Any Railfan Viasat users out there?

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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The reason I ask is that I run a website that provides real-time audio stream (low bandwidth rate: 24 to 40kbps) of railroad communications from approx. 60 locations through out North America.
I'm curious to know how the trip over the satellite would affect continuous low-bit rate streaming of voice communications, and whether it is a good listening experience.  I'd Like to recommend Viasat to potential listeners in areas where traditional internet connectivity doesn't exist. But before I recommend it, I need to know how well it works... Anyone out there interested in BIG trains and the communications they rely on to keep things running can visit our website at www.railroadradio.net and choose 1 of approx 60 streams all listed by time zone they are in.  I'd appreciate user feedback on how well it works.

Thanks
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James Groenke

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Posted 9 months ago

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I think I did it right. Brought up a stream on my Tune In app with no issue. Little or no buffering. Heard some beeps and some rings during a 3 minute listen.

I see no problem with you site broadcasting to Viasat customers if the Tune In App is one of your delivery methods. I use the app on the Viasat network all the time. Occasionally you might get a little buffering fir a few seconds at times but nothing that is a show stopper.
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James Groenke

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Okay, Great! TuneIn is a good way to go for Cellular mobile and fixed internet as they do buffering inside their own process to help you transition through change of IPs and cell to cell gaps.  Thanks for taking the time to check this out. I just happened on Viasat while looking for an internet provider in the Thompson Falls, MT area. Viasat was listed in www.broadbandnow.com I started reading up on Viasat and thought it could very well be a good solution for both listeners and streaming hosts that want to stream from their location.  I'm going to include Viasat on my site's helpful links page.

I'd love any more reports of success (or not). And who knows there might be some rail enthusiasts out there that finally have a way to listen in 'Sparsely Connected America'. 

Thanks again.

Jim G.
www.railroadradio.net
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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James, I had no problems listening to the transmissions on Viasat. No buffering or any issues listening to several different sites.
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James Groenke

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Thanks very much, Steve. This is most encouraging. 
Is Viasat now operating on their newest Satellite which I read launched earlier last year?

I used to work in the Satcomm business for a Silicon Valley company which built satellite earth stations for Enterprise 500 businesses back in the 1980s... Things sure have changed since then, let me tell you!
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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No the new satellite is not quite operational. It is projected to be though by the end if the month or shortly thereafter.

Even without the new satellite Exede/Viasat has always been fast enough (except in extreme circumstances on occasion) to audio stream. That isn't always the case with video streaming, but there should be no problem with the audio you are delivering.
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James Groenke

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Thanks for the update on the new bird.  I notice there's no mention made about sun outage transit times on any satellite internet provider websites. I presume that is still something to factor in. I'm willing to bet  the average satellite internet user does not take those predictable events into consideration when they loose internet connectivity for a few minutes.

Just curious if there is mention made and upcoming outage times provided and I just missed it.
 
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Sun outages? Not sure they even happen with this technology but if they do happen the impact is neglible.
(Edited)
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Jim16

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Found this...interesting.

"Geostationary satellites are stationed at approximately 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometers) from Earth and located directly over the equator. Given the equator is offset by 22.5 degrees, the sun aligns directly with satellites and receiving earth stations twice a year—once in the spring and once in the autumn (Figure 1). This event is called a sun outage, and is also known as sun fade or sun transit."
(Edited)
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Use to get sun outages more often on the old, old big dish TV systems. Occasionally Directv has then, but nothing like the old big dishes. On satellite internet u have never really noticed it.
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Old Labs

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Alex (formerly known as Exede Alex) used to post notifications on when these sun outages were anticipated.
(Edited)