Some interesting news for TV cordcutters

imaref

Member
I looked heavily into getting an antenna to receive the DC local TV stations over the air but because of our location I wouldn't pick up many stations in Lexington Park. I gave up.

Reading tech news yesterday I read about a non-profit service called Locast.org (currently available on Roku) that re-broadcasts live local TV station signals for those that are too far away from broadcast stations to be picked up via an antenna (like the majority of us in St. Mary's).

Locast is Locast.org, not Locast.com, and its status as a non-profit means it is legally allowed to rebroadcast for free, as it provides a public service of extending signal reach (legal according to U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, according to the article).

I signed up for an account on their site (even though it's not available for DC stations--yet). They seems to be working their way down the East Coast from Boston, and Baltimore will be the next that they add. I would anticipate the DC stations to be added next after Baltimore.

If this holds up legally, you would basically be able to use your Roku and (when the DC stations are added) use the Locast.org app on Roku to stream the local stations at no charge. It would be nice to cut out the middleman, the rebroadcast fees, etc.

Definitely something for cordcutters to keep an eye on... if you want to read more about it, their website is https://www.locast.org/
 

mitzi

Well-Known Member
I looked heavily into getting an antenna to receive the DC local TV stations over the air but because of our location I wouldn't pick up many stations in Lexington Park. I gave up.

Reading tech news yesterday I read about a non-profit service called Locast.org (currently available on Roku) that re-broadcasts live local TV station signals for those that are too far away from broadcast stations to be picked up via an antenna (like the majority of us in St. Mary's).

Locast is Locast.org, not Locast.com, and its status as a non-profit means it is legally allowed to rebroadcast for free, as it provides a public service of extending signal reach (legal according to U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, according to the article).

I signed up for an account on their site (even though it's not available for DC stations--yet). They seems to be working their way down the East Coast from Boston, and Baltimore will be the next that they add. I would anticipate the DC stations to be added next after Baltimore.

If this holds up legally, you would basically be able to use your Roku and (when the DC stations are added) use the Locast.org app on Roku to stream the local stations at no charge. It would be nice to cut out the middleman, the rebroadcast fees, etc.

Definitely something for cordcutters to keep an eye on... if you want to read more about it, their website is https://www.locast.org/
This would be great. I like the Firestick but I really miss the local news. You can stream them live on your browser but most of the time it doesn't work right.
 
I looked heavily into getting an antenna to receive the DC local TV stations over the air but because of our location I wouldn't pick up many stations in Lexington Park. I gave up.

Like life, if you don't try, nothing happens. I re-post an old post to encourage you. I live in Lexington Park. I kept my antenna in the attic and it worked. If you just want DC stations, you don't need a rotor. DC is about 50 miles away. Easy reach for a moderate antenna. Yes, I have trees blocking my antenna. Yes, mine is 12'... hidden in the backyard. Yes, you might have to send your antenna and preamp back if it fails. So here is my old post... I hope it helps you make the right and economical solution.

Look at OTA. I get 45 channels on my worst day to 73 on my better days. Many are HD. (It ain't your grandfather's analog OTA any more.) I get all the local news from Washington, Baltimore & Salsbury (2,4,5,7,9,11,13,16,20,45...). I get all the Redskins, Ravens games (except when exclusively offered by ESPN and NFL networks). It's free after a 1 time cost for 'fringe' antenna, rotor, booster, powered splitter and coax (about $350)... as many TVs as you want playing different channels. No internet needed. The downside is it's ugly (ghetto appearance - I keep mine in the back yard), and it's susceptible to air traffic.

I have 4 old Rokus, 3 smart TVs and stream Netflix and Amazon Prime along with all those 'free' streamer channels available on the Fire, Roku or virtually any wifi streamer hardware. I use home internal cable rather than wifi whenever possible.

Be aware. Sling, Netflix, Fire, Roku and all streaming channels all still require a decent high speed internet connection and that's what ABB provides. They got a lock. You FIOS people are lucky (but the price is still high). Otherwise, U outa luck.
 

imaref

Member
I think "free on Roku" would be better for me both cost-wise and better than fooling around with an ugly antenna/equipment so I'm willing to wait at this point. Glad your antenna is working well.
 

awpitt

Main Streeter
I looked heavily into getting an antenna to receive the DC local TV stations over the air but because of our location I wouldn't pick up many stations in Lexington Park. I gave up.

Reading tech news yesterday I read about a non-profit service called Locast.org (currently available on Roku) that re-broadcasts live local TV station signals for those that are too far away from broadcast stations to be picked up via an antenna (like the majority of us in St. Mary's).

Locast is Locast.org, not Locast.com, and its status as a non-profit means it is legally allowed to rebroadcast for free, as it provides a public service of extending signal reach (legal according to U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, according to the article).

I signed up for an account on their site (even though it's not available for DC stations--yet). They seems to be working their way down the East Coast from Boston, and Baltimore will be the next that they add. I would anticipate the DC stations to be added next after Baltimore.

If this holds up legally, you would basically be able to use your Roku and (when the DC stations are added) use the Locast.org app on Roku to stream the local stations at no charge. It would be nice to cut out the middleman, the rebroadcast fees, etc.

Definitely something for cordcutters to keep an eye on... if you want to read more about it, their website is https://www.locast.org/
Thanks for the info.

I've been trying YouTude TV and it already has all of the DC metro stations. NBC4, FOX5 WTTG, ABC WJLA 7, and WUSA9 CBS.
 

sastanley

Member
This is all interesting stuff!
At my old house, due to lots of trees to the south I could never do any better than SD with DirecTV (I had a gap due to the road for 99-103 I think, but all the other sats were blanketed.) I also had a Hi-VHF (7-13) and UHF (14-69) antennas. I had them offset about 10 degrees, with the Hi-VHF pointing in between Balt/DC, and the UHF aimed at D.C (on a rotor if needed.) When it worked, it worked great...I was even looking into something like Windows Media Center (this was 10 years ago) to record local content for viewing (my wife rarely watches the 6PM news at 6PM). I was in California (Myrtle Point area) close to Patuxent Beach Road, approx. 150 ft above sea level, and the antenna another 50 feet off the ground. Some days I got nothing and somedays I had 40+ channels. I really just wanted live sports (football, NASCAR) broadcast on the local networks on the weekends, but I gave up too.

My new-to-me place in Calvert has a clear view to the south so we are enjoying discounted HD DirecTV with the Genie 2. It is easy and my wife likes it. It has some quirks but works acceptably for what we want. When our 'discount period' runs out, not sure what I'll do. What do you cord cutters do to record broadcast TV, i.e., This is Us, Chicago PD/Med/Fire? Is that stuff available on-demand or thru IOT's as soon as it is broadcast?

I have a fire stick and a Chrome Cast. I haven't even bothered to plug either in since we moved. I guess I also don't sit in front of the TV for long enough to really care right now..I have too many house projects..so I put on a show on multiple TVs and sorta pay attention while I am back and forth from the shop to project, etc.
 

Chris0nllyn

Well-Known Member
My Sling has an optional DVR feature where you can add shows.

It also has an OnDemand feature where shows pop up after a week of coming on TV.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
This is all interesting stuff!
At my old house, due to lots of trees to the south I could never do any better than SD with DirecTV (I had a gap due to the road for 99-103 I think, but all the other sats were blanketed.) I also had a Hi-VHF (7-13) and UHF (14-69) antennas. I had them offset about 10 degrees, with the Hi-VHF pointing in between Balt/DC, and the UHF aimed at D.C (on a rotor if needed.) When it worked, it worked great...I was even looking into something like Windows Media Center (this was 10 years ago) to record local content for viewing (my wife rarely watches the 6PM news at 6PM). I was in California (Myrtle Point area) close to Patuxent Beach Road, approx. 150 ft above sea level, and the antenna another 50 feet off the ground. Some days I got nothing and somedays I had 40+ channels. I really just wanted live sports (football, NASCAR) broadcast on the local networks on the weekends, but I gave up too.

My new-to-me place in Calvert has a clear view to the south so we are enjoying discounted HD DirecTV with the Genie 2. It is easy and my wife likes it. It has some quirks but works acceptably for what we want. When our 'discount period' runs out, not sure what I'll do. What do you cord cutters do to record broadcast TV, i.e., This is Us, Chicago PD/Med/Fire? Is that stuff available on-demand or thru IOT's as soon as it is broadcast?

I have a fire stick and a Chrome Cast. I haven't even bothered to plug either in since we moved. I guess I also don't sit in front of the TV for long enough to really care right now..I have too many house projects..so I put on a show on multiple TVs and sorta pay attention while I am back and forth from the shop to project, etc.
A lot of the apps have on demand. For example ABCs app on the ROKU has on demand shows for everything over a week old totally free. With on demand stuff a DVR is unnecessary IMHO.
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
A lot of the apps have on demand. For example ABCs app on the ROKU has on demand shows for everything over a week old totally free. With on demand stuff a DVR is unnecessary IMHO.
There are a number of "features" with all the apps. Some require and account and some networks don't offer all shows live or even on on demand. (they limit the shows)
It also requires a solid, high speed internet service. You aren't going to stream on DSL or a dial up. What I'm seeing with Atlantic Broadband (aka Metrocrap) is that depending on where you are, you might not be able to get a solid high speed connection.
The last challenge it that of the technically challenged. First they have to swith the "source" on even a smart tv. Then they have to navigate to the appropriate application and possibly log in. Then select the show.
Not anything like channel surfing on tv and they will gnaw your ears off with complaints.

Right now, DTV (AT&T) can go play ith a FiretrUCK themselves. Horrible service. Don't even try to use their on-demand unless you have high speed internet as it's no longer sent over the dish, but rather those rentals come via the internet.

Lack of competition is why we (at least St. Mary's) get such random and crappy service.
It all depends on where you live. If you are in an older section, your wiring is vintage, dating back to the orginal cable franchise.
If you live off of 235 and your developer wired your community for fiber, you can get FiOS.
St. Mary's Cablevision will happily charge you for the highest band width service you want. Unfortuantely it doesn't mean you will actually get it.
Oh, and if you aren't in a development, you may have to pay upwards of 30,000 to have cable run to your property and then to your house.
 

Potomac

Member
Yep. Nothing at my house. We use our cell phones as hot spots. Had a Verizon Hotspot for several years. For a short time it was pretty good, although we could never do any streaming. Then it really became undependable, so we cancelled it because it was a waste of money
 

David

Opinions are my own...
Staff member
PREMO Member
I wonder if it would be legal to put up a repeater that rebroadcasts Over The Air TV signals in order to extend the reach. My understanding is that OTA HDTV looks better than DirecTV or Cable because it is not compressed.
 

itsbob

I bowl overhand
I looked heavily into getting an antenna to receive the DC local TV stations over the air but because of our location I wouldn't pick up many stations in Lexington Park. I gave up.

Reading tech news yesterday I read about a non-profit service called Locast.org (currently available on Roku) that re-broadcasts live local TV station signals for those that are too far away from broadcast stations to be picked up via an antenna (like the majority of us in St. Mary's).

Locast is Locast.org, not Locast.com, and its status as a non-profit means it is legally allowed to rebroadcast for free, as it provides a public service of extending signal reach (legal according to U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, according to the article).

I signed up for an account on their site (even though it's not available for DC stations--yet). They seems to be working their way down the East Coast from Boston, and Baltimore will be the next that they add. I would anticipate the DC stations to be added next after Baltimore.

If this holds up legally, you would basically be able to use your Roku and (when the DC stations are added) use the Locast.org app on Roku to stream the local stations at no charge. It would be nice to cut out the middleman, the rebroadcast fees, etc.

Definitely something for cordcutters to keep an eye on... if you want to read more about it, their website is https://www.locast.org/
We have an HD antenna on our camper.. and in Dameron we get about 20 channels with just the antenna.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
There are a number of "features" with all the apps. Some require and account and some networks don't offer all shows live or even on on demand. (they limit the shows)
It also requires a solid, high speed internet service. You aren't going to stream on DSL or a dial up.
You can stream with DSL, I did it for two years. Only reason I switched to cable is due to unreliable service, had to reset my router atleast once per hour and verizon kept blaming my router.
 
My understanding is that OTA HDTV looks better than DirecTV or Cable because it is not compressed.
It does, but not all stations transmit at 1080. Of the 10 or so stations I get from the Eastern Shore, only one is transmitted in 1080i. The rest are 720 or lower.
 

imaref

Member
The free Washington DC Channels are up and running on Locast.org - I tried watching them on computer and also through Roku. Very good, especially if you are a cordcutter and aren't getting local channels. It's free! Picture is decent.

Channels available:

WRC (NBC 4)

WTTG (FOX 5)

WJLA (ABC 7)

WUSA (CBS 9)

WFDC (Univision)

WDCA (my20)

WETA (PBS)

WZDC (Telemundo)

WDCW (the CW)

WPXW (ION Television)

Here's what you need to do, whether you want to watch on computer or on Roku:

1. Go to locast.org and sign up for a free account (make sure your browser allows the website to access your location or you will have difficulty; I used the Chrome browser after having difficulty with Firefox and Edge).

2. When you want to watch on computer, just login at locast.org and click on the program you want to watch on the TV Guide (you must temporarily disable any adblockers--they do nag for a donation at the start of watching but it's quick).

3. Go to the Roku store and search for locast.org - add the channel, then go to the channel. You login with the same login info as the locast.org website. Once logged in you will see a mini TV guide with the channels--just highlight and click on the one that you want to watch.

This will be nice for those of you that cut the cord and aren't getting local channels but want to watch DC sports events, etc. Post about your experiences!
 
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