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Friday, August 4, 2017

Joining the Streaming Movement

Harry and I are tv watchers, so when we went fulltime, one of the things we wanted to figure out was the best way to have access to television. We had Directv at the time, so after checking out the various options, we decided to stick with that. We had a satellite dish installed on the roof of our fiver right at the dealer’s, and we submitted the paperwork for the Distance Network Services at Directv so we could still get the main networks out of NYC. And for the past four and a half years, that has worked pretty well for us. We had the occasional time when we couldn’t get the satellite because of trees, but we like open spots anyway and always ask for them if available, so that didn’t happen very often.

Over the past couple months, a few things have changed. First of all we bought the park model. Now that we are heading that way, we have to figure out how we are going to get tv and internet there. We thought about Directv, but for various reasons we didn’t want to have a dish put on our roof there, and they don’t allow poles at that park. So we started looking at cable. We found a pretty good package with Xfinity, but of course there is a period of time that you are committed to the monthly charge. We could put our Directv on hold for 6 months, but then for the other 6 months we would be paying for two household’s worth of service. That didn’t sound like a very good plan.

Another piece of the puzzle was Verizon, and their new unlimited monthly plan. We didn’t go to it at first, because I was suspicious that there was a catch. It just sounded too good to be true. Plus Harry was concerned that we would have trouble in Kentucky, because Verizon doesn’t have towers there, and uses the equipment for Bluegrass Wireless. We thought because of that we might have pretty limited access while we were working at Amazon. Now that we’re not going back to work there, that is obviously not an issue anymore. As far as my concern, I’ve been following conversations on various facebook pages, and most rv’ers who went to the unlimited said they were able to watch movies and stream programs just fine. So a little over two months ago we finally bit the bullet and switched over to the unlimited plan.

We decided to try streaming and ordered an Amazon fire stick. We loved it. As Amazon prime members, we had access to some movies and shows at no additional charge. So we took our new unlimited plan out for a spin – NO problem. We watch a lot of CBS shows so we decided to download the CBS app and try out the “All Access” plan. NO problem.

The final piece of the puzzle was Directv. We have had it for almost ten years between the house and here, and always had great luck. But a few weeks ago in Hershey we started having problems. I would put CBS on in the morning and we’d get the “no satellite reception” message – the one that we got once in a while when it rained hard. But other channels would be working just fine, and other times of the day CBS would be working fine also. It was really frustrating. The kid focused channels were also channels that would work sometimes and not work other times, and since Schaun was with us that was also a problem. So with our success up to that point with streaming, we decided to go all the way and download the Sling app. We could get all the same channels we watch for less than 50 bucks a month. Plus we can use it at the house also and not have to pay for two different cable/satellite packages. Problem solved.

A few days ago we put the Directv satellite down and went cold turkey. So far – no problem at all. We have been using my phone for a hotspot and streaming everything. Using the CBS All Access app we can get the local news live. We can get all of the other channels we like through Sling. Once we get to Florida we will cancel Directv. (We are waiting because they will send a box to the house for us to return our equipment and we want to make sure we are there when it arrives.) As fulltime, or even part-time, rv’ers, we never thought we’d be able to join the streaming revolution, but the new unlimited internet plans have now made that a possibility. So far, so good!


  1. I've had unlimited Verizon for several months now because we spend summers at the lake in our trailer. We watch hours upon hours of videos and TV and never any problems. We were told that if there was high usage in the area there could be some "throttling" if we were over a certain amount of usage. Nope. We haven't experienced that at all. We're VERY happy with the Verizon Unlimited plan and will cancel our cable as soon as the contract is up.
    Happy Travels.

  2. We have unlimited AT&T and we stream and really enjoy the freedom of no satellite and no dvr or other wiring needs. I know you guys will enjoy it and reduce your expenses.

  3. Kudos on your embracing the new technology! We've done pretty much the same thing, except we've hung on to Direct TV for now. We'll probably ditch it if something goes wrong with the dish or we trade rigs. Enjoy!

  4. Funny.... the only area in the country we've had issues with Directv is in Pennsylvania. So it's not only us! Good to know.

  5. We switched to the unlimited Verizon plan as well several months ago. Although we have great park wifi most of the time, even it slows down if there are a lot of people using it. We've had no problem with throttling either on Verizon, but I use my phone as hotspot more than our Mifi. Verizon hasn't quite figured out that loophole yet :) We'll keep our DirectTV for now, but it's costing us $136/month without premium channels.

    1. Yes we already got rid of our MiFi after they raised the charge for it and also throttled it back after only 10 GB.