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How to Watch Movies on iPad in the Car

A user Frank sent us a question below.

I am wanting to attach my ipad in the car for my daughter to watch movies in the back seat whilst we drove. Any way to do this?

Yeah, for kids, or restless adults, who are destined to be trapped in a car for a long ride, you know playing movies on iPad are the answer to keeping everyone happy. Here are the solutions.


Watch online movies to iPad in the car

You probably already know you can steam online video such as Netflix on your iPad. Simply connect to the internet and activate your Netflix account and you can watch streaming movies and TV shows anytime. Netflix will be portable and useful for those not wanting to carry 100s of movies around in their cars or trucks.

Watch DVD movies to iPad in the car

You can hack together a solution to wirelessly stream DVD movies from within your vehicle to your iPad and leave more cash in your wallet for snacks and gas. This solution below is really easy if you have a spare wireless router and compact USB drive laying around.

Here are the components you need:

  1. A sturdy mount to hold the iPad.
  2. A wireless router with USB port for external hard drive.
  3. A DC inverter to power the wireless router and serve as a USB charger for your iPad, etc. as needed.
  4. A compact USB drive (at least 500 gb; more space = more movies)
  5. Depending on your vehicle and speaker preferences…
    • An audio cable long enough to run from the iPad to the audio input jack on your stereo;
    • Headphones with a splitter and audio extension cable if needed; or
    • A rechargeable external speaker, bluetooth or wired.

All of these items can be purchased from Amazon if needed:

Here is how to set it all up:

  1. Rip movies to the USB drive using the best DVD to iPad converters like Aimersoft DVD Ripper (chose the iPad export preset)
  2. Install the mount
  3. Insert the iPad in the mount and connect your audio solution
  4. Plug the DC inverter into a spare cigarette lighter adapter
  5. Plug the wireless router into the DC inverter
  6. Plug the USB drive into the wireless router
  7. Connect the iPad to the wireless network
  8. Use an app like FileBrowser on your iPad to access and play movies from the USB drive