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Old 08-01-2021, 08:06 PM   #1
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No OTA TV but have a wifi or cell signal?

I finally fot fed up with my "cable" supplier. Internet is Great but video finally got expensive enough for me to choke.

Since I live in an area wher OTA channels would require an antenna 100' or more in height I went looking for a streaming service that would bring me local channels for a reasonable cost.

Found this:

https://www.locast.org/

It's a digital translator or "repeater" that brings OTA channels in a lot of markets to you over a broadband connection.

Advertised as Free but the free connection is like PBS and programs are interrupted while the service solicits donations. $5 per month makes that go away.

I now get 48 OTA channels for $5 per month, saving over $45/ month the cable company was charging me to deliver the SAME channels.

Looking at the list of markets they are offering this service I'll be checking some out as I travel starting mid month into next month.

All I need is a good cell signal.

Btw, the picture quality on Locast feed is actually better than what the cable company was providing. Go figure.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:25 PM   #2
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I will pay 5 bucks a month NOT to be exposed to network TV, lol. I used to plug into cable at RV parks where they had it, but don't even bother most of time now. The non-stop commercials make it unwatchable. Glad you got rid of cable. Opiate of the masses!
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:08 PM   #3
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I will pay 5 bucks a month NOT to be exposed to network TV, lol. I used to plug into cable at RV parks where they had it, but don't even bother most of time now. The non-stop commercials make it unwatchable. Glad you got rid of cable. Opiate of the masses!
It makes noise in the house so I don't have to talk to myself. I do like the old Westerns on GRIT channel however.
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:04 PM   #4
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Looks interesting. Works great on the RoKu. Interested in seeing how much data it uses. Most phone hotspot plans will probably run out pretty quick.
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Old 08-02-2021, 06:32 AM   #5
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Looks interesting. Works great on the RoKu. Interested in seeing how much data it uses. Most phone hotspot plans will probably run out pretty quick.

T-Mobile started offering unlimited Hotspot 6 months ago
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Old 08-02-2021, 07:41 AM   #6
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T-Mobile started offering unlimited Hotspot 6 months ago
Which plan is that? Everything I’ve seen from T-Mobile shows hotspot data speeds throttled to mostly unusable levels after a certain level. Their “max” plan for phones throttles after 40 gig. The hotspot only plan throttles after 100 gig.

However, the max plan does have non-throttled service for non-hotspot use. That’s a great deal IF one can mirror the device when watching Locast. But, I’ve tried their hotspot only service and it just doesn work at home and most campgrounds I use.
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Old 08-02-2021, 08:39 AM   #7
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I have T-Mobile magenta military plan and only pay $22 a month for each line with unlimited talk text and data. It also includes unlimited Netflix. I use the hotspot all the time to cast to a fire stick and it works well.
The plan has 4 GB at 4G of high-speed data and then unlimited of 3G after that. T-Mobile also has a TV app that anybody can get it basically gets shows from Pluto TV.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:25 AM   #8
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It makes noise in the house so I don't have to talk to myself. I do like the old Westerns on GRIT channel however.
Hahahaha, at last FROG rally, there were at least 20 OTA stations out of Binghamton, NY. GRIT was the only one worth watching!
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:36 AM   #9
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I do like the old Westerns on GRIT channel however.
LOL. I never realized how many westerns Randolph Scott made until GRIT started showing them.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:40 AM   #10
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LOL. I never realized how many westerns Randolph Scott made until GRIT started showing them.
I think that's why the "Randolph Scott" reference in Blazing Saddles.

That's a movie that was so "right" because it was so "wrong".
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:40 PM   #11
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Which plan is that? Everything I’ve seen from T-Mobile shows hotspot data speeds throttled to mostly unusable levels after a certain level. Their “max” plan for phones throttles after 40 gig. The hotspot only plan throttles after 100 gig.

However, the max plan does have non-throttled service for non-hotspot use. That’s a great deal IF one can mirror the device when watching Locast. But, I’ve tried their hotspot only service and it just doesn work at home and most campgrounds I use.
I have an Alcatel (through T-Mobile) broadband hotspot, not the phone hotspot, and get 100g/month for $55. I have YouTube TV on a Roku and have gotten great service at every campground I've been to. Uses about 15g/day on 8 hours of use. I've gotten service at every campground I've used it and works great...all my DVR'd stuff and my home local channels, too.
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Old 08-02-2021, 05:23 PM   #12
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Cable signal quality

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Btw, the picture quality on Locast feed is actually better than what the cable company was providing. Go figure.
The bandwidth of each broadcast TV channel is 6 MHz. When HDTV (780p and 1080i) were developed, one requirement was that the signal had to fit into the existing 6MHz channel for coexistence and compatibility. The FCC wasn't going to release more spectrum for broadcast TV.

The engineers did a pretty good job of it. HDTV using the full 6 MHz is pretty good. But then the local broadcasters got a little greedy and figured that they could cram 4 or 5 programs into that 6 MHz band if they used a higher degree of lossy compression. This appears as channel offerings like 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, and 18.5, all crammed into the same 6 MHz channel.

When the programs are delivered over the internet as packetized IP, there is no 6 MHz limitation. Instead the variable feed is requested by the client TV at the highest rate it can accept without buffering. This is dynamic. Most shows start at 480i (for quick startup without initial buffering) and then quickly go to the highest rate that won't cause buffering.
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Old 08-02-2021, 05:34 PM   #13
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The bandwidth of each broadcast TV channel is 6 MHz. When HDTV (780p and 1080i) were developed, one requirement was that the signal had to fit into the existing 6MHz channel for coexistence and compatibility. The FCC wasn't going to release more spectrum for broadcast TV.

The engineers did a pretty good job of it. HDTV using the full 6 MHz is pretty good. But then the local broadcasters got a little greedy and figured that they could cram 4 or 5 programs into that 6 MHz band if they used a higher degree of lossy compression. This appears as channel offerings like 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, and 18.5, all crammed into the same 6 MHz channel.

When the programs are delivered over the internet as packetized IP, there is no 6 MHz limitation. Instead the variable feed is requested by the client TV at the highest rate it can accept without buffering. This is dynamic. Most shows start at 480i (for quick startup without initial buffering) and then quickly go to the highest rate that won't cause buffering.
The interesting part of the Locast feed is that it's taken, not directly from the broadcasters via direct feed, but rather from their own antennas OTA.

Gives me the impression that the Cable Company (Fios in my case) is mangling the product they receive via direct connection and pass it on to the consumer as a crappy product.
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:47 PM   #14
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Thanks for the OP, Titan Mike!
I just signed up and for $5/month I can watch my local channels on my 6-year-old TT TV by plugging directly from my iPhone to one of the HDMI inputs at the back of the TV. (Adapter cable required but I already had that.) I have unlimited data on my Verizon plan, and by plugging directly from the iPhone to the TV I'm not using the data-limited hotspot feature.
This is great! No more missed Seahawks games when we're on the road!
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Old 08-06-2021, 08:17 AM   #15
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Locast is great when your in a city they service. We camp in State Parks all over Ohio, and today as I type this we have no Locast service because were dead smack between cities that have it. Keeps telling me I'm in the wrong location. When were closer to the city it's great form my local news programs....
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Old 08-06-2021, 11:45 AM   #16
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Locast is great when your in a city they service. We camp in State Parks all over Ohio, and today as I type this we have no Locast service because were dead smack between cities that have it. Keeps telling me I'm in the wrong location. When were closer to the city it's great form my local news programs....
Have you tried turning off location service on your phone? Perhaps they let you enter location manually by zip code.
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Old 08-07-2021, 06:58 AM   #17
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If Location is turned off, Locast wont work. They have to know where you are to let you use the service.
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Old 08-07-2021, 10:05 AM   #18
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If Location is turned off, Locast wont work. They have to know where you are to let you use the service.
If people can "spoof" phone numbers for robocalls maybe someone could create an app to "spoof" location
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