Cast to TV Without WiFi

I feel like with all of the modern technology we have, this should be a solvable problem. I consider myself pretty tech savvy and I haven’t been able to solve it.

We sometimes take our RV out to “boondock”, that is go to a site without hookups. Sometimes, we’d like to relax and watch TV in the evening. We have a TV that we bring, and it’s not a problem to download videos from streaming services (Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc) to our phones for offline viewing. The problem is I can’t get the videos from my phone to the TV.

I have several Chromecasts, and you’d think with guest WiFi on the Chromecast this would be simple: connect to the Chromecast guest WiFi and cast away. I can’t get that to work. I’ve tried using one phone as a WiFi hotspot and connect everything to the ad-hoc network create by that phone, but without an actual internet connection that doesn’t work (and it’s really a huge pain to try to set up.) I bought a USB-C to HDMI cable, but it turns out my phone doesn’t support screen mirroring that way. I suppose a last resort would be to find pirated copies of the shows we want to watch, download those to a USB stick and watch them with the TV’s media player. It just seems dumb that there’s no solution to this. All the pieces are there, but they won’t connect.

Any advice?

Does the TV support Miracast screen mirroring? That’s a direct wifi connection between TV and device and that should work without external internet, I would think. Chromecasts, AFAIK, are not set up to do that.

My Roku TV does Miracast and I’ve really wanted to do this with my PC but it only works over direct wifi and my PC isn’t wifi enabled. (It should make it possible to watch Hulu and Youtube on my TV with my PC’s adblocking in place, or at least that’s my hope.)

I know from using Zwift that many people use some type of wired connection to connect their Zwift app (bicycling app) to their tv. You can always do more searching from this angle if you need to.

Nope it’s an older TV. No Miracast. But I do have a Roku device that might support it… I’ll investigate.

I’m Android. I suspect this would actually be trivial if I was using an iDevice.

I found this maybe it will help or at least point out a direction.

Have you considered getting a new TV? :P

(I’m mostly kidding, but there are some really nice moderately sized TVs in the $300 range these days. I’m very happy with my TCL Series 5 (2019) 43". 2020’s Series 5 dropped that size, unfortunately.)

Lol, that’s a solution. This is just the RV-sided one. We have 3 other TVs :P

I’d definitely check out Miracasting via Roku first, but heck, for one you only use in the RV, you could probably find a decent small TV for <$200. Possibly a lot less.

Could you plug in an old router in the RV and use that enable a network for Chromecast from the phone? Or pick up an old Apple TV and use that to AirPlay to the TV.

I think the problem is with Chromecast you are typically still just passing a URL to the device and the Chromecast tries to play from the internet. You’re not streaming from a file on the phone.

You could maybe install a DLNA server on the phone, use it as a wifi hotspot and use the Roku Media player to connect to the phone’s DLNA server if Miracast is a no go…

I was wondering if that was how Chromecast did things. Kinda hate those with a passion, I have one in a closet somewhere. Too reliant on the phone.

So if you got an old used router, and an old used previous-generation Apple TV, you could use AirPlay to play the videos downloaded on your phone/tablet to the TV, if you’re using Apple phones/tablets. If you’re on Android, then I think an old router and a Miracast dongle would do the same thing, but I’m not fully up on Android stuff.