Some will despise this very topic, but when you are camping and the weather turns poor, or if you are a TV fanatic, sports fanatic, or just a news junkie, you might wonder how to stay connected with media in your T@b.
The Default Choices:
The LG T@b has a Maxx option, which, among other amenities, provides you with a TV and stereo unit. The later 2015 models started packing a stereo with Bluetooth capability. The unit includes a DVD player, so regarding that DVD collection in your basement? Dig it out.
The AM/FM radio works OK. If you are a real radio fanatic, though, plan on buying a radio antenna.
For over the air broadcast TV, you will need to turn to the days of yesteryear for an antenna. But, don’t worry, they are much more compact and futuristic looking these days. I use this inexpensive one that has a magnet on the bottom. I have nothing to compare it to, honestly, but I have used it to pick up channels quite frequently. I mount my little antenna onto one of these little magnetic clips and the mount the clip to the keder rail, near the cable port. I like that I can use this without drawing any attention tot he trailer when I am taking advantage of overnight parking at a Walmart. It was useful to pick up local TV and get the weather outlook on a particularly stormy evening this year in Nebraska.
You will get the best reception if you use a powered antenna. I used this powered indoor antenna at home and placed it up in my attic, on a window ledge and received pretty decent results for the couple of years that I skipped cable. It’s designed for indoor use, but I think with the right placement and weather conditions, you could do well with it for your T@b. I am planning to dig it out and give it a go in the T@b for those occasions where I have shore power at a campsite.
Some RVers opt for satellite. The Dish TV Tailgater is a popular choice due to its compact size and ease of use. Since it was designed for those who tailgate, it is easy to set up at new locations. Dish also has convenient “Dish for my RV” plans so you can start and stop service as needed. This is the only way to guarantee TV reception if you are out in the boonies. If TV is super important to you, this is your best choice.
What About Streaming TV or Movies?
Most of us have grown accustomed to streaming movies on all of our portable devices. With TV USB sticks, we can now get Amazon, Netflix, or ESPN3 right from a thumb drive sized device. In addition to your phone or tablet, some streaming options include Roku, Amazon Fire sticks, Xbox, and a host of other growing options. There are challenges with streaming, however. First, most campgrounds have poor WiFi, if they have it at all. You might get a little help if you use a Wifi booster. I wrote more about boosting Wifi, here. Most data plans cost too much to much to stream and if you are fortunate enough to have a grandfathered unlimited plan, you might find yourself throttled or even disqualified before you get to enjoy too much streaming.
The good news is that you can get movies for offline use now. Some people go to the trouble of burning DVDs to their devices, I won’t go into that here, but there are plenty of methods you can use and find with a good Internet search. If you use Windows 8 or Windows 10, you can download movies through their native apps and view offline. For Windows 8, you will find the Xbox Video app and for Windows 10, it is the Movies and TV app. Amazon also gives you the option of downloading for off-line viewing. Google and Apple also have their own versions of apps for offline use.
What Do I Do?
What do I use? I use my Surface Pro 3 tablet along with a Microsoft Wirelss Display adapter. My Surface Pro 3 has replaced a laptop for me. I can run the full Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and everything else you can on a PC, plus get the apps I would use on a tablet, like Netflix, Watch ESPN, and the awesome Maps app. The Wireless Display adapter will work with any device that supports Miracast, which includes many Windows tablets and PCs, Many Android phones and tablets, and most Windowsphone devices. Sometimes I will display my photos from my phone or tablet using the adapter so that I can see them on a larger screen.
So Many Choices!
There are a lot of choices, so I recommend trying to stick with something you already use. If you have an Amazon Fire Stick, take it with you. Do you use a Microsoft Surface device? Grab the Wireless Display Adapter. Don’t have anything? I recommend going with a Windows 110 device so it can take care of multiple items for you.
I don’t like Apple or their products and I won’t get into a discussion about their proprietary, closed systems and devices. If you like them, – great, enjoy! 🙂
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