You have an RV and want to surf the Internet on vacation, but you’re not sure if the DISH Playmaker can do it. Can you get internet with Dish Playmaker?
The answer is yes, but only with a couple of additional pieces of equipment. You need a Playmaker, bundled with the Wally receiver, and a Wi-Fi USB from DISH to access the internet in an RV. The entire package costs less than $450 but only works when the RV is stationary.
More and more Americans are finding that RV living provides an excellent alternative lifestyle choice compared to the typical residential life in the city or the suburbs. Life on the road offers the opportunity to see the wonders of the USA while helping families build memories with every passing mile.
RV Manufacturers recognize this fact, trying to find ways to help families have access to the latest technologies, like RV satellite dishes. Internet service providers like Dish and other companies have had to figure out ways for families to take their connectivity with them on the road.
Can I Get Internet With Dish Playmaker System?
You can access streaming apps like Netflix, HBO, and other networks with the DISH playmaker portable satellite antenna if you also have the Wally receiver and a DISH Wifi USB adapter.
The receiver and wifi adapter are exclusive to DISH, so you cannot use any other modem or adapter to pick up the Dish Signal.
Owners can permanently mount the Playmaker on the roof or set it on the ground. (You just need a clear view of the southern sky for the best satellite signal). The entire bundle can be bought separately or directly from DISH TV for an additional monthly premium to their residential service plan.
The Playmaker allows users to connect one television to the DISH satellite tv service with faster speeds than many other internet providers. Many Americans have chosen full-time RV living and need the capability of having internet and tv service.
If you have a residential plan with DISH, you can add the internet plan to an existing DISH package. The Playmaker works best when the satellite is permanently mounted on the RV’s roof, and the vehicle is stationary. (If you plan to mount the portable antenna on the RV’s roof, then DISH requires you to purchase the equipment outright).
What is Satellite TV?
While regular HD television is beamed into your home from a local station’s broadcast tower, satellite television is beamed from outer space. The different stations send their signal to a specific location (an uplink center), where it and hundreds of others are converted into a single data stream. The data stream is sent to a specific satellite in space.
A satellite orbits the earth in a geosynchronous orbit (23,000 miles above the surface). When it receives the data stream from the uplink center, the satellite changes that signal into a specific broadcast frequency and beams it back to certain location coordinates.
It is captured by a specially designed satellite dish connected to your TV. This technology allows viewers to pay a monthly subscription fee and access hundreds of stations, streaming options, and their favorite tv shows.
What Payment Plans Does DISH Offer?
DISH has a payment plan so you can pay as you go (on thirty-day blocks), so RV families who travel only during certain months don’t have to lock into a 2-year contract.
The other advantage of the DISH antennas is that they do not have to be aimed in a southerly direction like other portable satellite dishes. (You do need a clear view of the southern sky, however)
DISH does offer an antenna for RVs that will allow the user to capture a satellite signal while on the road. If you need this capability, you must purchase the Winegard Roadtrip T4 (bundled with the Wally receiver).
This unit retails for about $1800, not counting the installation. The regular DISH Playmaker (or Playmaker Dual) works if your RV is stationary and costs about a quarter of the higher-priced antennas, so many tailgaters and campers opt for the less expensive option.
The plans that DISH offers range in pricing depending on the number of channels that you want to have the capacity to view. Most RV owners choose the most basic plan, which costs about $50 – $60 per month. The DISH Wifi USB will allow streaming apps like Netflix and others as long as there is Wifi available, which many stadiums and campgrounds offer.
Some campgrounds charge for the service (like high-priced hotels), so you might have to use your smartphone as a hotspot if you need to do so. (Remember that using your phone in this manner will chew up your data plan and cost you money).
Do Other Providers Like Direct-TV make Satellite Antennas for RVs?
DirecTV offers mobile reception for RVs, but you need an outdoor satellite antenna and Directv receiver. Unlike DISH, DirectTV uses third-party providers for equipment and does not offer mounted satellite dishes. (You will likely need a power inserter as well).
They offer a variety of packages that allow for up to 185 channels. However, local programming will likely work only if your recreational vehicle is inside your home broadcast area. The advantage of DIRECTV is that you can access more channels, but there is no monthly payment plan, only a 2-year contract as there is with the residential satellite plan.
Comcast, Xfinity, and other satellite providers often sell packages for internet connectivity but do not offer mobile satellite internet plans. You may have to pay more for an internet provider that can reach your RV travel destinations.
Can I Use Any Kind of Wifi USB?
The DISH system requires you to use the dedicated DISH USB only and is designed to work only with the Wally unit. For multiple televisions, you will need the Wally Receiver.
What are the Options for Having Internet In My RV?
There are three basic options for people who want internet connectivity in their RV. You can use your device as a hotspot, add a mobile hotspot router or purchase a dedicated satellite antenna.
Phone As A Hotspot
A service provider will allow you to use the smartphone to receive the signal from the nearest cell tower and convert it into a WiFi signal. Your device works as a mini-router allowing connection to the Internet.
The data speeds are slower and don’t provide the best signal as compared to other internet services. In addition, different providers charge extra for the service, and this type of usage will drain your data capacity faster than anything. If you are on a limited data plan, there are better ways to connect to the internet.
You can purchase a mobile hotspot device for use inside your RV, which receives the signal in a way similar to your cell phone. The data comes through the closest cell tower, converts the signal into WiFi, and allows you to connect to a computer or other device.
The nice thing about these units is that they are readily available, and the cost continues to improve. Many carriers provide this equipment and will happily rent it to you or add it to your plan.
The trouble with a mobile hotspot is that if you are in a remote area with spotty cell service, the signal and data transfer rate will be much slower. In these cases, it is necessary to get a Wifi booster, mainly if you are in a region with limited services.
Portable satellite internet is the most reliable of all the options. Service providers like DISH and DirectTv can outfit recreational vehicles so that you can have internet access and tv service even in remote places with consistent data speeds.
Regardless of your location, The provider can give you access to your favorite tv shows or the internet. The only real issue is that the portable satellite dishes can be expensive if you mount them on your RV’s roof and often require you to purchase the dish upfront.
Satellite internet providers offer the best signal for an RV. (The portable antenna is the best bet If you plan to live out of your recreational vehicle and move from location to location).
- You can receive an internet signal with a DiSH Playmaker.
- A Wally unit and dedicated Wifi USB adapter are required
- The DISH tv provider has a monthly plan that will not lock owners into a 2-year contract.
- Many RV owners like to watch TV and consider antennas as standard RV gear.