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Roku In A Van

Discussion in 'IPTV Hardware' started by Jim148, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Jim148

    Jim148 Godfather

    Jun 22, 2004
    My family and I travel from time to time in our Dodge Grand Caravan. It has screens built in for the DVD player and also has two sets on composite input jacks. If I were to get a Roku player and use a Virgin Mobile pre-paid MiFi, would this work for streaming video in the vehicle? I assume this would for 3G areas. What would happen when we travel to 2G areas? Would it stop playing completely or would it simply buffer from time to time? Would one Roku be as good as another for this application? I think I read that the newest ones only have HDMI connectivity, so I guess I would need an older one with composite cables. Also, would it matter if we use NetFlix or a different source of content? Would a laptop computer behave the same as a Roku? My wife and kids also have iPod Touches with NetFlix applications. Would those work with the TV Output function enabled to stream NetFlix?

    Also, I believe Virgin Mobile caps at 5GB. Does anybody have any idea how long the kids could watch NetFlix before blowing through 5 GB? Can we "force" lower quality settings to have the mobile internet last longer or do all of the Rokus do that automatically anyway based on connection speed?
  2. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    Welcome to the forum!

    Streaming over 3G from Netflix is a tricky thing. Sometimes it works great and sometimes not so great. It really depends on what area you are in, signal strength and that sort of thing. I have found that Virgin mobile speeds are pretty slow for streaming. AT&T and Verizon work a lot better. If you end up in a 2G area, forget it. The data rate on 2G is way too slow for streaming video.

    In all honesty, the most realiable method to watch content while traveling is still the tried and true method of DVD or video content loaded onto your iPod touches. You can get the ROKU and try it out but I don't know if your success rate will be all that great.
  3. dualsub20061367066128

    dualsub20061367066128 New Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    I know I'm a little late to this topic, but this is never going to work. Netflix streaming on a phone, in solid 3G area and in a moving vehicle is useless. I cannot imagine how frustrating trying to stream a Roku would be given how horrible the experience is with a Netflix app on my phone. 4G is a bit different. I'm able to get a pretty good Netflix and Sunday Ticket To Go stream on my 4G phone, but it is much less reliable as the bars decrease.

    As was stated, buy a DVD player and hook that up to the entertainment system.
  4. taylorhively

    taylorhively AllStar

    Nov 29, 2006
    Netflix streaming to the Roku doesn't work so well because of the network latency (ping time) in 3G. This causes the box to think it has a lower bit rate than it really does. Also Virgin MiFi doesn't usually get over 1Mbps by my experience so if you can stream it'll be the lowest quality stream which isn't so good.

    Your best option is a 3G tablet such as the iPad. They do 3G streaming better and are actually designed for this I belive whereas the Roku is not.
    The problem here is that a tablet is really or only 1 viewer at a time so if you want several people to watch on a TV, then you need to find out if you can output Netflix via HDMI (I don't know off the top of my head.)

    What am I thinking? I have a Roku and a Virgin MyFi. It wouldn't be hard for me to set it up and try it out for myself. Also I have an iPad. Provided I can find my HDMI adapter I can try that out as well.
    I'll try to report back as soon as I can, but it may be a day or two until I have time to try it.

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