How do I play digital downloads on my phone or tablet?

Did you know there are now more smartphones and tablets in the US than there are televisions? If you’re trying to come up with a cool way to incorporate decorations into a small space, creating a display with a phone or tablet opens up lots of creative options, especially if you have some older devices sitting around gathering dust.

The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination! Try putting a frame around your tablet screen to create a truly engaging UnLiving Portraits display. Or, hide your device behind some dark, sheer curtains to disguise it until a Ghostly Apparition pops up for a surprise. You can even create your own props, like this cool gravestone built by digital decorator Michael Hehir:

Lots of decorators want to know, is decorating with a phone or tablet just as easy as using a projector? And, how do you get started? The first step is to get the decorations onto your device, and there are two options for doing this:

  • Transferring digital downloads from your computer
  • Downloading decorations directly to your device

Transferring Digital Downloads to Your Device

AtmosFX always recommends downloading and unzipping your decorations computer before transferring them to a phone or tablet. It’s far easier to download on a computer, and it’s very helpful to have a central backup of your files.

After you’ve gone through the easy download process, you can transfer the video files using whatever method you usually use to sync files to your device. The software and method you use to transfer your files will vary from device to device, so you may want to seek help from your device manufacturer if you’re not sure what works best for you.

Once you’re ready to transfer, be sure to use only the .MP4 format video files in your download. Do not transfer the compressed .ZIP files that contain your decorations after the initial download. Since storage may be limited on your device, you may only want to transfer the decorations you intend to play, instead of an entire collection or your entire library of decorations.

Downloading Decorations to Your Device

What if you don’t have a computer at home to download your files? Lots of folks today may only have phones or tablets available. In this case, there are some limitations but it is possible with some extra steps. To learn more about how to do this, check out this article:

Can I use my phone or tablet to access digital downloads?

Playing Digital Downloads

Once you have your decorations loaded onto your phone or tablet, you’ll need a video player app. For the best digital decorating experience, you’ll need an app that can do the following things:

  • play .mp4 files
  • play files in full screen without controls or titles visible
  • “loop” or “repeat” mode so decorations can play continuously

Your phone may already have an app that meets all of these needs, and there may be some features that can be turned off or on in your settings menus to get things just right. If you are looking for an app, you might try VLC which is a very popular free video player that works on most platforms.

Using Your Phone or Tablet as a Media Player

Some decorators use their mobile device as a media player to send video to a TV or a projector. If your TV or projector can’t play digital decorations natively, this can be a very convenient option.

How you connect to your devices all depends on what type of mobile device you own. There is more than likely an adapter cable which will connect your phone to an HDMI port for TVs and projectors. You might want to visit your local electronics retailer and ask them to help you find the right cable for your particular mobile device. You can also try searching online for HDMI adapters that fit your specific model of phone.

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