Friday, March 22, 2024

Streaming and traveling

One thing I used to do was take a streaming device with me when I traveled. I don't do that any more, and I'll get into why I don't later. Bur I used to carry one in my travel bag. If you want a streamer to carry, you need to keep a few things in mind.

First, never attempt to set up the device while traveling. Set it up ahead of time. Test it at home. Make sure it has the apps you want and it can connect to the Internet.

Next, consider that some wireless network for travelers have a splash screen for when you join the network. Some devices don't play well with those. Roku used to be notorious for this, mostly because most people use Roku. For the most part, they have resolved that issue.

For Fire TV, the option is pretty easy, and it's not that hard for Chromecast/Google TV devices, according to Cord Cutters News:

On Fire TV devices, the process might be easier. Head to Settings, and then Network to set up a new WiFi connection. You should see the captive portal web page on your TV screen, where you can log in and start streaming.

For the Chromecast with Google TV, you might need to download the Google Home app to connect your device to the hotel or dorm WiFi.

I've not used Fire TV nor Google TV when traveling, but I understand from others that Fire TV is easy to use.

Note that I've not mentioned Apple TV. There are two reasons. First, I've not found instructions on how to use it, and second, I think sticks and dongles are the better form factor when traveling, and there is no Apple TV stick.

And that is another thing: use a stick for travel. They are smaller, more compact, and easier to use. And don't forget the remote! It's nearly impossible to use a stick without a remote when traveling.

Another recommendation is that you have a device designated for travel. Don't unplug the one from your TV and take with you. Things happen when you travel. Luggage gets lost. Things get broken when plugging them in and unplugging them so much. Think of a travel streaming device as disposable, because if something goes wrong, it is.

My final thought is what I mentioned earlier. I used to take a device with me. I don't any more. I have mobile devices, such as phones and tablets -- and laptops, for that matter -- that are designed for travel, and that can be accessed any time if I need something. But one thing I never do is turn on the TV when I'm traveling. I'm traveling for a reason. It's not to watch TV. I can do that at home.

If there is something going on in the world, I can get the gist of it from network news from the TV service they have at the hotel. But I rarely turn on a TV when traveling. My Streaming Life is important to me. But my real life is more important. They are not the same.

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