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Post Info TOPIC: School Me On Internet for Computer and TV


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School Me On Internet for Computer and TV


We have moved back to Oklahoma for a spell, and we are now in an RV park that has its WiFi based off of fiber optic cable.  While looking at something this afternoon, I noticed that the WiFi strength was just under full strength, so we must be a ways from the transmitter of WiFi.  Since I'm not too literate in all of this, I could sure use some tips and advice.

I think I would want some kind of WiFi booster, but uncertain as to what to get that wouldn't break the bank.  So, that's one thing.

Another is that the wife wants to have the WiFi signal come first to a router and then the park only has to deal with one device's MAC address.  So, any ideas on a good router?  We have 2 smart phones, two tablets, and two computers at the moment.

Third, we've been told that going with a "smart" device, we can watch TV off of the WiFi.  I'm not prepared to purchase a smart TV yet, but can't one use a Blue-Ray DVD player as that smart device?  If so, how would something like that be hooked up?

Fourth, with regards to TV is a ROKU or Firestick, or some other device better for getting such channels as FOX News, FOX Business News, Discovery, History Channel and such?

Also, if anyone has even better ideas, please suggest those as well.  I'd hate to buy a bunch of stuff and then not need it all.

Thanks in advance.

Terry



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Hi Terry,

Chris and Cherie are the experts on this, have you checked out their site? I know some of it member only content, but they do have some open content as well.

www.rvmobileinternet.com/

I haven't used WiFi much while on the road as we have different unlimited plans, but WiFi Ranger has been useful in some situations. To be honest, I haven't kept up with the latest WiFi routers as we tend to just use our We Boost and our unlimited plans to meet our data needs.

If you're trying to just stream TV from the WiFi, probably the cheapest way to do this is to stream it from your laptop and either use an HDMI cable to connect the laptop and TV or you can buy a Chromecast device for about $30 that allows you to stream to your TV without having to worry about tripping over a cable.

Can't help you much with the question regarding other channels as we have Dish so I haven't investigated ROKU, we do use Firestick from Amazon quite a bit as there are some Amazon specific shows that we watch.

Good luck!

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There is one thing that confuses me and that is when you say they have Wifi based off of a fiber optic cable. I'm assuming that they have fiber coming into the park and then they have a wifi system connected to that. If that is the case, and it probably is, then as far as you are concerned the fiber optic portion is moot. It could be fiber or it could be copper, but it makes no difference to you as it is on the phone company/cable company side of the wifi. Businesses seem to like to advertise that they have fiber when all you, as the end user, care about is that they have sufficient bandwidth (the size of the pipe if you will) to handle the traffic on it without delays (latency). As for devices I don't know because it's been 15 years since I was in the Internet business and lots and lots of things have changed since then. When I was in the business it was actually fun and mobile was just starting to come into play when I sold out. If you get stuck really bad let me know and I'll get in touch with one of my former partners who I'm sure can help.

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I can let you know what we've done at home and I believe some of it will apply also to internet and tv in your rv. We have cut the cable. It is harder to do than you would think. Verizon was disastrous with their customer care. I called to take the tv portion off of our service and to sign up for an internet and phone option. We now get faster internet and the same phone service for about $100.00/mo or more less than when we had cable on our bill but it was a journey to get there. They messed up the order, they messed up the initial bill, etc. Finally, when Verizon was all settled and I had no cable but great internet and a land line, I was set to attack what I could do regarding tv. We got a great antenna (the kind that attaches to your window from the back of the tv and got 36 stations very clearly over the air. The cost of the antenna was $80.00 and we get all PBS, 4, 5, 7, 9 and a channel with movies and such all the way up to the 36 channels I mentioned. We do have a smart tv but it was one of the first ones out so it was not possible to get the Sling app that I wanted onto my tv without a Roku. Sling was running a special that for $25.00/mo they would send a free Roku Express with the Sling app installed if you signed up for two months on advance. It works beautifully and we have as much, if not more to watch than with our previous cable package. Most important is a strong internet signal which can be a problem at some parks/campgrounds, so I defer to someone else's knowledge on what to do about a hotspot. Hope some or any of this helps.

 

 



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Number 1 is internet access...one thing I learned while FT'ing is to never rely on park wifi. If you really need internet access the best bet is to bring your own. On the chance the park you happen to be at actually has wifi but it's weak then you could look into adding either a booster, or an amplified or directional antenna outside your rig. As for inside the rig, a router with hotspot built-in should allow you to have one connection to the wifi source and then have all your devices connect to your hotspot.

The TV question...if you're talking about a smart-tv as in apps, if you have internet think of the apps on the tv as just another device going thru your router. But if you want to watch live tv it's a different problem. I've never had any luck finding live tv on the internet so I will have to defer this question. I know there are a lot of shows that are available on the internet but usually they are 24 hours delayed. So for example, you could watch tonights World News tomorrow night. Might be easier to just put up the bat wing and see what you can grab over-the-air for free.

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We have apps on our FireTVstick for live progrmming from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and a number of other channels.

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Dutch wrote:

We have apps on our FireTVstick for live progrmming from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and a number of other channels.


 Good to know.  Are these channels free or are there subscription charges?



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Dutch wrote:

We have apps on our FireTVstick for live progrmming from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and a number of other channels.


 Is that FOX entertainment or the FOX News Channel?  FOX News Channel is what I am interested in (see fourth point in my original post.)

Thanks.

Terry



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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
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There's a "Fox News" app, and a "Fox NOW" app. The "Fox News" app is live programming, and the "NOW" app carries the Fox owned entertainment channels like FX, FXX, Nat Geo, sports, etc., as well as the local Fox outlets in 17 markets, most channels in both live and on-demand formats. Your Internet connection must be in an available market to get the locals though. With cell data service, that can be a little strange sometimes. We just left a NY state park on the Canadian border for instance, and the streaming Big 4 network locals using our AT&T hotspot were from NY City, and the Verizon hotspot gave us Wichita, KS locals. 



-- Edited by Dutch on Saturday 8th of September 2018 06:59:46 AM

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I know a lot of people think they’re too expensive...but a WiFi Ranger 2 unit combination for about $500 is an excellent choice. We have one along with a Verizon MiFi with a 30 gb/mo plan. We probably use the Park WiFi 75% of the time...with the WFR to boost the signal it’s good enough for everything but streaming video. We don’t do much of that by choice with the DirectTV dish. 



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Terry:

There is no easy answer to your questions - easy as in "inexpensive."

First, I agree with Neil.  I built a WiFi Ranger like system for about $100.  But as Linda says, "you have to know too much" to make that work, and she knows IT BTW.  So the WiFi Ranger is the best overall system for putting CG WiFi on your internal in RV network.  One device, one log in, and then all your computers / phones work via the WFRanger "radio" which is outside of the RV on the roof.  Works - but expensive - relatively.  Most things that work are.

As to "streaming TV."  It all depends on the bandwidth provided by the CG regardless of the quality of the WFRanger or other such device.  IMO, don't depend on CG WiFi it for "TV."

Even it there is enough bandwidth provided by the CG one must still subscribe to a streaming service.  Fox News, History, et. el. don't come for free.  One service is "Direct TV Go."  It's a less expensive streaming service.  Because of the quality of CG WiFi I can't recommend it or any streaming service.  May work great.  Might not.  It all depends on the CG.  If one has plenty of reliable bandwidth then that's another story.  That's why we use DirecTV satellite and you are more than aware of all that and the costs from years as a member of this forum.

Yes, you can use a Blu-ray player as a streaming device if it has streaming apps.  We have one, don't use it.  Just came with the Blu-ray player.  But that, again, is totally dependent on bandwidth of CG and one must still subscribe to a streaming service as mentioned above.

IMO, the best "fix" for your requested needs are DirecTV satellite and a WFRanger as Neil suggested.  They work.  Other solutions might work. But once installed these work and one doesn't have to "fiddle" with things every day.

Final comment, using Verizon or AT&T, etc. for streaming is simply not affordable.  Those "unlimited plans"  will throttle down the speed once you reach certain levels of data.  Streaming takes a large amount of data.  So, IMO, that's just not a option.

All FWIW based on a lot of years doing this, like Neil, all over the US and Canada as you know.  What we have works, its just not inexpensive but is reliable.  

Bill



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Since Comcast is raising there fee's again, I am looking to cut cable in the house and go strictly with streaming movies AND live TV. Put my Verizon Jetpack on the unlimited plan. Whatever solution I come up with, it has to be viable for both at-home and in-the-rv scenarios. Looks like Hulu has live TV at $40/mo. and appears to be the better option. Directv Now is about the same cost, but from I read it's only for the 1st 12 months and doubles for the next 12 months...and it has a 2 year obligation. Anyways, the Hulu option and Verizon combined will cost me $100/mo. and my cable bill runs $150/mo. so will save me $600/yr.

The unknown is will the Jetpack MiFi provide sufficient bandwidth...



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A followup on this topic that may benefit others...

Some background info first...we purchased a new rig and took it out for a shake-down. I found out the TV's in the rig are not "smart" TV's, meaning they do not support apps. Since I already had Netflix and Amazon Video on my iPhone6S, and because I already had an unlimited plan on my phone, I decided to purchase a cable that would allow me to output HDMI from my phone to the TV and watch anything displayed on the phone on my TV screen.

Sounds like a great plan right? Initial testing of the cable showed it does work and I can view my iPhone screen on the TV. However, further testing showed a flaw in the setup and I am not sure who is to blame...I discovered that not all video is available for sharing with the TV. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, when I start a movie on the iphone the video is not shown on the TV and ceases to show on the iPhone screen. Like I say, I don't know who to point the finger at, Apple, Netflix or other provider, but I tried all possible configurations and was not able to make it work.

Now some stuff did work, but the one's I needed to work for me were a failure.

Not all is lost...the phone and my Jetpack both have unlimited data...and the BluRay player in the rig does have apps...so my solution is to share the internet from one of my devices with the BluRay player and connect to the desired provider so I can watch them on the TV. I wasn't able to test my setup as the main TV turned out to have a bad HDMI input port so I am waiting for a replacement but I am confident this setup will work. The only question left is will I be able to view live TV using the app on the BluRay player to stream Hulu. Will test that on the next trip.

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In https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/guides/tv-movie-entertainment-on-the-road/ they have this to say about hardwired HDMI with iOS:

"Keep in mind that Apple iOS enables this function by default, but app developers can choose to block it. Some streaming apps have specifically blocked output via the adapter, or sometimes app updates break the feature."



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Thanks Bill, lots of good information in that article and explains the reason behind the problems I was having with my setup. Last night I figured out why I wasn't able to view live TV at home, so I am that much closer to cutting the cable dependency. The down side is both of my unlimited internet devices are battery powered, not a huge problem, but I saw a couple work-arounds in the article that I will be exploring for a fix.

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Dan, have you considered a hotspot device? They don't have the limitations on the apps that you discovered on your phone. Depending on which version of which cell carrier and plan you have, you can connect one for as little as 20 a month once you obtain the device. An up to date hotspot is usually around 200. Right now there is a pretty good Verizon pre-paid plan available for 65 a month after auto pay. It is real unlimited hotspot data with some speed management on busy towers. As good as it gets right now for new plans. Good luck.
Jerry

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Thanks Jerry...yes I have 2 unlimited plans right now, I use Visible on my iPhone and I have a Verizon Jetpack with the new unlimited plan. I am confident that I can use 1 of them in the rig for my BluRay player that has the apps built-in. The only tricky part is getting live TV via Hulu. Not a show stopper but I would like to have it available on the road since I am paying extra for it.

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