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Digital television can be both a blessing and a curse. A digital signal is a cleaner, clearer, and more pleasant experience for the consumer. But it is also much more fragile. The slightest interruption in the steady stream of ones and zeroes can make something unwatchable. Where the analog signals of NTSC yesterday slowly faded away with the curvature of the earth into “A,” “B” and “C-grade” signals, digital television signals just fall off the table.
When the conversion was made almost 12 full years ago, those with cable or satellite service never noticed the changeover. For the many millions who relied on over-the-air signals, they quickly became either winners or losers. The winners not only kept their channel lineup but gained dozens of digital subchannels riding piggyback on the main network stations. The losers, especially those who lived in the B-grade areas, ended up subscribing to some kind of service. And in the long run, many of those services became ridiculously expensive.
But now there is an alternative. Created by the Washington DC attorney who helped fight blackout rules, Locast (short for Local Broadcast) is available for almost every platform. Using geolocation to protect copyrights and market exclusivity, it’s now available in 31 markets. And Locast is free. They ask for a modest donation but it is not mandatory. There’s no DVR functionality, it’s just live streaming linear television but it can put all of your local broadcasters on your set or in your pocket.Published in