sthebody

    Hello.  I live in a spot where I have no access to a wired broadband ISP so up until a couple weeks ago I used Verizon Wireless (Windows phone) to tether my desktop and stream video content to my 32" monitor.  Streaming with VZW is great but I decided to give the T-Mobile One Tablet + International plan a try to see if I could save some $$$ over the VZW XXL (24GB + 4GB bonus) plan I have.

     

    Issue I have is when tethered to my new T-Mobile device's hotspot (Samsung Tab E - full 5 bar signal) the video quality is very poor - well actually it is clear for a second or two then goes blurry for about 30 seconds then goes clear again for second...repeat.  I can shut down my T-Mobile hotspot, fire up my VZW hotspot (2-3 bar signal), tether to it, and then I get super clear video again.  I have tested this with the ESPN Watch app, Sling TV Orange, TNT app, HBO Go, HBO Now, Netflix, and Amazon Video/Prime.  When tethered to TM I get a more stable picture when streaming HBO Now and Netflix, it does not go clear and then blurry, however the resolution is at most 480p (generous).  Again, no issues when tethered to VZW, close to HD stream with only a 2-3 bar signal, TM signal is at full 5 bars.

     

    I noticed in my account settings Binge-On is toggled "on" however there is no option to turn it "off."  When I try to slide the toggle either nothing happens or I get an error message stating something like you don't have access to that feature now.  I messaged TM support to see why I couldn't turn Binge-On "off" and was finally told (after one close-to-2-hour messaging session and another 30 minute messaging session) that although it says Binge-On is "on" it really isn't.  Okay, that seems pretty weird but I accepted the answer because my data usage does go up when streaming Binge-On eligible content.  If Binge-On was in fact "on" it was my understanding the streaming I was doing wouldn't count towards my data plan.

     

    I wanted to put this plan to the test and see what type of "prioritization" happens when I cross that 26GB data threshold so I sat down yesterday and tethered my desktop to my TM hotspot then proceeded to binge watch a full season of Game of Thrones through HBO Now.  Before watching I checked my data usage and it was right at 11.5 GB.  It was kind of watchable but again resolution was less than DVD quality.  After 9 hours of streaming (no I'm not proud of this but I couldn't stop watching and I now see what all the hype is about) I peeled myself out of my chair and checked my data usage - I used right about 10GB.  I expected this to be more like 30GB for a 9 hour session of supposedly unthrottled streaming.

     

    Still have my VZW plan so I might just go back to that if I can't get this figured out. Any suggestions about what I can do to improve my TM streaming, or any insight as to why my VZW streaming works so much better?  Thanks.

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