Just how many Gb a Month is a Reasonable Amount, anyway? In the eye of the beholder, I guess.

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I just read a complaint one woman wrote --not here, but about her Comcast data limit...The title of her statement is "This 250 Gb  data cap is RUINING my family. It has to go".  Of course I burst out laughing when I read that, since somehow I am managing with my 10 Gb limit with Exe
de, but I don't know...is there something different about Comcast's data limits when compared to Exede's, technically speaking, that I am not aware of that would make someone feel that 250 Gb limit of usage per month, is somehow, well, UNFAIR?  Really, I just don't know the answer to that, but still the thought of 250 Gb not being enough really had me laughing.
I will give you a link to the whole statement and maybe people who read this who know more than I do can explain if there is some inherent difference in a comcast account, meaning that 250 Gb of Comcast can't be compared to equal Gb usage with exede?
anyway, got me to thinking about issues like what are people's expectations, when does it seem that maybe people are feeling somehow ENTITLED to something that really isn't a logical or reasonable expectation, vs when is a problem really a problem that is the provider's fault, how do you know the difference--do people sometimes blame a provider for not offering something the provider can't offer because of the nature of the product...why are some people more ready than others to immediately believe that something along the lines of lying or cheating is being deliberately perpetrated on them by a provider....when this hasn't been proven...why are some people so quick to think it's deliberate lying or cheating vs mistakes or incompetence, or neither of those?
No I am NOT saying that lying and cheating and incompetence isn't out there in the world bigtime...it is...but I suspect not nearly as often as we think it is...I have been looking online to see if I could find any cases of an internet provider who has been proven to have been deliberately lying to and cheating customers with regard to their contractual data caps..or a provider who has been found to be inaccurately metering the customers' usage, for the purpose of increasing profits or forcing customers to buy more expensive plans. or just have been incompetent and so the metering was inaccurate and customers weren't getting what they paid for...so far I haven't found any cases where this has been investigated and proven...does anyone know of any?
But back to the original question....does this woman really have a legitimate complaint about 250 Gb being ridiculously insufficient?  To the point of ruination of her family?
Here is the link to the lady's statement about comcast/the 250Gb limit:
http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Customer-Service/The-250gb-data-cap-is-ruining-my-family-It-HAS-to-go/t...
Are we ENTITLED to have what we think is the right amount of data usage?   Or do we have to live within the contractually stated restrictions of services we pay for and subscribe to and must we just find the  provider that offers the closest to what we would LIKE to have, for the best price?  Clearly, this woman sounds genuinely outraged....
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LorrieL, Champion

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Posted 5 years ago

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HMC1940

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I just read the letter. Gee I'm an older person so guess don't understand why a family would need so many things like ipads and all the other things that you need to have internet for.  Sounds like they spend a lot of time online. I have 10 gigs Exede classic and I find that is enough. Once or twice I did have to buy 1 extra gig but majority of time doing fine. I do email,Facebook,photobucket,another social site Not OverThe Hill, local newspaper, look up things on line. But when went to Wildblue and then to Exede classic they made everything very clear of how many gigs I would get ~~what would happen if used it up early. I'm satisfied. Sure beats dial-up. When was on dial up you could only have 6 hours online. It was so solw you couldn't even do Windows updates, So tthat's my 2cents worth. :-)
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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The 250 GB limit on Comcast is measuring data the same as Exede, a GB is a GB. Both are high speed internet services, but this lady is not alone in using large amounts of data a month. That is why Comcast has put limits on usage. People are streaming videos just to store them, from HULU, Netflix and the like, building enormous collections of movies ant TV programs, and then the downloading of some pretty large games too. There were many comments in the Wildblue/Exede Worldwide Forum a few months ago about the 250 GB cap just being too low for many. There were people averaging in the 500 GB per month range with their downloading games and video. Some have become addicted to the internet, never using regular TV to watch programs, but using the internet to get them. I have a son*in-law who downloads from Netflix and HULU all the time, he has expanded his hard drive storage to 5 units of 4 TB each just to store videos just in case he wants to watch something. He insists that it is his God-given right to use any amount of data he wishes, and lately he is even more vocal about it because Time Warner has been giving him warnings about overuse. Yes, we have a hard time understanding why people might want more than 250 GB, but then fro me, I was born during the last world War, when even TV was a luxury for only the upper class folks. I have learned to survive with my 15 GB limit, but certainly would love to have a much higher limit, at which time I would be able to stream some videos. Hopefully in the next year or so, Exede will come up with some relief for us country folks, not served by the land based internet services.
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Jacqueline Tierney

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I have to wonder how many of the movies/programs downloaded by the data hogs and stored on their computers actually are ever watched.   I say this from being a person who until a couple years ago had a box of VHS tapes of movies I had recorded back in the 80's (I'm not kidding about this) and never got around to watching.  I have to think the same would ring true here.  Like Steve above  all I want is the ability to stream a Netflix or similar when I want something to watch without worrying about data caps.  I would guess most months I would use less than 50 and certainly even on months I chose to watch more I doubt we'd ever go over 100.  I am fine with standard definition and while my 5 mb service up north at our old place was awesome for this,  I didn't mind at all when they were still at  1 and I had a little buffering now and then.  If the satellite companies want to keep customers like me,  they need to figure out a way to perhaps offer slower speeds with much higher caps for people like myself and offer the higher speeds with more restrictive caps for the high data users.  Otherwise as soon as a wireless broadband service signal reaches us (and they are expanding in rural areas) I'm gone.
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LorrieL, Champion

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All excellent points.  I am sure Exede and the other satellite internet cos know about expansion of the superior broadband options, and that just about all of their customers would switch if we had access...not because exede is "bad" but just because the other technologies are superior. in important ways.  so kind of a race to the finish now I guess, as to how fast Exede and others may be able to give MUCH higher data allowances, or may be able to improve the satellite internet technology in other ways...will this happen before i get access to those other technologies like fiber optics and DSL?  I don't know..but I bet Exede and Hughes have all kinds of business planning going on to deal with any contingency.  In reading the comments to the comcast lady, someone said that Comcast owns 30% of Hulu, implying that Comcasts concerns about increased streaming of tv would be mitigated by such investments by Comcast.
It is SUCH an eye opener to read that posting by that comcast customer and also to read all the responses she got to her comments..seems a lot of comcast customers suspect that only reason for the data capping is to block comcast customers from meeting all their tv viewing needs via streaming Netflix...so just like on this forum, there are customers  ready to think it's a co. conspiracy to cheat the customer. as I read all these complaints about Comcast, it was just like reading a lot of what i have ready here, except it was about a different company altogether...and about data caps that don't even come CLOSE to the Exede numbers....for me the moral of this story is that seems like some customers will have complaints/conspiracy theories almost no matter what as far as usage issues go.
(no i am not saying that ALL complaints have no validity not at all...but i suspect that it is rare that the usage problem is really caused by exede somehow)
What I wonder and dont know is this:  is there, as far as current and as far as near future projected technology goes, a hard limit as to how much data humans can consume and at what rate without causing a negative impact on the quality of the system?  theoretically and technically speaking, can a truly unlimited amount of data be used by customers, no matter how many customers there are in the world?  I am not talking about satellite internet because i understand about the limits that have been talked about with this particular technology...but are there such data usage limits with the other technologies as well?  If yes, will there ever be a technology where there WON'T be any limits as to how much data could be used no matter how many customers we are talking about?  except whatever arbitrary limits the co may impose?  Important to me, because I can't blame the company when it's a technological limit and not some profit making strategy by the ceo's.
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david, Champion

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On the Playlater, once you cue up shows to DL, if you then close the program and re-open it later does it start DL where you left off on the restart? I have a NZB downloader that I do that with. I just add downloads to it during the day then immediately close it. I have a windows task that runs at 12:15am that starts it and the program starts DL from where it was left off when it was closed.
(Edited)
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Barb

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What is a NZB downloader?
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LorrieL, Champion

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What does DL mean?  with playlater, if anything stops it (like an error or if i click tot stop it) then you have to start it again manually.
this is an example of what the playlater record page looks like:
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Starring Matter

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Data has to come from SOMEWHERE, some server or servers, and those servers will always have limited capacity.  As technology grows, what we WANT is usually far earlier than what AFFORDABLE technology can provide.  Everyone could have unlimited everything if we were willing to pay for it, but, of course, we aren't.  When the new exede satellite goes up in '16, presumably these 150 GB plans will be available to everyone, and guess what, by then, 4k video ("super" or "ultra" high definition, 2160p), will be the standard, and everyone will be complaining just as loudly that exede is unfair.  It's a cycle that will never end.
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Barb

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A lot of people these days are getting rid of their cable/satellite TV and using the internet only to watch their shows.  It is FREE to do this!!!  Or use HULU for $8 a month.  I am disabled and rely on my TV much of the time.  On my bad days I watch it all day and night long.    Granted, many parents allow their children way too much TV time and is is disgusting,  However, we should not judge people without knowing their circumstances.

BTW, how do you store Netflix movies on your hard drive?
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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You have to use third party software to do it, One that people have been using is called PlayLater, http://www.playlater.tv/, right now a lifetime subscription is $39.95, works with HULU and NetFlix.
(Edited)
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Barb

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Thanks Steve!  Is there a way to record them to watch on your TV would you know?
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LorrieL, Champion

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Barb, I am disabled also, and tv very important to me for entertainment/distraction.I just started using playlater.tv and it is a great combination with Exede because exede has the free zone from 12 mn- 5 a.m.  You can read all about playlater at 
www.playlater.tv   you download playlater to your pc and use it to record things from netflix, hulu etc --the recording doesn't count toward your data allowance as long as actual recording is done in LNFZ...the tv show or movie is recorded to your hard drive, which is great, but once it is recorded, you can watch it anytime without using up data...and there is a companion software which goes with playlater, which is called :playon.tv...which you need to be able to watch the stuff you record on your tv...I think..a little hard for me to say because I also have a roku...and I think playlater will work with your roku without having to buy the playon.tv software, but not sure..website will tell you.  i set mine up so that my playon.tv software shows up as a channel on my roku and I watch the stuff I have recorded on my tv...
they may still be having the special I took advantage of...I got the lifetime license to both playlater and playon plus a free chromecast device (sort of like a roku, only not as many options/channels)--for $69.99 -- I think that is half of the usual price.  As steve said, you could also choose a lifetime license to  playlater only for $39.99 if the special offer still applies.  iI think they also have a trial offer for a month followed by a monthly subscription fee of something like $5.
Some people are speculating that someone somewhere is going to try to start legal action against the makers of playlater/playon...there is concern of course about "copyright infringement"...playlater's position is that what their customers do with this software is no different at all than what millions already do with their DVR's....
I had one tech difficulty with playlater one time and emailed the company's support dept...they got back to me within hrs and told me how to fix the problem.
anyway, this may sound off topic but i don't think it really is, since this is a MAJOR way to get around the problems with streaming causing excessive data usage..i do have to be up at midnight to start the recording of the shows I want, but I can set them up in about 5 min and then go to sleep if I want...
but if I had hughes with no Late night free zone, playlater wouldn't do anything for me since all the recording would eat up my data allowance like crazy....
Ironically the only reason I even heard about playlater is the Exede rep who took my initial order told me about it as a way to be able to watch more tv/movies with just the basic plan with 10 Gb a month, which is what I have.
I am still figuring out exactly what i can do with my playon software, but one thing is I can set it up so that any internet videos I watch I can watch on my tv if I want to.  can also put my personal videos/pictures/music on my tv.
hope this info is useful to you.
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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This is a great conversation, and you all make excellent points. We are well aware that data is a big issue for many of our customers, and it's only growing in importance as 'over the top' services like Netflix and Hulu continue to grow in popularity. Here in the Denver office, which is where Exede is HQd, we spend a lot of time working on how to address usage to improve our service and make our customers happier. Contrary to what some folks suggest, we take no joy in administering data caps, since we know that, ultimately, people would prefer not to deal with them at all.

When our new satellite is launched in 2016, we know we'll have a lot more bandwidth to play with and will be able to address a lot of these data issues. Until then, we're working to see how we can better manage the capacity we have now with ViaSat-1. That's why we launched the Freedom plans in some areas and are tweaking the data offerings on some other plans. Since our service is delivered in beams, the fact is some beams fill up faster than others, and the one thing we don't want to do is overfill them at the expense of service for everyone in that beam. If you think of the water analogy, where everyone in the house is taking a shower at the same time the sprinkler are on, that water pressure is commensurate with what an overfilled sat beam might feel like. The trick is in figuring out how to manage the pipe so everyone gets the shower they want -- but it may not be at the exact time or configuration as they might desire. 
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Barb

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Lorrie, I too have Roku.  How do you set up the Play Later as a channel on Roku?  I am seriously thinking about getting the PO/PL but I'm sure once I reach the point of loving it that stupid legal action thingy will kick in and eliminate the company.  LOL

And Alex, 2016 is a very long time from now when those of us have a TV as a best friend can't watch what we want to when we want to.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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I may be old fashioned, but I have a DVR, I record the shows I want and then watch them when it is more convenient.. An older technology that does not use any of my data allotment.
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Barb

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I too have a DVR and I record Everything.  I rarely watch live TV, commercials are nothing but a big waste of my time.  I just happen to love Netflix.  I am able to go back and watch missed seasons of programs I just found out about and also there are Netflix only series' I enjoy.  Also on a day when there is breaking news, it always happens during my afternoon programing and then I can always go online to the network websites or thru my Roku to watch the 45 minutes I missed because of the breaking news butting in.
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LorrieL, Champion

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Steve, but you have to have your satellite subscription to do the dvr thing, right?  I am so poor these days that I am working on getting rid of satellite tv..which is why this playlater.tv is SO important to my plan..
I just got a roku for the very first time, since i couldn't even stream at all until I switched from the old hughes plan to exede (old hughes plan was 1 mbs down and my monthly allowance, monitored daily, came to 7.5 mb per mo)--with my basic exede plan I just can't stream much AT ALL outside of LNFZ or would use it all up in a heartbeat.
and now I have fallen in love with netflix and esp "orange is the new black" which i record using playlater during lnfz and then watch during eve hrs...love the whole demand thing and being able to bingewatch and lose the commercials...
but i just couldn't have these things until I found a way to have them on a limited basis, given my low income.  
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Yes Lorrie, you would have to have a subscription to satellite TV to use the DVR. I can understand that you are trying to reduce your costs, and therefore HULU and NetFlix does help you in doing that. With the LNFZ on Exede, you can take advantage of these services without consuming all your monthly allotment of data. You are doing a good job in finding ways to reduce your monthly budget. 
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Barb, re: your question about play on/play later with roku...I am not exactly sure about whether you need to get BOTH playlater and playon in order to have it connect to your roku...because I got both at the same time.  I read that playlater already has playon in it to a certain extent, without having to buy playon.

but what happened was, I bought and downloaded both at the same time.  when I opened my roku I think the playon channel had appeared there without my doing anything to connect them, but I don't exactly remember...I think you should be able to find the details about this on the playlater/playon website...  but anyway when I want to watch anything playon or play later related on roku, I open the play on channel on roku and then there is some more set up I have do re what they call "playmark" which has to do with what is on my pc...then you will see under the playon channel on your roku the other channels you are familiar with that you can watch...but not having recorded those, you would be charged for data use if you watch these outside of LNFZ.  but becauses of the playon channel on your roku,
so the playon channel has to do with the different ways to watch stuff and on which device, whereas playlater has to do with recording shows to watch at another time (as on a dvr except this is an online program you download and use as if it were some kind of online dvr..  if you only have playlater I honestly don't know if you can watch recorded stuff on your tv or not, but maybe you can?
i too have concerns about what might happen legally in the future but it is cheap enough for me to have it now and enjoy it...the monthly subscriptions are I think very cheap,...I saw something like $5 for one of them per month I think.  
sorry I don't have all the facts on this.
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LorrieL, Champion

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I will be VERY happy when playlater adds an important feature--right now you cannot set it to record anything at a future time,except in a very limited way if you set up a series of recordings at the same time, which will then form a cue and record automatically one after the other.  But I have to be up at midnight to start the recording to make it happen in the free zone 12-5.  Playlater says they are working on making it possible to set up recording to happen at a future time.  then it will REALLY be a substitute for a dvr.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Lorrie (or anyone else familiar with it),

Does PlayLater allow you to simply build a queue without executing it and save it for later execution?
(Edited)
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Barb

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To Lab Rescuer........No it does not.  You find the program, then the season.  It brings up all the episodes.  When you click on an episode, your only choice is to 'record now'.  One has to stay up till midnight to set up the recordings then of course you can only record 5 hours worth of programs.   

Lorrie, I went ahead and got it.  We'll see how it goes.  I just hope this type of TV programming never gets outlawed.
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LorrieL, Champion

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I hope you like it Barb, esp since I am the one who recommended it!  Let me know.
Lab rescuer, I emailed playlater to ask about a feature where we can set up to record later..they said they are actively working on that.  I hope so!
and Barb, if playlater does get outlawed maybe it won't be until we have MUCH higher data allowances.  :)  then I can use it just like a regular DVR...if it is still legal.
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LorrieL, Champion

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I am wondering why no one has yet accused me of working for Playlater! (i don't)
it was just a lucky thing that when I signed up for Exede the person I spoke to told me about playlater as a way to be able to watch stuff that is usually streamed without staying up all night long in the LNFZ.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Thanks, I was just curious and really have no real need for it. However, if it's a browser based interface, you might want to look at:

http://www.howtogeek.com/113789/how-to-automate-repetitive-web-browser-tasks-with-imacros/

A little imagination, coupled with Task Scheduler and iMacros might offer a temporary solution, and if not iMacros comes in handy regardless - the free version. 
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Barb

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Easy for your to say LR.  Not all of us are geekie LOL
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LorrieL, Champion

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i dd look at iMacros but so far can't figure out exactly what it is FOR....due to my being a nongeek, so to speak.   it is hard when you don't speak the language.

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