Google to Add “Free Channels” to Google Chromecast!

Google Chromecast with RemoteIf you like FAST (free, ad-supported streaming television) channels, which are usually shown on local TV “sub-channels,” but now can’t get them because you were using Locast, and need these channels “streamed” to you… there may be new hope! Check this out!

Google’s latest plans for Chromecast are all about free TV

Protocol – By: Janko Roettgers “Google is looking to make its Chromecast streaming device more appealing to cord cutters. The company has plans to add free TV channels to Google TV, the Android-based smart TV platform that powers Chromecast as well as select smart TVs from companies including Sony and TCL, Protocol has learned.

To achieve this, Google has held talks with companies distributing so-called FAST (free, ad-supported streaming television) channels, according to multiple industry insiders. These channels have the look and feel of traditional linear TV networks, complete with ad breaks and on-screen graphics. Free streaming channels could launch on Google TV as early as this fall, but the company may also wait to announce the initiative in conjunction with its smart TV partners in early 2022.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chromecast owners will likely be able to browse the channels through a dedicated live TV menu, which the company has thus far only used to offer access to paid TV services like its own YouTube TV subscription service. On smart TVs, the streaming channels are expected to be presented alongside over-the-air programming that can be accessed with an antenna.

That approach mirrors the way TV makers like LG and Samsung have integrated free streaming channels into their platforms. For these TV makers, free channels have become an overnight success story. Samsung alone streams ‘billions of minutes’ of linear programming via its TV Plus service every month, Samsung Electronics SVP Sang Kim told Protocol last year.

This success has prompted other TV platform operators to also embrace free linear programming. Roku has added over 200 free channels to its platform, and both VIZIO and Amazon have embraced live channels on their respective devices as well. Most smart TV makers directly integrate these channels into existing program guides, allowing for a seamless transition from live broadcast TV to streamed channels. This effectively turns FAST channels into a free alternative to basic cable.

Increased demand for free streaming channels has been met by a growing interest from media companies looking for ways to monetize their catalog fare. AMC Networks, for instance, has launched multiple FAST channels, including one dedicated to ‘The Walking Dead’ and one featuring IFC comedies like ‘Portlandia.’

Other media companies with their own free streaming channels include the Weather Channel, Scripps, Reuters, Meredith and Bloomberg. It’s unclear which of these channels will ultimately find their way to Google TV, but Google is expected to strike deals that will give the company wholesale access to dozens of free channels.

Interestingly, this is not Google’s first foray into free TV streaming. When the company unveiled Android TV in 2014, it also included a live channels framework that was designed to aggregate live programming from streaming apps and over-the-air broadcasters. However, the framework never gained much traction, and Google didn’t port the Live Channels app to Chromecast when it relaunched its streaming stick a year ago.”

LocalBTV May Come to the Piedmont Triad by Next Year

LocalBTV is a fully legal version of a “Locast-like” service. It doesn’t have the major network stations just yet, but that is planned. Also, I wrote them asking if they ever planned to serve the High Point/Greensboro/Winston-Salem market, just as I did with Locast. They said that they plan to be in our area as soon as mid-2022! Hopefully, this will be an answer for those of us antenna-challenged (condo-dwellers!)

Puffer TV: Geek Website of the Week!

Puffer TVHere’s a way to watch California (Stanford University area) local TV and major TV networks via your web browser. Puffer TV is research project you can help with for free. They say: “Stream live TV in your browser. There’s no charge. You can watch U.S. TV stations affiliated with the NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, Fox, and CW networks.

Puffer works well in the Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers, on a computer or an Android phone or tablet. Puffer does not work on iPhones or iPads or in the Safari browser.

Puffer is a research project in the computer-science department at Stanford University. Please see the FAQ and our research paper (Community Award winner at USENIX NSDI 2020) for more information.”

DrBill.TV #499 – Video – The Can Locast Be Saved Edition!

Dr. Bill shares with us the issues involved in the Locast shutting down court case, and whether there are any chances for a similar broadcast-to-Internet service to emerge. (Sep 03, 2021)

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

BitChute Referral

www.DrBill.TV/VPN

www.DrBill.TV/Linode


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)








Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download mp4 Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!

 

Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on BitChute Dr. Bill.TV on Odysee Dr. Bill.TV on Rumble Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo

 


DrBill.TV #499 – Audio – The Can Locast Be Saved Edition!

Dr. Bill shares with us the issues involved in the Locast shutting down court case, and whether there are any chances for a similar broadcast-to-Internet service to emerge. (Sep 03, 2021)

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

BitChute Referral

www.DrBill.TV/VPN

www.DrBill.TV/Linode


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)








Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download mp4 Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!

 

Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on BitChute Dr. Bill.TV on Odysee Dr. Bill.TV on Rumble Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo

 


Locast is dead… as of today.

It looks like “the man” won. Here’s a quote from a Locast e-mail:

“As a non-profit, Locast was designed from the very beginning to operate in accordance with the strict letter of the law, but in response to the court’s recent rulings, with which we respectfully disagree, we are hereby suspending operations, effective immediately.

Thank you.”

Sigh.

The Amazon FireTV Interface gets an Update

FireTV Interface UpdateAmazon Fire TV Update Rolls Out to 2nd Gen Fire TV Stick

Cord Cutters News – By: Jess Barnes -“Amazon announced today that the updated Fire TV experience will begin rolling out to Fire TV Stick 2nd Gen today.

The company first announced the interface update in December, with only the 3rd Gen Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite devices receiving the update initially. The all-new Fire TV experience then became available on the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube (1st and 2nd Gen), and Fire TV (3rd Gen Pendant Design) in March.

Changes with the update include an all-new home screen with more personalization. The main menu allows for quick navigation to favorite streaming apps and previews of what’s playing.

An improved search feature allows users to search by genre, free content, and shows and movies already in the user’s content library.

The update also includes the option to make profiles for each member of the family, with up to six profiles available per account. That means everyone can get personalized recommendations and their own watchlist.

Your Fire TV devices should automatically check for the update and install the update when not in use. You can check for the update by going to your device’s settings, selecting My Fire TV, selecting About, and finally Check for Updates.”

NextGen TV Comes to Charlotte!

ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) is Now Live in Charlotte

Cord Cutters News – By: Jess Barnes – “ATSC 3.0 has launched in Charlotte, NC, with five stations now broadcasting with the NextGen TV transmissions standard. The stations in Charlotte include WAXN-TV, WSOC-TV (ABC), WJZY-TV (FOX), WBTV-TV (CBS), and WCNC-TV (NBC).

‘Watching in NextGen TV immerses the viewer in stunning video with brilliant color, sharper images, and deeper contrast, making them feel like they’re part of the action,’ said Paul Curran, executive vice president of television at Cox Media Group. ‘NextGen TV adds a whole new dimension to TV viewing with Voice + audio from Dolby, available only on NextGen TV. Viewers will feel the power of movie theater-quality sound, allowing them to hear every voice clearly and offering uniform volume across different channels.'”

New Amazon FireTV Remote with Service Buttons

FireTV Remote with Service ButtonsMy second FireTV died, like the first one, so I won’t be getting one. But, it looks like they are copying Roku’s use of providing “services” their own buttons, for a “kick-back,” I’m sure!

Amazon Releases New Fire TV Remote with Branded Buttons

Cord Cutters News – By: Jess Barnes – “Amazon just redesigned its Fire TV remote and the new model comes with branded buttons to take users directly to their streaming services. The new remote includes buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.

Other than the dedicated streaming service buttons, the other major change is a blue Alexa button at the top of the remote. This button replaces the back microphone button for using voice commands. Another slight difference is the Fire TV logo at the bottom of the remote.

The remote was unveiled Wednesday and will start shipping on Wednesday, April 14. You can preorder the remote now on Amazon for $29.99.

The new model will be compatible with the following devices:

  • Fire TV Stick Lite
  • Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen and later)
  • Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Fire TV Cube (1st Gen and later)
  • Fire TV (3rd Gen, Pendant Design)

It will not be compatible with 1st and 2nd gen Fire TV, 1st gen Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Edition smart TVs.”

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