Network - Wireless & Wired Connections

Help & troubleshooting for network issues, including connecting your device to your home Wi-Fi network, connecting to public networks, troubleshooting wireless issues & ethernet connections, and optimizing streaming performance.
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Minivan connection

Hello - first post, but I have Roku built in to 4 of my TV's and one Roku 4k box on the last TV.  Now, it's time for the minivan for my kids on road trips...

My only concern is how much data the Roku unit will chew through, especially considering that the screens in my minivan are probably no better than 720p.  I read about some secret menu for adaptive bitrate, but that doesn't 100% solve my issue.  Is there any way to get the unit to connect and stream at a lower BEFORE the signal hits the display?  It sounds like a Roku will receive a signal and stream at its highest quality (chewing through bandwidth) and then downgrade the signal if needed to the display.  It also sounds as if the adaptive bitrate just tries to throttle the bandwidth, but if the unit is trying to receive for a 4K or hi-def signal, I don't see where that would be too beneficial, and it sounds like others mentioned it doesn't even work always.

I just bought a new Sienna with built-in wifi and was going to try it next weekend, but I need to know if one of the Roku units is better than the others, or can be set up to receive a lower-def signal (i.e. use less bandwidth) per its settings.  I did search these forums before posting and did not find the exact answer or information I needed, so any help would be appreciated!

Thank you!
0 Kudos
6 Replies
twiceover
Level 10

Re: Minivan connection

What's the cap on your in car "wifi"?
0 Kudos
andyross
Level 10

Re: Minivan connection

In the settings, try setting the Roku to only 480p or similar low level. Good enough for kids in a car. Hopefully, most of the streaming services will only stream at that level. Also, if your phone can cast to the Roku, some of the services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and probably others), let you download to the phone ahead of time. Not sure if it will let you cast that download, though. You may want to experiment.
0 Kudos

Re: Minivan connection

2 GB or 6 mo trial.  However, I heard that it may be semi-affordable pre-paid...  I am less worried about the Hotspot throughput than the actual bandwidth consumed.  It is Verizon LTE, as is my cell phone and it has always performed excellent.

Once I run out of my data on my road trip next weekend, I just need to see if it makes sense to pre-pay ahead of time for future vacations.  I do not have unlimited plans for our cell phones, and to upgrade that, it would be a monthly charge that I am not willing to pay for a few road trips a year.  However, if I can pay $20 (or whatever) per road trip and have the kids happy and quiet the entire way, money well spent!!!  It looks like I will receive an email with my options when I hit the data cap, so I have no idea how much the rates may be per GB.
0 Kudos

Re: Minivan connection

"andyross" wrote:
In the settings, try setting the Roku to only 480p or similar low level. Good enough for kids in a car. Hopefully, most of the streaming services will only stream at that level. Also, if your phone can cast to the Roku, some of the services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and probably others), let you download to the phone ahead of time. Not sure if it will let you cast that download, though. You may want to experiment.

But I thought I heard the Roku will still pull as if it were hi-def and that only forces the video feed to the display...  Perhaps that was incorrect information?  If I could force 480 (or even 720) streaming, I'd be a happy camper.
0 Kudos
twiceover
Level 10

Re: Minivan connection

"columbussienna" wrote:
2 GB or 6 mo trial.  However, I heard that it may be semi-affordable pre-paid...  I am less worried about the Hotspot throughput than the actual bandwidth consumed.  It is Verizon LTE, as is my cell phone and it has always performed excellent.

Once I run out of my data on my road trip next weekend, I just need to see if it makes sense to pre-pay ahead of time for future vacations.  I do not have unlimited plans for our cell phones, and to upgrade that, it would be a monthly charge that I am not willing to pay for a few road trips a year.  However, if I can pay $20 (or whatever) per road trip and have the kids happy and quiet the entire way, money well spent!!!  It looks like I will receive an email with my options when I hit the data cap, so I have no idea how much the rates may be per GB.

2GB might get you a couple hours out of town.  It goes pretty fast.  Might want to look at ripping their favorite movies/shows to a Roku compatible format and just playing them off a USB drive.
0 Kudos
Tajson
Level 7

Re: Minivan connection

"columbussienna" wrote:
2 GB or 6 mo trial.  However, I heard that it may be semi-affordable pre-paid...  [...] I will receive an email with my options when I hit the data cap, so I have no idea how much the rates may be per GB.

Here are the numbers that I know of with Toyota Connected by Verizon:
2 GB for $35
4 GB for $50
8 GB for $70
0 Kudos