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rbuswell
Level 7

Live NFL game capability on Roku

With the loss of Locast a couple days ago, I may be forced to purchase an additional streaming service to watch my favorite NFL team, the Denver Broncos.  Denver, CO is my home network market but I live outside Denver far enough that antenna broadcasts are not reliable.  I'm looking for advice on what to do.

I am a cord-cutter on a budget and Roku has been a wonderful addition to my viewing pleasure.  I don't know what I did without it before!  It appears that I may be able to watch games using the NFL Network and/or a broad-based service like Sling.  Both services do a terrible job describing what you actually get with their services.  This appears to be a strategy to get potential customers to sign up to find out what programming they actually provide.  It appears that if you sign up with the NFL Network that you still need a generic TV service to watch NFL Network.

I am only interested in watching games live.  I'm not interested in all the other stuff like talking head analysis, edited games or seeing games broadcast earlier.  I just want to watch the games live.  At times, there are other non-Broncos games I want to watch live too.

Is they anyone out there who can help me understand what these streaming services will provide re: NFL football and specifically games for the local market?  Thanks in advance for your help.

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SMN
Level 7

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

maybe try tubi,  it has fox sports

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DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

@rbuswell 

If an antenna will work for you, that will replace what you got from Locast.

If an antenna isn't an option for you, to get local channels, you'll need a live streaming service such as Fubo, YouTube TV, Hulu+Live TV, or DirecTV Stream, which carry the four major networks: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC.

CBS local station is available via Paramount+.

Peacock TV will air all the NFL games that you would watch on NBC.

I can't speak to how well the NFL channels work from Sling TV or other services.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert
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rbuswell
Level 7

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

I have tried to use an antenna and the quality is very spotty.  I live about 70 miles from the broadcasting location.  I have bought a new Channel Master antenna and signal amplifier which is much more robust in design that gets rave reviews.  I hope that solves the problem.  It's too bad I can't feed that signal into the Roku.  I have become a Roku addict.

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DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

@rbuswell 

If the antenna gets you what you want, you could add a Tablo or Air TV device to your network and watch OTA channels on any Roku device on your network. Both include DVR capability. There are other devices/setups that do the same thing, but I've only used those two on Roku.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert
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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

When you install your new antenna and signal amp, make sure you install the amp as close to the antenna as possible. The best location is right at the top of the mast, directly below the antenna. The further from the antenna, you are amplifying the noise along with the signal. 

70 miles is really pushing an OTA signal, especially at UHF frequencies. Because of homeowner covenants, my antenna is installed inside my garage, up against the ceiling. The ceiling happens to be 12' high, and my home is several hundred feet above the valley floor. But even with a pretty good sized yagi antenna (about a 7 foot boom, but no amp), and most of my stations are 35 miles or less from me, I can still encounter pixelization on occasion on a few channels. I have one station only 20 miles away, but terrain causes issues with it, and only some of my TVs can actually tune it. 

I have one station that is exactly 102 miles from the transmitter to my home. On the rarest of occasions it might actually show up on one of my sets. I have a direct line with it, and my antenna is pointed straight at it, since most of the other sites are along the same line. If it was on a VHF channel I might get it more reliably, but it's on RF channel 14, which is 473 MHz. That's a very long distance for that frequency. I just manually tuned it on my LG Nano85, and it's actually coming through, abet not really watchable with the pixelization and break up. If I added an amp to my antenna, I doubt it would make much difference. It's just too fringe of a signal.

Dan

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Sharjeep
Level 8

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

First and foremost, head over to NFL.com and check your team's schedule.   If you scrounge around that area of the site, you will find a page that lists WHERE each of your team's games are broadcast.

In addition to the local broadcast, the game may also be on the NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video, Yahoo Sports, ESPN etc...the NFL is all over the place anymore.  Those would be your backup viewing sources if the antenna signal is poor that day. 

Make sure to optimize your antenna direction for that one station where the game is on local broadcast.  You may lose a few other stations, but we all have our priorities, right?

As to Sling, one of the packages (can't remember if it is Blue or Orange) contains NFL Network and no, you do not need any other TV service to access that channel's content.  One package has that and FS1, the other has all 3 ESPNs.  Same price and you can switch between the two on the fly.

One thing I don't know about is blackouts, ie, whether a game might be blacked out on ESPN3 etc if you are technically in the 'local broadcast' area...sigh.

But like I said, check first at the NFL site to see exactly what stations you need before signing up for a service.

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rbuswell
Level 7

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

Lots of excellent info, Dan.  The Channel Master EXTREMEtenna antenna I'm buying has gotten very good reviews and the bundle includes a high-end amplifier and other recommended hardware.  It is a 180 degree antenna which is more than enough to cover all the broadcast towers' locations we want to receive.  It is pretty big but fortunately my HOA isn't active so I don't think anyone is going to object to it being outside.  I've never measured the elevation of our house but my guess is it to be well over 20 feet from the ground.  I have a pole extending up from our chimney and the house is a tri-level.  Our community is at 6,200 feet +/-. The elevation of most of our broadcast towers is around 7,297 feet.

There were some EXTREMEtenna users that said they got VHF stations fairly well even though the antenna is supposed to be UHF only.  I frankly have not been able to figure out why all antennas aren't simply made with both UHF and VHF.  It doesn't appear to add that much more to the components.

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OwnerofDevices
Level 12

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku

There is also DirectTV Sunday NFL ticket. This package give you access to all the NFL games on Sundays throughout the season. The cost is a reasonable $300.00 a year for the cheapest package. DirecTV Sunday NFL ticket only allows one stream at a time, so you need to logout of a device if you want to watch on another device and logon the other device. 

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Live NFL game capability on Roku


@rbuswell wrote:

I frankly have not been able to figure out why all antennas aren't simply made with both UHF and VHF.  It doesn't appear to add that much more to the components.


Some locations only have UHF stations, so there's no need for the VHF components. Because of the huge wavelength size difference, a very high gain UHF antenna is significantly smaller than even a medium gain VHF antenna. Sometimes one can get away with a smaller antenna that might make waves if it were larger. Sometimes smaller is better... Smiley Wink

For a size comparison, a quarter wavelength in the CB radio band (27 MHz) is roughly nine feet. In the aviation VHF voice band (118-136 MHz) it's only two feet, High VHF TV is about 1 1/4 foot, and UHF TV ranges from 6 inches to 3.6 inches. The higher the frequency, the smaller the antenna for equivalent gain. 

Yes, I'm a geek. I've been a ham radio operator for over 41 years. Smiley Very Happy

Dan

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