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Old 02-16-2020, 10:03 AM   #1
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Television Services

My wife are are are retrofitting a 1984 Defever Trawler as a retirement live-aboard. Although we spend little time watching TV, we have kids & grandchildren, and we do enjoy an occasional movie or sports. The technology has moved forward so quickly, it is hard to know the best service and/or software to install. We will likely spend 80% of our time in marinas. What are the best options available now? We have a satellite TV antenna, but accounts are inactive. Do we reactivate the service, or use an internet service such as Roku or Hulu? Amazon Prime has been adequate for movies, but lacking on college and pro sports. Thanks for your suggestions. ASLIII
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:11 AM   #2
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Lots of options- reactivate your sat TV system, stream YouTube TV (or a similar service, or a good ol’ antenna.

I’d look at the cost of each as a major factor.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:21 AM   #3
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Call your satellite tv antenna maker with your serial number and ask them what you will be able to receive. You can get a lot of content on your phone, but it will cost you, both in terms of fees to providers and in data charges for your phone plan. Dockside WiFi is rarely good enough to stream. Getting TV from Ditectv or dish will allow you to watch or record sports and network tv as well as cable without using up your data.
Be aware that a mobile phone hotspot is limited to 20gb a month and that unlimited data plans throttle after 30gb which sounds like a lot, but is not in practice.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:23 AM   #4
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Agree- marine WiFi is rarely a worthwhile resource.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:40 AM   #5
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We’re off cable entirely (thanks to fellow TF member Airstream345).

We use a Netgear Nighthawk M1 (about $250 on Amazon) and OTR mobile for data ($60/month unlimited and unthrottled). We steam Netflix, Prime, YouTube TV all without issues.

Might be an option for you!
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:57 AM   #6
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Great suggestions- my only concern is what happens when 5G is up and running. Hopefully won’t require all new equipment and software!
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:19 AM   #7
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Great suggestions- my only concern is what happens when 5G is up and running. Hopefully wonít require all new equipment and software!
It will require a new modem or phone. The quality of video without buffering is fantastic, as good or better than most cable modems. This will also come into play if any of your young visitors want to play on-line games, which can be plagued with latency lag even on LTE.

Relying on cellular for TV can become problematic, as most "unlimited" plans start throttling high speed after about 23 Gigabytes of data in a month. HD and 4K video can chew that up fast.

One question is, do you ever anticipate watching TV while anchored outor underway, with minimal cell service and digital reception want to watch something only available via cable or satellite on land? Ann wanted everything she had available on land when we moved on board, so we installed a KVH unit and subscribed to a satellite service (in our case Direct at the time). That we we never had to fuss with a bunch of other stuff as mentioned above. It was nice to have for long boring stretches like the infamous Pungo Canal.

If getting locals reset in a particular location was an issue, we just used an OTA antenna.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:22 AM   #8
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5G at a marina is so far in the distance I wouldn’t worry about it. SpaceX and it’s plan for Satellite coverage is suppose to come out this year but at what cost? I am at the same marina as Pau & Airstream. We have several options for internet. Pau already mentioned a cellular option, then we have cable on the dock and finally we have a very good WiFi system that easily delivers 4K streaming.

When at the dock I stream my live TV thru YouTube TV. It costs $50 a month and gets me what I want. My neighbor uses Hulu, same cost but it gets him what he wants, we have different wants. I then have Netflix, prime & NBC Gold sports. On any given month I have turned on Disney, Apple, HBO, FOX, AMC, Acorn and so on. Most services can be rented for as little as a month. I use a Roku device to handle all my streaming and it makes it very easy to turn services on and off.

Off the dock I use a Satellite Dish. I use Dish services, the only way I can get HD programming with out going to a large expensive Satellite Receiver. I can also turn dish on and off monthly. Not to mention I spend large parts of my Summer cruising beyond cell coverage.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:32 PM   #9
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My wife are are are retrofitting a 1984 Defever Trawler as a retirement live-aboard. Although we spend little time watching TV, we have kids & grandchildren, and we do enjoy an occasional movie or sports. The technology has moved forward so quickly, it is hard to know the best service and/or software to install. We will likely spend 80% of our time in marinas. What are the best options available now? We have a satellite TV antenna, but accounts are inactive. Do we reactivate the service, or use an internet service such as Roku or Hulu? Amazon Prime has been adequate for movies, but lacking on college and pro sports. Thanks for your suggestions. ASLIII

Over-the-air (OTA) TV may be viable, and it's cheap. If you know the general area where you'll be docked, you can look at sites like tvfool.com or the FCC tools to gauge reception expectations by location (address, zip code, etc.). Just needs a decent -- usually omni-directional -- AM/FM/TV antenna (see Glomex or Shakespeare, etc.) with amplifier/gain control.

And of course having OTA TV in addition to some of the newer options is easy enough to do.

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Old 02-17-2020, 06:33 AM   #10
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I am hoping that the multiple 1,000 sat networks competing with the 5G folks will cause a great price war!

Cant wait to get Wi Fi ,TV and phone package for under a dollar a day.

If the competition gets good enough perhaps the first 5 - 10 years of service will be included with a Phone, Wi FI or a TV?
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:08 AM   #11
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If the grandkids get board, a couple of options include reading books on navigation, docs on the electronic nav system you have on board, 'How to use a sextant', or how to polish the brass, or scrub the decks or clean the bilges and in my case, I have a nice but limited to less than 100 DVD collection. Hello Harry Potter, again.
The over than air is pretty simple with the 'auto turn' feature of the current TVs.
If all else fails, dominos or actually talking to each other. What a concept. LOL
Of course what do I know. I dont have kids and hence, no grandkids.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:35 AM   #12
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Occassionally I can entice my oldest grandson into a chess match, and bike rides are a must at the marina, but it is increasingly difficult to distract kids from iPads and streaming movies at night or while underway.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:42 AM   #13
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If the grandkids get board, a couple of options include reading books on navigation, docs on the electronic nav system you have on board, 'How to use a sextant', or how to polish the brass, or scrub the decks or clean the bilges and in my case, I have a nice but limited to less than 100 DVD collection. Hello Harry Potter, again.
The over than air is pretty simple with the 'auto turn' feature of the current TVs.
If all else fails, dominos or actually talking to each other. What a concept. LOL
Of course what do I know. I don't have kids and hence, no grandkids.
Great wisdom here, good for you! You happen to be right, the kids we have had on board are easily interested in the boat and the world around it. Let a kid take the helm and you'll have them hooked on boating for life.

TV is nice to have after dark if outdoor activities like star gazing (especially at anchor), or shining spotlights into the water, aren't practical.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:30 AM   #14
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Great wisdom here, good for you! You happen to be right, the kids we have had on board are easily interested in the boat and the world around it. Let a kid take the helm and you'll have them hooked on boating for life.

TV is nice to have after dark if outdoor activities like star gazing (especially at anchor), or shining spotlights into the water, aren't practical.
Caltex, it is one thing to keep the boat on track... follow the line. If the depth permits, let them go off the line with the admonition, pay attention to the speed and depth and dont poke in the mud .... If he does stick it in the mud, assist him on how to unstick it. In confined waters..... slow enough to still maintain steerage and 'neutral is a gear, use it. SMILE
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:51 AM   #15
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If the grandkids get board, a couple of options include reading books on navigation, docs on the electronic nav system you have on board, 'How to use a sextant'......
Ha! Quaint idea....(I don't have kids either).

I am remodeling interior of my Willard 36. I had the holes for speakers, car-radio, and TV all patched. If needed, before we leave WiFi connection, we download movies from Amazon and Netflix. On WiFi, we also use Hulu basic (no live TV) plus $5/mo to skip commercials. I have a friend with a shiny-new 60-footer with at least four TVs aboard and Direct TV. I forget the monthly price on it, but was definitely too rich for my blood (I think he said $200/mo - Is that possible?).

Every few months there seems to be an article for cord-cutters on choosing the best packages based on their viewing preferences. Wanting live sports is a big dividing line. Here is one such article

https://www.cnet.com/news/best-live-...ters-for-2020/
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:56 AM   #16
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Caltex, it is one thing to keep the boat on track... follow the line. If the depth permits, let them go off the line with the admonition, pay attention to the speed and depth and dont poke in the mud .... If he does stick it in the mud, assist him on how to unstick it. In confined waters..... slow enough to still maintain steerage and 'neutral is a gear, use it. SMILE
Never got so bold as to leave them at the helm of the big boat unattended unless for a few moments in open water maybe a couple of times. There are a couple of them you could trust putting around alone in the Whaler, a great boat for kids of all ages.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:26 PM   #17
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Wifey B: If the child is bored, it's because the adults are boring.

We have two five year olds who sometimes boat with us and our niece, one of the five year olds, has cruised long distances, long days. Yet, during daytime hours, I can't recall her ever wanting to watch tv. She'd far rather sit at the helm. She loves the magic of radar and AIS and chart plotting, even that of sonar and night vision. She keeps her own chart on which she updates where we are or have gone and she doesn't grasp the math of distances but she does on a chart grasp we've been this far and we're going this far. She loves to look out on the water too. However, she requires at least one adult at all times. It might be her mom or grandmother or me, her wonderful aunt. It might be one of our friends she calls her cousins. Stephanie, a captain, has already given her ideas about when she's old like Steph (now 31), she can be a captain if she wants and she can drive the boat. I can tell you already, Aurora will learn. It's easy for her mom with us as others take turns, but I gain even more respect for parents each time, realizing what a full time, all encompassing job parenting is. We've kept her at home a couple of nights and I was tired by the time she left and I love her so much.

Now night is different and we'll all watch television. I am not going to miss the NBA playoffs or the Super Bowl or the final game of the World Series. I watch a lot of sports. Then I watch escape television. Most of what we watch we can all still talk during. Just don't cut me off from the world I know and love.

As to how, we have satellite. Now, would satellite internet and streaming work? Yeah but would cost more than Sat TV. Streaming is great but WIFI at marinas not dependable. Pau Hana's solution of OTR mobile and streaming or any mobile that will not throttle you is a great solution if you're close enough to shore. In fact, we've tested such a solution today since we sell mobile and although haven't been watching, the tv has been great.

TV and internet aren't luxuries to us, but necessities to the quality of life we desire on board. For those recommending reading, my five year old niece loves to read when we sit down with her and read with her. On her own, she also knows how to access her kindle and will do so. She will "reread" books we've read her. We did get her a book recently you might find interesting, "How to Babysit a Grandma."
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:30 PM   #18
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I use wifi for tv without any streaming problems. I use https://cyberonic.com It's unlimited, I've had for a couple years. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc., work fine. About $110/month, after 90 days no contract. I can watch tv and surf the net at the same time. But no downloading huge files at the same time.

The sell excess time on big name towers. I'm currently using At&t. In theory it's not mobile but works anywhere there's an At&t tower.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:29 AM   #19
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I use wifi for tv without any streaming problems. I use https://cyberonic.com It's unlimited, I've had for a couple years. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc., work fine. About $110/month, after 90 days no contract. I can watch tv and surf the net at the same time. But no downloading huge files at the same time.

The sell excess time on big name towers. I'm currently using At&t. In theory it's not mobile but works anywhere there's an At&t tower.

I think that's not WiFi? Looks like 4G cellular?

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Old 02-18-2020, 10:26 AM   #20
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5G is not out yet. FCC conducting spectrums auctions. All cellular service providers are falls advertising 5G Nationwide Coverage or Verizon our 5G is 10x faster than your 5G. Wow, someone would actually believe it. just type 5g false advertising in google and read. Or visit FCC website https://www.fcc.gov/5G and read.
5G is a major upgrade, it would take a while to deploy. Not every pease of the puzzle is available yet. It will be, but not yet.
Same about 4K, 8K, 16K, high frame rate, HDR and so on. It cost 100's of billions $ to upgrade from NTSC to HDTV 1080i/720p to 1080p to FullHD HDR. And that was just in the last 20 years.
Well I sound like a pessimist, no I am all about technology, I just hate when it is miss-represented and miss-advertised.
My friend was bragging me about her new $1000.00 5G phone and new service few months ago. I just told her Well Here is your sign. And walk away from this conversation.
Please educate yourself, get information from reputable sources before you buy anything in todays world.
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