I'm wondering what other owners are providing for TV service. I have been providing DirecTV via an actual satellite dish for my 4 units, but I feel like the time for this is gone. We do have 30 MBPS download internet even though we are very rural, so I think we can stream well enough.
A few tenants have mentioned to me that they enjoy watching local sports (Boston area) at the lake, so I found out that Playstation Vue streaming service is perfect: it has NESN and local channels, and you can stream on 5 different TVs on 1 account (I have 4 units). BUT, the interface is counterintuitive and glitchy on Roku, which is what the TVs there have.
I'm willing to buy all new TVs if I can get to a setup where:
- Every unit has 1 remote that entirely controls the TV and streaming TV
- The interface is easy to use and the same in all 4 units
- Service can play on 4 TVs for $75 or less without the renter needing to log in or do anything confusing like that
- Has NESN and local channels
Anybody have a great streaming TV setup their willing to share?
.ps I got most of my info about the streaming services from here:
This is scary! Exactly what I am working on this week. Part of my reason for streaming, is antennas don't work here and I have a lot of units.
Consider researching a bulk package from Dish TV. It requires 10 TVs - drops) min, and works out to about $10 per television monthly. And it requires a person to set it up for you who does not work for Dish TV. Of course, I assume you have to pay for equipment initially.
You only need the sports on one TV per unit. Can you get sports via antenna? Window? Rooftop? Google to learn about finding towers and antenna types.
There is also Roku channel, free and premium, but less simultaneous streams. May work better on Roku TV?
PlayStation Vue is what I had selected. I have not actually done anything yet, but my plan was to be implemented in six properties with a total of about 15 TVs.
One was a 32in RCA 720 TV with a built-in DVD player from Walmart. That would be 1 / property. It would have a fire stick, a selection of DVDs, and a few movie/TV Show streaming apps such as xumo, Tubi, etc (see Google play store)
I would have a larger TV without a DVD player that would also have a fire stick in the streaming apps as above
I would also have a large TV without a DVD player and a fire stick that would have the streaming apps and it would also have PlayStation Vue.
Therefore, I figure the 5 streams across 6 property TVs should suffice. Or 1 property may get Philo or something.
There is also Philo, Sling and Roku channel (which has free and premium selections)
Keep in mind 720 VS 1080 VS 4k and how much bandwidth it pulls. All my TVs will be 720. For larger TVs, that works if far enough away.
It all big DEPENDS. In my location you cannot get streaming anything, Our internet is over satellite, and I pay a fortune just to get bare basics, which will NOT allow to stream. Also, I have 4, 6, 8 TVs per property. Can you imagine trying to stream on 8 TVs plus a few kids with their Ipads at the same time? Third thing, is we host multi gen families, and in offseson- groups of older adults. I do not want or need to be on tech support 24X7 and have frustrated renters who cannot figure out those Rokus and Fire sticks (even if I had streaming internet). I practice KISS method... which may not be cheapest per-month, BUT saves me money in time and aggravation - everyone knows how to operate simple DISH stuff and they have channels that they expect. I had to add Hallmark package around Christmas because I didn't have it (go figure) and 2 separate families in 2 separate cabins were requesting it.
I am sure hotels could go to Rokus and stuff as there is streaming internet where they are located. But they do not. Why? - Simplicity, I am sure. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Yea, with satellite it's tough. Streaming only makes sense in fast internet, which we have. I can handle 20 TVs with their fastest service. Service wise, they shouldn't have to worry about the fire sticks. And there is at least 2 TVs per unit. It has been proven simple so far.
Each person needs to work through what works for them.
When facing a $65 VS. $700 monthly bill for 6-7 units, it is worth it for some people...
@Jacques - Another option is to keep your existing setup and just supplement with a streaming account like Netflix.
I've done this with 2 units so far and gotten both zero complaints and zero feedback (after about 60 guest bookings since december).
I'm personally not yet a cable-cutter at my own house. The industry is changing so rapidly, and it's just too easy for me to get the massive numbers of channels from a primary provider like spectrum or comcast or directv and just stream the movies I want with added services like netflix, amazon prime, hulu etc. Before switching to such a setup at vacation rentals I'd want to be confident that the setup just flat out works. Turn on any tv and it's live, no need to navigate somewhere or login.
I expect that any kind of streaming setup is still not as easy to use these days. No single service has all the content people want, and for sure you need at least something that resembles typical cable broadcasting with the major networks, CNN, espn, etc.
For myself, I've chosen to keep Comcast and add Netflix streaming using the TV's themselves. There are no extra boxes involved.
At each cleaning I have my cleaning person turn on the tv and start netflix and watch something. She actually prefers music, so this works for her anyway. This helps me know that the streaming is still working, and some folks will log in with their own account and forget to log back out when they leave.
If you have reliable wifi in your unit you don't even need a wired ethernet cable at the tv, but wired is still preferred. Fewer things can go wrong. But for me all of our TV's are connected by wireless and like I said, zero complaints.
My condos are in a large building at a resort. The building has excellent wired internet service and spotty wireless, so I've just configured a router/access point so that it broadcasts a private wifi in the area of our condos (which are about 1,000 sqft). That too has seemed to work pretty well without complaints, but it's hard for me to know since my instructions tell people to use either building or private (mine) wifi so they have two choices.
I chose the higher end 4K Netflix with I think is about $16/month, but I can use it in both units, plus a 3rd I'm about to add.
One issue is that I *never* give the account email address/password to the guest. If it turns out that the streaming isn't working, I've been prepared (and my instructions state) to tell them I cannot give it out. The reason being that with the email/password someone could change the password and lock me out. Wouldn't be too easy to correct either since I wouldn't have online access. I've worried about Netflix logging itself out, but it seems that isn't an issue for me since at least the cleaning person uses it every few days.
Back to your original question, maybe consider experimenting. The beauty of streaming is that (I think) it's mostly geography indpendent. So just buy a TV and use it for a few months in your home as your daily setup. Maybe set it someplace near your usual tv so it's reasonably convenient. Once you can convince yourself that it's simple enough then deploy it in your units. You might find that you have to return whatever tv(s) you buy if they don't work easily enough.
hope this helps ;-)
I have 2 tvs in my rental that are Roku TVs. Because the primary TV still has local cable, the two Roku TVs are only streaming Netflix and Prime, plus whatever my guests log into for their own accounts. However, in Atlanta, we ditched cable and stream Hulu live plus the other streaming channels and can use just a Roku remote for everything. If our internet standards ever improve at the rental, I'll ditch cable altogether and also have Hulu Live (or some other version) for live tv.
I have YouTubeTV in my home and previously PS Vue. It's fine for my house where basically it is me and my wife who watch. And mostly DVR shows. I actually really like it. But I wouldn't think of putting it in my rentals. It's just too.....different. The guide is different. The fact that you have to turn on the tv and then choose an app to watch TV is different. Changing channels is different. It's easier for me to overpay Comcast for cable TV that everyone can use, than to worry about educating my guests and saving $300 year. If I had 10 units it may be a different story....
I plan to have Playstation Vue on 1 TV in each apt. But the free apps on all tvs. Showing people how to effectively cut the cord is going to be part of my shtick. Some have heard of it, but not know how to really get started.