Streaming TV

Zeam Review 2024: Stream Local Channel Content for Free

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Are you thinking about cutting the cord from the cable company but are worried about keeping access to local channels?

Zeam is a free streaming service that could keep you up-to-date with access to content from local news stations around the United States. (This streaming service was previously known as VUit.)

There is live and on-demand content, but is it a cure-all for those of you who love your sitcoms or dramas on network TV?

After seeing a commercial for the re-branded service starring celebrity actor John Stamos, I decided to download the app on my streaming devices and take the service for a spin.

In this article, you’ll get my honest review after my firsthand experience. For the purposes of this review, I downloaded the Zeam app on my Apple iPad and consumed content there for a few days.


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 Zeam?

Zeam is a free streaming TV service (formerly known as VUit) that features content primarily sourced from local news stations. In exchange for the free access, you will be subjected to commercials and advertisements within the content.

This is not a live stream of the local television broadcast of your ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX affiliate. Instead, it is curated content usually created by the local in-market staff. This means you will receive clips of local news, weather and current events, but you won’t receive access to the latest sitcoms, dramas or live sports that are broadcasted on the over-the-air channel.

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 Zeam, and you probably 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.

Zeam does not require either of these processes to get started. If you want, you can go to the Zeam 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 Zeam. 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, Zeam 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 Zeam 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 Zeam app.


Content Options

We need to set the content expectations appropriately with Zeam. 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 the 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 Zeam:

“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 Zeam.

These can be ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX affiliates. In my case, Zeam only had access to content from my local NBC affiliate.

Image via Zeam app

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:

Image via Zeam app

“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.

Image via Zeam app

On-Demand “Shows” and Live Local Sports

Two other areas of content emphasis on the Zeam 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 “Brave in the Storm” segment that the local affiliate produced within the market.

There are some more nationally recognizable titles, like Dave Coulier’s “Full House Rewind Podcast.”

Image via Zeam app

Additionally, Zeam 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.


User Experience

Next, let’s take a look at the components of the user experience for Zeam 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.

Sometimes I wouldn’t actually see commercials, though. A few times I simply encountered a mostly blank screen with no sound and the words “commercial break” indicating that the program would return momentarily.

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.

User Interface

The Zeam app is simplistic and efficient. There are 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 Zeam

Are you still trying to decide whether or not you should add Zeam to your streaming portfolio? Here are some pros and cons to think over:

Zeam: Pros and Cons

ProsCons
FREE!Not much content beyond local affiliate offerings
No sign-up requiredLivestreaming TV channel list is lacking in comparison to top free streaming competitors
Content options curated for your locationNo movies or mainstream TV shows available

Bottom Line

If you’re cutting the cord on cable and looking to keep your local channels, the most efficient way to do so is likely the purchase of an antenna.

But if you live in an area that doesn’t get good reception, you may need alternatives for getting local content. That’s where Zeam could come into play.

Be warned though: You’re not getting all of the content that you’d get from your local channels.

Ultimately, you’re probably going to find a more enjoyable free streaming experience from services such as Pluto TV or Tubi TV because of better and bigger content libraries.

As long as you use Zeam 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.


Does Zeam fit into your free streaming TV content mix? Which free streaming TV services are your favorites? We’d love to hear about your money-saving ideas for streaming in the Clark.com community.

This post was last modified on March 1, 2024 8:33 am

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