Heads up for you Chromecast users

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I use a Roku device for all our streaming primarily because it is the only one out there that has a back door where you can set the master bit rate on streaming. I have a LOT of customers who insist on using their Chromecast stick and virtually every single one of them complains about data usage. Had a customer a few days ago come in the store to mention to me that he had done some testing with his chromecast. His router has a built-in traffic meter so he can see realtime readings. He said he found his chromecast SITTING IDLE used about 1/4 a gig a day.
I did some reading up on the issue myself and true enough, there are a lot of reports of these data vampires using 10-25 megs per hour while idle. Folks if you are on the Liberty 12 then you have just enough priority data to "feed" your chrome stick.

I've been suggesting to customers who have a Chromestick to consider the Roku simply because of the ability to set the bit rate, NOW I am telling people to toss them or be ready to be out of data quickly.

There is NO telling how many other data vampires there are out there. A lot of customers are starting to buy all this home automation stuff and I can't help but wonder if this is one of the primary reasons people are seeing their data disappear "when they aren't even home".

Anyone else know of any other vampire devices?

Andy
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Andy Schack

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Posted 1 year ago

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Bev, Champion

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Several, Slate Tablet (it checks social media, mail and updates every 5 minutes and, no way to turn that off except uninstall the apps for those things.) Connected refrigerators, they check to see if anyone is "calling" them to see what's inside. I suspect a lot of IOT devices periodically use the internet to check this or that, even when idle. (IOT=Internet Of Things - things that use the internet but are not computers, tablets or, smart phones.)
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xode0000, Champion

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Let me add: DirectTV and all of its satellite TV competitors; AVG and other bloated antivirus; and windows 10 with its endless ways for wasting data.

Personally, I find streaming TV to be about the biggest waste of data that I know.  I can read an article, and get much more information for a tiny fraction of the data that would be burned by the streaming TV.  I have also found Google Chrome as a web browser to be detestable, since it does not allow you to shut off its data burning cruft, so I am not at all surprised by what you have stated about the chrome stick.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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As much as I love mine, I'd say the same can be said for the Firestick and probably other "cordcutters" like Chromecast and the like. I mean just Netflix app alone has started playing either a trailer or a "DVD menu-esque" (music but no dialogue with scenes) for every title now just when you hover over it. 
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John Blount

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Does anyone have data on how much the firestick uses? Such as the orginal pose has on the chromecast?
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xode0000, Champion

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My wild first approximation guess would be that it burns data at a rate comparable to what the chrome stick burns (i.e. 10-25 MB/hours when idle).  If you get or have a router that monitors data usage in detail, that router will be able to show just how much a firestick burns.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I haven't personally checked mine to see if it uses data when idle. Obviously pulling up an app and playing something will use a great deal of data as that's all video streaming but when Idle I'm sure it gets a few Amazon updates (like Ads for The Tick or what they're pushing for Pilot season later this month) but I'm sure it's minimal as I have to prompt the updates manually. Just looking this up I came across this that might be handy. You can set usage alerts for your Fire TV http://www.aftvnews.com/amazon-fire-tv-stick-can-now-monitor-data-usage-and-alert-you-when-youve-rea...
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Also watch out for that Idle Screen saver too! Those pretty HD pics of scenic destinations streaming for several hours could add up. So be sure to go on Standby when not in use!
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Andy Schack

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I never thought about the screensavers as being a "streaming" thing, I guess I always thought they were predownloaded in the rom memory. Thanks Brad
Andy
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Andy Schack

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Just to toss this in the mix. I have a Roku 3 and it burns NO data when idle.

Did an install just yesterday and they had one of those Apple streaming devices. I told him to toss it and buy a Roku. He said "but I like the Apple TV". Jokingly told him you can still love it, just don't use it.....buy a Roku and make the setting changes I leave the instructions for.

Andy
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phinneus

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anyone looking for how to do this on roku here is what you do:

  • The Home button five times.
  • The Rewind button three times.
  • And finally, the Fast Forward button two times.
Press these buttons in order and you’ll be taken to the “Bit Rate Override” screen, a hidden panel that lets you set bandwidth limits on your Roku.

more info here:
https://www.howtogeek.com/289289/how-to-limit-bandwidth-usage-on-your-roku/
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Jim Eoff

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I thought I saw previously, but can't find the thread now, where Andy Schack or possibly someone else said that DirecTV is bad about heavy data usage. Is that correct? Based on the current thread, now that we just got an unlimited plan, I'm considering a Roku device, but also connecting my DVR to the Internet.