TV Streaming at Condo Properties with Bulk Satellite TV
To stream or not to stream, that is the question! As TV and entertainment evolves and as we move into the merging of traditional television viewing and the internet, we are receiving many questions about streaming at condominium properties that have bulk television packages delivered through a satellite system. With new fiber optic WiFi networks in place throughout the Enchanted Circle communities of Angel Fire, Red River, Taos, and Taos Ski Valley, our recommendation is to do both and stream additional channels and content beyond the basic satellite TV that may be desired individually by unit owners. One day everything will probably be “streamed” (or viewed via hologram), but for now a simple bulk programming package delivered by a basic satellite system is the most affordable and easiest to navigate method of delivering quality entertainment to vacation and hospitality properties. There are many ways to accomplish having bulk satellite TV programming supplemented by streaming, but following is our easiest recommendation (followed by a discussion with additional options):
If you want to stream channels that are not part of your property’s bulk satellite package, first, you need a streaming service. Subscribe to Dish Sling TV (https://www.sling.com/), which is a streaming service that offers “packages” similar to traditional satellite or cable services. The first step is for individual unit owners to subscribe to the service. An existing Dish account number is not needed. It is a new, standalone subscription, separate from the property’s bulk satellite TV programming package. Prices and offers change, so please call our office for current offers and to set up service. Sling TV does not require a contract and can be subscribed to for one week, one month, three months, six months, or on an ongoing month to month basis. It is important to note that Sling TV is NOT a commercial service (there are currently no commercial streaming services available) and the Sling account is for the owner’s personal use and may not be advertised or resold. Most steaming devices offer a “guest mode” which you will want to learn how to use.
The second requirement is to have the right hardware to “stream”. A smart TV or streaming device is required to access Sling TV (and the many other streaming services out there). Some smart TVs have limited apps and a streaming device might still be required. We recommend a Roku, which can be purchased online, at most electronics stores, from our website, or by calling our office. Once you have subscribed to a streaming service and have added streaming hardware, in order to view either your Dish satellite TV programming or your streaming programming, you will have to switch between inputs on your TV, which almost always can be accomplished with one Dish remote programmed to your TV.
Some owners have asked us for the most basic way to stream without even having to change inputs. One option is to upgrade your receiver to a Dish Wally, which will allow you to stream Netflix and access a limited number of other apps without even having to change inputs on your TV. In order to access Netflix and internet connected apps, a WiFi adapter has to be purchased and added to the Wally. A Hopper with Sling is the next receiver step up and does not require an adapter and will offer a DVR and a few additional apps. (At this time we cannot add a Hopper 3 to a bulk satellite system because they are not compatible with other outside hardware parts in the system.)
We have just discussed a basic streaming solution, but there are a myriad of streaming services and streaming devices and your property is by no means limited to what we have suggested. In addition to Sling TV, other streaming services include Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and many, many more. Other streaming devices to consider are Dish’s own AirTV Player, the Amazon Firestick, and Apple TV. Although the top devices each have their advantages, for the purposes of properties with satellite TV systems, we recommend the Roku because of the ease of use of the interface and changing inputs between satellite TV and streaming services. And also because of the interface, we highly suggest the Roku TVs if you will be upgrading TVs in your unit (in which case you don’t need even need a streaming stick or box because the hardware is built in).
Some owners have probably already taken advantage of streaming services. For help figuring out a configuration, to order service, or for more information, please call our office at 575-377-2817. For properties with more than 30 units, upgrading to a Dish Smartbox is another alternative for adding streaming TV. This is an exciting possibility for larger properties because switching an entire large property to streaming TV is bandwidth intensive and can overwhelm a WiFi network. Please call our office for details and a quote. Also, coming this spring, we will be offering hospitality technical support services for a low monthly subscription fee. Your guests will have access to on demand technical support for all of the devices at your property including TV and internet. Stay tuned!