When we are out and about our evenings are often spent chilling with a beer, g+t, wine etc listening to music and taking in the surroundings/view. During the winter months, when the nights have drawn in we will often settle in and watch a movie- Keith is a huge film fan, so one of his must have gadgets is something to watch films on.
Until only last month, our preferred set up for film nights was 20″ Ultra Slim LED Digital Freeview USB Record TV DVD. Caravan HGV Boat. 12 / 24 VOLT DC 12V + 240 along with Betron Bluetooth Pop Up Portable Mini Travel II Capsule Rechargeable 40mm Speaker For iPhone, iPod, iPad, Samsung, Nokia and MP3 Players for music on the move.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with this set up- we were very happy with the tv system, it plugged in to our 12v plug and we could watch films and tv when “wild camping” and away from electric hook up. The tv itself gave a great picture; the inbuilt DVD player made taking films with us easy; we could play CDs through the TV; we could pick up free view through our arial point whilst on 12v; it was light and easy to store; we could watch tv for a good 6-8 hrs whilst running other 12v appliances (lights, water pump etc) no problem at all- it ticked all our boxes and we were very happy with it.
The portable speaker was also a great item- it’s tiny; we could plug it into our phone or ipad and play music at a level that won’t intrude on anyone else’s peace and quiet; our music sounding good on it; it had a fab battery life; it was rechargeable through the 12v; it was ideal for motorhome travel, where we wanted music just slightly louder than what we could achieve through the inbuilt speakers.
So why look for something new?!
Well, we enjoyed a good 4 years using the above set up, but as we all know- technology moves fast, and we wanted an alternative option- less cables and less things to carry ultimately. Also, Keith’s DVD wallet was becoming as big as the TV itself, so finding something where we didn’t need to carry 100s of films with us would be good!
Since getting our 12v TV four years ago, we joined Sky TV at home, and one of the perks (for an extra fiver a month) was Sky Go. This, along with Keith’s Ipad mini Apple 7.9-Inch iPad Mini Retina (Space Grey) – (ARM 1.3 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB Storage, Wi-Fi, iOS 7.0.4) meant that we could download before we go episodes of series we may be watching, films etc ready to view offline on the road, with no need to carry the DVDs in the van.
Now (2015/2016) we are no longer with Sky, however the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 have all caught up and we download episodes on their iPad Apps.
As Bluetooth seems to be the new mode of connecting things – yay, no wires! – we were on the hunt for a new set of speakers that we could connect via Bluetooth. After extensive searching and researching Keith found Sumvision Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Psyc Mako Bluetooth Speaker Stand with Built in Microphone for Smartphone Tablet which have been beyond marvellous! For a very reasonable £15 they are dinky, create a fantastic sound, and best of all, we can slot our ipad in the top so it’s like a mini tv. Nothing I write can emphasise how good the sound actually is- it’s truly awesome, and look how cool it looks with the iPad sat on top! The battery life is wonderful. During our week away we only charged once, and this was because we could, not because we needed to! When it comes to charging,you can charge the speakers via 12v or mains. Perfect.
We will still carry the tv when touring the UK, in case we want to catch anything live on the tele, but we can finally banish the expanding DVD wallet to the loft!! Hurrah!