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Old 10-01-2017, 04:59 PM   #1
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Dumped the SAT in our new WBGO Adventurer

We had Dish Network at our home since 1998. When we got into RVing, we used our Dish receiver from home and progressed from a manual SAT dish, to a portable automatic dish to a rooftop mounted dome dish.

Sometime in the last 18-months I got more and more interested in "cutting the cable" and worked us at home to 100% Streaming - as a test - about 4 months ago. We use roku devices and DirectTV Now (Plus Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, PBS and CBS All Access). I would rate this as 90% as complete and good as our $200 a month Dish Network service - for approx $65 a month.

Dish will let you "pause" your account for 9-months. When paused you pay $5.95 a month and that's it. If you decide to return, you "un-pause" it. We paused our service to do a full-bore test of our cord-cutting plan. Part of that test also concerned our month-long RV trips we take 3-times a year. We just returned today after one of those trips. We left on Sept 5th.

Key to the RV part of the plan was that I was able to purchase an AT&T Mobley device and get a $20 a month ATT dataplan for it. Those are not available any longer, but were intended to be used to add broadband to vehicles that don't come from the factory with built in internet Mifi routers. Making that even sweeter was that I owned an older ATT Mifi card that worked great with the Mobley's SIM card. So, I could get all the advantages of the Mobley $20 a month unlimited internet on my older ATT Mifi.

We also have a brand new Verizon mifi card connected to my wife's "new unlimited" dataplan. The "unlimited" plan from last Feb that included 22 gigs from the phone and 10 gigs (now 15 gigs) from a Mifi.

Shortening an already long post - we had zero problems without Satellite TV. We did order two complete series Blu-Ray discs before leaving to use as backup. And for real backup I took my old portable SAT dish and RV SAT receiver just in case.

The ATT Mifi racked up 55 Gigs of data (for $20) and we never bothered to bring out the brand new Verizon MiFi. Obviously, we never resorted to reactivating the Dish Account, either. I will say we found about 50% of the RV parks we visited had good enough WiFi to stream TV. We spent 14-days in a National Forest Campground and that's where we used the majority of ATT bandwidth.

We probably watched less mind-less TV. You know the kind you turn on but don't really watch. We didn't miss it.

So, we're ready to cancel our Dish contract and stick with streaming totally, even on the RV. I really think this is only going to get better and better so that putting a big SAT dish on your RV will be a thing of the past.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:17 PM   #2
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Interesting post. My only comment is on your 50% of campgrounds being able to stream. Not sure where you are staying. But we can't even use 75% of campground WIFIs to check email.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:45 AM   #3
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When we took off in the RV we had cable at home (still do) and decided that we would see what happens with a Mobley, Amazon Prime, a Prime TV box (main tv) and a Fire Stick (bedroom tv). I "work from home" in an IT-ish capacity so my internet usage is much higher than yours for your trip but on months when we were on the road and streaming a bit of tv at night we were probably averaging around 80-100G/month. MAYBE 4 times in the past 4 months was I successfully able to work from the camp wifi. I rarely even tried a connection.

The amazon devices do have KODI installed which when I got them I thought we'd watch more movies but we find ourselves watching more prime content (non KODI) and/or the shows we used to follow at home (ABC, CBS, NBC) I'm guessing watching this way saves a bit of cost as compared to subscribing directly to them but it's also hit and miss on the streaming.

I will add that I think the most important thing to anyone trying to "cut the cord" and go streaming is the internet plan. We've traveled 10K miles and 25 states in the past 4 months and have had only 1 stay where I had no internet in the RV at all. AT&T is our only provider and while coverage isn't always stellar it's allowed me to work but there are times that streaming is out of the question. We just chalk that up to getting to enjoy the country un-tethered from the house.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:58 AM   #4
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How do you deal with getting Local TV for news, etc. - We do like our news - especially Fox. In a lot of places, you can't even GET local channels.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:41 AM   #5
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I put a Wineguard Automatic antenna on our rig and then stream it to our devices using a Tablo. That gets us local channels and provides a DVR I(if you want to record, you just plugin a USB hard drive to the Tablo).

My kids really enjoyed downloading movies from Netflix. Not really the greatest idea when on cellular but we did this over the campground wifi when possible. The ability to download from netflix and watch offline is only a year or two old.

We use a Wifi Ranger to manage our connection. So when possible we hookup to campground wifi. When no wifi is available we go through our Verizon MiFi. With this setup we connect all of our devices to our own wifi network and then connect our network to the campground or cellular. This makes it easy to access different connections when you have multiple devices.
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:27 AM   #6
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Thanx Andy R - It'll take a while to digest all of that, but at least someone is going all out to 'cut' that cable.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:05 PM   #7
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With all the wifi hacking going on you are in danger of getting a nasy virus on your items. Check out Kim Kommando who is a internet guru and you will find out it is very dangerous to go on any public wifi anymore. We enjoy the heck out of our satellite service at home and on the road. I have a wifi extender that can connect to the park wifi and then I can make a secure connection that we can use in the coach. Most of the parks we have gone to have really bad wifi certainly not enough to watch any tv shows. They usually say on their brochures that the wifi is for checking email not streaming movies or tv shows. I am glad that it is working for you.
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:21 AM   #8
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MaryinReddin - thanx for the info - are you saying that if you use a WIFI extender - that you will be more secure and can set up a password so that PUBLIC WIFI's won't be so public?
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Most of the parks we have gone to have really bad wifi certainly not enough to watch any tv shows. They usually say on their brochures that the wifi is for checking email not streaming movies or tv shows. I am glad that it is working for you.
One of the reasons campground wifi is so bad is because of streaming. The park bandwidth isn't strong enough to support streaming or multiple streamers. I've been in parks that monitor each sites wifi usage and will shut you down after say a gig of use.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:25 AM   #10
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Bit by bit RV parks will update their wireless networks - early ones with slow connections and limited bandwidth weren't really something you could rely on for even just getting simply email. Some are better, it's going to be hit or miss for some years to come.

We still use our cellular data but if it gets used much can get expensive. There really is no cheap solution for any of this.

Getting a Roku built into the new flat-screen TV was pretty cool though, I gotta say. And we haven't had cable at the house for a couple of years now - just a fast internet connection with wifi.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:59 AM   #11
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Yes, we have a wifi extender that can change your wifi to a secure channel. You let the extender get on the public channel, then when it streams in the rv you give it a password just for your devices. It's pretty slick. It also reads that you are only using one device. Some parks limit you to how many devices you can use on their system. We also have Sprint with an unlimited everything. Unless we are roaming we don't have to worry about internet when we are out. We were out for almost 3 months in 2015 and we got one notice from our cell company that we were nearing our limit on roaming. After that we started using the wifi at the park for our emails and chatting. We also have wifi calling which is a big help when our cell service is bad.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:13 AM   #12
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We quit using park wifi after being hacked 2 times for $2k each time.Bank took care of it both times but next time not helping. Usually the park wifi is more trouble anyway. I think bad guys get close and get your info. I don't know for sure but will stay on safe side.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:35 AM   #13
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I agree - you have to be secure - we've been hacked on several occasions (not on wifi). I'm still thinking about what maryinreddin had to say about a WIFI extender and the fact that you add a password to secure system- I'm going to investigate some more and will report what I found.
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