(spelled Fitzy TV by some people) is a service that amalgamates your streaming services, for free. A very few channels are included in the free package. It also works with most (live) streaming services, including the big cable companies.
You can add $5/(20 hours of DVR capacity)I tested it with Locast, SlingTV Blue and (unsuccessfully with) Hulu. And – get this – you can fast forward through ads, something you can’t do on many streaming services, if you use their own DVR services. What a great feature!
It works well. The picture quality is great, AFAICT, though I’m not sure it is HD – I don’t really care. In any event, you can try both FitzyTV and Locast for free, to see how well they work in your area.
It also works with Locast
, which provides local channels near SOME CITIES - and is sort-of-free. What is more, while I can't view Locast directly through my Android TV box (because it doesn't have a built in GPS?), I can watch Locast on that platform by watching it through FitzyTV. I’m not sure how FitzyTV figures out my location – I tried going through a VPN to another city, to see if I could see another city’s channels, but Locast and FitzyTV rejected that.
Locast is important to me, because I live in a basement, where an antenna works poorly. FitzTV adds a some of the locally broadcast networks that Locast itself doesn't include, but should.
Both FitzyTV and Locast could face legal challenges, and even if they are judged legal, I bet the content providers lobby to make them illegal. Fitzy TV claims they are legal because the cable companies won a court case, allowing them to offer DVR services, and even to let users use the DVR to fast forward through ads. And Locast claims they are legal, because of a loophole in the laws barring re-transmission, that lets non-profit organizations do so. (BTW, AT&T just gave Locast a $500,000, instead of making a deal with some of the major networks, and suggests their customers use them, as does Sling TV, so they must think Locast is legal.)
Because of the possibility of legal challenge, I would personally hesitate to get the annual subscription discount.
I tested FitzyTV on 2 platforms:
1. An old Android TV box (an R-Box+ 4K system)
2. An Android phone (a Samsung Galaxy S5)
I can view channels and recordings on both.
However, as with anything, FitzTV has several gotchas:
1. They only work on a few devices:
• Amazon Fire TV
• Android Mobile
• Android Smart TVs
• iOS is "coming soon"
• Roku is "in development", but I bet Roku doesn't allow it, because they like to make nice with content providers. OTOH, Roku allows Locast, so I might be wrong.
2. They list no plans for supporting web browsers – and there is no way to make it work on a PC, though you can sign up for the service through a web browser.
3. There is no program grid. (Locast and SlingTV do have program grids – but not through FitzyTV.) Instead I had to orient the Android phone in portrait mode, and click on one of the supported channels. You then see a small video of the channel, followed by a schedule. There is a menu option to record each program – and if it is a series, you can select to record the entire series, and select whether only to include new programs. In landscape mode on my phone, I just see the full screen video.
4. On Android TV, and I'm guessing other landscape-only systems (like smartTVs?), there appears to be is no way to see the schedule, or record anything. That’s a huge problem, that they need to solve!
5. If I turn on closed captions in Locast, they appear on FitzyTV (tried using CW and NBC). But I can’t see them on Sling TV channels (tried using SyFy).
6. Some of the SlingTV channels won’t stream or record at all. E.g., BBC America on Sling TV Blue. Which means I can’t altogether substitute FitzyTV for Sling TV’s own DVR service.
7. You have to give FitzyTV your streaming service login info to view it through FitzyTV. That means you have to trust them not to share that info, and also trust them not to buy anything else through those services.
8. Hulu didn’t work, because I don’t have the more expensive Hulu+LiveTV package – I guess they only work on Live streaming services.
9. They list some channels in the Sling TV group that don't work, because I haven't paid for the upgrade to include them.
That said, I like it. It’s wonderful to be able to Record CW (using Locast) and SyFy (using Sling TV), and fast forward through the ads!