info : streaming just one DVD to 2 iPads at the same time

Question :

I would like to watch a DVD on my iPad (without having to convert the DVD), but… as I have 2 children, I would even prefer to enable them to both have their own iPad/iPhone and watch the same DVD.

Is there any solution to do so ?

Answer :

This can be done by steaming a DVD to your iPhone/iPad. There are several options to do so, but one of the most interesting ones I’ve found requires a WiFi DVD player.

The smallest WiFi DVD player I’ve found is the Samsung Optical SmartHub SE-208BW :

Samsung Optical SmartHub SE-208BW

(The SE-208BW has several intended uses, it can be a WiFi-router, or a DVD-burner for netbooks, or a wireless DVD streamer, media streamer or 1-click back-up for iOS or Android devices, for instance…)

To use it with an iOS (or Android) device like an iPhone or iPad, you will also need the FREE SmartHub app :

https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/mobile-smarthub/id483986474?mt=8

– plug the SE-208BW into the wall power

– open the DVD-tray by pressing the small button on the front

– put in a movie-DVD

– close the DVD-tray

– on your iPhone/iPad, go to Settings, then in Wi-Fi, find the SE-208BW’s WiFi-network and connect to it (note : the name and password of the WiFi-network are indicated on the bottom of the SE-208BW, the name of the WiFi-network will be something like “208BWxxxx”)

– open the SmartHub-app (*)

– if you get a “Turn on WiFi first” connection error (or if the two rings in the WiFi-icon top-right are not chained), just exit the app, go to Settings and reconnect to the SmartHub’s WiFi-network

– then click on the green rectangle marked “DVD Player”

– now the “DVD Server List” opens ; the screen will be mainly black at first and then show the “Smart Hub Server”

– then open the SmartHub-app on your second iPhone/iPad also, click the green “DVD Player” rectangle, and wait for the “Smart Hub Server” to appear in the “DVD Server List”

– then click “OK” on both the first and the second iPhone/iPad, and the DVD will start on both iDevices

…that’s it : you are now watching the DVD movie on both iPhones/iPads

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note : even though you are watching one-and-the-same DVD on two ‘screens’ at the same time, they are NOT synchronous, so it’s best these things in mind :

– use headphones on both iPhones/iPads

– you have to pause the movie on each ‘screen’ (iPhone/iPad) separately

– using the FastForward and/or Reverse options during playback of a movie on both ‘screens’ will usually cause interference (like frame-scipping, unexpected halts or viewing quality decrease) on the other ‘screen’

(*) if you need to do any additional set-up on the SE-208BW you can do so from within the iOS-app

NOTE :

streaming only one DVD to 2 iPhones/iPads at the same time using the Samsung SmartHub tends to work okay, but chances you’ll see ‘halts to cache’ are rather high… so do not expect as flawless movie-viewing as you can get with a ‘regular’ (non-streaming, but wired) DVD-player

FYI :

I have found only one car adapter for the Optical SmartHub. More info can be found here :

5V 4A car adapter for Samsung Optical SmartHub SE-208BW

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fixed : using the AppleTV on an HD-ready TV without HDMI-input

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update : this solution should also work for the new 4th generation AppleTV (2015)

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Question :

I just bought an AppleTV 3 and I want to connect it to my flatscreen 26″ LCD-TV, a MyCom MC2600LT (it’s actually a rebranded/white-label DT-3003X which has internationally also been sold under the Daewoo and Grundig Xentia brand, and probably more).

Even tough the TV is able to display HD-video up to 1080i and computer-display resolutions up to 1280×768 pixels at 60Hz, it does not have an HDMI input, neither a digital audio input (a.k.a. “Toslink”).

The only input options are :

– DVI digital video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– VGA analog video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– Component YPbPr analog video + stereo analog audio (5 plugs, a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– S-video analog video (S-video plug) + stereo analog audio (a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– SCART analog video + audio (SCART plug)

How do I connect my AppleTV 3 to this TV-set ?

 

Answer :

Even though it might seem the most obvious to connect the AppleTV’s HDMI-output to the TV’s DVI-input, since HDMI and DVI are 100% video-compatible, this comes with 2 problems :

– DVI has no audio, so you will have to connect the audio separately ; in this case that would require a DAC (digital-analog-converter) for your audio since your TV has no digital audio input

– DVI does not support HDCP-encryption as HDMI does, so any ‘copyright-protected’ HDMI content will be blocked when connected to DVI…

So… do not try to use the DVI-input, but use the Component YPbPr connection, especially since the digital-to-analog video-conversion gets rid of the HDCP-limitations for you also !

This converter cable is the most elegant option that will do the trick for you :

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

…it turns out that the HDMI-output of the AppleTV 3 is supplying enough power to  power the built-in converter, so you don’t need to connect the USB-power cable.

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For anyone interested, here’s a link to the Dutch manual of the 26″ MyCom LCD-TV MC2600LT (a.k.a. DT-3003X) :

manual MyCom LCD tv

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If you have an HD-Ready flatscreen TV and you want to connect an AppleTV, your best option is to use the HDMI-to-YPbPr converter-cable mentioned above.

But… in some cases these might also be interesting :

An HDMI-to-VGA&stereo converter-cable :

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

An HDMI-to-HDMI&stereo converter-cable : [so this splits the audio from the HDMI-video signal and converts it into a separate analog stereo (2x RCA) signal, but beware that the output video signal is 720p, 1080p and 1080i only, which is problematic for most HD-ready flatscreen TVs, especially when combined with an HDMI-to-DVI converter] :

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

fixed : FREE application for cloning a Mac HD

Question :

I need to make an exact (bootable) copy of my secondary Mac’s startup-HD. Someone suggested me to use an application called Carbon Copy Cloner, but since I am running OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion on my primary Mac, I would need to use Carbon Copy Cloner version 3.5 or newer, but that’s not free software any longer…

As I only need to do this once, I’m not willing to pay more than €5 to be able to do so. What’s the best alternative ?

Answer :

The best alternative for making a bootable clone version of a Mac startup-HD is what you already have : Disk Utility …and best of all : it’s completely FREE.

Here’s how to do so :

– connect both HDs to your Mac (using USB or FireWire for example)

– on your Mac, open the Disk Utilities application (which can be found inside the folder called Utilities which is in the Applications folder)

– you will now see both HDs appear on the left side of the Disk Utility window (they will be listed as the disk size followed by the manufacturer name and some additional info, directly below them the name of the partitions on it are listed – on Macs there’s normally only one partition per HD)

– on the rest of the page (middle & right), you will see 5 chapter buttons : “First Aid”, “Erase”, “Partition”, “RAID” and “Restore”

– click on the “Restore”-chapter button

– now put the cursor in the white area behind “Source:” and then click on the partition you want to copy in the menu on the left

– then put the cursor in the white area behind “Destination:” and in the menu on the left, click on the HD (or on the partition) you want to copy to (or drag & drop it from there onto the

– if for some reason your chosen Source or Destination now lists something else than what you would like, just try again

– then click on the “Restore” button that’s bottom right

– …now all you have to do is wait (using USB 2.0, about 10GB of used disk space will be cloned in about 10 minutes)

– when the cloning is finished, both HD’s will have the same name, and therefore might not properly mount at the same time, so only one will be visible on your Desktop

– use the ‘drag disk to Trash’ procedure (or the eject-icon next to the HD’s listing), and unmount both HDs

– then plug just one HD back in to make it visible on your Desktop, and check if the cloning went okay (by browsing though it in the Finder)

– then eject the first HD, and check the second HD the same way

– that’s it !

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Note :

You can quickly check if the HD you’ve cloned is bootable, by connecting it to your Mac using a USB cable and then restarting your Mac with the ALT-key pressed

…that will enable you to choose any connected HD as the startup drive

if the cloned HD turns out not to be bootable, plug it into your Mac again, and use Disk Utility to check if the Partition Map Scheme is ‘GUID’ (it should not be ‘Apple’ !), if it’s not, re-partition the HD and do the cloning process again

fixed : auto-connect to other WiFi-network

Question :

At one of the locations I often visit there are various WiFi-networks I can use. But whenever I am in the neighborhood my iPhone auto-connects to the network with the worst connection for some reason. Since I need a reliable connection, I always manually switch to the best network, but when I leave and return, my iPhone keeps auto-connecting to the worst WiFi-network.

How can I set my iPhone to auto-connect to the best network ?

Answer :

You can’t set an order in the WiFi-networks your iPhone/iPad remembers. But you can easily fix your main problem by deleting the worst WiFi-network from your iPhone/iPad’s memory like this :

– on your iPhone, go to the Settings-app (the sprocket/gear-icon)

– on the Settings-page, choose “Wi-Fi”

– on the Wi-Fi-page, see if the ‘worst WiFi-network’ is in the list – if not, move/walk over to a location where the ‘worst WiFi-network’ does appear in the list

– if the ‘worst WiFi-network’ is in the list, click on the ‘blue dot with a white arrow’ that is behind it on the same line

– on the page that opens, click on the “Forget this Network” button that is on the top of the page

…that’s it !

enjoy !

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fixed : switch on Notifications for Viber

Question :

I am trying to set up Viber internet calls on my iPhone. Now the Viber-app asks me to switch on Notifications, else the app won’t run.

How do I do that ? I don’t see any settings option…

Answer :

To turn on Notifications for any app (be it Viber or any other), do this :

– go to the Settings-app (sprocket/gear-icon)

– then select Notifications (the ‘red dot’-icon in the same chapter as Do Not Disturb)

– in the Notifications page that opens, scroll down to the “Not In Notifications Center”  chapter and select Viber

– in the Viber page that opens, put the Notifications Center slider to ON

– if you like, you can also tweak the Viber notifications to your liking :

– Alert Style : where do you want the alert to appear on your screen ?

– Badge App Icon : do you want to have the small red circle on top of the Viber-icon if you have missed calls ?

– Sounds : do you want the Viber-alerts to be accompanied by an alert sound ?

– View In Locked Screen : do you want to get Viber-alerts also when your iPhone is in standby mode ?

…that’s it !

enjoy !

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fixed : stop FaceTime over mobile network

Question :

Today I got a call on my iPhone when I was in my car, but when I answered, it turned out to be a FaceTime-call. I do not want to answer video-calls in my car because I think it is too distracting and dangerous during driving and because my GSM/3G-provider will charge outrageous rates for mobile data.

Is there any way to prevent my iPhone from connecting through FaceTime when I am out of WiFi reach ?

Answer :

Yes.

…and it’s quite simple to configure :

– on your iPhone go to the Settings-app (sprocket/gear icon)

– select FaceTime (in the chapter that starts with iCloud, in between Messages and Maps)

– in the FaceTime settings page that opens, scroll down to the very bottom

– there, set Use Cellular Data to OFF

…that’s it

enjoy !

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