LocalBTV is a great free streaming app for watching local TV channels like news, weather, sports, and movies without a cable subscription. With the rising costs of cable TV and declining channel options, streaming local TV for free is an excellent alternative for cord cutters.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about LocalBTV, including how to install it on Firestick and Android devices. We‘ll cover topics like:
- What is LocalBTV and what channels does it offer?
- Is LocalBTV legal and safe to use?
- Step-by-step instructions for installing LocalBTV on Firestick, Fire TV, and Android devices
- Activating your LocalBTV account
- LocalBTV features and user interface overview
- FAQs about LocalBTV
By the end of this guide, you‘ll have LocalBTV up and running on your streaming device so you can start watching local TV channels for free!
What is LocalBTV?
LocalBTV is a free streaming app that provides local TV channels based on your location. It‘s available on various devices like Firestick, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android mobiles, and more.
Some of the local programming you can watch on LocalBTV includes:
Local news – Get updates on what‘s happening in your area from national affiliates and local networks.
Weather reports – Stay on top of local weather forecasts so you can plan accordingly.
Live sports – Catch games from local college and pro teams.
Local events – View community calendars to know about upcoming parades, festivals and more.
Movies – Watch a variety of Hollywood and indie films.
TV shows – LocalBTV features popular shows from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and more.
The selection of channels will vary depending on your location. LocalBTV currently covers 14 US markets with plans to expand.
LocalBTV Supported Cities
As of this writing, LocalBTV officially supports the following metro areas:
- San Francisco Bay Area
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- New York City
- Las Vegas
- Monterey/Santa Cruz
If you live outside these broadcast areas, connecting through a VPN may provide access to local channels from a supported city. However, we found through testing that VPN access is hit or miss depending on the network.
Is LocalBTV Legal and Safe?
Yes, LocalBTV is 100% legal and safe to use. They operate through partnerships and agreements with various local network affiliates.
LocalBTV is an officially verified app available on mainstream app stores like Amazon, Roku, Apple, and Google Play. Many cord cutters use it as a legal cable TV replacement to watch local news and shows.
How to Install LocalBTV on Firestick / Fire TV
Here is a step-by-step guide to installing LocalBTV on Amazon Fire TV devices like the Firestick, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Edition televisions.
From your Firestick or Fire TV home screen, use the search function to find the LocalBTV app. You can speak into the Alexa voice remote or type "LocalBTV" using the on-screen keyboard.
Select the LocalBTV app from the search results list.
Choose "Get" or "Download" to install the LocalBTV app.
Once installed, open the LocalBTV app.
You‘ll be prompted to enter a 6-digit activation code which pairs your device to your account. Make note of this code.
On a computer or mobile device, go to activate.localbtv.com and enter the 6-digit code. Press "Activate".
The LocalBTV app on your Firestick or Fire TV will now be activated.
Browse through the available local channels and click to start watching!
That‘s all there is to it! The entire process should only take a few minutes.
Below are some visual guides for installing LocalBTV on Firestick:
Fig 1. – Firestick Home Screen
Fig 2. – Search for LocalBTV
Fig 3. – Download LocalBTV
Fig 4. – Activation Code
Fig 5. – LocalBTV Channel Lineup
How to Install LocalBTV on Android
Installing LocalBTV on an Android phone or tablet is quick and easy:
Open the Google Play Store app on your Android device
Search for "LocalBTV"
Once installed, open the LocalBTV app from your Apps menu
Enter your 6-digit activation code
Visit activate.localbtv.com on a computer or mobile browser to activate your device
Start watching local TV channels!
Below are some screenshots to illustrate the Android installation process:
Fig 1. – Search LocalBTV in Play Store
Fig 2. – LocalBTV in Play Store
Fig 3. – LocalBTV in Apps Menu
That‘s all it takes to get LocalBTV installed on your Android device!
Activating Your LocalBTV Account
As shown in the installation guides above, you‘ll need to activate LocalBTV on each device before using it.
Here are step-by-step instructions for the activation process:
Install the LocalBTV app on your streaming device or smart TV – Firestick, Roku, Apple TV, Android, etc.
Open the LocalBTV app and note down the unique 6-digit activation code.
On your computer or smartphone web browser, go to activate.localbtv.com
Enter the 6-digit code and click "Activate".
LocalBTV will now be activated and ready for streaming on your device.
You can repeat steps 1-5 to activate additional devices under the same account.
The activation process links your LocalBTV app to your account so you can stream channels on that device. Thankfully the activation website makes it quick and easy to set up LocalBTV across multiple viewing platforms.
LocalBTV Features and User Interface
After getting LocalBTV installed and activated on your streaming device, you‘ll be greeted with a sleek modern interface. Here are some of the key features available:
Programming Guide – Easily view what‘s playing now and coming up later on each channel via the guide.
Favorites – Customize your own favorites list of most-watched channels.
Closed Captions – Activate subtitles and closed captions for any program.
Video Controls – Pause, rewind, and playback live TV.
Signal Quality – Check the video quality and internet speed.
Recordings – Record live TV to watch later (available only on certain platforms).
Streaming Resolution – Typically 720p HD depending on the original broadcaster.
The interface allows smooth channel flipping and tools to manage your viewing experience. Picture and audio quality will depend on your internet connection speed.
Here‘s an example of the LocalBTV user interface:
Fig 6. – LocalBTV App Interface
As you can see, LocalBTV provides a simple but powerful streaming platform for local TV channels.
LocalBTV vs Other Options
How does LocalBTV compare to other ways of watching local channels without cable? Here‘s a quick rundown:
vs Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV – Services like Pluto TV and Samsung TV Plus also offer some live local news channels. However, the selection is very limited compared to LocalBTV.
vs Locast – LocalBTV is essentially a replacement for Locast which offered local channels until being shut down. The channel lineup and streaming quality is very similar.
vs OTA Antenna – An over-the-air antenna can provide access to all your local channels for free. But it requires setting up an antenna which LocalBTV does not.
vs Live TV Streaming – Paid services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live, Sling, etc provide local channels along with tons of other programming. But they come at a cost.
vs VPN – You can use a VPN to stream locations from around the world. However, access to local channels via VPN can be spotty depending on the service.
As you can see, LocalBTV strikes a great balance by giving you local TV for free while being easy to set up and use on various devices.
LocalBTV vs Cable TV
Ditching cable TV in favor of streaming services is a growing trend. But some worry they‘ll lose access to local channels. LocalBTV solves this problem!
Here are some of the benefits of using LocalBTV instead of cable:
No contracts – LocalBTV has no commitments, just download the app and start streaming.
No equipment rentals – Cable requires renting a box for every TV which really adds up. LocalBTV just needs the streaming device or smart TV.
No hidden fees – Cable TV is notorious for regional sports fees, broadcast TV fees, HD fees and more. LocalBTV is 100% free.
No bundles – Cable forces you into paying for channels you don‘t watch. With LocalBTV you just get local programming.
Greater flexibility – Stream local news anywhere on phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs. No cable box required.
Easy setup – Getting cable installed can take weeks. LocalBTV takes minutes to start streaming.
For the average cord cutter who just wants to watch local news, sports, and shows, LocalBTV is clearly the superior free option compared to pricey cable TV.
After extensively testing LocalBTV across various devices, here is our review verdict:
Provides a great selection of local broadcast channels
Completely free streaming TV
Works on a wide range of devices
Very easy to install and setup
Intuitive channel guide and features
Limited regional availability (only in certain metro areas)
Lacks advanced cloud DVR features
Streams in 720p HD only
Interface can be a bit basic
Overall, LocalBTV earns top marks for delivering free local TV streaming to cord cutters. The streamlined interface and broad device support makes accessing local programming a breeze.
While the app itself is basic and video resolution capped at 720p, it‘s amazing that users get this level of free live TV streaming. Considering the costs of cable TV just keep increasing, LocalBTV is a budget-friendly alternative for local news, weather, sports, and more.
We hope this look at everything LocalBTV has to offer will help you cut the cord while staying tuned into what‘s happening locally.
Ready to install LocalBTV on your Firestick, Roku, Apple TV, Android, or other device? Follow our guides above to get set up in just a few minutes. Then start watching local channels for free!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about LocalBTV:
What devices can I watch LocalBTV on?
LocalBTV is available on Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android, iOS, and most other mainstream streaming platforms.
Is LocalBTV really free?
Yes, LocalBTV is completely free to install and watch. No fees, subscriptions, or logins required.
What if I live outside the broadcast area?
Connecting to LocalBTV outside their markets can be hit or miss. A high-quality VPN may allow you to stream local channels from supported cities.
How many channels are available in each market?
The local channel lineup ranges between 30-40 live channels depending on your region. Check their site to see specifics for your city.
Can I record shows on LocalBTV?
Recording functionality is only available on select platforms like Fire TV. Options are limited compared to a cloud DVR service.
What about MSNBC, HGTV, and other cable channels?
LocalBTV focuses specifically on local broadcast affiliates. So cable networks like CNN, TBS, AMC are not included.
Is the video quality HD?
LocalBTV typically streams channels at 720p resolution. Quality depends on your internet speeds.
Any idea when more cities will be supported?
LocalBTV frequently adds new metro areas. Check their website for the latest rollout plans.
Is Locast better than LocalBTV?
With Locast now shut down, LocalBTV is the next best option to stream local TV channels for free. The channel offerings are very similar.