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Old 11-03-2014, 07:27 AM   #1
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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NO Satellite TV

This our 4th RV is the first one that does not have a satellite dish mounted to it's roof. I had thought that in the near future that the Internet will be the way to receive TV and did not want to put a hole through the Scamp's roof to mount a dish.

This week we've stopped at Myrtle Beach for a couple of days and our Sat dish is not working because we're basically in a forest, giving us the opportunity to try out Internet TV.

We have been overwhelmed by the possibilities in our first two days of trying we have more choices than we could ever watch. We plan to continue to develop sources for Internet TV.

One of our first additions was Netflix, $8 a month, less than the cost of a movie for one person. Last night we watched the Jack Reacher movie. Ginny and I have read a number of the books in the series and were anxious to see how well this off beat character would come across. Amazingly well we decided in this action adventure, though not as rough a character as portrayed in the books.

Reacher makes a statement about the general sorry, frustrated state of the every day person. Ginny and I both poked each other, having escaped many of the traps of life described by Jack, escaping everyday life in our little Scamp for the past 14 years.

Back to our technology. We have a 3G Internet hotspot with unlimited data. This has turned out to be adequate for Netflix, though occasionally it stops for a few seconds to buffer.

The signal in our case comes through our computer and is displayed on the TV. We have bought a ChromeCast card to eliminate the computer to TV connection but our 3G router is too old to work with Chromecast. We may purchase a new router now that the experiment has begun.

IN addition to Netflix, all the major networks have a link. We were able to get on CBS and catch up on segments of series we missed. Another surprise benefit was tuning into a series we never heard of and being able to watch 8 1/2 hour segments in a row instead of watching for 8 weeks.

Now I must say SC was in the midst of extremely bad weather as a good percentage of the east was. As a result instead of wandering the great beach here we were 'stuck' in the trailer with a new toy.

When Ginny and I were working we would go to the movies frequently. Now that we travel so much (and are often a 100 miles from the nearest theater), we average about a movie a year. With Netflix we can now be in the catch up mode, at the very least there's plenty for us to see out there.

Now that it's dark early we go to bed earlier and can turn on a mivie while going to bed.

There's always something new....
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:59 AM   #2
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Interesting, as the campground on Jekyll does not have the History channel in their cable package and there are too many trees to use a satellite receiver. We have the Verizon Jetpack that limits us to 5GB per month and were told watching movies would eat that up quick. The campground has WiFi but they discourage that much usage as it slows down everyone else. They have been known to shut down excess users. I suppose I can watch what I miss on the summer reruns.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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Bob,

We are in may ways Wi-fi centric. When Verizon ceases to support 3G and our unlimited package, we'll up grade our 4G package from our present 2Gigs to a much higher level. We pay $60 a month for our unlimited 3G, that $60 should buy us a lot of 4G. Possibly Verizon will offer a deal when 3G ends.

Recently Verizon has doubled the amount of 4G available for no increase in price. Our son just when from 4Gigs to 8Gigs for free on his 4g data plan.

On top of all this Sat dish is expensive, costing us $70 a month so it's obvious that we could easily increase our Internet coverage and actually reduce our costs.

This month we'll keep track of our data usage to see how much Internet TV increases our data usage.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #4
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We just upgraded our iPhones and service with Verizon. We went from 3G to 4G and were pretty amazed in the difference in speed. We also got the Jetpack Mi-Fi that provides Wi-Fi for up to 15 devices at once, but we only opted for 3Gigs of data per month. On our plan, the difference in price between 2 Gigs and 3 Gigs was $10 per month. We thought that might come in handy on some of the trips we have planned.

We really didn't have TV in mind, but will use the internet and email. I'm curious how much data TV streaming will use. I'm glad you're going to track that Norm. Please keep us informed.

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Old 11-03-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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I guess the only downside for me would be not being able to watch sporting events in real time.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:24 AM   #6
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Hi, Norm and Ginny, TomK...

Your posts come at a perfect time for me. I know nothing on this subject, don't own a cell phone, (it's true)... but, have been wondering how to best get onboard entertainment when out there for a reasonable price. I do own a good laptop.

This may sound silly but my grasp of things technical comes easiest when I see pictures of the instruments required. Hot spots, Chrome Cast cards, routers, Jet packs, ...oik! I hesitate to walk into a Verizon store to get my answers because I don't want to be stampeded by a salesperson into buying into things that end up being overpriced/overvalued. (My wife's been there.)

Will watch and learn from this thread.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:28 AM   #7
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I guess the only downside for me would be not being able to watch sporting events in real time.
Actually some networks do have some events live on line. During the 2014 Winter Games I watched a lot of it live on my computer ..... 3 in the morning my time mind you
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:33 AM   #8
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Another drawback of being internet based, is not camping where you have connectivity, which is well over half our camping. Even when we can get reception, or even have campground cable, it is very rare that we would watch TV. In most cases, satellite would work then, but it sure sounds expensive.

At home my wife watches quite a bit, and I do for an hour or so before sleep, but when camping, it never really crosses our mind. I imagine it would though once we retire, and head out on longer trips.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:42 AM   #9
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At home my wife watches quite a bit, and I do for an hour or so before sleep, but when camping, it never really crosses our mind. I imagine it would though once we retire, and head out on longer trips.
Right-- same with us. It's mostly a matter of having options handy when you need 'em.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:52 AM   #10
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I guess the only downside for me would be not being able to watch sporting events in real time.
If you get cable at home, you can watch live sporting events on ESPN on the net.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Another drawback of being internet based, is not camping where you have connectivity, which is well over half our camping. Even when we can get reception, or even have campground cable, it is very rare that we would watch TV. In most cases, satellite would work then, but it sure sounds expensive.

At home my wife watches quite a bit, and I do for an hour or so before sleep, but when camping, it never really crosses our mind. I imagine it would though once we retire, and head out on longer trips.
Maybe I belong in the early 20th century, but I've found that even retired & on a long trip (305 days), TV & movies are just not all that important. I do listen to radio (mostly PBS/NPR), Pandora, have a XM receiver in the trailer, but most of my non outdoor activity is reading at least a couple of books per week.

While spending the month of January at La Paz County Campground on the Colorado River in AZ where they had cable, I went out & bought an inexpensive 22" TV. After going to the trouble of finding a location for it and hooking things up, I found that I only watched a couple of hours over the entire month.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:10 PM   #12
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The only way for us to get internet here at home is through the cell tower. We have the same Mifi Bob and Mary have. These days we frequently exceed our 5 gig limit. Lots more pictures and imbedded video on the web pages we visit. We don't watch any videos on purpose. We used to have satellite for TV but found most nights there was nothing on we wanted to watch. When the news channels stopped airing news and the weather channel stopped airing weather, we cancelled. The only thing we miss is watching baseball. We do get about 9 channels over the air but don't watch much. On the road we listen to the radio. Baseball on the radio can be just as exciting as watching but you have to pay closer attention. This year I added an mp3 player that plugs into the aux input on the radio. We like classical music and stations that carry it are getting hard to find. I might try satellite radio at some point as most sports are carried on AM which is so susceptible to noise and atmospherics. Raz
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:29 PM   #13
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Jim, The first year we started traveling we did not have a sat dish and at the time internet access was limited and slow. However, we follow women's basketball, part of our past, and wanted to watch the championship game and regretted we did not have sat tv so we added it to our RV lifestyle.

I think it's a touch with our past.

TOM K. Most of the important internet activities take little data, managing money and bills and word emails.

Myron, I know all this electronic stuff is almost too fast. Fortunately I have two workaday boys who keep up and tend to guide us in the right direction.

Internet has been a surprise. We've been parked in some no where places (in the states) like way down a dirt road in the black hills on an indian reservation and the internet worked but not the phone.

In NL we can not afford the Canadian data plans so go to their Cap centers and get on for free.

I looked at our data usage for the last 6 months. In May and June it was virtually zero because we were in NL. When we got home in jumped right up varing from 7 Gbytes to 22 Gbytes in August. IN August we had a houseful of people all with their own electronic devices. I suspect our normal data usage is in the 10Gig range on our hot spot.

We rarely depend on parks wi-fi though here at Huntington Beach State Park, in SC the wifi is really fast 10mbyte speeds.

We watched the Patriots and Broncos on our smart phone or Pad last night while sitting at the dining room table using Verizon's NFL mobile App, It's part of our service, I think no extra charge. As well we have WatchESPN to watch some other sporting events. Though I have not explored it all there seems to be a lot of avenues for watching sports for free. For us it's mainly women's bb, University of CT in particular.

We do have free Pandora, almost worth the cost of a smart phone, and something that seems to use very little data.

With a smart phone you should be able to listen to baseball over one of the radio apps.

Books are big here, Ginny picks them up at flea markets or trades them in at campgrounds. I have about 1000 unread kindle books I carry and buy books as we travel. Though I have an e-book I've adapted to reading books on my smartphone mainly because it's always with me.

I haven't tried the net works live for current sporting events but I'll look into that.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:50 PM   #14
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Our rainy day and night-time wind down entertainment so far has been DVDs bought cheap for $1 each at a pawn shop. We watch these on a $19.99 "Black Friday Special" DVD player and cheap 21" flat panel TV. I have bought a length of cable and figured out how to route it in to the TV since we had cable connections in Alabama campgrounds last summer, but had no cable. On long trips I would like to be able to check e-mail and such but for the near term will be at the mercy of free Wi-Fi. I am very interested to hear how the over-the-air services work and associated costs. I really need to upgrade my cell phone and service but feel pretty ignorant and am therefore loath to do so.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:53 PM   #15
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What we have found with the Jet Pack is that if we both are using it, me on my MacBook Air laptop and Mary on her ipad it slows down the speed so much that one of us will usually go off until the other is done. Some places we go have cable TV hook up, and for those that don't we have a antenna for broadcast channels. We do watch too much TV but there are some shows we follow and the rest is mindless entertainment for when we are not reading. Picking up our new to us Casita in a few days so have to figure out the TV situation plus all the other systems.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:53 PM   #16
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Ginny and I each have a Samsung smartphone. If you have a good smartphone in short order you'll be able to text, email, read the news, books, check weather, do virtually anything you can do on a laptop, oh yes and make phone calls. It's our emergency flashlight, serves as our camera, night light, night clock, Alarm, radio, notepad,... It's just amazing.

A good smartphone is a little expensive but consider all the things it can replace.

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Old 11-03-2014, 04:56 PM   #17
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Timber Wolf.

Netflix is amazing and the same for other movie services some of which are free.

Netflix cost $7.99 a month and you can watch unlimited movies one at a time all month.

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Old 11-03-2014, 05:04 PM   #18
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Mary and Bob, wishing you much happiness with your Casita, we used our son's for a year and enjoyed it.

I'm sure our service slows down with users but we often have 4 people on it at a time during the summer and have never noticed it slow down.

Our Hotspot is Verizon and I noticed the speed at Huntington is about 1/3rd of Myrtle Beach. Of course local conditions, typically the local tower or number of users can have an effect.

Here at Huntington we're using their WiFi along with many others and notice nothing, using it for TV right now.

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Old 11-03-2014, 05:43 PM   #19
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I cancelled my Millenicom Jetpack and expanded my AT&T plan with a new mifi type device to go with my iPhone. I went with 40GB shared plan for $200. It comes with unlimited talk and text FWIW.

I stream a lot of youtube and such, so I'm hoping that's enough if I want to through in the occasional Netflix. I'm sure if a bunch of people are doing it at a campground, it will slow down to a crawl on that cell. I've been using LTE for awhile now and it's pretty impressive. Much better than the standard 4G. Believe the national rollout is now complete, so LTE is everywhere.

One trick to get the most out of your data plan - don't play your videos at the highest setting - just wasteful of your data bits to stream at 720p or higher - especially on a small screen. Often I manually select and turn off the auto modes.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:25 PM   #20
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Norm; we have reservations at Huntington starting the 25th of this month, 4 nights, then two nights at Hunting Island. We usually try for site 8 at Huntington but had to take 6 this time. Aren't those bathrooms just fantastic. Wifi there is good but would like it to cover the campground, not just at the store. How's the weather?
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