New OTT option for local channels: Locast

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Diana Collins, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Feb 1, 2019 #1 of 92
    Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Another service has come along trying to fill the niche vacated by Aereo. Locast aims to avoid the legal problems Aereo encountered by providing local channels for free. I was just watching several of the NY OTA channels just now (on my PC) and they looked quite good.

    They are currently offering locals in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Denver.

    NY Times article: Locast, a Free App Streaming Network TV, Would Love to Get Sued

    Locast's home page: Home - Locast
     
  2. Feb 1, 2019 #2 of 92
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    DD 5.1/Stereo or PCM? My DMA is not listed, but I would change to NY or Philly if the picture & sound are good.
     
  3. Feb 1, 2019 #3 of 92
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I set this up on a Roku in Philly. Worked great. I don't remember if it had DD 5.1 or not. Good option if you only want live TV but don't have an antenna. But didn't the last company (I forget the name) to try doing this get sued out of existence?

    EDIT: I just read the linked story. Aereo got in trouble because they charged for it. Apparently since Locast doesn't, it's still legal. Interesting to see how this will pan out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  4. Feb 1, 2019 #4 of 92
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    True, they are gone. But for $5 I would test it for a month. It figured out my DMA is not on the list, so I may stop the service and try again.
     
  5. Feb 1, 2019 #5 of 92
    pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

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    I live about an hour outside of Baltimore but the location finder knows I'm not in the Baltimore market, per se. Hopefully this will work eventually.
     
  6. Feb 1, 2019 #6 of 92
    tatergator1

    tatergator1 Well-Known Member

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    So what's the long-game for this venture? Plenty of costs associated with providing this service, but where's the revenue stream to maintain. I saw on the website they're asking for donations at this point to assist. Does this turn into a *wink wink* "donations strongly encouraged" scenario so it's still "free?" Do they think they can eventually leverage the broadcasters to pay Locast for distribution and larger potential viewer counts than they might reach with a typical OTA broadcast signal?
     
  7. Feb 1, 2019 #7 of 92
    wizwor

    wizwor Guest

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    Must be some Freepers on this forum. This service has been around for nearly a year and I heard about it for the first time yesterday on FR.com. Seems like something that would have been ontopic at CES.

    I guess the $5/month is kind of a Wink. You get hit with relentless opportunities to support. Wonder what happens after you pay. I could use this on a Roku but on my PC, it said my location is not served. The channels streamed in my market are a fraction of what I get via antenna. Still nice.
     
  8. Feb 1, 2019 #8 of 92
    reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    Nothing much from my experience. I used locast for a couple weeks in Dallas while traveling last October. Donated and haven't been pestered at all.
     
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  9. Feb 1, 2019 #9 of 92
    dadrepus

    dadrepus Active Member

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    I'm trying it out now on my Roku. I live half way between Balt and DC but I can only choose 1 guide, either or. Picture not as crisp as OTA but when the antenna is acting up, I can see this as a quick alternative to keep the family happy. Every time you go to the guide to pick a new show, you are greeted with a new plea for money, NBD really. Wonder if it goes away once one pays something?
     
  10. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how far of a range they give you? I'm about 35 miles outside of Philly and it let me sign up and steam channels on my iMac, quality was decent.
     
  11. eherberg

    eherberg Active Member

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    I looked into it for my sister-in-law in Massachusetts. She's in the Boston DMA although no antenna in the world would get her the Boston stations. According to the response I got, it's DMA-based. So she would qualify. One county over and she would be in the Springfield DMA, but where she is, she would be eligible. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a Roku and wasn't too enthused about getting another streamer just for Locast.
     
  12. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I'm in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton DMA, which is like number 64. I remember from my old DHG days. I could check Philly or NY, and TiVo has my zipcode mapped to OTA from NY to DE. I used another computer and blocked geolocation service. I could then choose. Something to play with later.
     
  13. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    Got it, that makes sense. I can get almost all Philly stations on an antenna crystal clear except WHYY (local PBS) and WPVI (local ABC) as they are VHF and there's all kind of interference. And if I'm not mistaken they are some of the last VHF stations left in the US.
     
  14. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I think you mean UHF. Spectrum auction killed UHF above channel 36. Only thing left for TV is 2-13 (VHF) and 14-36 (low UHF). WHYY moves up from channel 12 to 13 in mid-2020. All other Philly channels move this August. All the current UHF channels will stay UHF, and all the current VHF channels (except WHYY) won't move at all. Nationally, after the repack, there will be more VHF channels than there are now.
     
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  15. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    According to WPVI’s website they are low-band VHF. And WHYY is also VHF. I thought after the HD switchover most stations in the US became UHF?
     
  16. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    They are indeed VHF and will remain so. High UHF got auctioned off, so all those channels have to move down. Most stations already are and will remain UHF simply because there is more UHF spectrum than VHF. But upper UHF will have to move down to either lower UHF (if there's room) or VHF because those frequencies will no longer be available for television broadcast.

    Here's where I got my data. Note that there is nothing above channel 36 (high UHF) after the repack.
    RabbitEars.Info
    Transition Schedule
    https://data.fcc.gov/download/incentive-auctions/Transition_Files/Post_Auction_Paramters.xlsx (see column E for the final channel after repack)
     
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  17. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully not too many folks will end up with VHF as no one who lives within a few miles of me can get either of those stations on antenna. But maybe it’s just something in this area causing the problem.
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You're right that the vast majority of TV stations are on UHF, not VHF. But there are still quite a few on VHF around the country, with most of those being high VHF. Here in Nashville, our NBC station is on 10, our PBS station is on 8 and our CBS station broadcasts on both 25 and 5.

    In the spectrum auction awhile back (that auctioned off high-end UHF frequencies that are converting to cellular LTE and 5G signals, mainly T-Mobile), UHF stations could get money for moving down to VHF and high VHF stations could get money for moving down to low VHF. So there will be more VHF stations after the repack.

    While some, like you, report more interference on VHF stations, in my experience they are less prone to multipath glitching when wind blows through the trees.
     
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  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    For Locast to have any chance of long-term survival and growth, they MUST remain non-profit and therefore rely only on donations. And based on the info in the NY Times article, I doubt they're going to survive only on donations for individuals who use it. Seems to me that it would need major underwriting from wealthy donors, charitable trusts and/or corporations (i.e. the major sources that PBS and their related entities rely on).

    Broadcast stations owners (companies such as Sinclair, Nexstar, etc., who own the local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and The CW) are not going to contribute to Locast. No, they don't want folks to even know it exists, which is why they're not bothering to bring a lawsuit against them (yet). Because they want you to watch their stations via cable or satellite, so that they can get retransmission fees from those providers. Likewise, the networks themselves don't want you to know about Locast either, because they get a cut of their affiliates' retrans fees.
     
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  20. wizwor

    wizwor Guest

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    Maybe, but WMUR and WENH are vhf in New Hampshire. WGBH is headed to VHF in Boston. Most Maine stations are VHF. You are not alone!
     
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