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PSU

Hello  Friends!

 

I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful stretch of weather as much as we did! :)

 

We are in the Frazer/Smarts Bay area of the lake on an island. We have Verizon and AT and T cell phone coverage, usually a good 1-2 bars of strength. Seems as though over Holiday weekends when the lake is more crowded our coverage lacks a bit. We used to have a cabin rule of no TV here, but as the kids have gotten older and it's often times just my wife and I, we get tired of all the games, and well, simply staring at each other, thus we have started streaming tv though our laptop.

 

We use our iphones as personal hotspots to capture WiFi on our laptop and connect an older, larger external computer screen to have a larger viewing area. We use our XFinity account to watch the news, taped shows, sports, etc. We have been watching over the last few days and our buffering (dot-dot-dot pauses) has been really annoying, usually every minute or two and then comes back for a minute or two.....perhaps this is due to the combination of fairly low signal strength from phone (1-2 bars) and also maybe the population of folks using the cell towers.

 

I am curious what others do in our situation to get better tv and/or streaming results? Would prefer not to do a Direct TV or some other expensive service as we really don't watch a ton of tv here, but would prefer to investigate how we could improve our options and reliability

 

Thanks for any insight as I have learned over the years, the folks on the board are much smarter than I am!

 

  

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delcecchi

You are on an island so that limits your options.   I think basically the problem is that the internet bandwidth of the cell towers is a shared resource, and if a lot of people are using it, your share isn't big enough.    

 

At peak usage times like those you might need to revert to watching stuff that can be downloaded before watching like movies or whatever.   

 

There is also a microwave internet service  that we used before DSL, Access Broadband.    Accessmn dot com.   We were satisfied, although the DSL is better....

 

Give them a call.  They put  a small antenna on your roof aimed at one of their towers.    

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CigarGuy
Posted (edited)

We had a Dish antenna on our place when we bought it. I brought an extra dish receiver from home, connected it and Walla, we have Dish service. If you have DirecTV or Dish at home, could be an option up here.

Edited by CigarGuy

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delcecchi

Yep, dish or direct tv is another option.   

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PSU

Thanks for the replies friends. We don't have Dish or Direct TV unfortunately. I was hoping to find out a way to "rig" a system together without buying into another service, but perhaps that's what we would have to do if we want easy, dependable tv service.

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delcecchi
10 minutes ago, PSU said:

Thanks for the replies friends. We don't have Dish or Direct TV unfortunately. I was hoping to find out a way to "rig" a system together without buying into another service, but perhaps that's what we would have to do if we want easy, dependable tv service.

 

Sadly, you have tried the alternatives and they didn't work.  Did you ever run a speed test at various times on your cell data service?  It would be interesting to know the result.     Does it work better streaming to a phone rather than using the phone as a hotspot?  

 

Dish (and probably directtv) will let you pause your service for up to 9 months a year, which makes it more reasonable to have it.  

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PSU

Interesting Del, didn't know you could pause the service. Could certainly make a difference

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gunner55

We just found this out too, ours is Direct TV, & you can only suspend service twice a year. You can only do it for 6 months at a time or 6 months total for the year, I'm not sure which. You must have a paid up account though even if it's just for a day or 2. In that case you then have a credit on your account when the service is restarted.

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chucker1101
Posted (edited)

This doesn't help you now, but space-based internet service is coming. This will be satellite-based, and should provide significant relief for internet access in remote places where copper/fiber is difficult to place. There are at least five companies that are in mid-final stages of launching  though getting the complete 'constellation' (their marketing term) of satellites will take multiple launches. I'd think this should start to be available  in late 2021 in our neck of the woods.

 

 

Edited by chucker1101
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delcecchi
35 minutes ago, gunner55 said:

We just found this out too, ours is Direct TV, & you can only suspend service twice a year. You can only do it for 6 months at a time or 6 months total for the year, I'm not sure which. You must have a paid up account though even if it's just for a day or 2. In that case you then have a credit on your account when the service is restarted.

We are through the original contract long ago, and Dish lets us pause for 9 months.  This year we shut it down in September and they just turned it on last week.   There is a small charge while you are on pause..   I recall it being like 5 bucks or something a month.

 

You just need a open view of the south sky, pretty low to the horizon.  Regular, HD, etc.   

 

I don't know if an outdoor antenna would get anything over the air.   With the repeaters around the area it might be worth a try for local stuff.   

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gunner55

We're all Paul Bunyan at the lake & they're fiberoptics. Actually much better than down here, especially CS.

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CigarGuy

If you already have Dish or DirecTV at home and you bring an extra receiver up to the cabin, they don't charge you for it. I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but I tell them the dish is being used on a camper.  

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delcecchi
56 minutes ago, CigarGuy said:

If you already have Dish or DirecTV at home and you bring an extra receiver up to the cabin, they don't charge you for it. I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but I tell them the dish is being used on a camper.  

I've thought about dumping spectrum for dish here in Rochester for that reason, but haven't.  So Dish and Spectrum. 

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norwaybay

After 10+ years I got rid of Directv at the cabin.  They limit your ability to shut off the service so I would not recommend them.  We have a landline and are able to get our internet through that and I am very happy with HULU live.  Relatively cheap and good service and can use month by month so in the fall and winter I can turn on and off online.  Directv receivers would not work when brought from home so I cut the cord both places and saved a couple hundred a month.  Since you are on an island Dish would work and maybe if you had a neighbor one have the account and order an extra receiver and split the bill.  Probably not really what they want but just saying.  just need to find and extra Dish.

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jkrash

Put a good antenna on your roof and you'll get 10 stations or more.

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fishingdad
Posted (edited)

JKrash

 

Where on the lake are you located ?  Where is your antenna pointed?  I have tried everything imaginable for an over the air antenna.  My wife even works for best buy & had all the electronic geeks give their input on which antenna & how to mount it. I am at least 15 feet above our roofline pointed towards the towers by Hibbing & we get 3 stations always & 3 others some of the time.

 

We are by moccasin point.    

Edited by fishingdad

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PSU

Thanks for the feedback friends. Just spoke to AT and T representative and it appears everyone on this board was correct that our present connection set up (iPhone hotspot - connected WiFi to computer - connected to larger external computer monitor - streaming to Xfinity to watch shows) may be limited (buffered) during times of heavy tower usage on the lake (holidays, etc). Hopefully they will continue to build towers to offset the increased demand

 

Appreciate all of the options presented!  

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jkrash

fishingdad,

I'm about 5 miles west of you, I had an antenna on my fish house, it was on a 15' - 20' pole, we could pick up ABC, NBC, CBS and the local sub stations, I believe the closest tower is just west of Cook (NBC/CBS) you have to find the sweet spot in order to pick up the stations from Hibbing (ABC/WDSE). We could pick up Fox sometimes but we would have to spin the antenna towards Ely and we would loose all of the other stations. 

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SkunkedAgain

Which bay of the lake is closest to the nearest AT&T tower?

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PSU

Okay,  all knowing board as I’ve mentioned before, you are all smarter than me. Please keep in mind my connection is-IPhone 2 bars strength-Island Frazer/Smarts Bay-personal hotspot to computer for WIFI-to larger external monitor. Why would live broadcasts (NBA, Evening News, etc) not be buffered (delayed... dot-dot-dot) every few minutes, but taped broadcasts on Xfinity are? 

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SkunkedAgain
On 5/31/2019 at 11:25 AM, SkunkedAgain said:

Which bay of the lake is closest to the nearest AT&T tower?

Answered my own question with a long boat ride on Saturday - the cell tower is in Frazer Bay.

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