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lbgale
Level 7

How to fix PBS channel error message: 'live streaming is not available for your location'

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I have two Rokus on TVs.  Using the PBS app, when I try to livestream my local PBS station (SC ETV), it says "livestreaming is not available for your location".  I notice that T-Mobile, my ISP, shows my IP address as being located in Charlotte, NC (which is outside of the SCETV area), but I'm actually physically located in Charleston, SC (which is in the SCETV area).

T-Mobile tried a lot of stuff, but eventually said "contact Roku".

Anybody seen similar denial of streaming services based on incorrect location being reported by T-mobile?

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: How to fix PBS channel error message: 'live streaming is not available for your location'

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Actually, contacting Roku won't accomplish anything. The location is being performed by the channel itself, not the Roku device. So it's PBS that is enforcing the location restriction.

The problem is that most cellular companies spread their Internet connection points out across the country, and there's no way to ensure you are using the closest one to you. And in fact, you might be using the closest one. My cell service reports me as being in Seattle, and I am in one of the suburban cities in the area. 

Unfortunately, either T-Mobile has to move you to a connection point closer to your actual location, or PBS needs to allow a user to enter an address or zip code in the app to identify your location. As long as they use the IP based location, you're stuck.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: How to fix PBS channel error message: 'live streaming is not available for your location'

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Actually, contacting Roku won't accomplish anything. The location is being performed by the channel itself, not the Roku device. So it's PBS that is enforcing the location restriction.

The problem is that most cellular companies spread their Internet connection points out across the country, and there's no way to ensure you are using the closest one to you. And in fact, you might be using the closest one. My cell service reports me as being in Seattle, and I am in one of the suburban cities in the area. 

Unfortunately, either T-Mobile has to move you to a connection point closer to your actual location, or PBS needs to allow a user to enter an address or zip code in the app to identify your location. As long as they use the IP based location, you're stuck.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
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lbgale
Level 7

Re: Location services on T-Mobile?

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Dan, thanks for the input.  I think you're right. I'll keep nagging T-Mobile, since they should be able to tell from my cell tower exactly where I am!  This 5G Home Internet is always in my house, not moving around, so the fault is pretty clearly theirs!  I just wondered if anybody had found workarounds, but I'm not too hopeful.

  -- Larry

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Location services on T-Mobile?

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A VPN on your network could alter your perceived location, but we aren't allowed to discuss such use on the forum. Others have had the same issue with other providers, so it's not specific to PBS and/or T-Mobile.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

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mrpyatt
Level 7

Re: Location services on T-Mobile?

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Larry,

 

I am having the same issue.  I am currently in St Louis but Roku thinks I'm in Indianapolis today.  Last week Roku had me in St Louis but the week before Roku had me in Toledo.  When I ask Roku to fix this issue they tell me it's a you problem not a Roku problem.  Not very good customer service but since I have already spent the money buying their product, they figure why should we support someone who we have already got their money.  Well played, Roku...Well played.    

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Location services on T-Mobile?

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You're blaming Roku for something that the channel is doing. And unless it's The Roku Channel, it's not under the control of Roku. Many providers use your public IP address to determine your location. Sometimes that's sufficient, but often your ISP uses a public access point that puts your location far from your home, in some cases half way across the country. There's nothing Roku can do about that, because they don't program the individual channels.

You have to talk to the channel provider about how they are determining your location. Some allow you to enter your home zip code, but others just use the public IP address (it's simple and cheap) and you're stuck with it.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

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mrpyatt
Level 7

Re: Location services on T-Mobile?

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"You're blaming Roku for something that the channel is doing. And unless it's The Roku Channel, it's not under the control of Roku"

I'm not sure how to make this clearer.  It is the Roku Channel and others.  The only response I get from Roku is just like yours, "That's a you problem and your stuck with it."   

 

If Roku really had customer service they would reach out and resolve this well know ongoing issue.  But there is no money for them to resolve this so to use your words, I'm stuck with it.  

 

Why doesn't Roku have real employees helping on here with issues instead of having someone who is just guessing at the answers?

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Location services on T-Mobile?

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@mrpyatt you didn't mention any channels in your previous post, so all I could do is guess which ones were causing the problem.

For all channels other than "The Roku Channel", again there's nothing Roku can do about how they are identifying your location. My previous reply is accurate for them. For TRC, exactly what are you accessing that is location based? I'm asking an honest question, as I don't use anything within TRC so am not certain what it might be. 

Roku does have employee admins on this forum, but it is Sunday and they might not be working today. I don't disagree with you that it can be difficult to sometimes find answers to issues. But when you ask here, you will find a number of people that would really like to help, but we need to know some details about your issue. Knowing the specific channels that are having a problem is one vital piece, as is knowing exactly what model Roku you are using. For your specific issue, it would also help to know who your ISP is. This particular thread is dealing with using Cellular for Internet access. And that can be an issue for location services, as many cellular companies will make your "public" location far from reality. And only the ISP can address that. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
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