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Locast: How Many Devices Can Stream at the Same Time

Locast offers local live TV, news, and sports for free, and comes with a decent simultaneous streams allowance.

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Locast can be streamed on up to four devices at the same time. With four simultaneous streams available, Locast is a good solution for busier households looking to watch local live TV, news and sports on multiple devices at the same time.

Simultaneous streams is becoming an increasingly important feature. With streaming services always expanding device support, having access to multiple streams ensures those sharing an account can watch content on their preferred devices, even if someone else is watching at the same time.

Locast is a service that offers access to locally broadcast networks and channels. Similar to over-the-air locals, Locast is a way to stream live TV for free. Although unlike over-the-air locals, Locast does not require any additional hardware or specific devices. Instead, users can simply stream local channels, news and sports on their existing compatible devices when connected to the internet.

Local live TV simultaneous streams

Locast provides users with the ability to stream local TV stations on up to four devices at the same time, providing consumers with an option to watch ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS stations. Furthermore, Locast does not place any additional limitations on same-time streams, including device-specific restrictions.

For example, some streaming services categorize living room devices differently to mobile devices, with the number of streams sometimes affected. Locast doesn’t and allows consumers to watch on up to four devices at the same time, regardless of the device. Of course, Locast does have a more general restriction in place and this can impact on the number of simultaneous streams in some cases.

As Locast is a service that delivers access to local channels and networks over the internet, it is specifically tied to the user’s location. Regardless of the number of streams available at the time or the devices, users won’t be able to access their usual local TV stations when outside the local area.

Locast local TV
Locast has location limits

Further adding to this problem is Locast’s availability in general. Unlike other services that operate nationwide, Locast is still in the process of building out its location support, resulting in the service remaining unavailable in many U.S. cities. Users who travel often will find they are unable to access the service at all when in a currently unsupported area.

In some cases, this may include parts of the same city where the user lives. Again, even if a secondary location is supported, it won’t provide access to the same local channels the user typically gets when accessing Locast in their home area, due to the local nature of the service.

Simultaneous streams affected by channel surfing

With access to ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS, viewers will likely often switch between the various channels to see what’s on. This channel surfing can, on occasion, affect the number of streams available. Essentially, channel hopping too quickly may cause the system to assume multiple streams are in use, causing Locast to rate limit the user and stop access. If multiple people sharing the same account are channel surfing on different devices, then the likelihood of rate limits kicking in will be increased.

To avoid this issue occurring, Locast recommends remaining on the current channel for at least 30 seconds before switching to another. Presumably, this gives the service enough time to register the previous channel stream has ended and the new one has started, without them being counted as two streams. Of course, the fewer people accessing Locast at the same time, the less of an issue channel surfing is likely to be.

Locast simultaneous streams summary

Locast provides access to local live TV stations, including live news and sports, and allows one account to be used on four different devices at the same time. This limit is irrespective of the devices being used, although the service’s general location restrictions can impact on whether a device is able to access the service.

While Locast provides access to four simultaneous streams, users may find they encounter issues when switching between stations too quickly. In these situations, waiting a short period before switching channels can help to ensure the ability to stream Locast on multiple devices at the same time remains unaffected.

Read more: Check If Locast Is Available in Your Area

John Finn

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

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