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Valley Communications Association introduces new digital products

Updated January 8, 2018 - 5:09 pm

Dozens of people poured into Valley Communications Association Inc.’s tech expo to learn about the association’s new digital services, including its digital TV service.

Ken Johnson, executive vice president of broadband business for Valley Communications, said Valley was interested in offering potential subscribers “an opportunity to come in, see the product, touch the remote, change the channels and ask questions of the technical staff, so they would be able to have a really good understanding of what the service is.”

The expo, which was open to all members of the Valley Electric Association, was housed at the Valley Conference Center at 800 E. Highway 372.

The event, which ran from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 16, attracted more than 100 attendees, just in the first hour of operations, Johnson estimated.

Kathryn McKenna, chief operating officer of Valley Communications, said the event was a “grand launch” of their television product, which uses technology known as Internet Protocol Television or IPTV and runs over Valley’s broadband network.

Those interested in the digital TV service from Valley must be connected to the association’s broadband system.

Valley’s IPTV service, which had a test period for a small group in early November, will compete with services such as Dish Network and DirecTV.

Johnson said Valley’s service has some advantages over other options in the market.

One of those pluses is that it eliminates a two-and-a-half to three-second delay that satellite customers experience before a picture appears when flipping channels.

“On the system that we operate, it changes channels instantly,” Johnson said. “Right there, it beats the competition.”

“Unlike satellite, we have our local KPVM channel,” Johnson added.

This means that you don’t need to have a separate antenna to get the station.

Subscribers can also get the Valley Electric Channel (channel 21), which has news, information and updates on what’s happening with the co-op, according to information on Valley Communication’s website.

The future of Valley Communication’s programming might also give consumers advantages coming up in the future.

“All the equipment we’re deploying is 4K capable, and that’s four times better than a high-definition signal,” Johnson said. “Once we upgrade to fiber, we’ll be able to add that content.”

Fiber will also carry some other pluses.

“What will change with the IPTV product, once we install fiber, is that you’ll be able to watch more streams,” McKenna said.

Today, subscribers will be able to watch three streams and surf the internet. When fiber comes, that capability will double on the streaming side and include capability of surfing the web, she added.

Valley Communications also had its other new digital phone service on display during the expo.

Discounts are available for those that choose multiple services with Valley Communications.

Valley’s digital TV service starts at just under $40, with a $5 discount for broadband subscribers. There is also an additional $5 discount available for signing up for Valley’s phone service.

Valley Communications offers three price tiers, depending on the number of channels a subscriber wants to obtain. Additional charges apply for adding Showtime, The Movie Channel or Starz/Encore.

TV subscribers are also responsible for paying a monthly fee for a set-top box, needed to run the digital TV service.

The first 100 members who signed up for digital TV service at the expo, and were willing to have the service installed in 30 days from that point, were entered into a drawing for a new 65-inch, 4K TV. The drawing will be held after Dec. 16, according to a news release from the association.

Valley Communications is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Valley Electric Association.

For more information, contact Valley at 775-727-5312 or 800-742-3330. You can also find more information on the web at valleycom.com and search under digital services on the home screen.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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