Saturday, June 16, 2012

Apple TV and iPad AirPlay without router?

Well I am sitting here on holiday in Devon for two weeks, the rain is chucking it down outside the window (don't believe the photo, that was taken last year when the weather was glorious), the ducks are having a whale of a time, but I am resigned to either finding somewhere to go that it inside (almost impossible), shopping with the misses, or catching up on my films - the films win!

I have downloaded about a dozen films to my iPad plus a number of books, so I have enough entertainment you could say, but not for long term use, plus Lynne would like to watch the films with me, she has brought her knitting....

I know thinking to myself, I will go into Exeter and buy another Apple TV, we have a TV in the lodge with HDMI inputs, perfect idea, plus I can re-use the Apple TV when I get home for the bedroom. So off to Exeter we go to the Apple store and purchase a shiny new Apple TV.

This is when my problems started...

Of course the Apple TV has a network port and is WiFi enabled, what I did not have was a network in the Lodge where we were staying, the light worked during the day, gravity was there, we had electric, but no WiFi. Both Lynne and I were using 3G cards in our devices to connect to the Internet (GPRS only) but this was no good for connecting the Apple TV up. Then I had an epiphany, I could use Lynne's Windows7 laptop as a WiFi hotspot/router. A quick trawl of Google gave me the information on how to set it up, instructions below...

Users can activate the device and Wi-Fi hotspot through command line scripts (please run all Command Prompts with Administrative permissions) Start > Run > Cmd > (right click on Cmd.exe and choose run as adiminstrator)
a) Set the parameters for your Wi-Fi hotspot (first choose a name for your Wi-Fi hotspot and a password key)
run : netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=passwordhere(where ssid = your Wi-Fi hotspot name, and key = your password key) (password key needs to be at least 8 characters)
b) Start the network adapter
run : netsh wlan start hostednetwork
c) Share the connection
- Open Network and Sharing Center, right click on "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter",
- Go to Properties --> Sharing,
- Select 'Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection',
- Click 'Select a private network connection' and select your active internet connection,
- Click OK and close all tabs.
d) Disabling the Wi-Fi Hotspot
run : netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

This created a WiFi network that I could connect Lynne's iPod touch to, but the iPad and the Apple TV would not connect, they could see it but would not connect, (I have a feeling that they expected to see the Internet and they couldn't).

I then manually configured the IP settings on all three devices, so that they used the same IP range, with a subnet mask of and the laptop's IP address as the default gateway.

Low and behold, the iPad and Apple TV both connected straight away, and the iPad could AirPlay my films to the Apple TV, perfect.

So what if it is raining outside, I now have my cinema set up, armchair in front of the telly, beer by my side, pop corn the otherside, bliss...

Happy holibobs!