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Old 10-06-2019, 06:34 PM   #1
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Ordering a new HM, what to do for internet & TV

Were about to order a new MH & were are on the fence on what to do for both internet and TV.

To add a Winegard automatic open face satellite dish and wiring for Dish Network, which we use in our S&B, it will cost $2300 and a WiFi Ranger SkyPro LTE Cellular router with install/wiring is $1300+/-. Now my questions are:

1. With cell technology advancements should I really even be considering a dish when we can stream? We use a Firestick now for NetFlix and Amazon Prime.

2. Should I forego the LTE Router and just use my phone or iPad as a hot spot?

3. What are the pros/cons of the above questions?

I dont see us doing a lot of Boondocking well probably spend most of our time at State/Nat Parks & popular CG. We will not be FT, just weekends and a few week or two trips in the summers.

So, if you were in our situation, what would you do?
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:20 PM   #2
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-We have an open face dish wired for both Dish TV and Direct TV and have never used it in two years of full timing.
Cons: It's less roof space, and a potential leak, more cost initially and on going with subscriptions, and one more thing to not work or not have satellite reception.
Pro: I guess you can get your live TV fix.

-We stream exclusively and have rarely been in a spot with no cell reception(but it can happen).
Pros: There is almost always enough cell coverage with Verizon to support a non buffered stream.
Having a ROKU, Prime and Hulu covers almost anything we want to watch including live TV.
Cons: Data cost money and it's not always available in some areas(we watch DVD's when that happens) or you may have a weak signal that will not allow streaming.

-I had a wifi ranger installed two years ago and I think we used it maybe 6 times until we started streaming, now we never use it. We used our phone for a short time as a hotspot until we constantly hit the data cap limit. We now have an unlimited plan(true unlimited "U")from Verizon and don't have a cap and almost never buffer.
Pro: If you don't have data and rely on broadcasted internet(campground or local shops offering free internet) the wifi ranger is helpful. It will also secure your public connection to protect you.
Cons: More holes in the roof for the antenna for leaks. I would pick up a lot of secure signals that didn't help me and if I found an open and free signal it was usually very weak and never enough to stream.

The $3600 for the dish option and wifi ranger install would give me 4+ years of unlimited streaming. And that's full timing! You mentioned you will only be part time so consider that.

We didn't order our RV, the dealer ordered it with a dish. If I ordered one I would not put a dish or a wifi ranger on it. The dish is argued by salesman to give better resale but then dealers never consider options to add value to a trade anyway.

We are extremely happy with using a MIFI jetpack to stream unlimited data continuously for $70 a month and have yet to buffer or have a signal issue. We have not felt like we are lacking in any connectivity with this method.

Everyone has different needs when traveling so it ultimately comes down to how often you think you would need those things, and much you're willing to pay for them.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidMichHunte View Post
Were about to order a new MH & were are on the fence on what to do for both internet and TV.

To add a Winegard automatic open face satellite dish and wiring for Dish Network, which we use in our S&B, it will cost $2300 and a WiFi Ranger SkyPro LTE Cellular router with install/wiring is $1300+/-. Now my questions are:

1. With cell technology advancements should I really even be considering a dish when we can stream? We use a Firestick now for NetFlix and Amazon Prime.

2. Should I forego the LTE Router and just use my phone or iPad as a hot spot?

3. What are the pros/cons of the above questions?
We have an automatic Winegard Trav'ler which we have used for the past ~9 years for DirecTV. We just discontinued DirecTV and have switched to streaming exclusively. We've decided that YouTubeTV best meets our needs but there are others to consider, also.

I can't imagine anyone spending >$2k to buy a Trav'ler in today's environment. There are truly unlimited cellular options available. We happen to have an AT&t hotspot through OTR Mobile and an unlimited prepaid Verizon hotspot. The Verizon hotspot is no longer available but the OTR Mobile is. Not everyone is going to need or want the full redundancy of having both hotspots.

Yes, there still are places in the US that don't have good enough cell service for streaming. But they are becoming fewer and smaller each year. Furthermore, there are plenty of places where we camped where we couldn't get satellite reception because of trees. No solution is perfect!

Joel (AKA docj)
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:11 AM   #4
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Thx, I feel that same as both of you, the $2.3k for a Dish doesn't seem worth it in the long run. I figured I'd hear that, now I just need to figure out what Cell set up to go with to maximize streaming. Newmar uses WiFi Ranger, but won't have the new Converge system on 2020s, so I'm kinda stuck in between getting the current WFR set up, using my phone as a hot spot or having the MH Spec'd for a system and set one up myself, which I'm not a fan of because I know nothing about Cellular/WiFi systems...
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:46 AM   #5
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You can get a Dishnetwork dome antenna that works anywhere in the country automatically for $299.

Where we go straming isn't always possible, espeially when the towers are loaded with the number of users gathering in the same area.

We have used DirectTV for 13 years and Dishnetwork before that. We dropped DirecTV in May and will use Dishnetworks month to month plan when straming isn't possible. We have a Winegard Carryout R2 which is too old to use with Dishnetwork, so will be getting a Dishnetwork dome.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:42 PM   #6
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Mifi and cell booster is all you need for streaming and internet. Obviously you need a data plan, but those are available.

Some people may poo-poo the cell booster idea, that’s because they look at bars for signal increase, but bars mean nothing, dbm signal strength is what counts and a booster can make all the difference in the world if you’re in an area with marginal signal.

A little bit of redundancy is required, we have both AT&T and Verizon in case service on one or the other is really bad, which does happen. But having both providers I have never been without streaming capabilities.

Just know that any hotspot/mifi, cell booster etc, will do nothing if you’re in an area with no signal. These devices pick up and magnify an existing signal, they don’t create one.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:56 PM   #7
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Thx, I feel that same as both of you, the $2.3k for a Dish doesn't seem worth it in the long run. I figured I'd hear that, now I just need to figure out what Cell set up to go with to maximize streaming. Newmar uses WiFi Ranger, but won't have the new Converge system on 2020s, so I'm kinda stuck in between getting the current WFR set up, using my phone as a hot spot or having the MH Spec'd for a system and set one up myself, which I'm not a fan of because I know nothing about Cellular/WiFi systems...
In reality, the existing WiFiRanger product line can do anything that Converge will be able to do--the underlying software is the same. Converge provides a clean, integrated solution (and lower prices) but the underlying capabilities are the same. I suggest that the simplest solution would be to get a rooftop WifRanger SkyPro with an indoor Core (or GoAC) router. You can tether a hotspot to the indoor router and the Ranger, itself, will connect you to available WiFi systems.

If you have specific questions, feel free to PM me to ask them.

Joel (AKA docj)
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:54 PM   #8
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At the very least - see if you can get it pre-wired for Winegard dish - then if you want to add it later - the hard part is done. Depending on where you stay and time of year - streaming can be questionable between 4 and 8 pm without buffering - example some spots in tucson az Feb and March - I know first hand

We stream a lot of shows while traveling likely 50 to 75% of the time we stream, but have used Sat Disk 100% in some locations because streaming was just un-watchable.

Just depends on what you are willing to live without.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:21 PM   #9
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At the very least - see if you can get it pre-wired for Winegard dish - then if you want to add it later - the hard part is done. Depending on where you stay and time of year - streaming can be questionable between 4 and 8 pm without buffering - example some spots in tucson az Feb and March - I know first hand

We stream a lot of shows while traveling likely 50 to 75% of the time we stream, but have used Sat Disk 100% in some locations because streaming was just un-watchable.
.
With all due respect, I think you are grossly over-generalizing about streaming at those locations. I don't doubt that you had "buffering" problems but that is highly dependent on what carrier you are using AND what specific cellular plan you have.

These days buffering problems are less likely to be actual network issues and far more likely to be due to what specific plan you have and whether or not its being "network managed." If I want to make sure I'm virtually never buffered, I can use the 15GB/mo each of our postpaid Verizon phones has a hotspot. Below that, my prepaid unlimited Verizon hotspot does suffer occasional network management, but my AT&T hotspot through OTR is supposed to not have that issue.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:35 PM   #10
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With all due respect, I think you are grossly over-generalizing about streaming at those locations. I don't doubt that you had "buffering" problems but that is highly dependent on what carrier you are using AND what specific cellular plan you have.

These days buffering problems are less likely to be actual network issues and far more likely to be due to what specific plan you have and whether or not its being "network managed." If I want to make sure I'm virtually never buffered, I can use the 15GB/mo each of our postpaid Verizon phones has a hotspot. Below that, my prepaid unlimited Verizon hotspot does suffer occasional network management, but my AT&T hotspot through OTR is supposed to not have that issue.
Don't get me wrong - streaming is really nice, but when I have issues stream it's not be a network issue, because when I'm testing uploads speed are just below normal and downloads are between .2 and .7 meg on pre hotspots meaning the towers are overloaded "First thing I do once we get set up is check and keep an eye on the internet speeds". But I'm always able to switch to the grandfathered hotspot or T-Mobile which can still buffer at times but not like the pre-paid. A lot of people do not have that option or how many are going to carry 2 or 3 different hotspots.

Just once you remove SAT and only have streaming and rabbit ears you will likely need several different ways to connect is what it comes down to if you travel far and wide like we do. If your just traveling between two or three spots, If it works in those locations then you should be golden.

Yes, I still have Direct TV going on 20+ years.

Happy Trails -
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:35 PM   #11
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Good info from everyone.

Howdy,

My name is Les and I just bought a new Itasca Spirit 31K. Looking for a solution. Lots to learn. I had a Itasca 42db for four years, had to sell it. The wife got sick and no more traveling for her.
I am going to travel by myself. All of this info is new to me.
Thanks for the info from everyone.

Les
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:21 AM   #12
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We have an automatic Winegard Trav'ler which we have used for the past ~9 years for DirecTV. We just discontinued DirecTV and have switched to streaming exclusively. We've decided that YouTubeTV best meets our needs but there are others to consider, also.

I can't imagine anyone spending >$2k to buy a Trav'ler in today's environment. There are truly unlimited cellular options available. We happen to have an AT&t hotspot through OTR Mobile and an unlimited prepaid Verizon hotspot. The Verizon hotspot is no longer available but the OTR Mobile is. Not everyone is going to need or want the full redundancy of having both hotspots.

Yes, there still are places in the US that don't have good enough cell service for streaming. But they are becoming fewer and smaller each year. Furthermore, there are plenty of places where we camped where we couldn't get satellite reception because of trees. No solution is perfect!

Joel (AKA docj)
I think additional considerations are how tech savy/patient you are, how much time you want to spend on this and how much TV you want to watch. We full time and have DISH, (sometimes struggle to get Satellite 129, which has many of the HD channels we watch), have a hot spot with OTR. Recently no Sat 129 for HD, trying to watch some post season baseball in HD so used Roku and the TBS app but had to sign into TBS app with our DISH account. Often we can switch to OTA and watch sports in HD but not always. DW is a bigger sports fan than I and sometimes I tire of going through the different options to bring these shows in and would rather just read a book. If I were buying today, I'd have a Trav'ler installed with Dish, maybe just because this is most similar to what we had at home and DW knows how to use this. I probably could do more with my set up to make it easier to use but just don't currently have it in me...
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:31 AM   #13
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I think additional considerations are how tech savy/patient you are, how much time you want to spend on this and how much TV you want to watch. We full time and have DISH, (sometimes struggle to get Satellite 129, which has many of the HD channels we watch), have a hot spot with OTR. Recently no Sat 129 for HD, trying to watch some post season baseball in HD so used Roku and the TBS app but had to sign into TBS app with our DISH account.
With all due respect you don't have to be particularly "tech savvy" in order to use streaming, you simply have to be willing to learn how to use it.

The reason you had to sign into TBS using your Dish account was that you were using Dish to "validate" that you had a right to view TBS. You wouldn't be doing this if you had a subscription to a streaming service such as YouTube TV.

All we do to select a channel is go to the Roku and select YouTube TV. If I click on Live programming I get a channel guide like all of those you are used to on cable and/or satellite TV. In fact, I prefer the YouTube TV guide to any of those because I can limit it to only display channels we watch and I can arrange those in any order that suits me. All I need to do watch a channel is click on it. If it happens to be a show that I'm recording it will prompt me to choose between watching it from the beginning or watching it live.

My spouse is not a particularly tech savvy person and she has had no problem switching to YouTube TV from DirecTV. We're both in our 70's; it's not your age that matters but your willingness to learn about and use new things. JMO

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