Taking Apple TV on trip

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by scottwxx, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. scottwxx macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2015
    I'm about to travel with family to Korea for a week. My home has a Apple TV 4K 64GB and something just hit me: the hotel room we booked has a 40 in. TV so why don't we load up the Apple TV (or iPhone / iPads) with some Bluray movies I ripped and watch it on the big screen? Can the Apple TV store any movie locally? If not, can I stream movies from iPhone to the TV without wifi. The hotel has wifi but I'd rather prepare for a plan B where the wifi is too finicky.
  2. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    I have traveled with ATV many times. There are a few tricks:
    • Most Hotels use a WiFi authentication that requires a web browser. ATV does not have a web browser, so connecting directly to the Hotel WiFi will generally not work.
    • If they have ethernet, that may not work either, WiFi and ethernet are often different subnets and Airplay uses Bonjour which doesn't route between subnets.
    • Even if on the same subnet, other guests would see the ATV and potentially stream to it, who knows what a prankster might stream, it might not be pretty for the kiddos.
    So, my kit includes:
    • Mac with WiFi + ethernet
    • Airport Express
      • The Mac can join the Hotel WiFi, then using Internet connection sharing, connect a cable from the Mac ethernet port to the WAN port on the AP Express and power it up.
      • Before you leave, program the AP Express in Network - Off (Bridged Mode) and Broadcast the same WiFi you use at home. It will be acting s a WiFi hotspot to share the ethernet connection the Mac bridges to the Hotel WiFi.
    • Alternately, some travel routers can both connect to hotel WiFi, and rebroadcast a WiFi signal for your ATV and iOS devices. I don't have recommendations, but obviously, this would mean less equipment if you can find the right one.
    • If the hotel has Ethernet, the Mac can share the Ethernet to its WiFi and iOS and ATV can connect wirelessly to the Mac's WiFi without needing AP Express. But ethernet is not as common as WiFi in Hotels these days.
    How it works:
    • The Mac will act like a router, assign a private IP to the APExpress, then the Express will pass DHCP requests from Wireless or Wired clients to the Mac. Not sure how many clients the Mac will support, but I have had 5 or more as I recall, I suspect 10 devices.
    • All of the wired + WiFi clients will be on your private network and other guests won't see or be able to Airplay to the ATV, but you will be able to.
    • Added benefit is if the movies are in iTunes on the Mac, you can stream them to ATV without having to airplay from iOS devices.
    • PC can be used instead of a Mac, same idea, but I have not used PC in years so not sure how well it works with Win10.
    So, the travel kit should be:
    • ATV (don't forget power cord and adapter if Korea uses different plugs).
    • ATV Remote (I have forgotten this, it can be painful if setup is required).
    • HDMI cable
    • Travel router, or
      • Mac with WiFi and Ethernet capabilities (or PC)
      • AP Express (I prefer the new model with WAN + LAN port so ATV can connect via ethernet)
      • 2 ethernet cables if the ATV will connect to the LAN port on APEx, else just 1 if all client connections will be WiFi.
    Added benefit is, once it is up and running, the family can use their home WiFi credentials to connect to the internet and not have to mess with the Hotel WiFi directly.

    One caveat is, Hotel WiFi may require re-authentication every so often. I find daily is most typical, but some might be shorter durations. But, the private network side of the solution will work without internet. With Internet, you should be able to use a lot of the apps on ATV provided the services are not blocked by regional schemes. If you use a VPN service that is based in your home country, all the better because the services will think you are at home.
  3. Beelzbub macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2012
    I think you can AirPlay via Bluetooth from your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV, wanting to say I have done this before because the internet was out once and we wanted to watch a movie.
  4. winstars macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2015
    Or you can go into settings and note your MAC (WiFi) address of your ATV 4k and then have the hotel manually add that address to to their hotel system for the duration of your stay when using the hotel WiFi. Hotels are almost always very cooperative in performing this task for a guest. At times I have been able to get this done prior to my arrival.

    Please note that its my understanding that their is a slight difference in the MAC address of a ATV 4k when its using an ethernet cable and when its using a WiFi signal...
  5. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    This isn't accurate.

    See that post from @winstars

    Try this, and it might simplify for travel routine for your ATV:

    I have done this many times, but never prior to my arrival. Maybe I might try that next time.

    I have done this many times after arriving at my room, and it never has taken more than 5 minutes.

    Every hotel I have been in (except one), had a "tech support" phone number to help with connecting to the hotel's internet. It was usually posted in a flier by the telephone, or in a info book/binders somewhere in the room.

    This has been my experience as well.
  6. Longkeg macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2014
    S. Florida
    No. The ATV can only stream content. Either from the internet or some kind of server, usually a computer, on the LAN.

    Possibly. I have had mixed results trying to do this. If you have the HDMI dongle you can forget the ATV and play your content via an HDMI cable, the one you would have used for the ATV, directly from the iPhone. Also, make sure the hotel hasn't blocked the TV's HDMI ports and that they haven't disabled input select.
  7. winstars macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2015

    What sucks is that the FireStick has what they call a "mini-browser" that pops up when connected to hotel WiFi. This enables you to enter your name and room number to join the hotel WiFi, just as you do on you computer, tablet or phone. If a freaking $29 FireStick can do this, how come my ATV can't???

    I would even be willing to trade one less emoji or one less freaking color watch band for this feature... LOL
  8. DFWHD macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2011
  9. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    Whenever there is a tvOS/ATV feature wishlist thread, a web browser is at the top is usually at the top of my list. I am sure it would be easy for Apple to do, but I have doubts they will ever do it.

    It could remove the control Apple has over content, and potentially take app store subscription money away from them.
  10. winstars macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2015

    The "mini browser" on the FireStick seemingly can only input your name and room number. Its not a browser any traditional sense. It sorta magically appears when its needed and then disappears after you're "in"... Maybe someone else could describe what it does more eloquently but IMHO, as its implemented on the Firestick, it does none of the things described in your second paragraph that Apple doesn't want the ATV to be able to do, that is replace a computer, tablet or phone...

    Giving WiFi addys to hotels or calling their ISP's or carrying around a freaking Express or travel router is soooooo not "it just works"

    I have done all or some of those things above for years but it just bugs me as I said originally, that a freaking $29 AMAZON PRODUCT CAN DO THIS SO EASILY...
  11. Tech198, May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019

    Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    I guess internet connection will be the biggest concern... Wi-fi alone will be fine if just for home sharing, but you'll need more than 5Mpbs for 4K streaming.

    Consider taking a Mac with you for home sharing, as AppleTV can't store movies locally

    Consider taking a flash drive with you loaded with movies in .mp4 .. and plug that into USB port. Depending on the TV, this could be kinda fiddly. TV may not may not always support USB flash. Sometimes it just there for 'service only' port. Audio/Video codec issues etc. Older TV's would have more issues

    Home sharing via a Mac is you best bet. Just mirror the display and physically connect(if it can)

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10 April 30, 2019