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iPad/Goflex Satellite rear DVD alternative

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Rocketfan, July 19, 2011.

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    1. Rocketfan

      Rocketfan Active Member

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      When ordering my Ex, I would have got the $1600 rear dvd/ headrest option but for the fact that it is basically an expensive aftermarket system that is not integrated with the MFT. I finally got around to aftermarket solutions and bought the Goflex Satellite to go with an existing iPad.

      The Goflex Satellite is a 500 gig Seagate hard drive with a battery (4 hours on a charge), car charger, and wifi that can stream movies, pictures and music to up to 3 simultaneous devices (iOS, Android, Windows). My son, daughter and I all recently streamed 3 different movies from the Goflex during a trip at the same time. It worked great and I didn't have to worry about MFT bugs (luckily few for me) the whole trip.

      As many have noted, iPads are not the ideal solution because of the time in converting DVDs to .m4v. However, I have a HTPC (home theater PC) and have already converted my DVD library to store on the hard drive (fair use).

      Now I have about 200 movies available in car to stream to basically any wifi capable device.

      Cost comparison: Ford $1600 v. $800 for 1 iPad, 1300 for 2 iPads ($499 for iPad ($1000 for 2 that do much more), $199 for Goflex Satellite, $0-69 (software for DVD fair use), $0 software to convert DVD to .m4v., $50 for mounts. So getting 2 iPads ends up only being marginally cheaper but if you already have an iPad or are happy using other devices you may already have (netbook/ android/ laptop), it ends up being a lot cheaper. Plus, this solution is portable and works for all your cars. For me, the cost was just $199 for the GoFlex because I have the software and an iPad, iPhones and an old netbook.

      Again, it is not for everyone as unless you already converted a lot of DVDs, it is time consuming and daunting to start converting the video. Also, since the Goflex Satellite is new, it has a few issues (transferring files from Macs isn't that great (I use Windows and transferring files was quick and drag and drop easy), the picture and music interface is pretty horrible right now (movie streaming is good) and you can't use your data connection/ the internet when streaming from the Goflex). However, I am very happy that Ford's DVD implementation made me to look for alternatives because this one has been pretty perfect (for me).
       
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    3. 1sttimeford

      1sttimeford New Member

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      What is your opinion of the GoFlex Satellite 500? I was interested in doing the same setup but the reviews on Amazon for the GoFlex were initially promising... then went down hill fast.

      Kingston has a similar product called the "Wi-Drive", that has 2 advantages over the GoFlex. The Wi-Drive is a more durable solid state drive (SSD) and allows wi-fi pass thru (you dont lose internet connectivity when connected to the drive). And there are 2 huge negatives for the Wi-Drive, capacity (16G or 32G only) and price (at least twice the price of the GoFlex).
       
      Last edited: July 19, 2011
    4. JDJones

      JDJones Member

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      Thanks for posting this idea and some of the tech details. I too decided against Ford $1,600 option, and have given serious thought to a pad solution. A couple of follow up questions please.

      - Have you given thought to internet browsing with your iPad?
      - Is it possible to play the same movie on multiple devices? or is this solution a movie to one device solution?

      I know someone will give thought to our built in hotspot. I like your simple solution, plug in - connect and start the movies. Having said that, it would be a good engineering activity to take this idea and enhance it with our wifi/hot spot.

      Thanks again for post the solution.
       
    5. GregV8

      GregV8 Active Member

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      This is a good post!
      I have a Verizon 4G LTE modem and have been getting pretty solid 7-10 MBps downloads in the New York metro area at highway speeds. That's faster than most people have at home.
      So with LTE you could all be streaming Netflix at the same time :)

      But seriously, I like your idea of using GoFlex.
       
    6. 1sttimeford

      1sttimeford New Member

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      The GoFlex supports 3 simultaneous independent connections. You can have 3 devices playing the same movie, or 3 devices playing 3 different movies, or 1 device playing a movie, 1 device playing music, and 1 device browsing photos.
       
    7. 1sttimeford

      1sttimeford New Member

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      The disadvantage of having the LTE modem and the GoFlex is that you can only be connected to 1 hotspot at a time from the iPad. You either connect to the LTE modem and have internet or connect to the GoFlex for your movies and lose internet connectivity.

      That is the advantage I mentioned earlier to the Kingston Wi-Drive. The way it works is that you connect the Wi-Drive wirelessly to the LTE modem's hotspot and then connect the iPad to the Wi-Drives hotspot. The Wi-Drive allows the LTE's internet connectivity to flow thru to the iPad. With the Wi-Drive you can stream your movies off the drive all the while remaining connected to the internet. I really hope they add this feature to the GoFlex soon.
       
    8. Rocketfan

      Rocketfan Active Member

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      I read somewhere that allowing internet while connected to the Goflex Satellite was coming via a firmware update (but who knows when: sound familiar?).

      There are a ton of similar products coming and if I was a little more patient, I would have waited (early adopter syndrome) for the Hitachi G-Connect (should come out by the end of the summer) which is basically the same as the Goflex Satellite but with 5 simultaneous streams and without sacrificing your internet access. Plus, you get the bonus of being able to connect to a wired connection (hotel port or your father-in-law's wired router) and turning the Hitachi into a wifi internet access point for all of your devices (well 5 of them anyway). If this is as good as advertised, I will give my Goflex to my dad (where most of my early adopter stuff ends up anyway), and get the Hitachi.

      I looked at the Kingston but was really looking for something to load 150+ movies (ideally, will mirror my HTIB) to avoid the constant work of deleting and copying new movies. I copied 40 movies onto the drive the first night I got it (averaged about 2-3 minutes per movie/ movies about 1.2-3 gigs because of length and gradual updating of the way I converted DVDs over the years) and I only stopped so I could start testing the streaming.

      Another interesting option is the Maxell Airstash, which is a USB SD card reader that has a battery and wifi. While this looks really cool (and will hopefully be cheaper), I was not as interested in this for the same reason as I was not as interested in the Kingston.

      I also read the bad reviews on Amazon but most seemed to relate to transferring files from a Mac (I bought mine from a brick and mortar just in case I needed to return it). Also, it is not easy to find the documentation (another peril of being an early adopter), but once you find it and follow the instructions (I thought mine did not work until I read that the device will not stream content while connected to the computer), for a PC user, it should work great. The 1st generation interface is not so great for pictures and music (hopefully, this will improve with an update too) but if what you want is a movie streamer, it works great (so far).
       

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