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Old 10-02-2016, 07:53 PM   #21
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Question for you experts....

Are we talking about hardware that simply extend one's current service?

Are there service options that give good coverage for cursing with reasonable rates with high speed internet?

I have Verizon, but there data plan is brutally expensive, at $50 per month for 4g, which is not close to enough for streaming movies.

I also have a TMobile account, but no data with it yet, but coverage is not as good.
$50 is not much...

I rely on connectivity too, my cell bill averages $350/month. we use about 60GB/month on cellular networks, over 150GB if good wifi available. (cellular networks is mostly verizon, three devices, plus t-mobile mifi for streaming and backup)
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:44 PM   #22
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I have an older 3g booster from Wilson, used it all over the US on land in the last RV trip. It worked very well. Antenna would not have been marine worthy, not sure what to recommend there.

PS: Important to have multiple carriers. Verizon is the best domestically, hands down in terms of coverage. AT&T next, but T-Mobile is nice because streaming netflix etc doesn't go against your usage.


Same one I have except mine has a marine antenna. Worked well with my Verizon in Canada....
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixman View Post
I don't think you're going to be in much luck for NetFlix on your boat (unless you stay in your home slip and have great Wi-Fi).
I have T-Mobile One (their newest plan) which offers "unlimited" streaming. Unlimited actually means 26 gigs a month. That works for me.

Today I watched part of Cheaper by the Dozen (the original, and no it's not nearly as good as the book) and some of Zootopia too.

T-Mobile also has a Binge-On plan where Netflix, Youtube and such do not count against your data plan. I tether (hotspot) and last month on that plan used 18gigs watching without worries. Plus I use the account to tether (connects my computer plus Kindle)

So Netflix does work, at least for me. However, when I lose the LTE service the Crackle (free tv) would not keep up with the buffering. Netflix didn't have that issue.

Granted at present I'm in St. Pete (populated area) so my signal should be strong. I'm not so sure about remote areas... Anchored nearby I had no problems watching via T-Mobile...
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:48 AM   #24
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$50 is not much...

I rely on connectivity too, my cell bill averages $350/month. we use about 60GB/month on cellular networks, over 150GB if good wifi available. (cellular networks is mostly verizon, three devices, plus t-mobile mifi for streaming and backup)
What do you get better service with, Verizon or Tmoble? Seems like Verizon has better coverage but TMobile has cheaper data and is better for movies?

And, a bit confused on what a MiFi adds. Doesn't it only allow an internet connection to multiple devices, and if the phone is receiving a signal, can you do same with it using the personal hotspot on the phone?
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:53 AM   #25
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US (CONUS) satellite TV options are DirecTV and Dish Network. Netflix is a streaming-only service so you need an internet connection for it. Technically, 4G can handle it unless there are multiple users connected to the same tower, but, as you know, it comes at a premium for the amount of data required (roughly 3 GB per hour for HD video programming). One would hope that Wi-Fi would be an option but I've never run into public (especially marina-based) Wi-Fi that had enough bandwidth. Granted, at my home slip I can do it but that's because I installed the Wi-Fi system and am the only one using it! If a marina has a cable modem with 30Mbps (a typical commercial account with Comcast) and more than 10 boats are trying to stream movies, it ain't going to turn out well!

I don't think you're going to be in much luck for NetFlix on your boat (unless you stay in your home slip and have great Wi-Fi). But satellite TV does give you some options. I have Dish at my home so the boat only costs me an additional $7/month for the receiver. You'll need a satellite dish antenna to receive the signal. A rough idea of options:

Stationary dish mounted to a piling: $100.
Ugly and you can't take it with you (easily).

"Carry out" dish (not in-motion) that you set on a pier - $300-$500.
Would work decently mounted on a boat if tied to a floating pier. These units will acquire satellite signal but do not keep it if in-motion or at anchor.

Marine-grade dish that mounts on your boat and can "track" sat signal:
$900-$15,000. These work in motion at anchor, in a slip, etc. Lower end functions fine state-side.

Sorry, you asked for it! :-)
Mixman,

Wow, now I'm really confused... but at a higher level

Looks like lots of options, but my goal would be to have a satellite receiver on the boat, not dock..... if I went with satellite. My past experience with satellite (Disk or Direct) was a failure. Wanted it to carry with me for multiple locations. It was a pita and unreliable.... but maybe better today?

Overall, I don't care to watch ads so rarely watch TV of any sorts. Netflix fills the bill. When the Admiral's Verizon term is over, I'm throwing it out.

It just seems that one good internet source could cover all basis... movies, weather, emails, web, etc.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:55 AM   #26
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A MiFi brings better receptionist N and performance with the option (in many cases, depending on device) of adding an external antenna.

Janice brings up a good point that current T-Mobile plans are an option for those in an area with good coverage. However, their towers only have so much traffic they can handle and enough users streaming will slow everyone down. Personally, I don't get the mobile streaming craze. Video takes a lot of bandwidth and performs best on a dedicated wired network. Perhaps I find myself in poor coverage areas too often but I find satellite TV and radio to be the best performing and best value solutions.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:01 AM   #27
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Mixman,

Wow, now I'm really confused... but at a higher level

Looks like lots of options, but my goal would be to have a satellite receiver on the boat, not dock..... if I went with satellite. My past experience with satellite (Disk or Direct) was a failure. Wanted it to carry with me for multiple locations. It was a pita and unreliable.... but maybe better today?

Overall, I don't care to watch ads so rarely watch TV of any sorts. Netflix fills the bill. When the Admiral's Verizon term is over, I'm throwing it out.

It just seems that one good internet source could cover all basis... movies, weather, emails, web, etc.
The only way I can see satellite TV being unreliable is in a fringe area (lots of trees) or a poor installation. Dish has portable units for "tail gaters" and the RV crowd that set up in minutes.

I find Internet great for weather, email, browsing, remoting to office, etc. But HD video is a bandwidth hog. A 300k connection works for browsing and email but you'll need 10 times that speed for HD video streaming.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:21 AM   #28
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The only way I can see satellite TV being unreliable is in a fringe area (lots of trees) or a poor installation. Dish has portable units for "tail gaters" and the RV crowd that set up in minutes.

I find Internet great for weather, email, browsing, remoting to office, etc. But HD video is a bandwidth hog. A 300k connection works for browsing and email but you'll need 10 times that speed for HD video streaming.
Kurt,

Good point, it's been ~10 yrs since I tried satellite and most times it rained or thundered there was an issue, and we had rain and thunder most every day here in FL. Both me and the neighbor dropped it. Is it better now?

And even with satellite, one still has to deal with the ads. So, now you have to set up a recorder and pay a fee for that. Did that for a year and was a PITA. There's virtually nothing that I need to see on TV that's current, so Netflix does it all. (Excepting the weather channel reruns).
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:06 AM   #29
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Kurt,

Good point, it's been ~10 yrs since I tried satellite and most times it rained or thundered there was an issue, and we had rain and thunder most every day here in FL. Both me and the neighbor dropped it. Is it better now?

And even with satellite, one still has to deal with the ads. So, now you have to set up a recorder and pay a fee for that. Did that for a year and was a PITA. There's virtually nothing that I need to see on TV that's current, so Netflix does it all. (Excepting the weather channel reruns).
Unless there's a severe/heavy storm a correctly aligned dish shouldn't drop signal that much. I've had my boat in FL many times with a tracking dish with great success. With Dish Network there are two groups of satellites to choose from (DirecTV just has one). I find the "Eastern Arc" to be easier to receive from up and down the east coast (likely the same where you are).

All I can offer is what I find works with me. With Dish Network and the 211 series of receivers there is a one-time $40 fee to attach external hard drives to the receivers and create DVRs (that is one time $40 per account, unlimited drives and receivers). I take my HD with me to the boat and our vacation home. The drives are programmed in Linux so making a backup is rather easy for safety-sake.

However, if you prefer NetFlix, by all means don't change. You just need to find enough (within your budget) bandwidth to stream it successfully.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:15 PM   #30
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What do you get better service with, Verizon or Tmoble? Seems like Verizon has better coverage but TMobile has cheaper data and is better for movies?

And, a bit confused on what a MiFi adds. Doesn't it only allow an internet connection to multiple devices, and if the phone is receiving a signal, can you do same with it using the personal hotspot on the phone?
On land, I think you are OK with using mobile hotspot on your phone, but for external antenna/booster you'll probably need a mifi.

Tmobile coverage in less populated areas doesn't hold a candle to Verizon..
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:18 PM   #31
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MIFI we now use Verizon for the trailer. We use one to connect to the cell phone network so we can use our computers. Many places there is no available wifi but there is cell phone coverage. The MIFI allows you to get out over the cell network.
Of course you can do the same, I think, with a tethered smart phone.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:47 AM   #32
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We bought the WeBoost cradle for our down east loop trip. Our boat really isn't big enough (36') to give sufficient separation for a rebroadcast-type system, especially since we'd need it both on the flybridge and down below.

The cradle was often able to pull in a signal where the phones alone couldn't. We tether the phones to tablets and laptops.

What surprised us the most was how seldom we needed it. Throughout Quebec, even out on the Gaspe penninsula, we usually had a good signal with our Bell Mobility Canada plan. Only in far Downeast Maine, Eastport to Jonesport, was our US AT&T service spotty. In spots we had no signal, and in others we got a poor or intermittent signal even with the booster. But without it, we'd have none at all in those areas.

Overall, it was worth the investment, but it can only boost the signal if there IS one to begin with.
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