TV to Go
There are several ways you can enjoy your favorite TV shows while you are away from home camping. You can use a device called Slingbox to transfer your shows from home or you can watch your shows directly from a website such as Hulu (www.hulu.com). Both of these choices require a pretty good internet connection. You can even record shows directly on your notebook computer if you have the right hardware and software installed.
I will elaborate on the way that works best for us. We record our TV shows at home using a TiVo (www.tivo.com). We like the ease and flexibility that TiVo provides. One of the best features of TiVo is that unlike a typical DVR provided by your local cable provider, TiVo allows you to transfer shows from it to your PC. You just install a program on your notebook computer called TiVo Desktop software to transfer and play shows from your TiVo box. This is all you need if you are satisfied with watching your shows on a notebook PC while you are away.
Another option is if your PC has a video output you can play the content through your TV monitor using this connection. This allows for a better viewing experience. But you will still need to get up and control the video using your notebook computer.
The path I chose is to purchase a device made by Western Digital called the WDTV. This is a small home theater player that connects directly to your TV. It more or less takes the place of a separate PC. The WDTV plays several formats of video, audio and even photos. Best thing is that it comes with its own remote so you don’t even have to get up to control the video you are playing. The content all comes from a small external USB hard drive that interfaces with the WDTV device. The larger the drive, the more stuff you can take on the road with you. The only problem is that the player will not play TiVo files without converting them first.
I use a program called kmttg to transfer the shows from my TiVo to my laptop. This program allows me to transfer and convert the shows from the TiVo format to a regular mpeg format all in one process. This way the WDTV will be able to play them. It is actually pretty simple once you have it setup properly.
Now anytime we want to take any TV shows with us when we travel, we just transfer them to our portable hard drive and away we go. It is actually that simple.
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