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Midco ending video on demand

Midco has announced its cable customers will have until the end of the month to enjoy video on demand (VOD) content as the company prepares to cease offering on demand services directly.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota,-headquartered company provides cable and internet services to more than 1.2 million customers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Kansas.

Starting July 1, Midco will no longer be offering video on demand content to its cable customers, shifting instead to third party subscription video on demand (SVOD) options. MidcoTV’s four tiers previously provided customers access to a range of 6,000-38,000 VOD titles.

Midco Chief Operating Officer Benjamin Dold said the MidcoTV platform and digital app will enable a seamless transition to VOD storefronts like Google Play and AppleTV stores or subscription streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu, which have been integrated into the experience, but going forward neither free or paid VOD options will be available from Midco.

“Most customers are going to see vastly improved user experience with a more graphical interface, integrated search, and seamless transition from live linear television to streaming apps,” said Dold.

MidcoTV runs off a managed internet protocol television (IPTV) solution which uses the Midco broadband network in lieu of the open internet typical over-the-top streaming devices use.

“The transition to IPTV brings many benefits to customers including enhanced features like cloud DVR storage, start-over/catch-up and integrated search with streaming apps. It also allows us to dedicate more spectrum to broadband service as part of our Fiber Forward upgrades to bring faster speeds, lower latency, and enhanced reliability,” Dold said.

Dold said customers will still be required to have at least one leased set-top box in their home, but will otherwise be able to find the app on most smart TV app storefronts.

The MidcoTV app is currently available for no additional charge on iOS, Android, Apple TV and Android TV platforms. Dold said the app will be launching on Amazon’s Fire TV devices later this month and Midco will continue to seek additional opportunities to ensure compatibility with other common Smart TV operating systems.

“Customers can choose the MidcoTV package that best fits their interests and then choose how they would like to access content, whether through a low-cost leased set-top box or via downloading the app,” Dold said.

Dold said the user experience change will be dependent on the previous set-top box customers were using, but app-based users will find familiar features such as a cloud DVR storage for recording content, along with start-over/catch-up capabilities. MidcoTV customers will be able to get up to 10 set-top boxes per household and up to three unmanaged devices like Smart TV’s and streaming boxes.

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