Updated: Mar 25, 2022
So you got Starlink and now your wondering if you can cut your cable bill and use free streaming devices instead.
Cable cutting has been happening for years now, with the dawning of faster internet speeds has come more options to watch your favorite shows by streaming (online)using internet bandwidth. Companies like Netflix and Tubi have been grabbing cable company customers for years now, this option has only more recently become available for rural internet users as the LTE and Satellite ISP's(Internet Service Providers) have been trying to offer fast enough speeds to accommodate the high need for bandwidth in our modern homes running ten, twenty, thirty or more devices all at the same time. Popular boxes like Google TV, Firestick TV and Roku and many more all offer options that include a lot of TV. These systems work great if your internet speed is fast enough, if your speeds are low or borderline you get a lot of lagging, poor picture quality and even worse the spinning wheel of death, strong reliable internet is needed to run these devices smoothly.
"Streaming is okay providing there was no one else using the internet, once someone else starts using the WIFI my show would be a bit grainy and start buffering."
This is a sign of weak bandwidth when there is a larger draw on the system the ability to watch something starts having issues seamlessly is gone. so how will Starlink do when running theses devices, how many can it run and will the fluctuations in satellite technology hold up? Starlink has proven to be able to handle the TV streaming devices with ease, integration and compatibility is quite easy on the mainstream boxes. We have pushed and tested the Starlink network with 40 connected devices. We've had 10+ devices all watching shows from YouTube to Netflix and Prime and it never missed a beat. Now there have been times where my picture started to get a little grainy, heavy rain and clouds could do this briefly. Another time you might not be watching TV when the Starlink does it's updates in the very early hours, for us it consistently at 3:00am MST. This doesn't happen all the time, only when Starlink releases an update. When this happens I would loose my internet for 3-10 mins. Other then these times for the most part it has worked great, I've been enjoying TV though my FireCube, which comes with it's own remote that you can talk to instead of pushing the buttons.
4K shows and movies are not a problem, even with multiple devices going we would get very little lag if any.
Not that Starlink is perfect as there has been some small annoying issues that appear occasionally, usually fixed with a power reboot from the Router. The story is usually the other way around, I remember very vividly one of our clients that turned on his streaming box after Starlink was installed, he was shocked to see the thumbnails loading in beside all of his shows, he didn't even no they existed when using his previous LTE provider. So the story here is Starlink has no problem streaming on any mainstream device, so if your thinking of cutting the cable bill to help cover the Starlink bill, we can say quite confidently think that you'll definitely be good to due so.
The biggest challenge you'll face with using streaming devices will be the connection from the router to the device. Most streaming devices use WiFi for connection, if your Starlink router has a few walls between the device, plus it's tucked in behind a large screen TV this will seriously lesson the strength of signal passing through. This is why router placement really needs to be considered when installing the Starlink system. Usually finding the most central point of the house is ideal but there is obviously a lot to factor into placing a router of which we wrote a little more in-depth article on. But proximity is very important, if your having issues with a device then bring it closer to the router and if that improves the stream clarity then you know your getting to much interference in between.
Inconclusion the speed from Starlink can handle streaming device easily, connectivity is the weak spot. Making sure you have a good connection will vary from device to device but it is easily diagnosed with a little know how, helping you to cut the cable and deliver high quality 4K video streams for all the family to enjoy.
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