ChannelsDVR "Sources"

The Locast demise has been kicked around a lot. I have not seen my issue discussed.

All of us want an alternative to Locast that works just like Locast does - it is a "Source" for ChannelsDVR thus allowing us to create a Pass for a program to be recorded. Of course, we hear that we can stream the networks and every network has its own app to do that with varying degrees of success.

None of these can be treated like a "Source." I have TV Everywhere via DirecTV but it does not permit access to CBS or ABC (for whatever reason), other than their news stations.

I have done the whole antenna deal with HDHomeRun (works great) but I simply cannot obtain ABC and CBS (both VHF in my area) and this is with a broadcast engineering friend doing the work.

What I need is an exact replacement for "some" of Locast's channels that will dovetail with ChannelsDVR's "Source" connection. Or, a suggestion on how to add some kind of streaming service for CBS and ABC that will work as input to ChannelsDVR's "Source" connection and provide the same scheduled-record capability as Locast did.

Of course, there is Sling (and others) but even Sling's cheapest package is $35. The local cable provider for "locals only" still is very expensive.

I don't know if there is any point in reaching out to TV Everywhere and ask why isn't CBS and ABC on their service with DirecTV(?).

I am open to suggestions! Thanks!

That is dependent upon your local CBS and ABC affiliates. I am in the LA market area, and using DirecTV credentials I have no problem getting any of my supported local networks via TVE support. CBS (KCBS), NBC (KNBC), ABC (KABC), Fox (KTTV), and PBS (KLCS, KOCE, and KVCR) are all available with DirecTV credentials.

If you want to investigate more, you will need to ask your local CBS/ABC affiliate why their feeds are not available via the TV Everywhere ecosystem.

(Also, TV Everywhere isn't some company or other organization. Rather, it is a collection of agreements between TV networks and cable/OTT providers to allow SSO access to the networks.)

1 Like

Thank you for that clarification. This is very helpful.

My gut reaction is they will give me some excuse. While that would resolve my problem, I doubt they'd make a change for me, but I can give it a try!

Thanks, again!

Can you use a relatives credentials? It's weird my parents in another part of the state with Xfinity gives me my local CBS which Spectrum doesn't.

1 Like

Chances are that DirecTV's carriage agreement with your local affiliates did not include TVE access. Unfortunately, in that case there is nothing to be done except wait for the carriage agreement to expire and hope that TVE access is part of the next deal.

1 Like

Actually, I am doing that already with DirecTV. I have a summer home in Maine with the physical dish. I use those credentials to obtain TV Everywhere. I could add another source, but I cannot think of anyone who has not already cut the cord. Good idea, though!

I sent a note to my local CBS affiliate to see if they are on TV Everywhere. No response yet.

Are they both low VHF (Physical Channel 1-6)? If so, you'll need an antenna that can specifically pick up that range.

If they are high VHF, you should be able to get them with just about any decent outdoor/roof/raised antenna with line of sight. If they are in different directions, you might consider two separate antennas/HDHR combos. Stupidly expensive, I know.

2 Likes

No, both are hi-VHF (7 and 9) - Washington, DC. But, I have a condo with the only balcony being on the North side while the towers are to the South. Interestingly, the Hearst candelabra array is line-of-sight direction but it's 30 miles away. There, I would have the opportunity to receive CBS Baltimore (11) and ABC Baltimore (27). That brings in the combination problem of both hi-VHF and UHF at 30 miles, and still be something that could fit on a balcony. I am only just exploring this as a possibility. I will try to tinker with that this weekend, but given the terrain and 30 miles, I am not optimistic.

What is really interesting is that all the other major channels in the DC market (which are UHF), I pickup with a very small Yagi (or also a good loop) with an indoor antenna.

This all feeds my HDHomeRun box. If I can receive the Baltimore stations (a friend and neighbor does but he has an Yagi outdoor antenna on his roof and he lives on a hill), I will do a signal combiner to feed the HDHR unit. They are both Yagis so signal multipath is minimal.

This is all such a monumental hassle. Locast worked great and such a service obviously is needed. The court papers showed Locast pulling in $4M or so while the networks in 2019 pulled in $11.72 BILLION in retransmission fees! I mean, seriously, talk about greedy!

Take people like me who are not allowed to have an external antenna on my condo except in "areas that the condo owner solely controls," (yes, I know the law) where I cannot adequately receive OTA signals. Locast is perfect (and affordable) for us.

I am a techie guy and I will find a solution. What I really need is a remote antenna to feed my CDVR. Or, even setup my CDVR elsewhere and "stream" remote back to my home. All that gets a bit "iffy" and burns up bandwidth.

Like I don't have enough to do but fiddle-f*rt around with something that wasn't broken!

Thanks for your suggestion!

VHF channels are much more prone to interference. Usually FM signals, but other environmental factors can contribute to this, too. And for those of us in marginal areas—I'm in the lee of some foothills, and can barely receive anything OTA even though I'm only 25 miles from the towers—VHF channels are the hardest to receive.

1 Like

I’m in the DC market as well, and I had a heck of a time picking up ABC and CBS, too. I ended up getting the top of the line antenna from Antennas Direct and sticking it on a crawl space upstairs (the whole upstairs is a converted attic). Even then I was having some issues, until I read that the bar that came with the antenna to pick up VHF channels should be facing the broadcasting towers and be perpendicular to the towers (so, completely parallel to the ground). Problem solved, even though the signals have to travel through my house to get to my antenna.

2 Likes

I agree with your approach. In my condo, I have no attic, nor access to anything other than my balcony which is on the opposite side of the 7 (ABC) and 9 (CBS) towers. I have done about everything including a hi-gain VHF antenna with amplifier - no luck.

I responded to another person on this thread that this weekend I am going to try to hit the Hearst candelabra in Baltimore. It's 30 miles as the crow flies. I am not optimistic, although a friend who lives nearby has a rooftop antenna, plus he's on a hill. He can pickup the Baltimore affiliates.

Thanks for the comment!

1 Like

Would your friend let you set up your Channels DVR at their house? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

1 Like

Actually, that is being discussed. He is interested in setting up ChannelsDVR for himself.

The remote access is not a bad idea. It will burn up a lot of internet usage but it could be done. I'd prefer to resolve the problem locally as I would have more control over the server, the NAS, and so on. Really, when Locast was operational, my system was ideal for me. It is a shame a perfectly good system that served the needs of many people who otherwise have difficulty getting access to OTA signal, had to die because of the greed of the networks. Locast was minuscule in the revenue scale but the networks have to have it all, I suppose.

You might see if your local ABC and CBS stations have publicly available m3u streams you could use.

1 Like

Theoretically, VHF should be easier to recieve, from a propagation standpoint. VHF signal waveforms are more apt to follow the curvature of the earth versus UHF which are line of sight and shoot off into space at the horizon (as determined by antenna height). Most people trying to recv VHF are much more likely to be victims of the combination of expense involved in a decent antenna and antenna manufacturers catering to the majority of the stations which are UHF. One of the key factors to recieving decent VHF stations is going to be a quality VHF antenna, not just a single element slapped on a UHF antenna. There are some locations a hundred foot tower wouldn't even help but, if you have more than one VHF station that is important to you, don't skimp on the antenna or "hope" the UHF antenna will work. This is science, not voodoo.

1 Like

I live in the Chicago area - when we lost Locast, I selected Local Networks via TV Everywhere in the list of "experimental" in Channel Selections. We have all the local networks as well as both Chicago-land PBS stations. I love it!

2 Likes

Thanks. Good idea. I have that box checked but nothing new shows up on the channel guide that is not already coming off my DirecTV and HDHomeRun "sources." Maybe it does not exist in the DC Metro market(?).

Does it work on https://abc.com/watch-live or https://www.cbs.com/live-tv/stream/tveverywhere/

1 Like

I'm in Northeast DC and get 2 (ABC), 45 (FOX) and 54(CW) out of Baltimore with no issues, plus 22 (PBS) out of Annapolis. The signal is usually too weak for 11 (NBC), while 13 (CBS) is hit-or-miss. I'm using an unamplified flap antenna hanging in a second-floor, east-facing window.

I'm guessing that if you're on a higher floor, and have some northeastern exposure on your balcony, you could get all of the above with a halfway-decent amplified outdoor antenna. ABC should be easy, but CBS may still give you some headaches.

EDIT: I should mention that I now get ALL the major networks plus PBS stations through TVE, so if you're in the same region, you probably should be able to access them as well.

1 Like

Fixed in prerelease