No more data extender

Data extender was a great tool for conserving our data and watching as many shows as we liked without using up our data. Viasat says it’s easy to
adjust playback on the individual streaming app.
Not so on a smart TV with a Roku remote. This is not addressed in the message announcing the end of data extender. Does anyone know how to do this on a smart TV using Roku? We use Netflix, Hulu and Prime for the most part. Losing Data extender will cause me to use up 100 gb in a couple of weeks watching a couple of shows per day. Viasat is unhelpfully offering
plans with a higher data cap at a much higher price.
Not helpful except for Viasat getting to force users into higher priced plans. I can’t wait for Srarlink to be available in my area.

Hi @sofrancis ,

We are very sorry for the situation with the Video Extender. One thing we learned was that setting the video quality manually instead of using the video data extender caused less pixelation and buffering for many of our customers, and we’ll do our best to guide you on how to do this.

Firstly, I’d like to know if your device is a native Roku TV or if it is a tv connected to a streaming Roku device, that way I can try to guide you in a more specific way.


Thanks Leo,
It’s a Roku Streaming Stick connected to a Samsung Smart TV a few years old.
FYI- we mostly stream on the Roku but also use
a Macbook Air regularly. Our usual streaming apps are Netflix, Hulu and Prime. Netflix made it easy to adjust playbook. Hulu is working on this issue since the gear icon on the Roku and on the laptop
do not offer a playback quality selection in Hulu.
I’ve made no progress on Prime yet. I did visit
the Roku home page/settings on the TV and adjusted the playback to 720. I hope that selection controls all streaming quality through the Roku stick.

Hi @sofrancis ,

Adjusting the playback to 720p on the Roku settings page should force all streaming apps to play on that quality setting, so that should already solve your issue, but what I would recommend is to contact Roku support and ask if changing that setting will force all apps to play only at 720p since they are the ones that can confirm it.


@sofrancis does your Roku Display Type stay at 720p?

I read on their forum here that some users have experienced it going back to Automatic after they tried to set it to “720p TV”. It seems like it might be dependent on your TV hardware. We are interested to hear back on whether this is working for you across all your streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, and Prime) viewed via your Roku Streaming Stick.

The Roku playback setting stayed on 720p.
As to it’s effectiveness across platforms, time will tell. This only effects the TV. We also stream through a laptop directly from the 3 apps reported and this won’t help there at all. The decision to
retire data extender while introducing higher priced/ higher cap plans at the same time is obviously a revenue maximizing decision rather than one of concern for customers viewing experiences. Re: pixelization,buffering etc. You could have just left
data extender as an option while pointing out
the possible benefit of adjusting playback at the
app level. Now I’m scrambling to find a way to
conserve my data usage and avoid having to
consider a higher priced plan. Data extender was
perfect for users like me. We watch maybe 2-4 hrs a day on streaming platforms. With no playback quality control I’ll use all my 100gb
high speed (not!) data cap in a couple of weeks.
More money for more low speed internet service is not a good deal for the customer when essentially forced into that situation by the ISP.
Hopefully you will bring back the option to use
data extender in the future. Starlink is coming to my area soon………

Your apps are Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. You are able to modify the video quality for each of those from your laptops, right? I’m mainly just trying to understand if you are able to get to the level of video quality that you need in order to manage your monthly data.

Are you able to get back to the daily consumption rate you had with Video Data Extender using these per app and Roku Streaming stick settings?

Netflix .3 gigs/hr
Prime. .6 gigs/hr
Hulu doesn’t allow at this time. They’re looking
at it.

@sofrancis Hulu does have “Data Saver” mode, though I’m struggling to find numbers online about expected bandwidth consumption when in this mode.


We will test this out and see if we can get a sense of the difference that Hulu Data Saver mode makes and report back.

I know it’s supposed to be there, It just doesn’t show up on my laptop while steaming on Hulu.
A Hulu rep said they would look into this and contact me. No response yet…. anyway, not viasat’s problem.

Weird - it is there for me. I wonder if its a region thing. Or a browser thing? Can you share your browser and operating system?

Macbook Air. 2020
MacOS Ventura 13.2
Safari browser 16.3
No playback quality setting

Macbook Air. 2020
MacOS Ventura 13.2
Safari browser 16.3
No playback quality setting

Hi @sofrancis ,

Having a reply from Hulu support about this would be nice. In the meantime, could you try using a different browser to access Hulu and check if the option is there?


Thanks! Good idea. I’ll try that later.

I downloaded Firefox and played Hulu from there.
It had the playback quality setting. It defaults to
best quality so if you stream at that quality you’re
burning through data super quick. What’s up Safari??? That’s rhetorical! Good suggestion Leo!
I’ve think I’ve done all I can do to offset the loss of viasat data extender. Time will tell if it’s enough to
keep my present 100 gb plan viable.

Hi @sofrancis ,

Glad to know that my suggestion was helpful! If you have any other issues or problems, just let us know and we’ll be glad to help!



Where do you purchase a data extender?

Hi @StelondaBrown,

Do you mean buying more High-Speed Data for you plan?