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Old 04-24-2021, 12:26 PM   #1
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Streaming 101

I hear all the time about folks dumping their satellite service and going entirely to streaming. I know almost nothing about streaming!

We have Dish Network in our home and MH. We recently subscribed to Discovery + to get a few programs that are no longer on regular satellite service. I bought a ROKU unit to plug into one of the USB ports on the TV to stream the service.

Please explain to me how anyone uses streaming for ALL their TV service. Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:29 PM   #2
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I have Directv at home and in the RV. We also stream frequently at home to watch various shows on Amazon, Netflix, etc. I can't see ever going 100% streaming thru something like YouTube TV. I tried that as well as Hulu Plus. They are very clunky.

Streaming is a pain in the rear. You can't change channels very fast, you have to change apps all the time to get to the show you want to watch. Plus it is no longer cheaper as all these different companies now set up their own channel for you to pay for. And of course for now you have the data issue. Until Starlink allows mobile the data will always be an issue.
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Old 04-24-2021, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I hear all the time about folks dumping their satellite service and going entirely to streaming. I know almost nothing about streaming!

We have Dish Network in our home and MH. We recently subscribed to Discovery + to get a few programs that are no longer on regular satellite service. I bought a ROKU unit to plug into one of the USB ports on the TV to stream the service.

Please explain to me how anyone uses streaming for ALL their TV service. Thanks in advance!
First off, streaming is going to require a lot of available data. We have a Roku at home (Comcast Business Internet connection, so no issues there) and we also have a Roku in our Toy Hauler. For the trailer, we have Verizon cellular service via an 8800L Jetpack with unlimited data and Zero Throttling of the service. I've had that since sometime in 2019 and under that plan, it is truly unlimited. That particular plan was stopped after about six months, but anyone that had it was grandfathered in....as long as you kept paying you bill every month....and I did...and I do.

There are many, many different companies that can sell you unlimited service, and the prices vary greatly from plan to plan. Depending on how much you intend to use, make sure that you buy enough data in the plan and they do not throttle it back. Usually, throttled data will drop the throughput back to around 600 kb, and that is simply not enough to successfully stream movies/TV/or just about anything you want to watch. If you buy a plan that doesn't have enough data included...or unlimited, the cost per gig of "extra" data is usually quite high, so just make sure you get enough for what your usage will be. Of course if I am in an area that does not receive a good throughput of the Verizon service, then my streaming suffers and the movie or whatever I'm watching will buffer (the little arrow that goes round and round until you give up).
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Old 04-24-2021, 02:30 PM   #4
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Another point of view...

If you already own satellite gear and are combing with a satellite plan at home then that's a plus for satellite, but if not then it can be a significant initial expense. If you don't want the hassle of manual setup/knockdown at every stop there is always a Trav'ler, which works great... at well over $2k installed. Also consider that with the advent of inexpensive cellular data plans (or services such as Starlink) and more and more streaming programming options we are seeing a lot of pressure on satellite TV subscriptions, and many consider satellite to be slowly on the way out (although due to the inertia in the subscriber base it will probably be around for a while.) The entry cost for a cellular modem OTOH is very low, nor do you have to make an irrevocable choice of service provider when you buy the equipment as you do with satellite (and no concerns about western arc, eastern arc, trees, etc.)

Most everybody is already paying for a cellular plan so an upgrade to support streaming is usually at a modest cost, it additional at all. For example the T-Mobile Magenta Max 55+ offers unlimited and unthrottled (regardless of usage level) data service, up to 4K HD video, and 40 GB of hostspot (easy to bypass to make that unlimited as well, refer to one of the many threads on the subject.) The cost for two lines includes free HD Netflix so back that out and you're under $40/line for unlimited, premium priority data with full HD video. You're probably paying that much already so really no additional cost (and please, I'm not trying to trigger an avalanche of everyone commenting on their personal opinion of one cellular provider or another, just providing an example where true unlimited isn't difficult or expensive to achieve.)

Regarding cellular signal availability, there is always the potential of not having a signal but in the real world this is a fairly unusual occurrence for most people these days. Frankly when I used satellite I probably ran into more problems with having the necessary view of the sky where I was parked than I have with cellular data access now.

The final consideration is your viewing habits. Do you like to have TV on in the background all day/night? Satellite might be your best option. Do you watch mostly for a few hours at night and value maximum programming selection and flexibility? You probably want streaming. It used to be complicated to match traditional 'cable' programming with streaming but with the advent of services like YouTube TV (which has a selection to match any satellite package) it's now easy, not to mention the ability to view Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. But basically you can now both match and well exceed the programming content of satellite for the same cost or less. Plus none of the silly and endless brinkmanship wars between programming providers and Dish/Direct where consumers end up in the middle.

Most things are as difficult as you make them but if you're really technology-challenged such that you can't stream video then you may indeed be better of with satellite, but IMO we're really comparing a technology that is firmly on the way out vs. the one that will eventually replace it. I have a Trav'ler on my roof and right now it goes up one or twice a year to exercise it, and that's about it.
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Old 04-24-2021, 02:43 PM   #5
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With streaming, are you able to watch all the network programs in real-time?
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Old 04-24-2021, 02:44 PM   #6
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With streaming, are you able to watch all the network programs in real-time?
Using YouTube TV as an example, yes, plus unlimited online DVR capability.


https://tv.youtube.com/welcome
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Old 04-24-2021, 02:57 PM   #7
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We use Youtube TV. Mostly for local channels and for the dear wife to watch during the day. I watch very little TV during the day. At night we will stream shows from Netflix, Prime or Hulu. Been doing this for a couple of years and never have watched the same show twice. Also no commercials to watch. Press pause to go to the kitchen or bathroom and resume when you return. We really enjoy this style of watching and so much more content than on satellite or cable. Prime Fire Stick or Roku stick is the way to go. No need for a smart TV.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:55 PM   #8
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I rather pay $20 a month for 63 channels with Philo TV. That's all I need, plus I use a free on the air tv antenna.
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:10 PM   #9
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We stream Pluto and Amazon mostly. Newsmax, Failarmy, People are awesome, documentaries. and old timey tv shows. And lots of cowboys.
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:31 PM   #10
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Don't confuse watching TV via a SAT service like Dish or with a Cable provider with streaming. They are entirely different ways of watching TV.

You can get ATT TV or YouTube TV or Hulu Live and a few others (Fubol and Philo) that do kind of work like regular TV. But you may find it's just as expensive as you SAT TV and not exactly like or as convenient as what you are used to.

We stream all our TV at Home and on the RV. We had Dish for 20+ years and it took us maybe 6 months to get over the channel surfing habit of regular TV.

We'd never go back to that old way of watching TV but it's really not for everyone.
There is no mindlessly going from channel to channel seeing what's on. No watching X show at X time on X day. We do have a list of shows but they are not day or time specific and we never just search around to see what's on because everything is always on all the time. You have to have a specific program or series you want to watch. We do have to keep up with what new shows are available and when they come out. There are lots of TV blogs that discuss new shows, what they are about, and when they will be available.

Plus, as was said previously, the fact is you need hundreds of gigs of high speed data and that's not always easy to get or afford. We routinely use 300gigs of cell data per month on the RV. We have older data plans that are not available to anyone any longer. They are not phone plans... just data plans we use with data broadband devices (Jetpacks and MiFis).


When we made the switch we did so at home first. We paused our Dish Network for 3-months at $5 a month. And jumped into figuring it all out. By the end of 3-months neither of us wanted to go back and we dumped Dish Network.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:03 PM   #11
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We use YouTube TV for basic cable and network shows. Its DVR function provides unlimited storage capability.

We also subscribe to HBO Max, Netflix, Acorn, Britbox and Hulu and pay an annual fee to watch PBS programming. I'll probably get rid of one or two of these but at ~$10/mo each I can afford to see which ones I get the most out of.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:22 PM   #12
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With streaming, are you able to watch all the network programs in real-time?
Couple questions Joe:
1) You have the Connected car plan that I assume you use for internet since I see you've had problems and switched hardware. Correct?
2) Do you have a smart TV - internet ready? With a digital decoder in it already? If not, it makes it real easy with one, you create a network in your home or rig, hook the TV to it (mine has Ethernet + wifi connectivity - most do) and the internet device to it (or in your case the nighthawk is your internet/wifi) and the TV can search the web via it's connection to the nighthawk.

I'm sure while surfing the web you've clicked on a Youtube link and watched the video. That video was streamed over the internet to you. I know you realize this.
Local channels: You may have to use your smart tv to search for an app for the local station(s), ours is ABC7, which our provider (Frontier) dropped and gave us a "local" station to replace it (another ABC station) but it's from 70 miles away. So find the app of the local station you want and once you load that app onto the tv you select the app and it starts playing what that app/station is streaming. What I found is that my local station is only "live" certain hours of the day - usually morning news hours, lunch news and evening news hour(s), that local tv station rebroadcasts other programs when they are not live. So when I go there and it's not live, I get repeat news from earlier in the day.
The biggest change for you will be that, as creativepart mentioned, "everything is always on all the time" - it's like watching anything you want "on demand". I miss my DVR because we used to record different programs and watch them when we want. I can't record them anymore, but they are already recorded on the app that I purchased, so it's an "on demand" thing again and you watch it at your leisure. I have not tried youtube tv yet so I haven't tried their DVR.
It'll definitely be different for a while.
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:30 PM   #13
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Keep it coming guys! I'm trying to absorb all this info!
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:31 PM   #14
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Not sure what the above comment has to do with YouTube TV because to view locals you just select them and there they are all live in real time, just like with any cable/satellite system. Also you can either use a new-ish model TV with streaming built-in, or just use a Roku or Chromecast to make any TV compatible.

But it is worth noting that due to local station content licensing restrictions there are some complications when dealing with local channels while traveling. You basically have the option to view your current location locals but without DVR capability (except for network programming), or fool it by using a location-spoofing app on your phone in which case you will see your local (home) channels with full functionality.

https://support.google.com/youtubetv/answer/7193651
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