ANY TIME, ANY PLACE: Philip Burrows, a Verizon manager, watches live TV on his tablet at the train station in Basking Ridge, N.J. Internet streaming of TV, film and video are markets that providers of traditional cable TV services such as Verizon, Cox and Full Channel Inc. are catering to more and more, the companies say.
In Rhode Island, television access through providers like Verizon, Cox and Full Channel Inc. is evolving to meet consumer demand from so-called “cord-cutters,” who view TV on mobile devices anywhere and everywhere.
“There’s no question that the model for TV and programming is changing,” said Stuart Freiman, program director at Broadband Rhode Island, a division of the R.I. Commerce Corp. “My daughter’s generation, they’ll probably never buy cable. They’ve already figured out how to buy things on the Internet and watch what they want to watch. As long as you have a really good Internet connection, that’s really the future of TV.”
Of course, cable providers in Rhode Island also provide phone and Internet service, so they are positioned to capitalize on so-called “TV everywhere,” which has even been incorporated into some providers’ branding.
“Full Channel’s TV Everywhere platform is included at no additional charge with Digital Expanded TV,” according to the company’s website. “TV Everywhere lets you stream shows from your favorite TV networks on your smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC.”
The demand has come over the past few years at Full Channel, which covers Barrington, Warren and Bristol, said Levi Maaia, president Full Channel Labs, a division focused on online innovation and technology, and appears to be here to stay. Streaming high-definition video over the Internet at high speeds includes new content from many of the major TV networks, he said.
TV Everywhere supports Android and Apple smartphones and tablets as well as set-top streaming devices such as those available from Roku and Amazon, he added.
Likewise, Cox offers TV packages that enable viewers to connect to their favorite shows “anytime, anywhere” for prices starting at $49.99.
And at Verizon, nationally, this past October, the company launched a $60-a-month package that provides its most popular Internet service, 10 local TV channels and HBO, Showtime and Netflix to consumers who do not want to pay for television programming they never intend to use, said Verizon spokesman Philip Santoro.
Bundling TV subscriptions together, a common practice, is not something consumers today are always willing to pay for, when it provides channels they don’t want or intend to watch, he said.
“There are a number of ways people are watching TV today,” Santoro said. “We’re trying to be cognizant of those demands. [This package] indicates yet another way for us to address yet another consumer demand. You’re getting what you need.”