Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Streaming on the road

When you travel, how do you handle streaming TV? There are a couple of different ways to do this. I'll give you two of the more popular ones, then how I do it. And if that seems to indicate that I don't do it in one of the more popular ways, that's correct. But first, the popular ways.

Most of the support Websites when discussing streaming and traveling usually offer suggestions about using a Fire TV Stick or a Roku Stick. The reason is that those devices are small and easy to pack. And for many people, the Fire TV Stick is the easiest to use when it comes to setting up a streaming device in a hotel.

The problem that you run into is that many hotels force you to agree to terms, or require you to enter your room number, or otherwise require input from you when you connect to their WiFi. With Roku devices, you have to have a computer or smart phone to complete the process. It's a little more complicated and not as easy as a Fire TV Stick, according to many that have used both methods, but generally both work well.

If you have a Roku device, you can use any current model. All the current Roku devices support this functionality. Fire TV Stick has supported this longer, and it seems that most people like it better.

So, I said that I don't use either of those ways. So how do I stream when I go on vacation? Easy. I don't. You see, I don't carry a streaming device with me. It's not what I want to do on vacation. I want to focus on where I am, who I'm with, and what we're doing. None of that means a streaming device.

I did see something unexpected recently, however. I was traveling last weekend, and one of the hotel rooms in which I stayed had a setup where you could stream from the TV. It had a tablet set up to control lights, TV, and other things in the room, as well as access to restaurant menus. So, had I been interested in streaming Netflix, Hulu, or something, I could have used that.

Now, not all rooms are set up that way. So, if you want to stream and you don't get a room with a built in streaming setup, a Fire TV Stick or a Roku Stick may be the perfect thing for you when you are traveling. Vacation and traveling aren't the same thing. Some travel for work, or short trips for personal that really isn't a vacation. I get that. But, I'm fortunate enough that I haven't been in that situation.

But, I do know that if I was a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick user, I'd be comfortable taking one. If I was all-in on a different device, I'd want to pick up a Fire Stick or Roku for travel.

Sure, there are travel routers and such that make this easier, but the easiest thing for Fire Stick or Roku users is to simply pack a device and take it with you.

Don't forget the remote. You will need the remote. If you use a smartphone app to control your device, you'll still need the remote. Trust me on this. Or don't and find out the hard way. You can't use the smartphone app until you're connected to the network. And you can't connect to the network without a remote.

If you want to stream while traveling, there are only a couple of good options, but those that use them are happy with them. Whatever your preference, do what you need to make your Streaming Life an easy one.

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