Inital review of FitzyTV, including DVR of Locast and Sling TV - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-25-2019, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Red face Inital review of FitzyTV, including DVR of Locast and Sling TV

FitzyTV (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!

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Last edited by MRG1; 07-25-2019 at 08:46 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-25-2019, 03:52 PM
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FitzyTV is fine, but buggy. The guide is based on Android TV's Live Channels and has the exact same bugs. I haven't had a full guide, ever- it's stuck with the categories bar on the left (even uninstalling it doesn't solve the problem).

Locast is useless with the forced donation ads. Even after paying for it, eventually the ads will just pop up again, and since they have little to no customer support there's no way to deal with it. I gave up on them a while back.

It's good with basic cable subscriptions- I haven't tried any of the live streaming services yet.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-09-2019, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post
FitzyTV is fine, but buggy. The guide is based on Android TV's Live Channels and has the exact same bugs. I haven't had a full guide, ever- it's stuck with the categories bar on the left (even uninstalling it doesn't solve the problem).
It's good with basic cable subscriptions- I haven't tried any of the live streaming services yet.

Just tried it with Sling with Fire TV Stick. Looks HD to me. Found 98 channels. Sling Blue does not have 98 channels. Went to Setting screened for authorized to establish favorites, still 98 in the Schedule which was complete, too complete. There is no way I found to eliminate or hide channels from the schedule. Everyone else in the world allows you to do that.

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post #4 of 8 Old 08-09-2019, 05:46 AM
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Of the 11 channels that I watch on Sling, these are not supported - TNT, AMC, BBCA, H, Freeform, & CNN. The rest I didn't check, but it seems that is doesn't support a lot of main channels that are on Sling. Probably more a Sling problem but I don't really know.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-17-2019, 03:35 PM
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Something similar is Channels and Antenna with an Hdhomerun. The big advantage is everything is recorded locally with no limits. Also adds can be automatically skipped.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-21-2019, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by spencer777 View Post
Something similar is Channels and Antenna with an Hdhomerun. The big advantage is everything is recorded locally with no limits. Also adds can be automatically skipped.
What is "Channels" and "Antenna" - web addresses? E.g., by Antenna, do you mean a physical antenna? The whole point of Locast is to make it possible to watch even if for one reason or other, you can't make a physical antenna work at your location - e.g., you live in a basement, or your reception is blocked by high buildings, terrain, etc..

Obviously, if you do get good antenna reception, you don't have to pay a monthly or annual fee with a physical antenna and your own DVR, so that is probably better, in the long run. I wish that were true for me!
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-10-2020, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Stopped working!

First of all, FitzyTV is no longer in the Google Play store. There was something online about copyright disputes.

It stopped working altogether on my AndroidTV box. Wants me to log in, but won't let me enter my full email address.

On my Android phone, it lets me log in, but won't let me search for new programs to record.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-22-2020, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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FitzyTV No Longer Supports "TV Anywhere" cable service support

---From an email:---

Quote:
To our loyal users,

As you are probably aware, FitzyTV's apps were suspended from the app stores due to a legal dispute with Adobe, which powers the TV Everywhere system for the cable industry. Adobe is taking the position that allowing our users to watch a channel they're allowed to watch, on a device they're allowed to watch it on, using a username and password they're allowed to use, is a violation of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act because our software is used to launch the channel. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the CFAA "The Worst Law in Technology" as it stifles innovation, allows large corporations to use their monopolistic powers to threaten and intimidate small startups like ours, and "threatens a hallmark of today’s Internet: free and open access to publicly available information."

While we disagree that we are in violation of the law and have tried for months to work with Adobe to settle the dispute, those efforts have been unsuccessful. In the interest of continuing operations and getting our apps restored, we have agreed to disable the TV Everywhere functionality from the app which will result in all TVE-authenticated channels being removed for the time being. This was a difficult decision to make, but we simply can no longer afford the legal costs to defend ourselves against their allegations while our business suffers due to not being available for download. We are still holding out hope that Adobe takes a pro-innovation stance and comes to the table to discuss how to work together to make a great user experience for TV Everywhere.

If you do not use a cable provider to authenticate, then you can continue to use FitzyTV uninterrupted. We have also continued opening up the platform so that streaming TV providers and developers can more easily directly integrate with us, so stay tuned for more on that. If you would like your provider to integrate directly with us, please reach out to them and have them contact us. If you are a developer and want access to our APIs, please email us at [email protected] for an API key.

If FitzyTV is no longer useful to you without TV Everywhere, you may of course cancel your account at https://www.fitzytv.com/my-account.html.

Thank you for being loyal FitzyTV users, and we hope to continue our mission to simplify the fragmented internet TV ecosystem despite this setback.

Sincerely,

The FitzyTV Team
As of this writing, Fitzy TV still works with Locast and Sling TV - but I don't know if it works with all "cable channels" on Sling.
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