We've posted briefly on our entertainment set up for our RV when we first started full time RV life. We decided to go into more detail for our fellow RVers out there that love to watch movies & play games. Our lives have changed a lot & we live more simply now, but we still thoroughly enjoy our time at home no matter where we are parked. At the end of this post, I'll tell you the cons of our products and what we would have bought and why.
We were going to try to bring our 65 in tv, we even bought a mount for it. Thing is that they weigh too much & tv's can get in the way or just block the views. So, we were determined to find an easy way to install projectors vs. standard tv's in our living room & bedroom. First thing we did was see if it was even possible to have a projector in a small room. We found a short throw projector from BenQ on Amazon. The screen was actually harder to find because most of the high end screens are way too big.
It was a bit tricky to find, but we found two of them from Elite Screens.
The living room is an electric 84" diagonal & the bedroom is a 72" pull down. We had ordered pull down screens for both rooms, but they sent us an electric screen for the living room accidentally, I think. Not complaining, though. Lol
We received two remotes for the electric one in the living room. It's awesome! We mounted them to each of our sides of the couch & are never tired of watching it come down. It's like our own private movie theater in here!
To start, we needed the projector. We found the perfect fit on Amazon. The short throw BenQ projector is awesome!
Very clear and beautiful picture quality with decent audio. The features are all listed on the product page. You can check it all out there. In order to watch DirecTV for HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc., Amazon FireStick(unlocked to watch new and hard to find tv shows and movies),
and anything from our phones or laptops, we needed to connect them all. We found a 5 in 1 out HDMI hub that almost everything connects to. It is AWESOME!!
We stream from our phones using an Apple HDMI to lightning converter. Super cool.
We then thought about using the surround sound with the projector. In order to make that happen, we bought a digital optical to rca converter.
Now we enjoy even more immersive sound quality! Playing games and dvds on the PlayStation 4 is awesome, too!
The entertainment setup in the living room worked so well, we decided to replicate it for the bedroom. We bought a pico projector and pull down screen.
For better audio, we have our Bose sound bar and subwoofer.
In order to connect them to our pico projector, we bought a Bluetooth transmitter/receiver.
Works like a charm! Again, incredible picture quality and crystal clear sound quality!
We decided to come up with options in case we were ever in an area with terrible cellular service. For starters, we made a list of all the movies we enjoy and don't get tired of. We downloaded and copied all of them on an external hard drive.
10tb May have been a little overkill for movies, but we use it for work too. So it's ok. We hook the hard drive to a laptop via a long USB cable,
then to the projector via HDMI.
Our secondary solution was to buy(invest lol) in a Cradlepoint router for our wifi needs.
It pulls in a cellular signal and transmits a WiFi network. We chose the cradlepoint because the military and first responders use it. It is durable, compact and powerful with 2 SIM card slots for multiple carriers.
When/if our Cradlepoint can't pick up a decent cellular signal, we decided we would need a cellular booster. So we did our research and settled on the WeBoost Cellular booster.
This is an older model. They have a newer version, but this is the one we bought. It comes with the booster, a small indoor antenna, and an omnidirectional outside antenna. The outside antenna pulls in any cellular signal it can find, the booster boosts it up to 32x and broadcasts the signal in a 10' radius around the indoor antenna. This way, the Cradlepoint picks up that signal and provides a good strong WiFi signal.
Now for the cons and things/models/variations we wish we bought instead and why.....
Our BenQ projector... Like I said, surround sound was an afterthought. We have a converter and wires running in sight. It just doesn't look clean. So we are going to buy a Bluetooth transmitter dongle
and another Bluetooth receiver like we have in the bedroom. This should do the trick. We'll update and let you know how it goes. If anyone has a suggestion of better possible ways to do this, let us know!
The Amazon Firestick.... It's pretty basic and uses a lot of bandwidth as is. Unlocking it is fairly easy and gives access to a LOT of things to watch. Problem is, the new(er) movies are bootlegged and usually terrible quality, takes forever to load, usually has ads, and usually are in a foreign language with English subtitles. But there is a slew of modern to older movies and shows that are great quality. Still takes a long time to load, needs an impeccable WiFi signal, and eats a lot of data fast.
The Google Chromecast..... We hardly ever use it, honestly. Most of the streaming services on it are on our phones. No sense using our hotspot data for it when we can use our phones' unlimited data instead.
AppleTV...... This is a must have for sports fans who don't want to pay for sports packages through your satellite providers. We only use it to watch live sporting events like the Super Bowl and UFC events. We can watch the events on our phones, but we can't mirror to the projector due to app restrictions. Simply download the respective ESPN, Fox, or other app on the AppleTV and it streams live through the projector and on to the big screen. Other than that, we don't really use it. It's kind of clunky and the remote control is way too sensitive.
PlayStation 4..... We love our PlayStation. All I can say that's negative, is the only place we can put it gets hot. We have it in the cabinet above the couch, which is very close to the projector. It gets hot in there. We can run it during the day for about an hour and a half to two hours before getting the "PlayStation is too hot, please shut down until it cools off." message. But that's plenty of time to watch a movie and helps remind us of how long we've been playing the game and ignoring things we should probably be getting done. Lol