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Share your Screen: The best way to enjoy your Digital Editions (and Youtube and Facebook!)

Share your Screen: The best way to enjoy your Digital Editions (and Youtube and Facebook!)

If you are like me you would like to watch your Youtube videos, photostreams and digital purchases of workshops and PDFs on your larger home TV screen.  With the development of technologies designed for both Apple iOS and Android products, it is now possible to use your smartphone or tablet as a sending device, sharing or mirroring the screen with your TV either directly or using a home WiFi media sharing device such as Roku, Apple TV or Google Chromecast.  Let’s look at what all these things mean.

Why Screen Share?

The obvious reason is to watch your videos and read the news APP from your phone or tablet on a much larger and enjoyable screen.  This means that while your videos may be stored on your iPhone or iPad or tablet, you can share them to your TV and watch them the same way you would watch them using a DVD player — without the need for cables, players, and usually at a higher video playback quality. 
Ok, I want it — what do I do now?
 

If you have it already, then perhaps what I have said so far is already familiar to you. Great!  But if you haven’t got it and want it, my recommendation is to visit an electronics center such as Best Buy or Wal-Mart in the USA and a Tesco or John Lewis in the UK (and so on) and spend 5-10 minutes discussing your options based upon the devices you have already.  You may in fact only need a Roku or Apple TV box and you are ready to go!  

Tell the store sales associate the following: 

– brand of phone or iPad you have and will use
– type of TV you have as well as ports on the TV (HDMI is ideal – older TVs will be extremely limited in use in this way)
– your goal is to stream video files and other content from the iphone or iPad to your TV and you need the ‘interface box’

 

The associate says I have several options — how do I choose?

Roku + with Headphone Port & Voice Commands – the best! 
If money is no object, then I would consider buying some top of the line devices with great storage and a Roku or Apple TV box and get things rolling. Google Chromecast and Amazon TV boxes are a bit more proprietary in their layout and you may have to go thru more menus to get to what you want in daily use but they work the same way and are fine, too.  Buy the media player which is recommended based upon your streaming device — if you are buying a new tablet then choose the media player that works with that tablet, ideally.

I bought the kit from my TV store, now what?

My favorite wee 4K TV with a Roku Stick — loads of options in a small space!

If you’re fairly good at plugging in cables, you plug the streaming media device into the back of your TV via an available HDMI port and if you should be good to go.  Not only will you be able to use the device to share your screen with your TV, you can also get access to loads of free and paid channels available from these device makers if you want to watch local news, sports, old movies and pay for premium channels such as boxing matches and Game of Thrones / HBO.

Once the media sharing device is attached to your TV, it’s time to look for the device on your tablet.

My tablet sees several Roku devices from TVs around my home. 

You basically choose the device that corresponds to the TV you want to share to, in this case, the small TV I have in my living room. The screen above shows ‘Roku Stick – 815’ which is the device attached to the back of my small SONY HD TV. I tap that name on my tablet to select, and the next thing I see is my tablet desktop mirrored to my TV.

My tablet and TV now share the same mirrored desktop.

At this point whatever I do on my tablet will be replicated or mirrored on my TV.  Why does the TV look so good?  It’s because this was a prototype TV my sister gave to me 15 years ago when she got it as a senior employee at Sony Entertainment Group, the forerunner to the modern OLED or organic display. It is ultra HD, at the time, about $4,000. Still my favorite wee TV.  Bear in mind that your TV can only display the pixels it has — if you are sharing from an HD tablet to an old TV, the TV resolution will reflect what it can do, not the tablet. If it is a newer TV, it should look pretty good.

Now it’s time to select a movie. I click on my files on my tablet, and I select “Batik of Java”.  When that happens the movie comes up, and my tablet goes black which it shares the video with the TV.  This is normal and conserves the battery of the tablet while you are sharing to the TV (which has a plugged in power supply).  I can see a dance sequence from the movie now playing on my TV — it is shared from my tablet thru the Roku media player to the TV.  That’s it!

The blue dot in the top left indicates that video is streaming to my TV.

The blue dot in the image on my tablet indicates that media is streaming to my TV.  The gray arrow + TV on my tablet shows the action as well. If I tap the screen I can control the video — fast forward, rewind, and so on.  

So at this point everything is working great.  You may be interested in knowing a bit more about what is going on behind the scenes. 

How much space do I need on my tablet? 

That’s a great question, because high quality video takes up a lot of space when it is stored locally.  Let’s say you have 4 workshops from Galli Creative, and they collectively are 12GB.  Your phone may only have 16GB initial space and after everything else you have installed you may max out your storage very fast. 

My recommendation is a dedicated small tablet with expandable memory slots (like the one shown above).  I personally like the Samsung tablets because they have rentina display quality ultra-HD screens and are expandable to 512GB.  They currently cost about $350 for the best of show but if you shop on Facebook marketplace for a slightly older (1-2 years) model or buy another device that is not quite so high in screen quality and processing rate, you can get the price under $200 dollars easily

I would dedicate this device to storing all of your workshops and other large file media.  To download courses from Galli Creative to this device, simply log into your email account from the tablet, and then open the receipt with download instructions and proceed to save to the tablet.  There’s no reason to download first to a computer only to find a cable to transfer the files later.

Also — try to buy a device with expandable and removable storage. These devices enable you to upgrade your storage for very little money. You can start out with just the 64GB internal storage and add a few workshops, but if you want to have an entire vault to draw up, your options would be:

Tablet = 64GB initial storage (space for 10-20 digital edition workshops)
+64GB = $12 USD  (space for 30-40 digital edition workshops)
+128GB = $20 USD (space for 50-60 digital edition workshops)
+256GB = $38 USD (space for 100+ digital workshops)

Amazon has this one for $37 bucks!

That’s right — for another $35-40 USD you can create a vault on your tablet with space for 100 digital workshops or a combination of workshops and millions of photos and songs.

The other benefit is portability.

SD Card Case for Storing Memory Cards


When you buy a device with removable storage media, you can take that storage out and put it in a protective case like this one here which I bought from Amazon a while back. I keep all of my SD cards in there, and take it with me on trips. When I get home, I back everything up to a hard drive on my desktop, so everything is archived if I lose them or if they get damaged.


When its time to migrate to a better iPad, I pop the SD card out of my older device, and plug it in the new one.   No files to transfer, everything organized as I had it. 

I’m heading to visit relatives or on a business trip — can I take all this stuff with me?
 
Absolutely! I always take the small Roku stick from my TV and my tablet on the road. Provided the folks where I am staying have home Wi-Fi or my hotel room has it, I can then register both devices to the Wi-Fi network and I now have the opportunity to enjoy my stored video files, PDFs and other device applications on the road.
 
What about Youtube, Vimeo and Facebook?
 
Of course — as I said at the onset, whatever is on your device will now be on the TV.  But keep that in mind — whatever is on your transmitting device will not be on the TV, so if you made home movies with your romantic partner or a video in front of the mirror performing your America’s Got Talent routine, that will now be on the TV screen. Something to remember…
 
I love Galli Creative DVDs. Are there any reasons to move to digital?
 
Well, DVDs are great, and they have some advantages such as a menu structure to quickly navigate, and there is nothing to download, and in many cases, subtitles which currently aren’t available in the digital editions we sell.  
 
But there’s a reason that most laptops no longer carry a DVD port and it’s not just space — generally speaking, the video quality will always be better on a digital edition than the DVD of the same file size because there is less compression, and therefore more quality in the final results.  Think about it — all of the trailers for our workshops that you buy are uploaded in digital format, and the quality is excellent. And then you buy the DVD and it looks pretty much the same, but not quite as clear.  That’s because of the way we have to compress the video to work with DVD players and fit on a DVD disc.
 
DVDs will eventually be phased out entirely and most people under the age of 30 do not consider them for viewing — these young people are more likely to start on Youtube, Instagram, or elsewhere for both learning and entertainment.  
 
But there is something romantic about the DVDs all stacked nicely next to each other on a shelf, the ability to grab one when you want, and as well knowing that the thing you bought is physically there — without the need for a network to enjoy.
 
So really it remains a matter of preference, and for that reason — we see a very healthy demand for both types of media from our customers.
 

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