Canby Telcom adds Roku channel with local stations

Portland, Ore., telephone cooperative Canby Telcom thinks it's found a way to grab those subscribers who are willing to pay for at least a 10 Mbps broadband connection but not a full IPTV service. Canby has added a Roku channel with a "select package of live local broadcast channels, video-on-demand from its local original channel CTV5 and other video applications without a managed video infrastructure," an Elemental Technologies press release said.

Elemental, it should be noted, is providing live video processing systems that adapt traditional MPEG 2 broadcast channels and make them multi-bitrate Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). In Canby's case, the technology lets the telco bundle eight local live broadcast channels packaged into an authenticated channel on the Roku platform and delivered over Canby's broadband connection to subscribers with Roku players. Subscribers then have access to the local channels as well as the video content they pick and choose from amongst the multiple Roku-based offerings.

The service breaks a mold, a story in Broadcast Engineering said, because it marks the first time an OTT play--even from an established telecom--includes local channels. While Canby in its traditional iteration is a service provider, in the case of what it calls EZVideo PayTV Lite it steps into the realm of the likes of Apple, Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and other OTT providers--with a service provider twist.

"Canby executives adamantly claim that they are using a private network, not the open Internet, to deliver content and they restrict local broadcast content for distribution solely within their DMA," the Broadcast Engineering story continued.

That, the article and Canby both say, distinguishes the telephone cooperative from Aereo, which offers local over-the-air channels in a pay TV package but uses an antenna and the public Internet to bring them to subscribers.

For Canby, apparently, the new service is all about providing a video play for broadband subscribers who are not willing to pick up the whole IPTV package. The new OTT service costs $14.95 a month and includes a Roku box, access to Roku's traditional lineup of channels, and the local channels courtesy of Canby.

"Our new EZVideo channel on Roku allows us to provide an affordable, premium-quality video service targeted to customers who are looking to augment their current digital television service," Keith Galitz, Canby's president said in the press release. "With the help of Elemental and Roku, we continue to develop and implement new products and services that ensure our customers and community remain current with the latest technology trends."

The biggest hurdle Canby had to overcome was amending retransmission agreements already in place with local stations so they could set up a new delivery model and pay schedule for subscribers who purchased the new service.

For more:
- see this press release
- Broadcast Engineering has this story

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