Streaming service with local programming

By Matt Ledger

In the 20th century, many households relied on a set of rabbit ears and a bit of tin foil to get their fix of local news, weather reports and sporting events. The modern digital antennas aren’t much better, so Ben Lomand created similar offerings on a more dependable platform. “The antenna reception is horrible out here,” Sparta resident Johnnie Maynard says. “I actually got rid of Hulu once MyBLTV came out.”

This new plan offers a low-cost option for HD television service for Ben Lomand members. Officials at Ben Lomand chose the Roku platform of streaming devices for ‘MyBLTV’, giving members the ability to watch a handful of local channels with a more manageable subscription price.

Members will enjoy live and local programs that aren’t available from satellite providers. MyBLTV includes local programming on the Warren County School System Channel and local weather on Channel-1. They will also be able to watch the major network programming — such as the hit music drama “Nashville” on ABC affiliate WKRN from Nashville — along with FOX, CBS, NBC, CW and PBS … all in high definition. And, to top it off, Ben Lomand also added the local MyBLTV channel to their Roku lineup.

Device Advice

Members may purchase the equipment from Ben Lomand Connect or from other electronic retailers. The Roku streaming devices allow users to watch movies, TV shows and sports, as well as listen to music and play games. The Wi-Fi-enabled device uses the Internet to bring content to any HDTV. The Roku interface offers hundreds of apps including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.

The Roku 2 and Roku 3 boxes allow for the same commonly found connectivity of most newer televisions for easy setup. The Roku 3 has an audio jack for connecting the device to home theater systems. Both Rokus have a remote control device that conveniently has an audio jack for headphone usage or a remote speaker. The Roku Stick is even easier than that — just plug the stick into a USB port on your TV or laptop. No power cord needed.

Micah Lawrence of Ben Lomand’s network operations department suggests an Internet plan allowing downloads of at least 5 megabits per second to optimally stream these programs.

Keepin’ it local

“I was one of those that wanted to cut the cable cord and go fully online,” Maynard says. “But, I couldn’t watch the local channels, so when MyBLTV came available, I jumped on it.” He had been using three online video providers, yet was missing out on the local football games and seasonal events. Using a digital antenna wasn’t an option in the Old Zion community.

Juanita Holmes of Morrison was already familiar with the Roku device and opted to purchase a second one in July, after Ben Lomand started MyBLTV. “We are thoroughly enjoying it,” she says. “We have it on two TVs now, and the young man at the technical support center was awesome. We’ve had other Ben Lomand services for about four years now, and everything has been great.”

Holmes made the switch after dissatisfaction from several outages, eagerly dropping a satellite provider to enjoy the MyBLTV difference.