iPad Pro Streaming movies to TVs while traveling? Apple TV vs Lightning AV vs Chromecast?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by dennya, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. dennya macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2009
    When traveling and taking only one device, I usually opt for my Surface Book or MacBook Air 11 because it's so easy to use a DisplayPort -> HDMI cable to watch TV on hotel TVs.

    Wouldn't mind the option to take the iPad Pro instead, but the TV output story is more complicated.

    I have a Chromecast, but haven't found a good way to stream videos stored on the iPad to it.

    So looks like <$100 my choices are:
    • Lightning Digital AV adapter
    • Apple TV (3rd gen)
    • Chromecast or Fire TV with appropriate apps
    I wonder if the Apple TV is a better option than the Lightning adapter? The old model is only $20 more, and I could use it wirelessly. Does it depend on the hotel WiFi if I'm just using it for Airplay, or can I stream directly from the iPad? Looks small enough to bring along pretty easily.

    I don't suppose there are any good apps for streaming directly from the iPad to the Chromecast I already have or to a $39 Fire TV Stick?

    (I had the old AV adapter for my dock connector iPad. It worked okay, but was a bit quirky to use.)
  2. Cascades42 macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2016
    I always carry a matchbox sized router (it's a HooToo) which I use to create my own wireless network. It means I can connect whatever devices I like and not worry about other traffic on the network (I rarely connect it to the actual Internet). I like the Apple TV option personally just because I've also used it for presenting.
  3. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    You don't need a network connection to use the Apple TV and the degradation in the image quality will also happen if you use the Lightning AV adaptor anyway as it also transcodes the signal.
  4. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    I would recommend the Apple TV on the condition you don't need to mirror your screen with it. Mirroring can be laggy and annoying even on good connections.

    But if you're gonna straight AirPlay Netflix and Hulu type stuff, you should be good as long as you have a wifi connection. I love mine.
  5. dennya thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2009
    Thanks! So it sounds like Apple TV's not a great solution if I'm playing MP4s from my iPad Pro.

    Really like this thing, but it's no replacement for my MacBook Air or Surface Book, it seems!
  6. Beavix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2010
    Wait, how did you come to that conclusion? The Apple TV is perfect for streaming videos to the TV. You don't even need an existing WiFi network for this to work.
  7. TrueBlou macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2014
    The Apple TV is handy because you don't need an Internet connection, or a network at all for that matter, to play anything that's stored locally on your iPad or iPhone. They'll form a direct peer to peer connection with each other. There's any number of apps available that will play pretty much any format you need, plus you can use it at home if you like.

    If you want to stick with Chromecast, I think something like StreamCast should fill your needs, though I'm not sure if it sends direct or if both devices need to be connected to a network.

    The Lightning adapter is also a decent choice. There's no faffing, just plug it in and connect to HDMI, jobs done. And while the Lightning adapter does use much of the same technology as AirPlay, it doesn't actually use AirPlay itself and the compression tends not to be as bad.

    Personally I've never had any issue with quality on either Apple TV with AirPlay or the Lightning adapter, I've been using both for many years. Yes there's some degree of compression going on, but it's really not that drastic and you'll also get that streaming to the Chromecast from iOS apps playing locally stored content.
  8. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Playing MP4s should be fine as long as you are streaming it from Video app or another media player app. Just don't try to mirror the iPad.
  9. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    Surely an iPad pro at arms length is going to be as big (or bigger) than the usual small hotel TVs?
  10. LiveM, Mar 12, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016

    LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    Small TVs in hotels are pretty much a thing of the past now they are so cheap, light and energy-efficient. Using an iPad is not ergonomically desirable or easy on the eyes, and hard to share.
  11. nbourbaki macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2015
    Now if hotels would make it just a little easier to connect an HDMI input, it would be great. In many countries in Europe and Asia, both Starwood & Marriott properties make it stupid simple to connect an HDMI source. In North America it's completely the other way, they do everything they can think of to restrict access. They just don't want any competition with their PPV.

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