Friday, September 3, 2021

The Locast ruling

I'm not in an area served by Locast. Well, actually, nobody is anymore. But Locast was offering service to around 55% of the people in the United States. The service ran in 35 markets, including the 22 largest in the U.S. But that was before a court ruling earlier this week that effectively shut the system down.

So, I'm not impacted, but maybe you are. And, if you are, what do you do to get local channels? Well, you gotta do the same thing the rest of us do.

I use an antenna. Now, since I'm some distance from the major four network affiliates, I had to spend more than most on a large antenna, and have a decent antenna pole, but not a tower. I may add a tower later, but for now, I'm good. It works.

But what if you're in a situation where an antenna isn't feasible for you? If you're waning live local channels, you gotta subscribe to a service that carries it.

For CBS, you do have the $10/month plan from Paramount+, which skips commercials from on-demand content, as well as getting you a live feed of your local CBS station.

For ABC, Fox, and NBC, you have to subscribe to a more expensive live streaming service. ABC can be viewed with Vidgo ($55/month), while ABC, Fox, and NBC can be viewed with Hulu+Live TV ($65), YouTube TV ($65), Fubo ($65), and DirecTV Stream ($70).

If you're looking for content from the networks but don't need to watch live, then Hulu carries many of the TV episodes from ABC, Fox, and NBC within hours of the live broadcast. CBS shows, as mentioned, can be viewed with Paramount+.

If you go the antenna route, as I did, you can add local channels to all your streaming devices with Tablo or Air TV, as they work with all the major streaming platforms: Roku, Google/Android TV, Apple TV, and Fire TV. You can also use Fire TV Recast if you have Fire TV devices.

The shutdown of Locast doesn't impact me. I was hoping they were staying within the law with their actions, but if the judge's ruling is correct, they weren't. That's a shame. I would like to see a quality legal means of watching live local TV via streaming devices, without having to put up an antenna. Until that day comes, we'll have to make the best of thing with the current options for including local TV in our Streaming Life.

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