Question

youtube tv can't determine my location with my t-mobile gateway

  • 20 September 2022
  • 6 replies
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I live in Ankeny IA.  Using my t-mobile gateway for youtubetv I used to get tvguide for my local channels. Now I am getting local guide for Minniapolis.  What’s up?


6 replies

Userlevel 4
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The way the TMHI network is set up, it will frequently (usually?) give you an IP address from a location far away from where you are. That’s just the nature of T-Mobile’s infrastructure, and we can’t change it. But there is a pretty easy fix If you put the YouTube TV app on your cell phone, you can verify your location in the phone app (it uses the phone’s GPS, not the IP address). Then your other YouTube TV apps (on your TV, tablet, PC, streaming devices, etc.) will reflect your correct location.  I have to do this periodically, and while it is an annoyance, it only takes a minute and is way better than the problems people face with Hulu Live.

The way the TMHI network is set up, it will frequently (usually?) give you an IP address from a location far away from where you are. That’s just the nature of T-Mobile’s infrastructure, and we can’t change it. But there is a pretty easy fix If you put the YouTube TV app on your cell phone, you can verify your location in the phone app (it uses the phone’s GPS, not the IP address). Then your other YouTube TV apps (on your TV, tablet, PC, streaming devices, etc.) will reflect your correct location.  I have to do this periodically, and while it is an annoyance, it only takes a minute and is way better than the problems people face with Hulu Live.

This is no longer the case. Google removed the ability to set it on your phone and have your PC follow. When I contacted YouTubeTV support, they just threw their hands in the air and acted like I was trying to scam them.

I have to do this periodically, and while it is an annoyance, it only takes a minute and is way better than the problems people face with Hulu Live.

 

Having the same issues. I wish I had researched this better. I had to give up who live for football season (The only time I use a live streaming service).  And even after setting the location in YouTube TV it periodically will have to be reset for location.

 

Other sites have suggested various workarounds to try and get a static IP which would solve the problems.

Userlevel 4
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To understand what you can do, you first need to understand why.

As noted this is mostly due to wireless carrier’s infracture. Unlike wire line carriers (e.g. cable) they really don’t have the ability to assign IP addresses by location - there simply aren’t enough due to the mobile nature of the services. At the same time, unless the device you’re streaming to has GPS (TV’s don’t yet) the content providers will rely of IP-based geolocation services which were always a hack anyway. IP addresses don’t say anything about your location other than country. Due to the nature of wire line services (before mobile became prominent), these the “wizards” at these  3rd party geolocation figured out a way to provided somewhat accurate locations for those service wire line services based on some wild guesses and some are wilder than other when it comes to mobile and satellite services.

Some content providers now rely upon browser based JavaScript apis (usually in conjunction with the specific browsers services). FWIW, YouTube TV does utilize that JavaScript api to determine location and it tends to be accurate; however, in my case I utilize Firefox and it’s not so accurate unless using the Location Guard add-on extension which allows me to establish my proper home location for YouTube TV. I then stream to my “dumb” TVs or monitors using an HDMI cable from the PC to the TV/Monitor.

That’s one way; however I also use a second approach that actually works out better using the YouTube TV app on my phone and a USB-C to HDMI cable (actually a powered hub) from my phone to the TV. When used this way the app is picking up the phone’s GPS location - this does require a phone  having HDMI capabilities. I personally utilize a high-end Samsung flagship coupled with Samsung’s Dex (desktop experience). Works so well that I doubt I’ll ever buy another PC or workstation again - gives me a desktop experience when coupled with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard; and can easily take it on the road and there’s always a TV around with an HDMI port free. The YouTube TV app on my phone never fails to locate the proper local channels regardless of where I am. The same also holds for Hulu Live and other apps I’ve tried (I simply prefer YTTV)

Sorry for the long response but to tackle it you need to know what’s going on - it’s really not T-Mobile’s problem but that of content providers who rely on IP based geolocation services which are notoriously inaccurate. Understand the problem to solve it and much more.

P.S. I suspect YTTV is making some changes to how location is determined now that NFL Sunday Ticket has arrived. Careful what you wish for. Undoubtedly, those changes will impact all of YTTV - gotta protect those out of market profits for those bilionaire NFL owners ya know!

Sorry for the long response but to tackle it you need to know what’s going on - it’s really not T-Mobile’s problem but that of content providers.

I can't agree with this logic. For one T-Mobile for the same price has a business internet with a static IP. Why they choose to sell general customers who may work from home requiring a VPN that need the static IP or the age of streaming services like a Hulu live that require a static IP I don't understand..

 

The solution is out there The solution is being used again by T-Mobile business subscribers. T-Mobile is at fault because they choose to not sell this solution to everybody and do not tell customers of the difference when signing up.

 

And as an end user we don't need to understand the full complexities of how things work in order for us to use them. I don't understand the complexities of how geosynchronous orbits work but I rely on a GPS all the time.  Although I also understand this great capitalist system that people will sell you whatever you want whether you need it or not, so a basic understanding is, yes, necessary.

Userlevel 4
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Not looking for your concurrence - just passing along the facts so you can resolve and offer options Those savvy enough to understand what I laid out will recognize some of the other added benefits to the approach.

I can’t agree with your logic either - get a business account if you want a static IP. Not enough of them for consumers on most carriers and that’s how we got to this point. You’re sharing your public IP address with other customers via carrier grade NAT because of a shortage of IP addresses.

It’s for that reason and its overall disadvantages I’m looking to switch carriers, not be because I can’t watch local TV.

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