Locast Integration


#1

Any thoughts on locast.org integration?


TV Everywhere Beta Experiences
#2

LOCAST: I just signed up for LOCAST in LA and it works pretty well. If at all possible please add it to Channels DVR as a source.

AT&T has donated $500,000 to LOCAST and also put the app on their set top boxes. So LOCAST could become very common. Of course they could be sued out of existence. But if not overly difficult to do could be worth the effort so that your DVR can be used for recordings and playback.

Now in 13 major markets: https://www.locast.org


#3

Locast is on pretty good footing legally being a non-profit, and the Aereo ruling basically gave them the blueprint to what would and wouldn't hold up in court. I suspect they will get more and more support from ATT, Verizon, and smaller cable companies that don't have ties to the major networks.

These companies hate paying top dollar for local stations that are freely broadcast OTA, so if Locast succeeds it gives them a huge bargaining chip when negotiating contracts and the option to just integrate Locast and stop paying completely.

That being said, Locast may not be so easy to add unless you donate. I've noticed they place donations ads in the stream that interrupt the stream (if it is being used in a player other than their own webpage). Even after donating I am still getting these ads, but they apparently have been having issues disabling them for paying customers since "why am I still seeing ads" is one of the first FAQ entries and they ask you contact support.

Other than that I'm not sure what the footprint is that they consider "local" for the service. To fetch the stream it creates a link with your longitude/latitude that redirects to the m3u8. (@tmm1 is this how all location based restrictions are done?). For example if I want to watch Fox out of Chigcago I use this link with my auth token to fetch the playlist...

https://api.locastnet.org/api/watch/stream/709/41.881832/-87.623177/?token=################################################


#4

I am currently testing without donating on my Apple TV. But if I could use my credentials via the Channels DVR Source I would have no problem donating. The minimum donation is $5. I do have an Antenna so I can actually get all of these channels via my HDHomerun. But sometimes my channel 9 will not come in. And of course OTA is MPEG2. I would like to have the option to use either OTA or LOCAST for locals. Some of these channels can also be gotten directly from the web site for some markets (like mine). I think with TVE Channels DVR is position well.

Part of the reason I am pushing this is for my other family members. My family is pretty good size with about 7 locations that I think might consider Channels DVR if they did not have to install an Antenna and HDHomerun box along with the DVR Hardware.


#5

They will either get sued to death or paid off. Don't see them lasting.


#6

This is getting off topic, @tmm1 feel free to fork this discussion....

They guy that started Locast is a lawyer, former legal adviser to the FCC, and VP of Law and Public Policy at DISH. He has openly welcomed lawsuits against Locast because he knows the legal footing he has.

Aereo only lost 6-3 in the Supreme Court, and Locast has taken the findings in that case a built a platform that addresses all of the aspects that went into the decision against Aereo.


#7

This is getting off topic...

But locast did show the super bowl for "Free" (usually pester you for donations constantly) in 3 of the 5 largest media markets in the country.

The NFL and media companies made no steps to stop the free broadcast of Super Bowl in these markets.

So...We'll see. Aereo was sued within two weeks of starting up in NYC. Locast is now in the biggest media markets across the nation and... chirps

Since they aren't trying to make a profit, and aren't charging for the re-broadcast, their legal footing is way more solid. Hence why AT&T donated.

To bring it back around on topic... it would be nice to have locast integration like Fitzy has.


#8

I'm not sure Fitzy is using locast streams, more likely they are regional TVE streams.


#9

That would mean everyone that has access to locast would also have access to TVE streams for their local stations.

I'm not so sure that is the case..

I know I don't have access to TVE of my local affiliates here.


#10

Neither do I, but Fitzy authenticates with location spoofing and pulls in the closest regional TVE streams. For example, with Fitzy I get ABC out of Raleigh, NC... Locast doesn't even have a feed from there yet.


#11

It looks like maybe NBC has started providing live streams of all local affiliates. I'm able to watch my local NBC feed on https://nbc.com/live/nbc. Does it work for y'all too?


TV Everywhere Beta Experiences
#12

I can view the live feed at https://www.nbc.com/live/nbc using Directv Now. I'm also able to view Fox live stream. Are you planning to add these local feeds in TVE?


#13

Fox only provides live streams for a handful of cities (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_Television_Stations#Current)

Same with ABC (http://abcotvs.com/)

But NBC is somehow providing local feeds for all their affiliates, including ones they don't own.


#14

You're correct. Are you saying if the local broadcast live stream isn't available for everyone they can't be added to TVE?

Not sure why you're asking if we're able to see the NBC live stream.


#15

It doesn't make sense for us to add streams that only work for a small percentage of the country. It leads to confusion if someone thinks they can get FOX but they actually can't. For most of the country, the best way to get your local channels is using a HDHomeRun and antenna.

However if NBC is now providing streams for the entire country, that changes the equation and might be worth the effort required to add support.


#16

I don't completely agree with your confusion argument. This exact situation has been happening since the beginning of stream apps. Local Channels have been missing from companies like DTVN and others in some areas. My daughter lives in a small town north of SF and she could only get Local Channels from Hulu. DTVN does not support here area for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX. And regarding OTA. Not everyone can get a clear signal to pull in all channels. Mine is working ok but I can not get Channel 9 (normal local channel) sometimes but other times it is good. I do get the major ones.

I simply think you need to be crystal clear that Local Channels that you support are only available in some location but not all. As things change you could add more.

But sure, if you want to provide NBC no one will complain.

Lastly, please tell us your thoughts on Locast. Is it an option or is the a legal issue or is it just not possible to access locust.org streams. This seems like the best quick option for all that have access.


#17

Understood. However, wouldn't that be the same argument for normal TVE cable streams? Not everyone can get all the live streams if there provider doesn't support TV Everywhere login.


#18

Little odd for me, it works in Charlotte and probably has for a while and it shows the proper local affiliate. If I try it in Murrells Inlet, SC it will still play "NBC" but the guide data doesn't match up and it doesn't display an affiliate name. Once the local news comes on I'll know what it is actually streaming.


#19

Locast streams seem to be low quality, and their ads every 5 minutes are extremely disruptive. Their reliability is also not the best. I'm not convinced it's worth adding right now, but maybe in the future.

For now our TVE feature is focused on cable channels and we will continue to recommend HDHR for OTA channels.


#20

Thanks for the reply. Is the ads every 5 minutes only if you do not donate? I have it but have not tested much because I would only use it if you added support. Most channels you support require payment so donating does not seem out of line. You could even recommend donating for best results.

If more and more companies like AT&T get behind them the service could get better. Might be good to be an early adopter if not difficult.