Travel Tip: Watch Your iPad Movies on the Big Screen HDTV in Your Room

If you have an iPad 2, then you have the ability to mirror your display to either VGA or HDMI connections. While most hotels now have LCD/LED Flat Panels in their guest rooms, some even let you connect your own gear to them. Marriotts are known for this and while I was in Copenhagen I decided to watch some of my rented movies on the 32″ HDTV in my room.

What does it take to connect your iPad to a HDTV?

If your HDTV has an available HDMI port then it’s much easier as Apple sells an iPad HDMI (Digital AV) adapter. The best part about this adapter is that not only does it send the video and sound, but it also has a standard 30 pin connector so that you can attach your power/sync cable too. This way your iPad can be charging while you’re watching your video content. There is nothing really to setup. All you do is plug in the cable and adapter and your iPad 2 will automatically mirror its display to your HDTV.

 

What if my Hotel Room only has a VGA connection?

Not all hotels offer an HDMI connection. Some offer only a VGA connection assuming that you’ll be connecting your laptop. Before the iPad 2, Apple sold a VGA iPad Adapter. The good news is that this Adapter works just fine on iPad 2 as well. The downside is that the VGA connection doesn’t carry sound. So if you want to also output sound to your TV, you’ll need an adapter from your headphone jack out to RCA (left/right) connections or to a 3.5mm in.

 

The Bottom Line

If you’re on the road and you’ve got some time to kill and movies to watch, you might as well enjoy them on a bigger screen.

Here’s what you’ll want

Besides an iPad 2, you’ll want the following adapters/cables:

iPad HDMI (Digital AV) Adapter

Thin HDMI cable for easy travel (hotel rooms most likely will not have any cables for these connections)

 

If you want to be prepared for just about any connection, then you’ll want these too:

iPad VGA Adapter

Thin VGA Cable

3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable

3.5mm to RCA cable

How To Get Started Building Websites with Adobe Muse (codename)

Get the Muse (code name) beta here as a FREE download.

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast, I’ll show you How To Get Started Building Websites With Adobe Muse (codename). See just how easy it is to build your own website within minutes and without having to write code.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

Thank You Finland, Sweden & Denmark

I’m currently traveling on the 2012 Adobe Nordic Design Tour. My 1st stop was Helsinki and then I was off to Stockholm and Göteborg. Today I’m in Copenhagen.

The tour has been going great and it’s been fun presenting with my colleague Rufus Deuchler. We’ve been concentrating on tips and tricks as well as new technologies like Adobe Muse (code name) and Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition.

The crowds have been great! Thanks for attending. Also thanks goes to Erik Bernskiold for taking the pics above.

It’s also great being here in beautiful Copenhagen!

 

Travel Tip: Use Wired Internet instead of WiFi

ethernet port

i'm currently traveling on the 2012 Adobe Nordic Design Tour. This means a different hotel each night or so. I spent the weekend in Sweden and my hotel (Radisson Blu) offered FREE WiFi throughout the hotel. All you need to do is confirm your room number, last name and accept the terms/conditions. Great! However, there was one major problem. The internet was almost unusable in the evenings because (and I'm guessing) that it was saturated with hotel guests. My connection dropped constantly and when I could get connected the speed reminded me of dial-up. Sadly, it wasn't until my last night at this particular hotel that I noticed an Ethernet port on the desk under the TV. Lately it has been my experience that when a hotel offers WiFi, that they pull the plug on the Ethernet ports in the guest rooms. However, i figured I had nothing to lose by plugging in and giving it a try. Not only was the port active, but it was about 10-20 times faster than the WiFi network!

 

Get the SpeedTest.net App I used above here from the iTunes

 

Yes, I still want wireless!

I carry an AirPort Express Base Station as part of my "always packed" travel gear. I plugged it in and in about 15 seconds I had my own private WiFi network that was way faster than the Radisson one and best of all I could put all my devices on it without having to do the terms and conditions setup, dropped connections, etc. on each one. 

You can get the AirPort Express Base Station Here. You might also want to carry a short ethernet cable as there wasn't one anywhere to be found in my room.

 

The Bottom Line

If you have the option of going wired vs. wireless, give it a shot. You'll probably get better performance not only because wired is faster, but because most people are going to connect to the public WiFi (overloading the routers) rather than the wired option. By having your own WiFi hotspot you still get the benefits of WiFi too! And yes, the wired connection in my room was also FREE.

The other benefit of a faster connection is faster VoIP calls, FaceTime, Skype, Netflix, Slingplayer, etc.  I was able to get so much more done with the faster connection, not the least of which was this blog post. 🙂

Your Mac is About to Become More Like an iPad

 

Apple just took the wraps of Mountain Lion – aka Mac OS X 10.8, which is due out later this year. The above video shows a nice walk through of how your Mac is about to become even more like an iPad. Personally I'm looking forward to the AirPlay feature and it's great having the Messages App (now in public beta). What are your thoughts on this direction of the Mac OS? Mac OS X 10.7 Lion left me feeling very underwhelmed, but Mountain Lion looks useful. 

Octava 3 Port HD Switch to the Rescue

When I named my top favorite gadgets of 2011, I also declared my Sony Google TV as the most disappointing gadget that I bought in 2011. One of the things that annoys me the most when I'm just watching TV on it is the overly complicated Input Selection implementation. Instead of simply pressing a input button and cycling through the available inputs, you get a menu on screen and then you have to cycle to the one you want and worse press the Select button to make your choice. While this isn't the end of the world using the supplied remote, it becomes a pain in the butt when trying to train universal remotes like my Harmony One or Harmony Link. The benefit of Harmony remotes is that you can press one button for the "Activity" you want and the remote will turn on/off all the appropriate gear and switch inputs. I was actually considering getting rid of this TV and replacing it with one that has regular Input selections. That's when I remembered my Octava HDMI 4×1 with Toslink switch that I use in my home theater. I wondered if Octava had an HDMI switch that would solve my problem in the room with the Sony Google TV and they did! It's their 3 Port HD Switch. Like all of their HDMI switches, it supports the latest HDMI standards, CDP, 1080p resolution and high speed for things like 3D TVs and Blu-ray players. It also come with an IR remote.

It works perfectly

I ordered the 3 Port HD Switch and got it with a Free HDMI cable. I set it up so that the output goes to the HDMI 1 port on the TV. I connected my TiVo Premiere XL to HDMI IN 1, Apple TV 2 to HDMI IN 2 and Sony Blu-ray player to HDMI IN 3. I had to reconfigure my Harmony One and Hamony Link to know about the Octava Switch. Now I can press one button to switch Activities and the Octava Switch switches to the right source as it should!

Normally I would only use the Octava HDMI switches when I have a shortage of HDMI ports, but this time it solved another problem.

You can learn about the Octava HDMI Switches here.

Join Me Next Week for the 2012 Adobe Nordic Design Tour

It's time to hit the road again! I'm headed to the Nordic region next week for the Adobe 2012 Design Tour. I'll be joined by fellow Adobe Worldwide Design Evangelist Rufus Deuchler. We'll be hitting:

We plan to show the latest advancements in Adobe's design and digital publishing tools and may even do a sneak peek of upcoming technology here and there.  I hope to see you at our events and I'm looking forward to returning to the Nordic region! Register by clicking the appropriate links above.

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