Posted on September 1, 2020 in ATSC News
Edge Networks operates two low-power ATSC 3.0 stations in Boise, Idaho and is now adding its first customers to a pay-TV service powered by next-generation television. The service is called “Evoca,” and an early access program has begun signing up subscribers. Edge CEO Todd Achilles, who has an extensive background in the wireless industry, answers four questions for THE STANDARD:
1. Evoca is the first “premium ATSC 3.0” service. How did you decide what to offer to potential subscribers and what’s the reaction so far?
We’re very excited about the potential for Evoca. Since we first went on-the-air with test signals a year ago and people started to hear what we were planning, there’s been a tidal wave of interest. Evoca will eventually offer dozens of familiar premium channels along with video-on-demand from Internet sources. And we’re pricing ourselves to be competitive, too. Affordability of pay TV is the top consumer pain point. Once we have the channel lineup right, the price will be $49. The early access program – limited to 200 people – is priced at $20 per month for the rest of the year. Our subscribers will need one of our Internet-connect Scout receivers that has ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 capability built in.
2. Does Boise really need another pay TV service?
You should ask the people in Boise that question! We have. And the answer is a resounding YES. Like any market, people want the option of choice but Boise is a TV desert. And in a lot of smaller, rural markets there is only one choice. That’s the void that Evoca is designed to fill. We’re going to offer a premium, competitive service that meets consumer needs.
3. What are your ambitions beyond Idaho’s capital?
There are many cities and towns around this great nation that are woefully underserved by premium TV options. Evoca is starting in Boise, but we have plans to expand far beyond just one city. We’re initially focused on mid- and small-markets across the West and Midwest. But we’re also receiving lots of interest from existing broadcasters who want to upgrade to ATSC 3.0 and deploy the Evoca service on their stations.
4. Will 4K be part of your offering on the Evoca platform?
Over the past several months, we’ve been testing with 4K content and we’re delighted with the results. We absolutely plan to deliver 4K Ultra HDTV to our subscribers, once we have content in that resolution. ATSC 3.0 is remarkably flexible, as readers here know already. We can offer up to 20 channels of HDTV-quality to subscribers but also easily remix to incorporate 4K as it becomes available. We know that most people buying new TV sets are buying 4K models, so our service anticipates the desire of consumers to take full advantage of the displays that they they’ve purchased.
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.