When we first wrote about the local broadcast channel streaming service Locast in 2019, we were hopeful that its non-profit status would provide protection against the legal challenges it faced from broadcasters. Unfortunately, things have not gone well for Locast this week. First, it was dealt a huge legal blow then the ‘donation’ option was removed before the Locast service was suspended on Sep 21, 2021. In this article, we explore a few of the Locast alternatives for you to continue accessing free local live TV.
What are some of the Locast Alternatives?
Locast Alternative #1 – An Over-the-Air TV Antenna
If you’ve tried one before and didn’t get great results, don’t be discouraged. It’s worth trying again.
If you need some professional help picking an antenna, quality manufacturers like Antennas Direct, Mohu, Winegard and Antop offer searchable online databases and 1-800 help lines.
Going this route is the most cost effective over the long term and gives you options like adding an OTA DVR for recording and/or streaming to mobile devices.
Locast Alternative #2 – When OTA Is Not An Option
Unfortunately, for those who are 70+ miles away from local broadcast towers, live in valleys, or are dealing with other obstructions, Locast was the most affordable alternative to watching local channels without a TV antenna.
While YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV and DirecTV Stream all offer cord cutters access to local channels, you’ll pay at least $64.99/month for the privilege. And you won’t get any of the super fun subchannels that way either.
At almost $800/year + taxes, you can clearly see why it’s worth making the one-time investment in an Over-The-Air setup.
Locast Alternative #3 – Lightweight Options
If you just need local news, apps like NewsOn, LocalNow and VUit can help fill the gap.
While final judgements in the Locast case aren’t expected until later this winter, it seems unlikely that the service will return or that another will take its place which is unfortunate. Those who physically cannot recieve Over-the-Air TV signals deserve a free or low-cost alternative, but broadcasters don’t seem to care.
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- Tablo FAQs: What Is the Best Over-the-Air TV Antenna for Cord Cutters?
- How Your Location Impacts Your Over-the-Air TV Reception
- Top Sources of Obstruction & Interference That Can Impact Your Over-the-Air TV Reception
- Where to Place and How to Install Your Over-the-Air TV Antenna
- Why OTA Frequency Bands Matter for Cord Cutters with Antennas
- Getting Technical with Over-the-Air TV Reception
- Reusing Existing Infrastructure for OTA Antenna Connections
- How to Access OTA Signals from Multiple Directions