Evoca, a new pay TV service that uses broadcast spectrum, has officially gone live with an “early access” program for residents in Boise.
The service – which offers more than 45 channels along with on-demand content – is priced at $49/month but will be available to early adopters for $20/month through 2020. The package includes an HD antenna and a set-top box that supports ATSC 3.0 and OTT services. Evoca is using Vewd to power its set-top box, which supports third-party streaming apps, a traditional channel grid, VOD library and some gaming.
Boise residents can visit Evoca.tv to sign up for the “early access” program offer. Evoca will roll out to all residents of Boise in late 2020 with additional markets to follow in 2021.
Todd Achilles, CEO of Evoca parent company Edge Networks, said his company wants to stay in the neighborhood of Boise as it expands over the coming year.
“Our focus is second and third tier markets that have gone underserved. We think that’s where our value proposition resonates,” he said.
Evoca isn’t a traditional pay TV service, which are delivered over a managed network, nor is it a streaming service, which arrives via the public internet. Instead, it’s an IP-based multichannel service that uses the NEXTGEN TV standard (ATSC 3.0) to distribute a bundle of channels via available broadcast spectrum.
Edge Networks is one of a handful of companies that have been granted FCC permission to deploy ATSC 3.0 technologies. The company currently has two TV stations in Boise.
Achilles said that Evoca can an adjust in real-time to using either 3.0 or broadband for delivering channels and that it relies on a combination of manual and automated channel management. In a recent demo of the product, that hybrid architecture appeared to provide an effective lean-back television experience with smooth and responsive channel surfing and a straight-forward, familiar user experience.
Achilles said that one or two more big media companies may be added to the service before it officially launches. However, he stressed that Evoca has already done beta testing over the past few months and that the early access program is more about just getting the product out into the market.