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Old 06-17-2019, 11:14 AM   #1
OtinG
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Streaming to TV w/o WiFi fail

Background:
A storm packing high winds took out my internet connection yesterday afternoon. (It is still out--waiting for Charter-Spectrum to come fix it in our neighborhood.) To be clear, my WiFi network is running, but there is no internet connection, so things like surveillance cameras work via WiFi connection. I can connect my iPhone to other devices through WiFi. However, I'm having to use the cellular connection on my iPhone XR to get an internet connection. Last night I had to watch Hulu Live TV on my iPhone rather than over my TV or iPad as that was the only device I own with cellular capability. Of course I was able to watch OTA TV on my TV, but unfortunately not much was on OTA TV last night.

The Problem:
Watching a streaming service requires a reliable internet connection. The only reliable internet connection available to me was/is a cellular connection using my iPhone. So I set up a Personal Hotspot on my iPhone. I tried to stream my iPhone to my Apple TV (gen 3 I think) via WiFi connection. WiFi was working, mirroring to Apple TV from iPhone worked, internet connection via this setup was a major fail. It seems that if I set my iPhone to cellular only (turn off WiFi) I can get internet via cellular. If I turn on WiFi on my iPhone I lose the internet. I tried multiple combinations of settings, but the internet always shut off as soon as WiFi was turned on. I tried these settings:
  • Settings-->Personal Hotspot ON (tried using WiFi and BT connections)
  • Settings-->Phone-->WiFi Calling ON (forgot to try turning this OFF)
  • Settings-->Cellular-->WiFi Assist ON/OFF (tried both)
  • Settings-->Cellular-->Cellular Data (turned ON for all necessary apps)

There is probably a setting somewhere I need to change to make this work, but I never found it. Watching TV on a smartphone is okay in the short term, but it does become a literal pain in the neck after a while!

BTW, I tried using a BT connection between the iPhone and Apple TV/iPad to get the Hotspot to function with cellular. That kind of worked, but the Mbps was too slow to work for streaming (less than 1 Mbps speed. I only get 2.5 Mbps on my iPhone via cellular T-Mobile connection, but is enough for streaming, though just barely.)

I've encountered this hotspot issue before where a WiFi connection simply won't work because when I turn on WiFi on my iPhone the internet connection is lost. BT kind of works, at least for web surfing, albeit at DSL speed or less. The one hotspot solution that works well is tethering my iPhone via lightning/USB cable to my MacBook Pro. That works like a charm. (I should have done that last night!)

So the issue seems to be centered around how I can convince my iPhone to use cellular for internet and WiFi so I can connect it as a Personal Hotspot with my other devices via WiFi (Apple TV, iPad, etc.). Again, just to be clear, as soon as WiFi is turned ON on the iPhone the internet connection is lost. Frustrating!

ETA: I'm currently using my MacBook Pro via a tethered USB/Lightning cable to my iPhone to surf the internet at 2Mbps speed via the Personal Hotspot set up on the iPhone.

Last edited by OtinG; 06-17-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:37 PM   #2
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You should be able to mirror your iPhone to your TV via the Apple TV. Try setting up your Apple TV to connect to your iPhone via the wifi hotspot rather than your usual wifi.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
You should be able to mirror your iPhone to your TV via the Apple TV. Try setting up your Apple TV to connect to your iPhone via the wifi hotspot rather than your usual wifi.
That is what I tried but it fails. To have a WiFi hotspot requires the iPhone to have WiFi turned on, and that causes the cellular to not receive the internet. I talked with T-Mobile about why I only had 2 Mbps speed in LTE then mentioned how I tried to use the hotspot. The 2nd level tech said that if you have both cellular and WiFi turned on that the iPhone will try to use the WiFi as long as it detects the network because it doesn’t check WiFi signal strength for internet. In this case there was no internet but the iPhone assumed there was, so it defaulted to WiFi rather than cellular. It is a catch 22 scenario. Apple needs to fix that. It works if you are not within range of your WiFi net because then it defaults to cellular for internet, but if it sees the WiFi net it ignores the cellular and uses the WiFi even when the WiFi net has no internet connection. Rather dumb if you ask me. They obviously didn’t think that all the way through.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:17 AM   #4
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So, turn off your wifi router, or tell your phone to forget that network.

I went through the same issue that you went through, cable goes down, the only internet is on my phone and I want to stream the ball game and that was my solution. It worked fine.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
So, turn off your wifi router, or tell your phone to forget that network.

I went through the same issue that you went through, cable goes down, the only internet is on my phone and I want to stream the ball game and that was my solution. It worked fine.
I’ll try telling the phone to forget my WiFi network next time. I don’t want to turn off the router because I need it for the surveillance cameras. Fortunately this morning I finally have my landline internet again. Two nights of watching TV on a phone sucked! Thankfully I have cloud DVR so I will be able to catch up with the shows I missed on Hulu Live TV.

Now I have to work on getting T-Mobile to fix my LTE speed. They told me I should be getting between 7-40 Mbps speed, but I was getting at most about 2.5 Mbps and sometimes less than 1 Mbps, none of which was fast enough to stream HDTV. I tried streaming to my MacBook Pro via hotspot yesterday and it would only do SDTV which looked too fuzzy to watch. Thankfully SDTV looked okay on my iPhone though.

Thankfully this is rare. This was the first time I lost my internet for more than an hour or two. But we had three tornados in the metro area Sunday and some bad straight-line winds, so I guess it wreaked havoc all around on power, cable, and internet lines. T-Mobile claimed my slow speed was due to tower damage so hopefully they will get it fixed too.
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