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Old 04-27-2017, 04:02 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia
Trailer: 2010 19'
Posts: 30
DIY Entertainment System - Advice and Ideas Needed!

Hello Escapees - if anyone can help us, you can! We have a used 19-ft that didn't have any infrastructure put in for entertainment except for a coax cable outlet. We typically boondock so can't rely on having power other than what our solar panel and batteries can provide. This winter we took a laptop with DVD player, phone with music downloaded on it that we could play through a Bluetooth speaker, and even relied on our truck for radio music. But we found all these devices cumbersome - so many cords, cables, need for constant charging, parts breaking down - and we want to invest in a reliable integrated entertainment system.

Next year for sure we'll invest in a mobile hotspot so hopefully will be able to stream content. Has anyone done this and did it work okay? Or were the data fees crazy? Is there a low-power TV that can run without hook-up to power? We just want access to shows and music as easily as possible. Any suggestions welcome!

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Old 04-27-2017, 04:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,229
Andrew, you can get LED/LCD HDTV's that are 12v powered and low power consumption, or like we plan, just used a small inverter to supply the AC that our inexpensive small HDTV requires. Streaming video is pretty data intensive, probably averaging 1GB per hour for a HD quality. The other factor is going to be if you will be in places where the cell signal is strong enough, then you start needing to look into cell boosters if you camp in places with weak cell signals.

Everything is possible and there are lots of threads here about various aspects of what you may or may not want. If you use the Search feature, you can probably find a lot of your questions already have answers. If you search and can't find your answers, there are lot of folks who have probably already done what you want to do and can help.

Welcome and congratulations on owning a 19!

Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: n/a, Texas
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 457
I have a Samsung S6 phone. Using a Microsoft video adapter ($50) plugged into a TV I can mirror cast wirelessly whatever is on the phone to the TV. Such as netflix. This is using the cell phone data plan, no wifi available. This is for boondocking if cell coverage is available.

If you have wifi, such as a separate data plan for a mobile hotspot, then something like chromecast will work and it has some advantages.

I think the best entertainment center is a phone or tablet connected wirelessly to a TV or speakers. Maybe a large laptop is as good.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2009 Escape 19'
Posts: 243
We have a Mobley with an unlimited plan for $20/mo with AT&T, powered with a USB adapter. Last weekend, I used it to stream NBA games while boondocking for 2 nights. I have a 21" Samsung smart tv powered off a small inverter. Battery barely took a hit.
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