Cord cutters know that the two best ways to replace cable content are streaming (OTT) services and free over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts. Now one Phoenix, Arizona-based company is combining OTA and OTT to deliver local broadcasts to customers in the Phoenix area.
PhoenixBTV calls itself “antenna TV for the mobile age,” and it just put its new service into beta in Phoenix. PhoenixBTV captures over-the-air broadcasts and converts them to streaming video for customers in the region. Like OTA itself, the new service is free – though a paid version, with extra features like a cloud DVR, is in the works.
PhoenixBTV customers can essentially watch OTA TV on the go. But the service is still missing the four most important networks available over the air: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. The major networks aren’t on board, and that’s holding things up for the fledgling company.
Still, PhoenixBTV offers a new vision of what free OTA TV might look like in the digital age. Some cord cutters already watch OTA TV on the go by using a combination of products – a PC tuner with a media server, for instance, or an OTA DVR like the Tablo with accompanying mobile apps. But PhoenixBTV’s model simplifies that process dramatically, since customers don’t even need to have their own antennas.
PhoenixBTV will need to get the major networks on board to be a really viable option, and it is still limited to the Phoenix, Arizona area. But it’s worth keeping an eye on PhoenixBTV and services like it – we may be seeing a whole lot more of them soon.
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