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Medallion Net - Streaming Shows and Music???

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We will be cruising in a few months, the first time with Medallion Net.  I’ve looked for experiences using Medallion Net for streaming shows and music, but haven’t been able to find discussions.  Princess says streaming will work for shows and music, but I’m a bit leary.  Has anybody REALLY been able to listen to streaming music such as Apple Music or XM Radio?  

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1 hour ago, cruisinsoooon said:

We will be cruising in a few months, the first time with Medallion Net.  I’ve looked for experiences using Medallion Net for streaming shows and music, but haven’t been able to find discussions.  Princess says streaming will work for shows and music, but I’m a bit leary.  Has anybody REALLY been able to listen to streaming music such as Apple Music or XM Radio?  

Yes.  I had NFL football on one day.  I had Fox News live coverage on - both video and via XM App.  

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Even if your ship is equipped with MedallionNet, you may not get great bandwidth.  😲

 

The key is a constellation of satellites that orbit low over the Equator:  For technical reasons they can sell bandwidth to ships at a much lower cost.  If your ship within about 48º of the Equator (not north of Seattle / Southampton) and actually aims it's antenna at one of these MEO satellites, you get streaming-quality bandwidth.  Otherwise, otherwise.  Emerald Princess, for example, is infamous for having MedallionNet but aiming her antenna elsewhere.

 

Last spring, we sailed Regal trans-Atlantic.  From Ft Lauderdale to the Azores, we could stream. From the Azores, she switched satellites.

Edited by Haboob

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On my Feb Medallion net cruise I streamed Netflix, Apple Music, and my church live streaming service back home in Ohio.  I was in Mexico at the time of the service.  No buffering at all.  It was awesome

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10 hours ago, Haboob said:

Even if your ship is equipped with MedallionNet, you may not get great bandwidth.  😲

 

The key is a constellation of satellites that orbit low over the Equator:  For technical reasons they can sell bandwidth to ships at a much lower cost.  If your ship within about 48º of the Equator (not north of Seattle / Southampton) and actually aims it's antenna at one of these MEO satellites, you get streaming-quality bandwidth.  Otherwise, otherwise.  Emerald Princess, for example, is infamous for having MedallionNet but aiming her antenna elsewhere.

 

Last spring, we sailed Regal trans-Atlantic.  From Ft Lauderdale to the Azores, we could stream. From the Azores, she switched satellites.

One of the onboard internet managers told me just today that ships sailing through the Panama Canal typically keep the onboard antenna configuration set up for GEO even though MEO is available. 

 

He advised there is some difficulty (and maybe cost) associated with reconfiguring the onboard antenna array from MEO that is used in the Pacific to MEO used in the Atlantic (and back). 

 

You seem to be on top of this stuff. Can you comment on what I was told?

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14 hours ago, cruisinsoooon said:

We will be cruising in a few months, the first time with Medallion Net.  I’ve looked for experiences using Medallion Net for streaming shows and music, but haven’t been able to find discussions.  Princess says streaming will work for shows and music, but I’m a bit leary.  Has anybody REALLY been able to listen to streaming music such as Apple Music or XM Radio?  

This all assuming that you purchase the unlimited internet package of course.

 

We were told about two years ago  (Princess official) that someday they would be streaming their movies that are available in the cabins to you devices anywhere on the ship.

I haven't hear anything more about that since.

I'm beginning to think the comment was just hopeful. 

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17 minutes ago, Bgwest said:

One of the onboard internet managers told me just today that ships sailing through the Panama Canal typically keep the onboard antenna configuration set up for GEO even though MEO is available. 

 

He advised there is some difficulty (and maybe cost) associated with reconfiguring the onboard antenna array from MEO that is used in the Pacific to MEO used in the Atlantic (and back). 

 

You seem to be on top of this stuff. Can you comment on what I was told?

Three comments:

• Unlike GEO (geostationary) satellites, MEO (medium Earth orbit) satellites rise, move across the sky and set 5 times a day -- which is why a ship needs upgraded antenna mounts to track one across the sky then switch quickly from one setting in the east to one rising in the west.  In other words, there are no "Pacific" or "Atlantic" MEO satellites: they switch oceans back and forth each time around their orbit.

• Each satellite has 10 dish antennae for uplinks, so can only point at 10 ships a time.  I do not know, but it's reasonable that the satellite company might sell access by ocean to ensure they don't commit to 11 ships on a satellite.

• I haven't crunched the numbers, but it's also possible that the sides of the Canal's Culebra Cut might be tall enough and steep enough to interfere with uplinks mid-transit.

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Recently on the Coral (from SF to PE through the big ditch) streaming on an unlimited plan worked FANTASTIC. 

 

Was able to watch HD video on a firestick. Streaming music was not an issue.

 

Did not stream during the canal passage (too busy taking it  all in).

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I was on Ruby Princess until Thursday and streamed sports, news, did Skype calls throughout the entire cruise. Even out in the Tasman Sea, two days cruising from anywhere I didn't have a problem.

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52 minutes ago, Mr_Plow said:

Recently on the Coral (from SF to PE through the big ditch) streaming on an unlimited plan worked FANTASTIC. 

 

Was able to watch HD video on a firestick. Streaming music was not an issue.

 

Did not stream during the canal passage (too busy taking it  all in).

Did you do a speed test? 

On speedtest.net or a similar site?

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I did not - I am an IT professional and was blown away by the capabilities of the new internet. I was able to stream 4k videos most of the time.

 

IP phone calls had some latency but were clear.

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I appreciate all of the responses that are coming through.  I’m learning a lot about satellites, and am encouraged by the great experiences some have had.  And yes, we did advance purchase the unlimited internet packages.  We will be on the Emerald going to Hawaii and the South Pacific. 

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I was on the Regal the week before last (Thanksgiving week), and after having experienced the typical internet speeds on cruise ships over the years, I was astounded at how fast and reliable the new internet service was.  I used it for typical emails, gaming, music, and also used it on my iPad for video streaming on multiple services.  It was lightning fast! There were a couple of times when it glitched, or wasn't responding as expected, but they were very isolated incidents.

 

Someone above had mentioned about having the ability to stream onboard videos on your mobile devices, but I don't recall that being an option when I was sailing.  Perhaps that is something for the future?  I did have my first experience of on-demand video from my cabin, however. In addition to limited live TV channels (news, sports mostly) they also offered some TV shows, and a bunch of movies.  They also had a category for "recently added" movies that expanded over the course of the week. They would show certain movies at MUTS or in the other onboard theaters, and then immediately add them to this category for watching in your cabin.  So, if you didn't get a chance to see a public presentation of one movie, you'd be able to catch it in your cabin the next day.

 

Enjoy!

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just off the SKY in the Caribbean … couldn't even log on many times … went to the internet café about adding my wife's minutes, and another cruiser was getting a credit back for an internet package purchase because of the poor service connection ...

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38 minutes ago, voljeep said:

just off the SKY in the Caribbean … couldn't even log on many times … went to the internet café about adding my wife's minutes, and another cruiser was getting a credit back for an internet package purchase because of the poor service connection ...

Sky was supposed to get MEO-uplink antennae last October.  But, in addition, she had to get a slot on the "O3b" satellites and actually point her new antennae at them.  Sounds like one or the other didn't happen, leaving her with oversold and overloaded uplinks.

 

Sympathies, and now you know why IT folks talk about the "(b)leading edge".

 

Edited by Haboob

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On 12/6/2019 at 8:12 PM, cruisinsoooon said:

I appreciate all of the responses that are coming through.  I’m learning a lot about satellites, and am encouraged by the great experiences some have had.  And yes, we did advance purchase the unlimited internet packages.  We will be on the Emerald going to Hawaii and the South Pacific. 

Wife and I will be on the same HI/South Pacific cruise and I am very, very, very worried about Internet speeds on the Emerald. 

 We were on the Emerald just this past October and the speed’s, even though within the sweet spot of MEO satellite coverage, we’re absolutely abysmal. 

I stopped by to speak with the Internet service manager and ask him if he could explain to me why the speeds were so low. He got absolutely hostile, defensive and abrasive while telling me that no one else had complained. Whether that was the fact or not, I have no way of knowing. 

 

What I was able to determine beyond any doubt, was the fact that download speeds were consistently less than 2 Mbps This in contrast to just having recently gotten off of the CB with download speeds around 100 Mbps

I have already written Princess about this three separate times in the hope that on our upcoming cruise the Emerald will have her antenna pointed at the MEO satellites.

 

I encourage any others sailing on board the emerald to do the same thing.

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1 hour ago, voljeep said:

just off the SKY in the Caribbean … couldn't even log on many times … went to the internet café about adding my wife's minutes, and another cruiser was getting a credit back for an internet package purchase because of the poor service connection ...

We were also on Sky b2b from Nov 10 to Dec 1.  Internet was just OK but not great.  The few speedtests I did with different websites showed about 1-2 mb/s at best.  I downloaded 3 Economist magazines during the cruise and each download took over 10 minutes for approx 50 MB each.  Not great, I thought they might be running some QOS rules to slow this stuff down.  Internet was down totally one night in mid Atlantic for a few hours but OK the next day.  Maybe teething problems on a new ship.

Edited by hobbyfarmer2
Sp

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5 hours ago, Bgwest said:

I stopped by to speak with [Emerald's] Internet service manager and ask him if he could explain to me why the speeds were so low. He got absolutely hostile, defensive and abrasive while telling me that no one else had complained. Whether that was the fact or not, I have no way of knowing. 

Seems nothing, but nothing, on Emerald has changed since last December, including the manager's attitude.

 

I even have a picture of a "Satellite internet is very slow due to the ship's geographical position" sign posted in her Internet Cafe on Dec 15, '18 while deep in the O3b constellation's footprint.

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Just got off the Royal today and did not have great service. A 30 minute show took about 45 minutes to watch with all the buffering and freezing.

 

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52 minutes ago, Haboob said:

Seems nothing, but nothing, on Emerald has changed since last December, including the manager's attitude.

 

I even have a picture of a "Satellite internet is very slow due to the ship's geographical position" sign posted in her Internet Cafe on Dec 15, '18 while deep in the O3b constellation's footprint.

Do you recall the manager’s name?

On our October 2019 Mediterranean cruise the manager’s name was Maskim. 

Edited by Bgwest

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9 minutes ago, Bgwest said:

Do you recall the manager’s name?

On our October 2019 Mediterranean cruise the manager’s name was Maskim. 

Sorry, no.

 

Got my refund and considered it quits until I heard other stories about Emerald's internet.  Incidentally, as testy as the IT guy was, there was a passenger utterly incensed at all the folks "giving him grief".

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15 hours ago, Haboob said:

Sorry, no.

 

Got my refund and considered it quits until I heard other stories about Emerald's internet.  Incidentally, as testy as the IT guy was, there was a passenger utterly incensed at all the folks "giving him grief".

That’s funny. Sounds like when I finally approached him he was over the top unhappy with being asked about the problem. I may have been the one who was the proverbial “straw”.

I’d love to read the the comments from the incensed passenger!

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On 12/9/2019 at 6:12 PM, Bollycats said:

Just got off the Royal today and did not have great service. A 30 minute show took about 45 minutes to watch with all the buffering and freezing.

 

I was on the Royal over Thanksgiving and the speed was awful. Less than 1 meg. All efforts to stream ended in failure for me.

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1 hour ago, polmcs said:

I was on the Royal over Thanksgiving and the speed was awful. Less than 1 meg. All efforts to stream ended in failure for me.

Observations don't mean much unless you specify where they were made -- within 48º of the Equator (where fast-uplink satellites are available) or not.

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