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Locast: Check If Free Local Live TV Is Available in Your City [Updated]

Thinking of giving Locast a try? Firstly, you’ll need to make sure the local live TV service is available in your city.

Locast is currently available in 35 locations in the United States. Locast first launched in January 2018 in New York City, and since then, has been slowly adding new locations. If your city is not currently supported, it could be next. In the meantime, here’s an overview of where Locast’s free local live TV service is available.

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If you live in one of the cities that Locast is already available in, then getting Locast is fairly simple. However, if you don’t currently live in a Locast supported area then that may change in the future. Locast advises that if your city is not supported you can donate “to help us bring Locast to your area.”

It should be noted that providing a donation to Locast does not in any way guarantee the service will come to a specific location. Locast says it uses donations to offset against the “considerable costs for equipment, bandwidth, and operational support.” The suggestion being that the more donations and support it gets, the easier it will be to expand in general. Therefore if you do make a donation to Locast, you should view it as a way to support the service’s overall expansion, and not one that will be allocated to your specific city.

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Locast city list

Locast is currently available in 35 cities in the U.S. The most recent addition arrived in July 2021 when Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was added to the list. Locast is not one for announcing in advance when a new city is in the works, so the next one could be added at any time.

Locast cities visual list
Locast is currently available in 35 cities

Full list of locations Locast is available in:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Detroit
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Madison
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • Portland
  • Puerto Rico
  • Orlando
  • Rapid City
  • Sacramento
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Sioux City
  • Sioux Falls
  • Tampa Bay
  • Tri-Cities (Tennessee, Kentucky & Virginia)
  • Washington DC
  • West Palm Beach
  • Wilkes Barre-Scranton

Again, this is just the current list and the company does randomly add new locations. The list is up to date and will be updated each time a new city is added. If your city is not listed here, then Locast is currently not available in your area.

Is Locast really free?

Yes, Locast really is free to access. However, that’s not to say the experience is equal between those that pay and those that don’t. While Locast does not demand a payment to use the service, it does heavily rely on donations from its users. So much so that Locast often shows “donation request” messages while a user is watching live TV.

Many users have reported these messages can be a little overwhelming at times, resulting in a frustrating experience, considering the live stream is stopped each time the donation request message is shown. This is something users should be aware of when opting for the completely free route, as it is likely to impact on the viewing experience. Even after donating, Locast states it may take up to twenty-four hours for the donation request messages to stop displaying.

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A point to note about donating, although there’s technically no Locast subscription, the donation system is set up very much like a subscription model. If you agree to make a donation through the website then you should be aware that the donations are recurring monthly (or annual) payments. For example, if you setup a $5 or $10 donation then you will likely be charged that amount each month unless you cancel the recurring payment. Locast does not currently offer a one-time donation option.

How do I sign up for Locast?

Signing up to Locast is as easy as signing up to any other. Arguably, it is even easier than signing up to other services as there is no requirement to set up a payment method after downloading the app and accessing for the first time.

To sign up to Locast, consumers will first need to make sure the service operates in their area. Secondly, that the service is compatible with their devices. As this is an internet-based streaming service, Locast does also require a stable and continuous internet connection – Locast does not offer offline playback or DVR.

As long as all of these requirements are met, signing up to Locast is just a matter of heading over to Locast.org and creating an account. An account creation require a user’s name, email address, and access to the device’s location to verify eligibility and determine which channels are accessible. Once an account is created, users will be able to access local live TV through any of the supported devices.

Locast sign in
Locast uses authentication codes instead of email and password

When logging in for the first time on a new device, users will have to log in using an activation code instead of the email and password used when creating an account. This applies to all devices and each time a user logs in after logging out again.

How can I watch Locast?

Although Locast is only available in a select number of cities, it is available on a wide selection of platforms and devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. The long list of supported devices makes Locast a good service to access at home or on the go.

Platforms Locast can currently be accessed on:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android mobile
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • DIRECTV
  • Dish Hopper
  • iOS mobile
  • Roku
  • TiVo
  • U-verse

Can I use Locast with a VPN?

Technically, there’s nothing stopping someone from using Locast with a VPN. The service generates the channel list based on the location of the device and therefore, the location will most likely be determined by the VPN and not the device.

Locast VPN
You can use Locast with a VPN but it might be pointless

However, some things to be aware of when using a VPN. Firstly, the use of a VPN will lock users out of their actual local channels. Secondly, Locast is still very limited in terms of location support and the use of a VPN will most likely completely lock the user out of live TV access altogether – unless one of the very few cities is selected.

Is Locast being sued?

Yes, Locast is currently being sued by a variety of major broadcast networks including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. In return, Locast is counter-suing the same companies over antitrust collusion.

The major broadcast networks argue Locast is providing access to local TV channels illegally, considering it does not have permission to retransmit channels. Locast argues it does not need permission as it is a non-profit and is simply making it easier for consumers to gain access to the channels they have a legal right to access.

Whether Locast can continue to provide the service it currently offers is likely to depend on the outcome of the lawsuit.

Read more: Is Locast legal? The battle over free live TV streaming

Last updated: July 2021

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By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

30 replies on “Locast: Check If Free Local Live TV Is Available in Your City [Updated]”

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When will Locast be available in the Nashville, TN TV market area? I am very interested in this service and live in Spring Hill, TN 37174.

I live about 100 miles from where I work. I work in an area served by Locast. If I bring my Firestick to work and load Locast onto it, can I then use the firestick at home to receive tv signals? I don’t need the Firestick at home anymore, as I have Roku TVs. I have poor reception of some of the OTA stations where I live. I have to make a choice of aiming the antenna in one direction or the other.

My local channels are broadcast from Portland, Oregon and Eugene, Oregon. Will Locast be coming to the Portland market?

I live in Tennessee, will locast be available in the Nashville area anytime soon. We would love to have it available out here in the county north east of Nashville…

When will Locast come to Fargo, ND? That’s where I am and I’m very interested in the service and will gladly “donate” $5 month to get it.

Please advise when Locast is available in the Champaign, IL area. A win win might be a partnership with a new local fiber provider, CCG.

Locast seems to be a most wonderful streaming tool however I do believe that it is missing out on a very significant number of customers who live in rural individuals and cannot receive OTA. Locast would be a godsend to these individuals. Areas such as Eastern KY and Tennessee would greatly benefit from the services that Locast can and does provide. Just a thought.

I live I western Kentucky (Madisonville) I know it’s in Kentucky but not near me I donate all the time

When will Locast be available in Fresno California and surrounding area? It would be nice to have there for my mom.

Everyone if it’s not available in ur city u can still turn a VPN on to a location that they have available and watch it absolutely free

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