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Old 07-11-2019, 06:30 PM
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Cheapest/Easiest way to watch YouTube on a non-smart HDTV


Long story short going to a hotel for four days and want to watch YouTube on it instead of just local TV. My normal way of doing that involves ethernet cords and my laptop but apparently this hotel has no ethernet access just wifi and I don't have the room to bring my laptop this time.

Is there a cheap wireless HDMI dongle I could purchase that's plug and play?
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:38 PM
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You could use a Chromecast device, assuming the hotel TV has an HDMI port. But you'd still need something that can pull in YouTube from the internet. A smartphone would suffice.

Last edited by Tim R. Mortiss; 07-11-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:44 PM
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An Amazon Firestick has the apps loaded, no need for a casting device
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txjim View Post
An Amazon Firestick has the apps loaded, no need for a casting device
Well, it depends on the mood between Amazon and Google. A few days ago they kissed and made up. Countdown to the era of good feelings going away has already started.

(They were workarounds but sometimes Google would even mess with those.)
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:37 AM
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I'm not too familiar with it, but it looks like a Roku Express could work.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:31 AM
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FWIW, hotel wifi I've encountered requires you to connect to a web page for authentication before you get out onto the internet. I've never once had any luck getting a Roku-type device to connect in a hotel.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
FWIW, hotel wifi I've encountered requires you to connect to a web page for authentication before you get out onto the internet. I've never once had any luck getting a Roku-type device to connect in a hotel.
A Travel Router (link is just one example) takes care of that problem. I've used one in hotels for this very purpose.

An example from the HooToo web site:
Quote:
How to access the hotel Wi-Fi (which has a login or authentication page)?

Get the Wi-Fi user name and password of your room from hotel
Connect your phone with TripMate, login its web end 10.10.10.254
Go to setting -> internet -> wireless access -> scan -> select your hotel's Wi-Fi name (SSID), leave the password empty, save.
Open another page on your phone browser and you will see the hotel restrict page popping up. Now login with the username & password you asked from hotel.
Since your Tripmate's MAC address has been registered in hotel Wi-Fi system, other devices of you could access the network bridged by TripMate."
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:20 AM
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The cheapest Roku is $30, and you might find it cheaper on sale. It's as plug and play as you can get. You'll have to switch the TV to the right HDMI input, then sign into your accounts, and that's about it. I don't have experience with them, but Chromecast and Fire Stick probably work about the same.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:43 AM
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A fire stick or Roku stick will both have YouTube apps.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:43 AM
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If you have a smartphone all you need is an MHL cable. MHL cables come in two basic flavors: passive and powered. Passive is only for MHL-ready TVs, which many are. Powered will work on any TV with an HDMI port. Either will run you about $10-20.

If you have a relatively recent iPhone and the TV has a USB port, just a normal USB cable should work fine.
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:44 PM
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Roku is my recommendation.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
If you have a smartphone all you need is an MHL cable.
This is incredibly optimistic. MHL was only a weakly supported standard. A lot of TVs don't support it. And certainly a bunch of phones don't do it directly. E.g., iPhones and newer phones with USB-C connectors. Those require their own special adapter if they can do it at all.

Since it never really took off, support for it has been fading rather than growing.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:15 PM
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Where are you people going that sitting in a hotel room watching YouTube is the most exciting thing about the city you're in?

I do pack my Chromecast and Amazon Fire, but have never gotten them out. If I'm traveling with family, we're someplace fun, often with fun people.
Even if it's just me driving I'll sample local color or at least a bar or restaurant.

I got tired and pulled off the road at a hotel in the middle of Ohio... sounds boring, right? Well, the maid recommended a fish fry joint where the beer-battered walleye was great, the server hilarious... and the people at the next table kept trying to shock me with local gossip. And bought me the house special (all I know is it came in a tiki mug, with three umbrellas!, and was mostly dark rum and aperol).
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