Phone as travel HTPC using Plex? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Phone as travel HTPC using Plex?

I may be in the market for a new phone soon if I change jobs and have to return my work-provided iPhone 5c. The IOS version of Plex seems to work well but I don't have an HDMI adapter for it so have never tried to output it to a TV. So just wondering what folks here would recommend? Has anyone has done HDMI out from Plex on your phone with decent results? Obviously I'm not imagining 1080p output on hotel wifi or cellular only. I just mean without stuttering and not too terribly degraded quality-wise. If anyone has accomplished that I'd love to know what model phone you're using, adapter, and any tweaks you had to do to make it work right. I'm also trying to gauge minimum processor requirements if anyone has a guess on that (difficult for me since I've never been a big device guy and know ****all about mobile processors). For example, would you think I could get this to work well enough with something like a Samsung Galaxy S III (Snapdragon S4 1.5ghz dual core) if I wanted to go w/the cheapest no contract option from Virgin? Or would you think latest and greatest quad core only is more like it?
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 09:10 AM
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Chromecast > HDMI adapater.

but both work.

Mediabrowser also supports the same stuff as PLEX (including chromecast and remote streaming)
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Chromecast > HDMI adapater.

but both work.

Mediabrowser also supports the same stuff as PLEX (including chromecast and remote streaming)
Thanks Mfusick. Any difficulty getting chromecast to connect to your plex server from outside your home network?
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 09:27 AM
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Actually I only use the chromecast at my dad's vacation house in FL or home, I never thought about the WIFI part. You'd need a micro router or something in your bag to make that work. It works great inside the home but now that I think about it you need to have a wifi network I think.

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 09:38 AM
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As Mfusick Chromecast is great option.

Actually they are about to release an update that doesn't require for the 2 devices to be on the same network. So long as your in range the chromecast will output a high frequency sound thru the tv's speaker that your device will pick thru it's microphone and allow you to connect.

If you are able to share your phones internet connection (hotspot) then you will also be able to get it going that way.

While the S3 is capable of running PLEX and casting to the Chromecast I cannot recommend it at this stage. It is my current device, it is 2 generations old and it just seems to struggle with the newer android updates like Kit Kat and Ice Cream Sandwich. At minimum you want the S4.

I have also used PLEX with a Kindle Fire HD 2012 which has an HDMI out connection and that also worked just fine, but again it now works from the Kindle to Chromecast as well.


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post #6 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 09:59 AM
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Actually they are about to release an update that doesn't require for the 2 devices to be on the same network. So long as your in range the chromecast will output a high frequency sound thru the tv's speaker that your
So in this case where is the data coming from that the Chromecast receives? Your phone's data connection?

I've read that Chromecast is a bad option for traveling/hotel use. Hotel wifi typically requires you to go through a splash page in your web browser, entering credentials to connect. Theres no way for a device without a web browser to do that (unless Chromecast has been updated).

You't think a video signal coming out of a phone to a tv via micro hdmi would look pretty good, relatively speaking. These phone screen resolutions are starting to get pretty high and I imagine they simply spit out the same resolutions over hdmi.


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post #7 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 10:16 AM
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So in this case where is the data coming from that the Chromecast receives? Your phone's data connection?

I've read that Chromecast is a bad option for traveling/hotel use. Hotel wifi typically requires you to go through a splash page in your web browser, entering credentials to connect. Theres no way for a device without a web browser to do that (unless Chromecast has been updated).

You't think a video signal coming out of a phone to a tv via micro hdmi would look pretty good, relatively speaking. These phone screen resolutions are starting to get pretty high and I imagine they simply spit out the same resolutions over hdmi.
Well it depends, if the chromecast is not on a network then yes you need to share your phones DATA connection for it to work. From what I've read the whole purpose of being to connect to Chromecast via sound is so you don't have to share your wifi connection. Not really a big deal if your on home wifi, but if your using using mobile data I could see where that would come in handy.

As Mfusick mentions you can get micro router to act as a hotspot in hotels, I have seen some tutorials on how to setup from a simple Google search. This will help you deal with the splash screens you mention because once setup it simply uses the one ip address assigned from the Hotels wifi and then the micro router handles the DHCP for the rest of your devices.

Also, you are right connecting directly from phone to screen via the proper adapter does yield pretty good results. It's just a bit of a pain because the device then needs to be left next to the tv. For $30 bucks chromecast is worth trying.


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post #8 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 04:12 PM
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I was just using my phone's data connection to playback the need for speed blu ray in a hotel last weekend. I just tether my laptop and use hdmi out that way

I have actually misplaced my chromecast at the moment, but I wanted to use that instead. It would have been easier I think. I have verizon, and the hotel was in an area where I had 2 bars of band 13 lte. I had the quality setting in PlexHT down at 1Mbps. If they had band 4 in more areas it would be super

The s3 was the last of the samsung legacy to be aosp friendly, but at this point it's just too old for what it costs IMO. Meanwhile LG went from making little-tikes quality phones to the highest end in the past year without me even realizing it. They are aosp ready, which is aces since both the G2 and G3 are band 4 capable (I get 50Mbps around town now that verizon turned on band 4 in my area). Samsung is as useless as apple for my mobile preference these days, and at this point your lucky if the s5 will keep root after their next update. I'm betting high that the s4 saw it's last update as well with kit kat. G2 would be my choice -> great battery life, 1080p, MHL (though the vzw version also supports wireless charging -- which I can't live without)
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-29-2014, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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G2 would be my choice -> great battery life, 1080p, MHL (though the vzw version also supports wireless charging -- which I can't live without)
Thanks to everyone in this thread for some really good input so far. I just picked up a chromecast and an HDMI adapter for my iPhone from Best Buy and will play around with both this weekend to see how they work and if I can glean any preference as to which setup I'd be more likely to use on the road.

As for the phone itself, I was starting to narrow down to the G2 and Nexus 5 as my top choices (the Nexus 5 being basically the same phone as the G2 as I understand it just with slightly inferior battery life and a little cheaper). It's just a bit daunting to wade through all the options these days. As I said, I've never been a big device guy. In fact the only "smart" phone I've owned prior was an LG Optimus V with the cheapest Virgin Mobile plan. As phones are a lot more sophisticated now the geek in me wants to dive in and see what they can do. At the same time though I'm having a hard time getting my mind around what any of these higher end phones + a plan w/any decent carrier (whether I do a contract or not) will cost together over the next 2 years. So I'm trying to find a happy medium there. Maybe T-Mobile? I do travel some for work and can get a bit off the grid for weekend and family trips too and was originally leaning to Verizon for that. Just not sure it's worth an extra $20 a month over what T-Mobile costs. Anyway. Musings for another forum I guess.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-29-2014, 08:29 AM
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Just saw on T-Mobile the other day that you can request a test drive. They will send you an iPhone 5 I believe for you to play with for 7 days. Then you ship back or drop off at a T-Mobile store.

I'm on Verizon with an S3. Where I live is just outside of decent coverage for call/phone service with anybody other than Verizon and AT&T which is why I've stayed with Verizon for so long. Once I'm able to (end of the year) I plan on switching to T-Mobile for a couple of reasons, most notably though is that most of their devices have Wi-Fi calling built in (iOS 8 is supposed to bring it to the iphone as well) and an additional device is not necessary as is the case with Sprint and other providers. They also don't charge you for data overages but throttle you to 2G after you have gone over your chosen allowance if not unlimited.


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post #11 of 11 Old 07-29-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks oman. I just read that Verizon is finally offering 4G LTE speed for it's prepaid customers so I'm leaning in that direction now since 1) they have the best coverage where I live, 2) the plan I need would cost the same as T-Mobile, 3) and they are currently offering the G2 for $299.99. If I do change jobs, that is. As long as I'm still in my current position I'll hang on to the iPhone they've provided me with and be happy about it.
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