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Lord Hamsa

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 16, 2013
Here's my concept/problem in a nutshell, and it crosses the OS X and iOS worlds, so forgive me if I posted in the wrong sub-forum.

My specific application is for in-vehicle use, but I can see this as being useful in other situations (presentations, etc.). I want to be able to replace the old, worn out, strap-over-the-headrest DVD/player monitors in the SUV so that my kids can watch movies on long drive, and I'd prefer to replace them with a pair of tablets that can be removed and used for other stuff when not serving as monitors in the car.

However, since there are two of them, and I want to keep it at two given the number of passengers and the topography of the vehicle in question, I'm trying to figure out a way to get them to both display the same thing at the same time, and ideally from a MacBook that can be controlled by an adult in the front passenger seat.

The simplest solution would be if there was a video input, like HDMI to Lightning (or 30-pin) for getting video IN to the iPad (along, of course, with an app to use the input), where I can just split the HDMI output from the MacBook and run a cable to each iPad, but as far as I can tell, no such adapter exists, even for other video connector types. Furthermore, I can find no evidence of ANY tablet supporting video input through hardware.

So, that leaves the software route. My investigations to date have been less than fruitful. An ideal setup would be some extension to AirPlay that would allow my MacBook (or even, I suppose, another iOS device) to broadcast the AirPlay signal on the LAN to any receiver that wants to pick it up, paired with an iOS app that can act as an AirPlay receiver (and can accept the streaming multicast). I've seen no evidence of the former, and it looks like the latter have all been given the heave-ho from the App Store.

HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) comes up in the searches, but the only OS X applications, at least under $1000, that come up are for streaming live video through camera capture, not from iTunes, which is what I'd really like. Apps are available for iOS to play HLS content, though.

I'd prefer not to have to reconvert all of my video to other formats, but I'm open to additional solutions that might require conversion, if that will solve the larger problem. I prefer iPad because of its usefulness outside the car, but would be willing to consider Android (or other) tablets if I can get the job done that way.


macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
Between the coasts
Home Sharing. It's built into iTunes.

The only additional hardware you'd need is a Wi-Fi router and a DC to AC converter to power the router (if you don't already have one - you'd also be able to power the MacBook, charge the iPads, etc., so altogether, a good investment).

The downside of this approach is that there wouldn't be centralized control of the movies - they'd be played independently on each iPad, and they'd almost definitely be out of sync (the kids should probably be listening on headphones anyway). They could also watch or listen to different things, which might be a benefit.

For presentations (and home use), you might want to add an Apple TV. Then you could use AirPlay
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