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Orion Turns a USB-C iPad into a Portable HDMI Monitor

Sebastiaan de With of Lux Entertainment and Optics Incorporated writes:

Orion is a small, fun app that helps you use your iPad as an external HDMI display for any camera, video game console, or even VHS. Just plug in one of the bajillion inexpensive adapters, and Orion handles the rest.

What a lovely—and amusingly retro—hack! You could use Orion as an external monitor to preview camera video and still output, extend the desktop of any Mac or PC, or play with old consumer electronic devices with HDMI output.

It requires an iPad with USB-C, iPadOS 17, and a USB-C to HDMI “capture card.” Lux recommends a particular $14.99 dongle and maintains a compatibility document listing others that work and don’t work (including some from well-known names).

Orion is free, but if you want to support the app, there’s a one-time $5 upgrade to Orion Pro that offers AI upscaling, CRT emulation for retro games, and image adjustments, plus any future features the developers feel like adding.

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Comments About Orion Turns a USB-C iPad into a Portable HDMI Monitor

Notable Replies

  1. They made an effort to make it look very analog, even including the bad cable connections resulting in signal drops. Bit silly is not being able to save frames directly to the main photo library.

  2. would this work to display an apple tv on an iPad?

  3. Why would you need to do that instead of using the Apple TV app?

  4. Ray

    The only reason I would think is if you have a good Ethernet feed and a poor WiFi. I would guess most channels (can we call them that?) would gave an iOS app.

  5. For one very specific reason.
    The football (soccer) tv rights are held by Sky and often their matches are on a bonus stream. I can only access the bonus stream on the Apple TV app it’s not available on the iPad app or iOS app.
    A lot of the time the evening matches clash with what the lady of the house wants to watch and I’d like to watch them on my iPad.

  6. Apple has been slowly and carefully, but very aggressively, moving forward with major sports leagues streaming rights across the globe. Major League Soccer is one of the biggest and rapidly growing partnerships Apple has created:

    “Within the constraints of those traditions, Apple is still finding ways to improve the broadcasting experience. MLS reeled in Lionel Messi with a contract rewarding new MLS Season Pass subscriptions. This unprecedented move is already [paying dividends for the broadcaster]

    (Messi helps MLS Season Pass achieve viewership record - World Soccer Talk).”

    “There’s no question that we looked a lot smarter the day that Messi decided to come to MLS,” Cue said, acknowledging Messi’s value.”

    And now that Rupert Murdoch has passed his baton to his eldest sun, MLS and other streaming sports rights could change sooner rather than later.

    Though the chances are slim, it could end up like “King Lear.”

  7. This is in the UK and Apple would have to spend some serious money (a couple of billion) to prize the rights away from Sky.

  8. Apple’s got the money and the guns; let’s see if they decide to spend the numbers. They have been very slowly but steadily moving forward in sports broadcasting. Here’s what they’ve been up to with MLS lately:

    And the Murdochs are still struggling to deal with the punishing lawsuit they lost to Dominion re: US voting machines and the last US presidential election results. They are still struggling with this, and big revenue bucks & reputation are on the line.

  9. Let’s stick to discussion of Orion, not football/soccer.

  10. Moving on back, I bought the recommended dongle - it reduced in price on Amazon UK.

    Tried Orion with a PS5 and worked really well, including the TV app I need :slight_smile:

    Have yet to try it with the Apple TV.

  11. And in a further update it works really well with the apple tv and a 3m (~10ft) HDMI cable, will definitely
    be giving them my money :slight_smile:

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