Local Streaming Channels

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Local Streaming Channels

Postby herno74 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:46 am

Without completely sounding like a newbie, has anyone heard of possibilities surrounding a company willing to stream local TV station feeds? I don't want to go to the trouble of purchasing a Digital Antenna, and since I'm quite rural, the best option for me would be to stream on my 3 Roku players. Thanks for the replies.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:23 am

herno74 wrote:Without completely sounding like a newbie, has anyone heard of possibilities surrounding a company willing to stream local TV station feeds? I don't want to go to the trouble of purchasing a Digital Antenna, and since I'm quite rural, the best option for me would be to stream on my 3 Roku players. Thanks for the replies.


Generally no, as TV channels don't have the rights to stream the content they provide (with a few exceptions). Channels are probably within their rights to stream their news and other original programming, but nothing else.

Don't give up on an antenna yet. You don't need a "digital antenna" - any old-style antenna will work just as well, and I've known plenty of people who will gladly give you theirs off their roof as long as you do the work to remove it.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby FX4 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:52 am

Honestly since he is rural he probably needs a good directional antenna. Older antennas tend to be tuned for VHF and the bulk of HD content is in the UHF band.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:55 am

FX4 wrote:Honestly since he is rural he probably needs a good directional antenna. Older antennas tend to be tuned for VHF and the bulk of HD content is in the UHF band.


That depends how rural, and what his lines of sight are. I'm just saying that if it's free (given to him by a friend with one wasting away on the roof, or if he's already got one and thinks he needs a "digital" antenna since the switchover) it can't hurt to try.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby FX4 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:56 am

Oh I agree, free is free.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby scyber » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:54 am

There are some new companies that are trying to offer streaming local channels. Aereo and SkitterTV are the ones I have heard of. Aereo's legality is questionable, but SkitterTV supposedly has the rebroadcast rights to distribute the content. Of course both only offer channels in one market at this time. SkitterTV is intriguing b/c they not only have the rights, but they plan on offering more channels in the future (supposedly some non-OTA ones too). The question is what price will they charge for the expanded TV packages.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby IanR » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:00 am

The ownership rights and ad rights re broadcast channels is complex.
For instance we all generally receive our "locals" either OTA or through a local cable affiliate. Even when receiving thru sat you have to niminate your "local" area.
That means that when we receive the ads we get 50% National Adds (Companies buy this for the whole of the USA distribution) and 50% local ads. These local ads are the revenue for the local affiliate of say CBS/ABC etc etc and they get 100% of this 50% revenue.
So any streaming would have to have a setup which would "show" the correct local ads and account for it. Not easy.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby mastermesh » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:04 am

Try Nowhere Channel. I think some locals are in there for newcasts, etc. Supposedly USTVNOW can be made to work too, but I think it's really aimed at people that are outside of the United States.

As far as real antennas go, try antennaweb website and enter your info. If you are 50 miles or less from a tower you can probably get it with a little tampering with rabbit ears or an amplified system, etc. Outdoors antennas are better, but not everyone likes those (have to ground them, etc.). We live in a basement apartment and are using an amplified indoor antenna I got from Radio Shack a little while ago. With a little sculpey to tilt it further than it's built to to aim one of the rods near parallel with the floor we can get the local tv station that's only a few miles away. With some strategically placed baking pans and aluminum foil I am also getting a couple of other channels that are about 30 miles to the south and 50 miles to the west... clouds to impact the reception on some things sometimes, but for the most part it works like a charm. The key is to get the signals to bounce the right way.

I used to have a fta satellite setup a couple of years ago. Might try putting that up again someday. Back then (around 2009), Equity had a whole slew of tv channels that were not encrypted - a lot of them very similar to tv land. Unfortunately, they went bankrupt....
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=46566&p=359897#p359897 -channel lists/tools
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=63553&p=409506#p409506 -fta
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=64096 -linear channels
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby herno74 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:31 am

Unfortunately, I can only get 2 or 3 HD channels through the "air". This is with a digital antenna I borrowed from my brother just to test and see what was available. Of course, I can go with Cable or Satellite, but I'm trying to completely avoid that.

I like what USTVNOW is doing. I have not tried SkitterTV. I really don't see why it would be so difficult to stream the locals, if they truly are free, then all a company would have to do (at least what I think) would be to verify your location and then allow you to sign up for just those channels you should be seeing for free.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:42 am

herno74 wrote:Unfortunately, I can only get 2 or 3 HD channels through the "air". This is with a digital antenna I borrowed from my brother just to test and see what was available. Of course, I can go with Cable or Satellite, but I'm trying to completely avoid that.

I like what USTVNOW is doing. I have not tried SkitterTV. I really don't see why it would be so difficult to stream the locals, if they truly are free, then all a company would have to do (at least what I think) would be to verify your location and then allow you to sign up for just those channels you should be seeing for free.


USTVNow is absolutely rebroadcasting without permission, and tries to get around this by saying it's only available to users outside the US. This may be saving them from prosecution, but it doesn't make it legal.

The "problem" for local affiliates is that they don't have the internet rebroadcasting rights for the material they show. It's also probably against their agreements they have with their "parent" networks (for all but the shows they produce). Even if yo're local (which there's no true way to verify), they can't stream stuff to you.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby herno74 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:47 am

Well, despite all the legalities involved, surely someone, somewhere is going to figure all this out. It is definitely the future of Television.

Where there is a need, there is a way!
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby stratcat96 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:54 am

and that's because OTA tv isn't "free". OTA TV is a service of exposure sold to advertisers
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby herno74 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:14 am

I guess I'm not understanding the definition of "free" then :lol:

Seriously, I don't see the difference between "OTA" and streaming them. If the channels that are available for "free" over the air cannot be picked up due to a person's location, at least a company should be able to figure out how to offer them to someone "OTS". Plus, if the advertising has been paid for, where is the difference.

If I am supposed to be able to watch "Channel 4 NBC" over the air, why can't I watch "Channel 4 NBC" streaming on my Roku??
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:17 am

herno74 wrote:I guess I'm not understanding the definition of "free" then :lol:

Seriously, I don't see the difference between "OTA" and streaming them. If the channels that are available for "free" over the air cannot be picked up due to a person's location, at least a company should be able to figure out how to offer them to someone "OTS". Plus, if the advertising has been paid for, where is the difference.

If I am supposed to be able to watch "Channel 4 NBC" over the air, why can't I watch "Channel 4 NBC" streaming on my Roku??


For all the legal and contractual reasons I stated above. It's absolutely 100% technically possible. It's just not happening right now because of how all the agreements and contracts work.
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Re: Local Streaming Channels

Postby stratcat96 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:19 am

herno74 wrote:I guess I'm not understanding the definition of "free" then :lol:

Seriously, I don't see the difference between "OTA" and streaming them. If the channels that are available for "free" over the air cannot be picked up due to a person's location, at least a company should be able to figure out how to offer them to someone "OTS". Plus, if the advertising has been paid for, where is the difference.

If I am supposed to be able to watch "Channel 4 NBC" over the air, why can't I watch "Channel 4 NBC" streaming on my Roku??


They are free to you over the air because advertising dollars pay for it. Advertisers pay for time slots to penetrate particular market demographics in geographical locations. Carte blanche streaming that feed destroys the integrity of the advertising system that network affiliates rely on in order to pay the network to actually be an affiliate.

Local TV stations already will stream their news segments live sans commercials. Their own programming is the only thing "theirs" that they can do what they wish with
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