.

I don't use Android boxes so can't test that. HDMI is the only display option for those so you have to think it would still work. Hopefully somebody uses one & will confirm if still working.
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Old 08-10-2020, 08:49 PM   #8
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Netflix did ask to update but I declined.
Probably wise. Used to work on IOS devices, but no longer.

Does the Netflix app even let you download to an Android Box? You can't on an AppleTV.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:05 PM   #9
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I don't know about current Android boxes but I know it used to allow download and playback. We used one while away the first winter the download option came available. It needed a keyboard & mouse solution because no touch screen so the tablet is easier.
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:46 AM   #10
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We take the home Tivo Bolt so we have plenty to watch. (much more than we can use). The Bolt is really tiny compared to earlier cable boxes. We usually don't use the inverter since all is 12v, but we do have to turn it on for the times we use the Bolt.
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:32 PM   #11
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YouTube has lots of videos that I download on my computer and take on trips for playback on it or on my iPad. I use Wondershare AllMyTube for the downloads which has Mac and Window's versions.

https://www.wondershare.com/pro/allm...ownloader.html It has a free trial.

Wondershare AllMyTube can download videos from some other free online video sites but it's hit and miss. I got a bunch of 1950's cartoons from someplace but I don't remember where.

I've also downloaded RV-repair videos from YouTube.
---

With a lot of esoteric tech work (both hardware and software), it's possible to copy the videos to thumb drives and with hardware and software play them on the RV's TV.

Sometime if I have several days free, I'll write it up. On your own, search for:video server hardware and software.

I use an AppleTV, this WiFi file server from Amazon, and Thumbdrives.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._title?ie=UTF8
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:01 PM   #12
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Avanti,
Nice! I think we can say congratulations on thinking INSIDE THE BOX!

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Old 08-16-2020, 08:22 PM   #13
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Default Good Idea....

But, both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix allow you to download, for offline viewing, many movies and TV shows. Not every show, but a ton. Before a trip I download movies and series on my Iphone and use an HDMI adaptor to direct output directly to the tv in my 2011 PW Excel.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDavis View Post
But, both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix allow you to download, for offline viewing, many movies and TV shows. Not every show, but a ton. Before a trip I download movies and series on my Iphone and use an HDMI adaptor to direct output directly to the tv in my 2011 PW Excel.
No problem finding things to download for offline viewing. But, I can't remember the last time I found something that we were interested in watching that allowed HDMI casting from a modern device. This didn't used to be the case, but little by little, stuff has gotten locked down. You can watch on the device screen, but not via HDMI. The purpose of the described hack is exactly to allow big-screen viewing of items downloaded via these apps.

What device are you using? It may be that some older devices don't have the physical ability to block HDMI. If so, hang onto it! And, older content may be allowed, although I haven't found any recently.
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Old 08-16-2020, 10:58 PM   #15
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Here's an Amazon link for one adaptor. I should note that I spent around $49 for the official Apple adaptor but no reason to believe this doesn't work. https://www.amazon.com/Lighting-Conv...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
I've never had a problem with passing downloaded content via a device like this.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDavis View Post
Here's an Amazon link for one adaptor. I should note that I spent around $49 for the official Apple adaptor but no reason to believe this doesn't work. https://www.amazon.com/Lighting-Conv...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
I've never had a problem with passing downloaded content via a device like this.
Yes, I have one of those. That isn't the issue. I am asking what device (what generation of iPhone, iPad, etc) you are storing your downloads in.

When I try to stream Netflix (for example) downloads via that adaptor, it plays the audio via the HDMI connector, but shows the video on the phone's screen.

If I try to use AirPlay to cast to an AppleTV, I get the following:

HDMI.jpeg

As I said in the thread title, this is a DRM issue, not a connectivity one. As far as I know, all of the current streaming apps behave generally in this way. Perhaps this isn't true with older devices or old versions of the apps. Dunno.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:56 PM   #17
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Default My work around

I took a laptop and installed iTunes which connects to my Movies Anywhere account. Once all the movies showed up I click the cloud icon to download the movies locally. I have a 4 TB USB drive connected to thee laptop velcro holds it to the lid. I have a bunch of movies on VUDU and these show up in Movies anywhere, which shows up in iTunes. Now we have my 2,000 plus movies to watch when we cannot connect to the internet. I have used a DRM removal program, and handbrake but this is to much work when you have thousands of movies. I have embraced the digital age and purchase my movies on VUDU my preference, or Apple TV when I have to.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:54 AM   #18
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I use an Iphone 7. Just used it this weekend to to watch downloaded Prime and Netflix videos. I do have the official, expensive Apple dongle. It sounds like connectivity may be spotty, although I've never had an issue
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I use an Iphone 7. Just used it this weekend to to watch downloaded Prime and Netflix videos. I do have the official, expensive Apple dongle. It sounds like connectivity may be spotty, although I've never had an issue
Hmmm....
I am not certain, but I think that some of the issues only arises when there is actually no connectivity. I.e., if you have cell service and the app can connect with the mothership, the issue may not occur. Are you sure that yours works when there is no service or other Internet connectivity? If so, I might get myself an iPhone 7 to see if it works there. It certainly doesn't on my iPhone 10S.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:21 AM   #20
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Good point. I'm certain I had at least some 4g connectivity via Verizon because I could stream directly from time to time. So, I can't say for certain it works with no connectivity. Tomorrow I'll try going on airplane mode and see if I can pass content from Netflix and Prime through the HDMI adaptor and report back. Also, my wife has a 10s and I can try that as well
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