The Customer Confusion Department have excelled themselves!
OK. So I'm about to go into hospital for what will be a lengthy stay (we're talking months not days or weeks), and my kids are giving me a laptop for Christmas so I can skype with them and watch my Netflix shows while I am confined to bed.
Simple right? Of course not!
I went online to buy a 4G modem on a data plan that would include data-free streaming of Netflix.
Start at the Mobile Broadband page and go to Plans. Select the plan I want - $35 10GB data includes TV streaming (Netflix, Optus Sport, etc).
Get to the bottom of the page, there are 2 options Shop Tablets or Shop Modems.
I choose Shop Modems and choose the modem I want and click Buy Now
Get to the Review page in the checkout process and suddenly my TV streaming includes Optus Sport ONLY!
This is where I made my biggest mistake. I went to live chat. (I know it was a rookie error but, in my defence I am seriously ill and not firing on all cylinders).
After 35 minutes of going around in circles in the chat, all of a sudden he pronounces that Netflix is only available on Tablets not modems. I know this is not true because during my last hospital stay there were at least 2 other people streaming Netflix on their laptops via their Optus 4G modems.
Netflix will be the laptops primary purpose, but I will want to check email and skype the kids. So I don't need a big bucket of data. Maybe 5-10GB would be plenty. I could tether my phone to the laptop and stream that way but I'm told tethering is a no no and that it would no longer be data-free.
So my question to the good citizens of the Yes Community is this ...
How do I get Netflix data-free on my laptop?
I'm no expert on the plans, but i don't think unlimited netflix is available on Mobile Broadband Modems plans. I am aware that you have stated that on a previous hospital stay there were two other people watching netflix on laptops, this is still possible however it would make use of the Data on the plan. The "unlimited Netflix" is really a misnomer what it actually is and should be marketted as such is "unmetered netflix" as that is essentially what it is. it still requires a seperate active netflix account and it still uses the mobile data but it just doesn't get charged on the bill i.e. on the bill that data session will show $0.00. Hope this helps and i hope you make a speedy recovery
Perusing through the Q&A/ FAQS regarding the mobile tv streaming this question has come up a number of times. Tethering (which would be the connection between the modem/data device and the laptop) is not unlimited and would use data. My best suggestion would be as you're prepared to sign up to a mobile data plan for this option, get an ipad on the plan u can use the ipad for netflix unlimited and if you wanted to use the internet you can use it as a modem.
It would seem that my 13yo son is smarter than all of us! LOL
He just came up with a very clever workaround.
As I am able to stream data-free on my phone, rather than tethering, why not screen-mirror?
We just tried it and it works although it would still be nice to harness the speed and processing power of the laptop.
Hey Barfly. Happy to hear that you've found some work around. As an Optus mod I thought it important that I jump in to let you know that the FAQs for the offer state that 'If you do tether or stream to a bigger screen, it will use your included data.' This FAQ is related to streaming using services like Google Chrome & Apple Air Play so you should be okay. The stream coming out of the phone will have to remain in standard definition and up to 1.5Mbps for it to be unmetered. I'm not sure how the mirroring you've got set up works but the deal is designed to be used on the device rather than scaled up to a larger screen. I hope all the best for you though!
Streaming on the device was always the goal. Unfortunately Optus don't allow it to happen.
When we tested the screen mirroring we just used Splashtop which is a very basic mirroring program.
It was incredibly easy to do and the video quality, while not great, was perfectly acceptable for my needs.
The only issue we had was the video and audio going out of sync periodically.
If you have any thoughts about how I can stream directly to the laptop I'd love to hear them.
I would be interested to know the reasoning behind not allowing the netflix stream on the 4g modems.
Sorry Barfly, just so I'm understanding this correctly, do you mean Optus doesn't allow Netflix to be streamed data free on your laptop or do you mean Optus doesn't allow Netflix to be streamed on a laptop connected to your mobile broadband device?
We don't block Netflix from working on mobile broadband modems, it is just not unmetered on our mobile TV streaming offer. The reason being that the offer is designed to cover usage on a mobile phone or tablet. A modem could be connected to a device like an Apple TV or SmartTV where the stream would exceed the allowable limit. The offer is for mobile TV streaming not to cover usage on such devices. It's a matter of how much data is used when you're streaming on one of these devices, compared to when you're streaming on a mobile phone. Optus is able to cover the data usage on one and not the other.
If you're having issues using Netflix on your laptop when connected to a mobile wifi modem, that is a completely different issue/ conversation. Sorry that I'm a little confused here! I hope I'm able to provide some more clarity when I'm fully across the situation.
All good @Mike-N.
The short version is that I am going into hospital for what will be a lengthy stay (6-8 mths). My kids bought me a laptop so I could watch Netflix movies while I am confined to bed. What none of us realised was that the Netflix deal was only for mobile devices which a laptop most certainly is not.
And you have now explained the reasoning behind it and now I understand and agree with the decision.
We came up with a different strategy. I bought a 5TB external hard drive which we are going to use to download as many of the Netflix movies I want to watch as we can while I am still at home. That way I can connect the drive, and watch the movies in the Netflix app on the laptop and not use any data. If I run out of movies there are plenty of people who can take it home and refill it.