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Old 02-13-2019, 08:39 PM   #1
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Downloading movies to watch on board

I know enough to be dangerous about this subject.

I would like to download movies at home, to watch aboard on the Smart Tv I have. I have an Amazon Prime account.

A few questions:

-Is the best way to download movies at home with a Firestick?

-Does the Firestick plug directly in to the TVs USB plug on the boat?

-Or, is an HDMI connection needed to feed the TV on the boat from a Firestick?

Any feedback on other options would also be appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:44 PM   #2
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Before a cruise I go to Wal-Mart to their big boxes where they dump movies for $3.34- $4.99 and buy about 20 or 30. Play them off the Blu Ray. No muss, no fuss.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:56 PM   #3
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I have a Firestick. It plugs into a HDMI port on your tv or bluray/dvd player/recorder. It also needs 120v for it's power supply or a small inverter. It's wireless and connects to my wireless internet. I use it to manage all my internet based tv - Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube. A menu comes up and the first time you use it, you program in your accounts. A 70+ old geezer can do it.
You can record anything your tv or player/recorder sees. Also, you can talk to it. I don't. I talk to myself.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:01 PM   #4
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The Firestick is designed to _stream_ movies to any TV with an HDMI connection. It is not intended to enable you to download videos so you can watch them offline, which I think is what you are looking for. The Firestick has _both_ an HDMI and a USB connector. The HDMI connector feeds video to your TV, while the USB connection provides power from the TV to the Firestick.

If you are happy with streaming (not offline) videos and don't mind needing a wireless network connection when watching movies, then the Firestick should work just fine!

You may find that your TV supports playing movies directly off a USB thumb drive or external USB harddisk. It would depend on your specific model and it would depend on the type of video files you have to use.

There are also options that would make it easy to play movies from a laptop or phone on your TV via miracast, chromecast, or probably some Apple solution if that better fits your existing devices.

I've been very happy with a custom Raspberry Pi setup using RasPlex and a giant disk of movies, if you are comfortable with a more DIY approach.

Another thought, if your TV doesn't support playing videos directly from external USB storage, many DVD and Blu-Ray players do. So you may be able to use a player you already have or pick up something fairly easily that would work for you.

I am sure others will have more suggestions for you. Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:08 PM   #5
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I just upgraded my 5 year old android stick to one of these for under $50
Works a treat and simply plug a hard drive loaded with series and movies into it.

Well worth getting that keyboard remote so as to use it as a mini PC as well.



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Old 02-13-2019, 10:31 PM   #6
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We use a rather large tablet to watch movies/videos on our boat. It does require some forethought. Netflix lets you download movies to mobile devices. The tablet we have isn't all that mobile, but apparently Netflix thinks so. We also get DVDs and transfer them to the tablet. We have Tivo at home and if a program can be transferred off Tivo to PC (not all of them can be) then it can be put on the tablet. There is free software to do this. However, the conversion can take some time so you have to plan a head a bit.

If you are somewhere with decent wifi, you can replenish your Neltflix selections as you go by downloading new stuff when you need to.

Our tablet does not allow us to watch anything over the air and we don't have a data plan for it.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:43 PM   #7
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Lots of options.... but nothing great. For playing movies I've got a few terra bites of movies, tv shows, etc that I can play of a big HD. Down load to a thumb drive and play, using some video player.

Also use Netflix for streaming movies/TV, displayed on the Ipad. works well.

For current stuff, it's a PITA. Either put up with the ADs or have some recording box plus you need some subscription. You can do a screen recording for replay, also a pita.

Don't have a perfect solution.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:52 PM   #8
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Friends with movies are great. Blue Ray quality onto a hard drive. I have (probably) more movies than I'll ever watch downloaded just by trading friends for movies.

To answer your question:

Firestick - No. Great if you are in a marina with good WiFi. Otherwise no you are streaming everything using big bandwidth.

A big hard drive and some friends will get you much more than a sporadic streaming connection.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:08 AM   #9
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Let me go back to the subject line, which is about downloading movies.


What solutions have people found for getting movies and shows onto a hard drive.


- From DVD to a file on a hard drive?


- From some streaming service to a file on a hard drive?


- From some other source?


Once a show is in a file and on a disk, there are lots of easy ways to play it. The challenge seems to be how to get the show into a file in the first place.


What works?
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Let me go back to the subject line, which is about downloading movies.

What solutions have people found for getting movies and shows onto a hard drive.

- From DVD to a file on a hard drive?

- From some streaming service to a file on a hard drive?

- From some other source?

Once a show is in a file and on a disk, there are lots of easy ways to play it. The challenge seems to be how to get the show into a file in the first place.

What works?
What he said.

One of the reasons i've ended up watching so many Korean dramas over the last few years, is that I can download them.

Finding downloadable movies is difficult.
For me, Netflix doesn't allow my tablet to download, though Amazon Prime does.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:38 AM   #11
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Finding downloadable movies is not difficult, it just depends if you want to stay legal or not... And legally, except if you bought it you cannot keep a movie on your hard drive. One way would be to buy a dvd, rip it and make a file from it, not difficult, but even then it is not legal as you infringe copy protection.

L
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:28 AM   #12
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Amazon Prime, Netflix and MHz Choice will allow downloads to your phone, but I don’t know of any other apps that will. If anyone does, please post information here since we are always looking for new content.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Let me go back to the subject line, which is about downloading movies.


What solutions have people found for getting movies and shows onto a hard drive.


- From DVD to a file on a hard drive?


- From some streaming service to a file on a hard drive?


- From some other source?


Once a show is in a file and on a disk, there are lots of easy ways to play it. The challenge seems to be how to get the show into a file in the first place.


What works?
We mostly watch programming we brought with us as we are usually in area with spotty cell service.


We use MakeMKV (https://makemkv.com) and Handbrake (https://handbrake.fr) to convert Blu Ray and DVD's to an mp4 file. Handbrake can do the DVD's, but MakeMKV is needed first for Blu Ray discs. We use Plex
(https://www.plex.tv) on a laptop to play the movies on the TV.

If Blu Ray, use MakeMKV to create an mkv file. Then use handbrake to convert the mkv file to an mp4 file. (On Mac and Linux, handbrake can be configured to use MakeMKV's libraries to do this in one step.) If not a Blu Ray disc, Handbrake will take care of it in one pass. Copy to Plex.

Plex automatically sees any new files and looks up the appropriate information about the movie or TV show. The display on the TV is similar to Amazon Prime or Netflix. It is very easy to use.

MakeMKV is not free. Handbrake is free. Plex can be free, but most of the value comes from paying for the service. About $39 a year or $119 for a lifetime license.

We have about 500 movies and another 50 TV series on a 2 TB portable drive. We stream from the laptop to the TV via an Apple TV box. It will also work fine with a HDMI connection from the laptop. With a Plex server running on the laptop and connected to wifi on the boat, multiple people can watch what they want on whatever device they brought with them.

With enough upload bandwidth, Plex can also be an internet movie server. Clients are available for most platforms. At home, we have Plex installed on a Netgear NAS box and can stream the content to our own devices anywhere.

Hope that helps!

Oh! And we own all the original discs we copied ...
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:40 AM   #14
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nvida stealth, connect a 4 tbyte usb drive and KODI.... fairly low cost, great video and easy...
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:10 AM   #15
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Isnít it use amazon app to download to your phone, then Apple TV to stream it over to your screen?
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
... For me, Netflix doesn't allow my tablet to download, though Amazon Prime does.
Not all movies and shows on Netflix are downloadable.

Netflix downloads have to be renewed after a time period by connecting to the Netflix service. After a certain number of renewals you cannot renew anymore (but you delete and redownload the movie/show).

If a selection is removed from the Netflix service you cannot renew it, even if it was previously downloaded to your device.

You can argue that converting and transferring a DVD you own to your own mobile device is fair use as long as you don't share or resell the file you create.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:00 AM   #17
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I use Itunes for my movies.

I have a laptop that travels with me and my itunes movies are all stored on an external hard drive.

On the boat I have a Apple TV. The Apple TV can see my laptop and the hundreds of movies on it..

Easy peasy.

I also have a high speed low cost network on the boat. When in cell range I just download movies or stream netflix.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:36 AM   #18
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Send Crusty a PM. He used an external hard drive to store movies and has thousands of movies. Handy when we were off grid. He can give you some advice on how to set up a similar system.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
Finding downloadable movies is not difficult, it just depends if you want to stay legal or not... And legally, except if you bought it you cannot keep a movie on your hard drive. One way would be to buy a dvd, rip it and make a file from it, not difficult, but even then it is not legal as you infringe copy protection.

L
If you down load a movie from anywhere to your HD or disc for your personal use, it's not illegal. If you sell or distribute it, could be. You paid for the right to use it, you should be able to display it on your viewer the way you want.

However, it's awful nice to view from a file, not streaming.

Agree on the friend with movies, and you'll end up with more than you can watch.

Would like to find an easy inexpensive way to record current TV, and play back the next day and skip the ads. Any ideas?
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:53 AM   #20
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Lots of great ideas here, thanks for the input. I am reading through all of them and trying to figure out the best option for our use. My main goal is not to stream, but to download at home and then bring the movies to the boat.
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