Antenna Up: Channel Master Enters OTT Market
Channel Master, which has a longtime history as a maker of TV antennas, is getting into the so-called Over The Top (OTT) TV game.
The company says it has developed the subscription-free service Channel Master TV consisting of free over-the-air HD broadcast programming with Web content (through digital video site VUDU), video-on-demand movies and other TV shows. The service also has full DVR functionality.
The OTT service needs an antenna to access the free, live over-the-air broadcasts, which can be purchased separately. Channel Master TV says that based on region, viewers can watch these channels on their digital or analog TV without monthly fees. In total, for most major networks, this amounts to more than 30 free stations.
"This is a one-of-a-kind solution," stated Joe Bingochea, vice president of marketing for Channel Master. "No device today offers integrated Web content, free broadcast TV and DVR without a monthly subscription."
A number of services that have started retransmitted broadcast stations signals on the Internet and other digital areas have run into legal problems with their networks' owners when it comes to unauthorized use.
Company officials say that 90% of U.S. homes have some form of subscription TV monthly service, with the average pay TV subscriber paying around $74 per month.
Channel Master TV (which includes the DVR/set-top-box unit) has a price tag of $399 and a full one-year warranty. It will begin shipping to retailers on Nov. 1.