watching tv with popcorn

While some broadband providers are exiting the video business, one company that has launched a new video offering is DFT Communications, which serves western New York and parts of Pennsylvania. The company’s offering is an example of a vMVPD service, which the company sees giving it an edge against strong competition that offers bundled video, broadband and voice services.

A vMVPD (or virtual multichannel video programming distributor) offering provides a channel lineup similar to that of a traditional cable service but streamed over an internet connection.

A large percentage of DFT customers have little experience with streaming, according to a press release, but DFT attempted to simplify the experience by offering a set top box that enables customers to use a full-size remote control similar to what would be used for an IPTV of cable TV service.

Subscribers also can access the service via streaming devices from companies such as Roku and Amazon.

In today’s press release, DFT Vice President of Operations Dave Pihl said the approach that the company is using is more cost-effective than options explored in the past. He cited the ability to receive hosted content delivered from a national headend as a key factor in making the offering more economical to deliver.

DFT uses the name “V” for its streaming service, which includes packages named Vital, starting at $38 a month for 27+ channels, and Vibe, which costs $125 a month for 186+ channels.

The vendor underlying DFT’s offering is Innovative Systems. Content is streamed via hosted services from Midwest Video Solutions (MVS).

Also underlying DFT’s network is equipment from Calix.

Joan Engebretson contributed to this report.

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