Streaming Netflix in the Car

Streaming Netflix In The Car

Having movies in the car is a must for those that travel frequently.  As a family, we can put on thousands of miles a year, travelling to see family and hitting our favorite camping destinations.

Having videos in the car gives us quiet kids (for our sanity), and gives our little ones something to do other than ask ‘are we there yet’!

Ever since we got our iPhone, we have been able to successfully watch netflix vids while on the go.  With just a couple iPhone attachments and the right know-how, it is pretty easy to accomplish.

Here are the things you need to make this work:

1.) iPhone or a phone that can do video out.  Standard Video or HDMI??

Most in car video solutions have inputs for standard RCA video (the red, white, and yellow connectors).

Depending on your phone, there are a few things you need to get in order to hook your phone or tablet to these connectors.


What you need for the new iPhone/iPad:

a.) Lightning to HDMI Adapter 


*Important – This adapter allows you to hook up an HDMI cable and your charger to the phone/iPad at the same time.


b.) HDMI to Component Adapter

This is an essential piece to turn your digital signal into something your car TV can use.  I have used this one personally, and it works great.  It does need power itself, so we’ll add that here:

c.)  USB Cables for power

Both the phone and the converter need power.  In order to power them, pick up these cables:

Standard USB Cable

Link for Standard Power Cable (will open a new window)

USB cable for your phone.  The Amazon brand cable will work great and save you a bunch of money 🙂

Link for Lightning USB Cable (will open a new window)


d.) Dual USB Car Charger

Since we have 2 things to power, this handy little unit will do a great job for both.

Dual USB Car Charger (will open a new window)


Android Phones/Tablets with HDMI Out.

Most Android phones have been made with HDMI outputs recently.  Here’s what you’ll need:

a.)  Mobile HDMI Cable:

Link For Mobile HTML Cable (will open a new window)


b).  Everything other than the lightning cable above.


Cable for iPhone/iPad.

Since iPhones and iPads have video out capability, they are perfect for streaming netflix in the car.

You will need the video out cable which can be purchased for under $30:


iPhone Video Out Cable

Link for iPhone/ iPad video out cable


2.) Hooking up your phone to your video player.

In our minivan, we have a built in DVD player that has video inputs.  It is a bit of a pain because the video inputs are way in the back row of the minivan.  We needed to use a couple adapters and extensions to make it work.  Some cars have this connection closer to the front.

Video Input Hookup Streaming Netflix

Since this connection is way in the back, we have a long RCA cable plugged in that goes all the way to the front of the car.

In our minivan, the audio ports that are used here only go to the headphones in the back seats.  This would normally be fine with us, but we find it is more trouble trying to keep those headphones on their heads.

Instead we port the sound through the main radio in the front.  Here is a pic of the adapter cable up front:

Streaming Netflix, Car Adapter

You can see the RCA extension adapter plugged into the red cable.  (I used a red cable because I had one laying around, the normal color of this connector is Yellow – which is the Video part of the cable).

The USB connector plugs directly into a car USB power adapter.  I like the dual port one that can charge the iPhone and another device at the same time.

Notice the audio cables are not hooked up here either.  We grab the audio right from the phone with the headphone jack.

Streaming Netflix Hookup Pic

Here we have the connections ready to go.  When I get into the car, I just pop the phone into the holder and plug away.  This gives me easy access to the phone.

For iPhone 5:  By far- the best mount is the RAM mount.  I’ve tried others, and this one is the best mount I’ve ever used for a phone.

Link For RAM Mount (will open a new window)


For iPhone 4/4s:  The iGrip is a GREAT holder. You can get it for under $10 on Amazon.

Our minivan does not have an MP3 connection, so we go old school with the tape cassette converter.  When we have the video playing, we just change the selector to ‘Tape’ and then fade the sound to the back of the van.

This has worked really well for us.  The only time you might have problems is if you travel in the ‘boonies’ a lot.

 For just a couple bucks (and a Netflix account of course), you can have a much larger selection of videos at your fingertips for those large trips.

No Netflix Account Yet??

Here is an offer to get 1 year free subscription to try them out:

Netflix Special 1 Year Offer

How ’bout you?  How do you cope with the long trips?

The Proper Samsung Galaxy Car Dock for your Device

The first thing I do when I purchase a phone is buy the Car Dock that is made for that phone.  I don’t like the generic car docks, you know the ones that squeeze the phone in and hold it.  While those may work fine, I prefer the fit and polish of a car dock that was made to hold the phone. 

Samsung creates some awesome phones, and they hit it out of the park with their Galaxy device.  In this post I will show the various car docks that are made to fit the Galaxy device and provide a sweet car experience for you and your android phone!

Samsung Galaxy S3

The anticipation for this phone is un-real.  This is sure to be one of the best phones of 2012.  At the time of writing, the dock for the Samsung Galaxy S3 is not available, but as soon as it comes out, you will certainly see it here.

Samsung Galaxy S2

This dock is for the Samsung Galaxy S2. It fits well and has a quick release tab for mounting/unmounting:

You can grab this on Amazon:

Samsung SGH-i777 Galaxy S II Vehicle Mount Car Kit

Samsung Galaxy / Samsung Fascinate

The starter of them all, the Samsung Galaxy – or Fascinate as it was called on Verizon.  This dock is more plain-jane, but can hold your device well in the car.  It has a sweet price of under $10 too:

Available on Amazon:
Car / Vehicle Mount for Verizon Samsung Fascinate Galaxy S


Samsung Galaxy Note

One of the most intriguing devices I have ever seen is the Samsung Galaxy Note.  This device is plain HUGE, but would be awesome for use in the car!  There is a car dock available for the Samsung Galaxy Note, and it is not to pricey either.

Grab it on Amazon here:
Samsung ECS-K1E1BEGSTA Black Vehicle Navigation Car Mount for the Samsung Galaxy Note


Samsung Galaxy Tab

Last but not least is the Galaxy Tab.  One of the first Android tablets, the Galaxy tab makes a wonderful car media system. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab Vehicle Mount [ECS-V980BEGSTA]


There you have it.  A wonderful line of high-tech devices made even cooler with proper accessories. 


Kids Tree Houses

Climbing on trees, plucking fruits and playing in tree houses always fascinate children. It is too much fun to build your own tree house when you are a child. The picture stays in your memory forever and it is indeed very special. As a father you must try and build a tree house with your children to make their childhood stage special. There are several tree house ideas that will help you make a beautiful tree house.

Planning: Firstly you need to have a plan in place to build a tree house. You must figure out on which tree you will build the house. You have to sketch the design of the house and be sure of the size of the house. You will need to arrange the materials and tools that will be needed for the house. Then there is furniture that would go in the house. All these things have to be worked upon before you actually start building a tree house.

Read More…

Selection of Tree: The most important thing is that your tree house must be very strong and safe. As a result the tree you select must be sturdy. You can build the house on any tree as long as it is mature and strong. It is a good idea to build your tree house on a maple tree. With the changes in season and climate the tree should be able to hold the house well. The other thing you must check is that the tree is free from any dangerous insects or reptiles.

Designing: The next step is to design the house. You must ideally make a proper sketch of the house on a paper with precise measurements that will make your job very easy. The size of the house must be determined, whether you want to go for a house with one room or two rooms. This will also depend on the tree you have selected. You should have a proper sketch of your house including the placement of rooms and measurements.

Materials: When you look for materials to build your tree house, first try and get as many as possible from within your farm. It is a better idea than directly hitting the market and buying expensive materials. If you can get it around your house it will save your cost and efforts. Try and use only strong materials to build your house. This will make your house last long. Maybe many of your future generations will enjoy in it.

Colors: The next step is to decide on the colors of the house. Use colors that can stand all weathers and do not fade too soon. You must ideally leave this choice to your kids. They will be more than willing to make this choice and they will even love to paint the tree house on their own. Such tree house ideas form an important part of a child’s growing up. This house is going to belong to kids so let them have their say in the coloring part. You could supervise while they perform this activity.

Read More at Amazon

Furnishing: The last part would be to handle furnishing and décor. This again is the domain of children and should be left to them. Let them handle what they wish to stuff there and how they would make it comfortable and cozy for themselves. Now that I have shared all the tree house ideas with you, you must seriously think of building one for your children.

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Holy Smokes! I’m Going back to ANDROID??? – See Ya iPhone!

Well that didn’t last long.

I got the iPhone this weekend. I was so pumped! I held it in my hand and really could not believe that it was finally here. Then – I started using it…

First, let me say that the phone itself is a real thing of beauty. Really well made and looks fantastic. It seems to make great calls, and I did not have any issues with dropped calls at all. If I were just using it as a phone, it would be a great fit, but I have come to rely on my phone for much more than just making calls.

My first real trouble came when I found that there was no ‘real’ google talk app. I had to use Fring. I remember Fring from my Windows Mobile days, and while it would get the job done, it was not as nice or reliable as Google Talk. This was a little annoying, but I could live with it.

Second was the missing notification light. After I got my emails all configured, I would find myself always looking over at my phone looking for some kind of indication that I had an email waiting. Again – a little annoying, but I think I could live without this one.

Next – the akward email reading. I don’t know how to explain this one fully. Just the email part of the iPhone does not seem very intuitive. You cannot flag emails while you are looking at the email list and delete. You have to go into each email and hit the trash bin. Just little things like this make it a little weird. I could maybe get used to this.

Google Voice – Not as helpful on the iPhone. I used google voice a ton on my Droid to send SMS messages to people using my Google number. While you can do this with the Google Voice app on the iPhone. You have to go through a contact selection process to find the person you want. On the Droid, you can start typing the name of the contact, and the app brought in the number. This may seem like a little deal, but now things were getting out of hand.

I am finding myself really having to work at this relationship now. I still really want to make this work, but everywhere I turn this beautiful phone is starting to look ugly to me. Then it really hit.

I keep 4 email accounts on my phone, one work related and the others are personal. On my Droid, I had a specific notification tone for each one. I found the iPhone dinging the same for all of my emails. No problem, just go into the settings and configure correctly. Nope. Not a chance. Can’t find a setting like this anywhere. Well off to google I go. I found out that If I wanted to do this, I would have to get an app for that. OK I thought, I can live with that. When I went to the app store, I found that app – for $5 dollars! At that moment, I knew that this relationship was over. I didn’t have to look much further, I was done.  I was already finding tons of apps that used to be free on my Droid, now costing me a few dollars to have the same type of experience on my iPhone.  Not to mention stuff that was BUILT IN to Android will cost me $5 to use on what is supposed to be the best phone out there?

I just couldn’t take it any more.  It’s time to say goodbye to the iPhone.  I must say that I am really impressed with how far the Droid has come in it’s time.  It is an ever evolving OS that has so many neat things inside, I guess the old saying is true: You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.   So now I am researching Droids on Ebay.  It was fun while it lasted.  I guess it is a rite of passage, I needed this.   I needed to know.  Now I am a better man for it.

If you are thinking about making the switch from Droid to iPhone even after this, drop me a line. We may be able to work something out!

I’m switching from DROID to iPhone!

It’s been about 2 years since I bought my first smart phone.  It has been an interesting trip so far, and it’s about to get alot more interesting.

I am one of those guys who live in rural America who was glued to the computer screen when Steve Jobs made his iPhone speech.  I can still remember watching him do all these cool things on that phone.  He could pull up maps, touch an address, GPS, call with a touch of his finger, man o man – that thing was cool.  I was amazed, not really by the features – because I h

ave used a Windows smartphone before, and most of those things could be done on one of those.  I was amazed at how SMOOTH that phone was.  The coolness factor.  I was hooked, i needed to get one.  I wanted one so bad that I was ready to jump ship from Verizon to At&t.

My real disappointment came when I pulled up AT&T’s coverage map.   No way, not even close.  I wouldn’t be able to even talk on the iPhone let alone use it for any kind of surfing.  My options were gone, and so were the hopes of getting an iPhone.  That exclusivity deal Apple made with At&t would ensure that it would be years before I could get my hands on a Verizon iPhone.

Well it’s been years, and many smartphones!  From Blackberry Storms, HTC Touch Pros, Samsung Omnias, Motorola DRIODS, DROID2, and DROID x!  It’s now time to finally get my iPhone!

Unfortunately I am not as happy as I once would be.   When the iPhone finally hit Verizon, I did not feel the same `I need you now` type of feeling.  Let me explain.  The DROID phones have really filled a big gap in my smartphone life.  I was a DROID1 fanatic, loved the phone – it did so many neat things, and synced with my Gmail stuff perfectly.  I could put an Contact in my Gmail Contacts and in no time they would be on my DROID.  The only reason I upgraded to a DROID x is because I dropped my DROID1 on Interstate 35W in MPLS off my Motorcycle.  Otherwise I probably would still have that phone.

Now my DROID x has a cool car holder, with a bunch of cool apps that I can use while I travel.  I bought all other kinds of apps that work well with my hobbies like Remote Desktop, SSH, measuring GPS apps, Running GPS apps that keep track of my run times, and the list goes on.  I have become pretty attached to my phone, and am a little sad to see it go.

With all that said I can’t help but think what it would be like if i didn’t give the Verizon iPhone a try.  So i’m going to take the plunge.  I think it will be a fun ride, and I am really excited.  I just hope it lives up to the hype in my head.

How about you?  Are you taking the plunge?


P.S. Don’t worry,  I will keep up on the DVD to DROID.  I know lots of you out there really like it.  I’m glad, that’s why I made it!