But can it completely replace the local content you receive from your cable or live TV streaming service?
I decided to download the VUit app and find out. For the purposes of this review, I used VUit on both an iOS streaming device and a web browser.
This article was updated in July 2023 and I will review it every six months. Detailed notes on all updates will be provided.
Table of Contents
This review is one of many Team Clark has conducted as a part of our free streaming TV series. You can learn more about our strategies for getting free streaming TV here:
What Is VUit?
VUit is a free streaming TV service that offers both live channels and on-demand content that is tailored for your location within the United States.
You can view this content 24-hours per day via the VUit website or app. And since you won’t be charged any money for this service, you will have to watch advertisements along the way.
The content is not necessarily designed to replace watching local channels on your cable or live TV streaming service, but it does provide cord cutters a chance to get local news, weather and information without paying for a service.
How To Watch
Good news! You’re not going to need a credit card to check out VUit, and you’re probably going to own at least one device that has access to the service.
Sign-Up Is Optional
Some free streaming apps want you to hand over information like your name, email address or location. Others want you to log in and make another username and password combination that you’re bound to forget shortly after creation.
VUit does not require either of these processes to get started. If you want, you can go to the VUit website and start streaming right away without handing over any personal information. This could have you streaming content within a matter of seconds.
However, there is the option to set up a user account on VUit. This process could be worthwhile for those who determine they like the platform, as it allows you to bookmark your favorite channels and save progress on shows for a quick return to entertainment.
Devices and Apps
As I mentioned previously, VUit streams directly on its website. That means anyone with an internet-connected device can check this one out.
However, if you want a more immersive experience, I recommend downloading the VUit app on your streaming device.
There is an app for the following:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Apple iPhone or iPad
- Roku TV
- Android devices
If you have a smart TV, tablet or wireless phone that uses one of these platforms, you should be able to download the VUit app.
Content Available on VUit
We need to set the content expectations appropriately with VUit. This is not a service that will compete with some of the top free streaming options like Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Amazon’s Freevee when it comes to depth or quality of its content library.
Instead, you’re likely to find localized streaming options that could supplement the usage of those services.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can find on VUit:
“Local” and “Nearby” Live TV Streams
The “bread and butter” of this service is livestreaming local content. And that’s apparent when you download the app.
You’ll be prompted to provide a location that helps tailor the live news channels you see. It doesn’t prevent you from watching out-of-market channels, but it does bring your local and nearby channels to the forefront.
How many local options you’ll have will depend on how many of your local TV affiliates have agreements to have their content appear on VUit.
These can be ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX affiliates. In my case, VUit only had access to content from my local NBC affiliate.
The “nearby” channels included ABC and CBS affiliates from different regions of my home state.
It’s worth noting that while these “local” and “nearby” channels did have content produced by the affiliates labeled, they did not have a livestream of the content actually being broadcast by those channels.
So, for example, rather than seeing the latest NBC drama during primetime, I’d see a rebroadcast of a local newscast segment or weather report.
Here’s a sample livestream content schedule and presentation from my local NBC affiliate:
“National” News Channels
Though the focus is on local content, there are some very limited national news options.
Select markets also could receive localized CBS News channels (pictured below), but oddly enough the free national livestream of CBS News was not included on the app.
On-Demand “Shows” and Live Local Sports
Two other areas of content emphasis on the VUit app are on-demand streaming and local high school sports.
You’ll find a tab for each of those on the app menu.
Within the on-demand shows, you’re likely to find locally produced content from affiliates across the country. For example, instead of the latest episode of “NCIS” from a CBS affiliate, you’d be more likely to see the locally produced “Atlanta Eats” segment that the local affiliate produced within the market.
Additionally, VUit has a section for local broadcasts of sporting events.
But it’s not what you might think. You’re not going to see a NFL game on this app.
Instead, affiliates have provided streaming access to high school football games, local marathons and even regional recreational baseball games in this space.
Next, let’s take a look at the components of the user experience for VUit viewers.
How Bad Are the Ads?
Both the livestreaming and on-demand functions of the app require that you watch commercials intermittently placed within the content.
For livestreams, the frequency was generally 2-3 breaks per half hour of content. These are very much like traditional commercial breaks that you see on traditional TV channels. The experience is similar to other livestream options on free streaming TV services.
The on-demand content had ads placed within the show, game or event. These were non-skippable internet ads which usually only lasted 15-30 seconds at a time.
The VUit app is simplistic and efficient. There are six navigational buttons that are accessible from the menu bar on the bottom of the app at all times. These will help you easily move from live to on-demand content.
Load times were snappy on the app, and users have the ability to sign up for an account that will help them flag favorites and save progress.
Final Thoughts on VUit
Are you still trying to decide whether or not you should add VUit to your streaming portfolio? Here are some pros and cons to think over:
VUit: Pros and Cons
|FREE!||Not much content beyond local affiliate offerings|
|No sign-up required||Livestreaming TV channel list is lacking in comparison to top free streaming competitors|
|Content options curated for your location||No movies or mainstream TV shows available|
But if you live in an area that doesn’t get good reception, you may need alternatives for getting local content. That’s where VUit could come into play.
Be warned though: You’re not getting all of the content that you’d get from your local channels.
As long as you use VUit as a supplemental piece of your free streaming strategy, I think you’ll be pleased with it. If you try to use it for anything more than an occasional check-in on what’s happening with your local affiliates, you may be disappointed.
Do you have experience watching VUit? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the Clark.com community!