Best way to stream movies to iPad w/out internet connection

Discussion in 'iPad' started by brasskey, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. brasskey macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2008
    I am new to iPad, but have I have many movies that I've ripped from my DVDs our purchased through iTunes that are in the correct m4v format. We play them on our Apple TVs at home. But, I'm looking to move away from the DVD player in our car and let the kids watch movies on the iPads. I would like to have them be able to access more than the small amount I can load on the iPads. What is the best option for streaming the movies to iPads while on the road? Obviously, I'll need an external drive, but there's so many options out there and also ones that include wireless network to stream or hubs that connect to drives. Does anyone have any experience and suggestions?
  2. cuttheredwire macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2016
    VLC for iOS can do it. It works with media servers, Samaba shares, and FTP. It's free and cross platform.

    Hootoo makes reputable travel routers, one doubles as a battery and a charger plug, and they can share files. I bet that would work. I have only tried VLC with my ASUS router. It works well with the router working as a media server or as a Samba share. I never got VLC to work with FTP, but that could be the router.

    Alternatively, you can wirelessly load movies to VLC from a laptop's web browser. Use the "Sharing via Wifi" feature. I have not tried making my laptop a hotspot and connecting an iPad, but, in theory, that would by pass the need for a travel router. You would have to lug around a laptop, though.

    By the way, for any readers who don't know, a Samba share is just Windows compatible shared folder running on Linux. If you see "smb://" that's a samba share.

    Bonus tip: Amazon Prime lets you download episodes and movies.
  3. Cascades42 macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2016
    I've set up my Verbatim MediaShare and use that with Infuse - works a treat.
  4. off_piste macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2015
    Infuse is a much better app. I can't speak to hardware but I'm planning to get one of the Kingston mobilelite routers.
  5. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    I put mine on a 2TB Western Digital USB HDD portable drive and stream them wireleslly from a RavPower WD03 FileHub. I access them on the HDD via FileBrowser and use it to stream the video - not copy - to Infuse.
  6. brasskey thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2008
    Thank you for all the suggestions. I'll look into those.
  7. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Hootoo is amazing. I have the small one that doubles as a 3000 mah powerbank. I stick a 128gb micro as card in it and put in my pocket. I'm going to Dubai in two weeks and will use it to transfer 4K videos from my phone to free up space.
  8. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    there are really multiple options.
    1. use apps like infuse/nplayer (i would only recommend these two, because they are the only two supports DTS), and download the video files to your device

    2. this one is actually better. use PLEX to manage all your DVD/Blu-ray rips, not only it manages your video libraries for you, let you stream to literately ANY devices (web/ios/apple tv/ps4/tvs....), and you can pick up the videos on other devices at the point where you left last time. also, it could let you stream within you LAN or anywhere in the world via internet. at last, if you don't have internet, you can 'sync' videos to your device for offline play. notice that for this sync, PLEX will automatically transcode the video file to best format for your device, and you can even choose quality if you want to save spaces.
  9. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    That still only leaves you with whatever size internal storage you have on the iPad when there's no internet. That said, it might be possible to set up a USB-powered Raspberry Pi 3 Plex Media Server paired with a 2-4TB HDD. When I have more time for hobbies, that's an avenue I'd like to explore. :D
  10. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    Well, the internal storage space is of course fixed at the moment you bought it.
    But PLEX can shrink the video file size you need, say if you have a 1080p file, and it's 10g in size. If you just use infuse to download and save it, it's gonna take 10g, period. But if you use PLEX, depending on what quality (low, med, high, highest) you choose, it might only take 6g, or 7g. So you are looking at a longer playback time.

    You should really check out PLEX if you could, it's really awesome
  11. off_piste macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2015
    I'm not into compressing an image that has already been compressed. I'd rather just use a local storage solution that allows me to keep all my videos (or at least a greater selection) in better quality. Never know what a three year old is going to want to watch...
  12. rui no onna, Mar 24, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016

    rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    I already have Plex and have lifetime Plex Pass. Currently have Plex Media Server and Plex Home Theater running on a couple of HTPCs (the extra PMS, just in case one of the HTPCs craps out). Storage is offloaded to a very old unRAID server (will be replaced with a Synology DS1815+).

    I also have PMS+PHT on my laptop with 2TB HDD. Having it on the laptop has been really useful when we went on vacation overseas and I was stuck in bed sick for two weeks with really, really, really crappy internet. A lot of my content are full Blu-ray MKV rips and I have a second copy (typically 720p MP4 for syncing with devices). I prefer to create mobile-optimized versions myself via Handbrake. Gives me more granular control over resolution, bitrate and file size.

    I've been meaning to build a portable, battery powered Raspberry Pi Plex Server for the car for over a year now. There just always seem to be other stuff demanding my time. The laptop overheats if kept inside its bag and having it sitting on my lap makes my legs go numb so not a particularly good option during car trips. Would sure be great to have a mini-Netflix (in particular, one with the fancy interface complete with metadata and posters/artwork) during long drives.

    I've never heard of Infuse before but it does seem interesting. Just wonder where it stores downloaded metadata and artwork.
  13. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    good for you to have lifetime pass lol
    sounds like you got everything up and running

    just do you know new PLEX can automatically optimize for you? then why manually use hand break?
  14. Zimmy68 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    I'm a huge inFuse fan. The latest update lets me watch H.265 files on my iPad Pro even though they don't specifically support it.
  15. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Optimized versions is a fairly new feature of Plex (0.9.14 or 15?). Another thing, I can take advantage of hardware accelerated QuickSync encoding if I use HandBrake.
  16. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    yes it's fairly new, though i don't remember which update specifically..

    oh, quick sync is indeed a reason to go hand break..
    i always run PMS on my synology so i've never though about it :)
  17. MrGimper Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    I moved from PMS to Plex running on my iMac and streaming via the Plex app on the Xbox One. Great setup. With iPads I just use HandBrake on the normal profile and it does a good enough job of shrinking the file with decent quality and sound (10.9GB BR rip down to about 4GB). Then I use AVPlayer HD on the iPads... transfer files via FTP to the iPad and done.
  18. eyeseeyou macrumors 68030

    Feb 4, 2011
    Infuse + wifi hard drive could be an option.

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