Project Blog

 

01/25/2020                                                   

WILL I BE ABLE TO REPLACE MY SATELLITE TV SERVICE WHEN  PETERSHAM IS CONNECTED TO HIGH SPEED BROADBAND?

Yes and probably at a price that is less than your current satellite TV service.

History – traditional options: The delivery of TV service is changing rapidly nationally – and more and more television is moving to the internet. In the early days, all TV came through the airwaves, at no charge. Then cable companies (Charter, Comcast, Time Warner, etc) came along and distributed TV at a fee (and with a municipal monopoly) on cabling that they owned and maintained. To compete with that, and for those of us without cable, TV was then offered from (expensive) satellite delivery, through companies like DirecTV and Dish. Satellite options charge for the delivery of content and for the content itself, at high prices.

Now – with Broadband Streaming: As a result of the wide availability of broadband internet, media companies are now choosing the internet as their preferred delivery vehicle for the future. 

With Petersham’s  new high-speed Broadband, you and your family will now have many  streaming options (not just one or two expensive satellite providers) for your entertainment viewing. This very competitive array of choices is being added to almost daily.  There is no fixed contract and most offer free trials so you can check out their offerings before you decide to subscribe. 

See our 01/09/2020 Blog Post below for a list of streaming options. Copies are also available at the Town Office.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK? If you’re getting your television signal via the internet, you will still watch TV directly on your TV. It doesn’t mean you have to watch TV on your computer. Most TVs now come smart” – ready for internet-delivered content. In addition, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, and others are small, inexpensive devices that connect older TVs to the internet. These devices act just like your satellite box where you can use a TV guide listing of channels. It also comes with remote control, recording, etc.

IT JUST SEEMS LIKE THERE ARE SO MANY CONFUSING TELEVISION OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM. HOW CAN I COMPARE STREAMING SERVICES?

JustWatch is a streaming search website that is easy to use and will help you find the shows that you watch the most. Twenty minutes spent here will save you hours of searching for shows individually.

                                                                     https://www.justwatch.com

You feel like streaming one of your favorites tonight—maybe The Godfather, Star Wars, Seinfeld or —but you’re not sure where to find it. Rather than check Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO separately, go to JustWatch.com  JustWatch not only offers a huge database of films and TV shows, but points you in the right direction for how to watch them.

Acting as a hub for all of your streaming wants and needs, JustWatch can actually tell you where specific movies and shows are available to watch. After setup, you can browse through different titles. If you click on a movie or TV series that interests you, it will tell you all the places you can watch it.

You can further filter the services to find the best price or resolution offered, or save what interests you to a watch-list.

If you want to watch something, you don’t have to switch to the appropriate streaming source. Instead, JustWatch links you directly. Click on the icon for the appropriate service listed, and you will be sent to streaming services like Netflix or Amazon automatically.

 

ADDITIONAL STREAMING RESOURCES

Internet Movie Database (IMDb)     

imdb          

                                             https://www.imdb.com

 

 

First, if you’re not already using IMDb, you need to dive in. This is the top website for getting the full scoop on movies, TV series, actors, directors, writers, and just about anything or anyone else in the entertainment biz.  IMDb is filled with details on just about any film or TV show in history.

FREE STREAMING SERVICES AVAILABLE WITH YOUR LIBRARY CARD

Hoopla and Kanopy are both free video services that can be streamed to your TV, computer or mobile device.  They are available from numerous local libraries (not Petersham currently). All Massachusetts residents, however,  are entitled to obtain a free Boston Public Library card and both streaming services are available by registering for an e-card from the  BPL. 

bpl2

https://www.bpl.org/ecard/

 

hoopla

 Hoopla is a web and mobile library media streaming platform for audio books, comics, e-books, movies, music, and TV. Hoopla allows library patrons to download or stream media content.

                                                   https://www.hoopladigital.com                                                         

   Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video platform for public libraries and universities that offers films and documentaries. Kanopy’s subdivision, Kanopy Kids, includes children’s programming; all Kanopy member accounts have access to Kanopy Kids.

kanopy-banner-opt

https://www.kanopy.com

 

01/16/2020

Now that the Matrix Connect/Petersham Broadband project is well underway, we thought that some subscribers would like to be able  understand more about the design of our state of the art Fiber-Optic network.

As we have pointed out before, fiber-optic cable is one of the purest manufactured products ever created by man. Click on the video link below to see a detailed explanation of the fiber making process.

CLICK to see how fiber is made

The Matrix Connect/Petersham Broadband network is utilizing fiber-optic cable manufactured by the Prysmian Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of fiber-optic cable. Petersham’s Broadband project will be installing more than 500,000 feet (94 miles) of fiber in total. Much of this fiber is being custom made to Matrix’s exacting  design standards.

CLICK to see Petersham’s fiber supplier

 

Probably you have all started to see the Matrix fiberlign-aluminum-support-adss-through-bolt-1-max-1000x1000Connect/Petersham pole  hardware on the town’s utility poles. As the project proceeds, more 1000 of these heavy duty  fiber-optic hangers will be installed throughout Petersham.  Hangers are first attached to the poles along an entire street allowing follow up crews to rapidly attach the actual fiber-optic cable. South street was cabled start to finish in less than two days.  Soon installation crews will be running the fiber to the outside of  every subscriber’s house, to be followed by the connection crews who will complete your Broadband equipment  installation.

pole-hardware2

 

As our Broadband project moves forward, literally thousands of fiber-optic cable splices will be necessary to insure seamless connectivity.  In our current Verizon telephone system, copper wire connections are often referred to “twisted pairs” because that is literally what they are.  Splicing a fiber-optic cable that is smaller in diameter than a human hair requires a level of precision that is hard to imagine. CLICK the link below to see the fiber splicing process.

CLICK To see how fiber is spliced

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The current Matrix  schedule anticipates  getting a one mile radius from the center of town connected during the month of March and the entire town fully connected in June-July of this year. Given the complexity of the process (see above) we think that this is pretty amazing.

 

 

01/09/2020

With Petersham’s  new high-speed Broadband, you and your family will now have many  streaming options (not just one or two expensive satellite providers) for your entertainment viewing. This very competitive array of choices is being added to almost daily.  There is no fixed contract and most offer free trials so you can check out their offerings before you decide to subscribe. Here is a list of the current major streaming providers.  For a full description of the services offered merely Google the provider’s name.

The Best Alternatives to Satellite TV – Read the full report here:

https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/336650/the-best-video-streaming-services 

LOCAST

Non-profit

Watch Your Local Boston area TV stations For Free ($5.00 per month to remove periodic donation reminders)

Locast is a non-profit public service to Americans, providing local broadcast signals over the Internet in select cities. All you have to do is sign up online, provide your name and email address. Then, you can select among local Boston market broadcasters and stream your favorite local station.

Using a laptop, smartphone, computer or stream-connected TV , point your browser to www.Locast.org to sign up. You then can choose which local broadcast station to watch from your Internet-enabled device.

PLUTO TV

FREE no purchase or monthly charge

Pluto TV is a truly free Internet-based TV platform owned by Viacom. Pluto TV has 100+ genre-themed channels.  There are no monthly charges and all you need is an email address to watch.

You won’t find networks like ESPN, CNN and HGTV on Pluto TV, but there are more than 100 genre-themed channels that will deliver entertainment for viewers interested in sports, news and lifestyle programming.

Here’s a sample of Pluto TV’s channels and descriptions provided by the service:

  • Pluto TV Movies: Box office smashes featuring the biggest stars 24/7; new movies added every week
  • CBSN: Never miss out on breaking news with CBSN, the channel that brings you original reporting from CBS News
  • Crime Network: Full seasons of hard-hitting detective dramas, action-packed movies and true crime docs
  • FOX Sports: Game highlights, clips from FS1 studio shows and Fox Sports Digital originals
  • FrontDoor: Information and inspiration to help you make the most out of your home
  • Food TV: Featuring hit TV shows, “Iron Chef: America” and “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”

There’s a lot of content on Pluto TV, but you have to approach it with the right expectations. After all, it’s a free service.

Netflix

$8.99 per month

Netflix is the standard-bearer of streaming. It hosts an impressive selection

of content, with new titles exchanged for older ones monthly.

And then there’s Netflix constantly growing library of premier original

programming, which currently outclasses every other streaming service.

YouTube TV

$49.99 per month

YouTube TV offers an excellent selection of live sports and news channels,

as well as many popular entertainment options. A few of the top networks

available include ABC, AMC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, FX, and NBC.

Hulu

$5.99 per month; $44.99 for Hulu + Live TV

Hulu is one of the best all-in-one options given its diverse set of streaming options. In addition to a strong library of classic shows, and a good selection of movies, Hulu offers more than 60 channels of news, sports, and entertainment programming.

 Amazon Prime Video

$8.99 per month

Amazon offers access to its video content in one of two ways: a standalone

Amazon Video subscription or an Amazon Prime subscription. An Amazon

Video subscription costs $8.99 per month and only includes access to

Amazon’s streaming video library. An Amazon Prime account, which

includes Prime Video content and a ton of other shipping and shopping

perks, costs $12.99 per month (or $119 per year).

fuboTV

$54.99 per month

fuboTV is a great option for any cord-cutting sports fans. This “sports-first,

but not sports-only” service offers extensive live sports and entertainment

content for all your devices. Whether you want to watch NFL games on

Sunday, catch up an MLB game that aired during the day, or even stream a

movie on-demand, fuboTV has you covered.

PlayStation Vue

$49.99 per month

Sony’s PlayStation Vue live-streaming service is an excellent option for

anyone who wants to get rid of their cable bill, not just PlayStation owners.

Recently, Sony raised the price of PlayStation Vue’s plans by $5 across the

board, a change that will affect both new and existing subscribers.

CBS All Access

$5.99 per month

While it might seem limiting to pay for a video streaming service from a

single broadcast TV channel, CBS All Access does offer an expansive lineup

of TV shows on-demand.

 ESPN+

$4.99 per month

ESPN+ offers a respectable lineup of live and on-demand sports

programming for only $4.99 per month (or $49.99 per year). It’s not a

replacement for ESPN’s regular channels, but it might be just enough for

cord-cutting sports fans. With the service, you can watch a selection of live

sports events including many from the MLB, NHL, MLS,PGA Tour, and various college sports leagues.

HBO Now

$14.99 per month

HBO Now delivers an impressive catalog of new on-air original content,

including Westworld and Chernobyl, in addition to beloved older series such

as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Deadwood, Girls, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos,

Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, and The Wire. On top of that, HBO’s on-demand streaming service includes a collection of popular movies

Philo

$20 per month

Philo is an affordable video streaming service that offers a good mix of live

and on-demand content. For just $20 per month, you get 58 channels,

including AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, Cooking Chanel, Comedy

Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, SCI, and the Travel

Channel.

Sling TV

$25 per month

Sling TV splits channels between its $25-per-month Orange plan, which

supports one simultaneous stream, and Sling Blue, which supports three

simultaneous streams and also costs $25 per month.

 AT&T TV Now

$50 per month

AT&T TV Now, previously DirecTV Now, offers good streaming performance

and lots of channels, but some of its plans are unnecessarily fragmented,

and they cost a lot for what you get. AT&T TV Now’s Plus plan starts at a

reasonable $50 per month and includes 40 channels.

Showtime

$10.99 per month

Showtime’s original programming includes current titles such as Black

Monday, Billions, Homeland, Kidding, The Chi, Shameless, and Ray Donovan.

It also boasts a library of slightly older shows including Dexter, House of

Lies, Penny Dreadful, and Twin Peaks: The Return. In addition, Showtime

offers live streams of Showtime East and Showtime West, as well as a

decent selection of movies.

Starz

$8.99 per month

If you are a big fan of Starz shows, such as America to Me, American Gods,

Boss, Counterpart, Liberty City, Outlander, and Survivor’s Remorse, you

should consider subscribing to its dedicated video streaming service.

Apple TV+

$5.00 per month

Apple TV+ will launch Nov. 1 with original content featuring marquee talent, including Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Jason Momoa. And the $5-per-month price undercuts the $7-per-month Disney+ service, which will debut Nov. 12.

Apple is offering a one-week free trial, allowing you to kick the tires on the new service. And starting soon, anyone buying a new iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, or Apple TV will get a free year of Apple TV+.

Disney+

$6.99 per month

By far, the most anticipated is Disney+, which will be the exclusive home for much of Disney’s classic film library, as well as many of its TV shows. Disney plans to charge $6.99 for Disney+, or you can subscribe to a package that also includes ESPN+ ($4.99) and Hulu (with ads– $5.99) for $12.99. That’s a lot cheaper than the $16-$17 price range for HBO Max, and happens to be the same price as Netflix’s standard plan.

Turner Classic Movies

Free as part of other streaming subscriptions

For 25 glorious years, Turner Classic Movies has served as the movie geek’s movie channel of choice. Truly, it’s an embarrassment of riches, and these days you don’t even need cable to enjoy it. Nab a live TV streaming subscription, and you’ll be able to dive into TCM’s rich library any time you like.

Britbox

$6.99 per month

Indulge your inner Brit with beloved classics and brand new series. Comedy, drama, mystery, documentary, lifestyle, news and special live events – direct from the BBC & ITV.

Acorn TV

$4.99 per month

Acorn TV has been offering exclusive British TV content, starting with the US premiere of Doc Martin, Series 6. In 2015. Currently Acorn TV subscription streaming service offering television programming from the United Kingdom, as well as Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Criterion Channel

$11.00 per month

Classic movies by the best filmmakers of all time around the world, but you also can dive deeper into a film, director, actor, and even genre, with documentaries, short films, interviews, and film theory clips about why a scene is so important.

*********************************************

The streaming connection – Unless you have a newer “smart TV” you are going to need one additional device to connect your current TV to these streaming services via the Internet. See the latest reviews here;

https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/313411/the-best-media-streaming-devices

Current price leader; Amazon Fire Stick $24.99

 

 

 

09/24/19

On Saturday 9/21 we had a good turnout for our latest Broadband Information Meeting  with about 60 people in attendance.

The Internet connection between the Broadband Equipment Room in the Lower Town Hall is now “live”.  This 70 mile fiber connection between Petersham and the Boston Internet “back-haul” provider will be the source of all resident connections.  Matrix is ready to start hanging fiber and connecting customers the minute Verizon finally completes the 15% of the utility pole  Make Ready work remaining. This is a major project milestone.

Although the vast majority (90%) of Broadband connections will be made aerially and no preparation work needs to be done  by the homeowner,  the meeting did review the procedure for the approximately 40 customers getting their communication services via underground conduit.

A representative from The Irrigation Company from Princeton was in attendance. He spoke with a number of folks after the meeting regarding conduit installation  issues.

 

For those people needing to install new underground conduit piping in order to be ready for the Matrix installation teams, a list of local conduit installers is available at the Town Office.

This is merely an informal local vendor list and residents  are free to do the work themselves or have it done by any contractor of their choosing.

Petersham resident Brad Becker owner of Becker Home Inspections has offered to be available, for a fee, to inspect existing conduit to help residents determine if it is fiber-ready. Again he is a possible contact point only.  Residents can inspect there own conduit or seek help from anyone they wish.

Matrix does not do pre-connection conduit inspections and it is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that their underground conduit is ready  for fiber installation. The Matrix “Conduit Guide” is available at the Town Office.

A list  list of current TV streaming options has been created and is available at the Petersham Town Office.   There  will be a TV specific information meeting sometime within the next six weeks.

Giant spools containing more than 47 miles of fiber-optic cable will be delivered shortly to the Highway Barn in preparation for the start of hanging the fiber on our 1900+ utility poles.

Once Verizon signs off on their pole work Matrix teams will begin hanging more than a mile a day of fiber-optic cable.

The official Matrix Petersham Broadband website is currently in Beta testing and should be up and running within a few weeks.

Although the Petersham Broadband project has  been delayed by numerous State and utility company delays, in every instance where aspects of our project have been carried out directly by Matrix, the work has been completed on time (often sooner) and on budget. We expect that the construction & connection portion of the project will be carried out by Matrix in a similar fashion.

 

07/23/19

Broadband utility pole Make-Ready work by National Grid began on Monday April 3rd * National Grid completed their work on May 21st * Verizon crews began the final portion of the Make Ready work on May 22nd * Verizon crews should complete all work by early August * Matrix crews have now been scheduled to begin hanging fiber-optic cable in August * High Speed Broadband link to Town Hall Equipment Room by September 2nd * Center of Town should be connected by late October * Entire Town should be connected by late spring * State signed Broadband reimbursement grant in the amount of $880,000 last February 

02/08/19

After more than nine years of effort, Petersham reaches a funding agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Mass Technology/ Massachusetts Broadband Institute) guaranteeing a Broadband Reimbursement Grant in the amount of $880,000. This grant becomes payable to the Town upon completion of the Broadband Network in the Spring of 2019.
This funding reduces Petersham's anticipated overall Broadband Project cost to just over $500,000.  The cost to Petersham taxpayer's will be far less the the cost for any of the  other 45 rural Central & Western Mass communities currently building Broadband networks.

11/19/2018

Special Town Meeting was held at 7:30pm in the Town Hall.  Residents voted in favor of a Debt Exclusion borrowing by a margin of 233 to 12.

11/10/2018

Broadband Information Meeting was held  today 4:00 PM at Petersham Town Hall .
Residents heard project updates and brought  questions.
02/20/2018

Matrix Design Group provides updated technical specs for equipment in subscribers’ homes.

When subscribers connect to the Petersham Fiber network they will have a choice of equipment for use at home or in their business.

The Matrix-recommended option is the Calix 844E Gigacenter unit, which includes both the ONT (Optical Network Termination) and an 802.11 AC WiFi router with sufficient coverage to provide a strong WiFi signal to a 4000 Sqft space. This unit will cost the subscriber $5 per month, but will enable Matrix to remotely troubleshoot, and most likely fix, many networking issues.

The other option available to subscribers is the more basic Calix 803G unit, which only includes the ONT. With this option subscribers will need to purchase their own router to provide wireless/wired connectivity  and any networking issues would be the subscriber’s responsibility.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this equipment or any other aspect of the broadband connection.

06/27/2017

Matrix Design Group Estimated Schedule for Petersham

In an effort to set expectations for the citizens of Petersham I thought it would be a good idea to both recap the work that has already been done and the estimated rough schedule of things to come.

Chris Lynch – Matrix Design Group

December 2016: The Town in a historic vote of 299-7 authorized the funds needed to accomplish the Town’s responsibilities in the FTTH (Fiber to the Home) build.

January 2017: The Town has to wait until January 23rd to find out if Petersham is named in the MBI’s  RFP to the cable providers. Petersham is not named as a Town of interest by either Comcast or Charter.

February 2017: The attorneys for both the Town and Matrix finalize the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) which is the legal necessary first step in the process.

March 9th – June 9th: Residents of Petersham have the opportunity to pre-subscribe for broadband service. A total of 270 subscribers in required in order to the project to proceed and the final total of 351 is actually reached (about 70% of the homes in town).
June 2017: A utility pole data survey in conducted by Matrix on behalf of the Broadband MLP and the final agreement / contract between Matrix and Petersham is expected to be signed.

July 2017: A Route Fiber Strand Map is created by Matrix on behalf of the Broadband MLP. This map will show the best routes for the fiber build based upon the utility company 200 poles per application process. The utility company pole attachment applications will also be filed with Verizon and National Grid (7-8 applications are expected) and the “make-ready” process is begun. This “make-ready” process normally takes 6-7 months to complete and is out of both Matrix’s and the Town’s control.

August-September 2017: Matrix will create the detailed Fiber Design for the project and the Town will issue the RFP (Request for Proposals) for the building of the space to house the network electronics and fiber in the basement of Town Hall.

September-October 2017:The room in the basement in Town Hall is constructed by the Town and either conduit or a new pole line is installed on Monson Turnpike by Matrix on behalf of the Broadband MLP. These facilities on Monson Turnpike are needed to connect the Petersham residents in the Flat Rock Road neighborhoods to the network. Today these residents are connected by utilities from Athol.

October-November 2017:The invoices for the second $250 installation fee will begin to be sent out. The timing of the invoices will be determined by when the licenses (permission) to attach our fiber are expected to come back from Verizon and National Grid.

November-December 2017: The licenses to attach fiber to the utility poles will hopefully begin to come in. At this time the construction schedule will be created and the build of the Connecting Petersham network will begin in the first part of 2018.
Of course there are many other tasks that need to happen but hopefully the above will give the people of Petersham a good understand of the things and timetable involved before we can even begin “putting fiber on the poles.”

05/31/2017

BROADBAND SIGN-UPS HAVE EXCEEDED 100% OF GOAL OF 270 PAID SUBSCRIBERS

After more than six years of careful research and planning, the Petersham Broadband MLP Board is pleased to announce that today they not only met, but have exceeded their three month goal of signing up 270 paid business and residential subscribers and Petersham, working with its partner Matrix Design, is now ready to immediately begin the design and construction of its state-of-the-art fiber-optic Broadband network.

This network will offer 100% of all Town businesses, students, and residents affordably priced Broadband connectivity utilizing future-proof fiber-to-the-home technology offering speeds that far exceed those of area monopoly cable companies for TV streaming, Internet, and Phone.

Having reached this milestone, Petersham becomes only the second of the 45 “unserved” Western Massachusetts communities to have actually signed up over 270 paid fiber-optic Broadband subscribers.

Matrix Design, the company that built the only other completed Fiber-Optic Broadband Network in Leverett, will design, build and operate Petersham’s Fiber Network under the oversight of the Petersham Broadband Municipal Light Plant Board. Petersham will have the option to purchase the network under a declining price formula at any time during the twenty- year life of the agreement.

Matrix Design will  invest more than $1,750,000 of their own funds and professional services to build the network. Petersham’s investment of $560,000 previously authorized by a Town Meeting vote of 299-7 is expected to be reimbursed through  Broadband grants  (as was the case in Leverett) once the Network has been completed in 2018.

 

04/27/2017

PERHAPS THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION ABOUT PETERSHAM’S HIGH SPEED
BROADBAND NETWORK IS:

WILL I BE ABLE TO WATCH MY FAVORITE TELEVISION PROGRAMS ONLINE?

THE ANSWER IS YES AND PROBABLY FOR FAR LESS MONEY THAN YOU’RE CURRENTLY
PAYING FOR SATELLITE TV THUS MAKING PETERSHAM BROADBAND MUCH CHEAPER THAN
YOUR CURRENT COMBINED DSL, PHONE, AND SATELLITE MONTHLY COSTS.
Why pay Directv, Dish or Hughes.net for 100 channels when you only watch a few
favorites? Subscribe to what you want to watch with the options below.

RETURN YOUR PETERSHAM BROADBAND SUBSCRIPTION FORM TODAY

If you have already signed-up thank you, but please check out your free and subscription
television viewing options below

YOUR TELEVISION OPTIONS FROM A RECENT CONSUMERS REPORT REVIEW

If you only watch a few movies or shows each month, it probably makes more sense to opt for a pay-per-view service, such as Amazon Video, FandangoNow ,or Vudu.

But if you do watch a lot of programs or movies, or you’re looking to cut back on—or cut off—your pay TV service, subscription services make the most sense. They offer up an all-you-can eat buffet of streaming content, often at a price well below what most of us spend each month for pay TV.

But it’s not always easy to untangle your choices. This guide of the major video streaming services should help. We’ll be adding new services as they emerge—we now have info on upcoming ones from Hulu and YouTube TV
—so keep checking at Consumer Reports for our updates.

Acorn TV

Price: $5 per month or $50 per year.

Who It’s Best For: Lovers of British TV fare. Goodies include TV dramas (“APlace to Call Home”), mysteries (“Agatha Raisin”), and comedies.

Latest News: Among the exclusives hitting the service are the classic ’80s comedy series “Alfresco,” which kick-started the careers of Hugh Laurie,Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, and Stephen Fry. Also in the mix: “The Witness for the Prosecution,” an original Agatha Christie movie with Kim Cattrall.

Amazon Prime Video

Price: $99 per year or $11 per month, with free shipping. A video-only subscription costs $9.

Who It’s Best For: Anyone who’s already paying for an Amazon Prime membership. It now has a solid roster of original shows, including “Z-The Beginning of Everything” and “The Grand Tour.” Amazon Prime has some exclusive series, such as “Downton Abbey” and “The Americans,” plus HBO’s back catalog of shows. You can add HBO, Showtime, and other premium channels for $9 to $15 per month.

Latest News: Amazon just snagged the rights to a 10-episode anthology series, “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.” Extra Prime perks include access to Prime Music and a free Kindle book each month.

CBS All Access

Price: $6 per month with ads or $10 per month ad-free.

Who It’s Best For: Cord-cutters looking for major-network fare without using an antenna. The service provides full-length episodes of CBS programs, plus live programming streams of local CBS affiliates in 124
markets. CBS All Access also includes complete back catalogs of most of its current series.

Latest News: In December CBS All Access added NFL football games, including “Thursday Night Football.” New exclusive original series include “Star Trek: Discovery” and “The Good Fight.”

DirecTV Now

Price: $35 per month.

Who It’s Best For: Anyone who wanted DirecTV but not the satellite dish.
Right now you get about 60 channels for $35 per month, or 80 channels for $50 per month at any time.

Latest News: You can add HBO for only $5 more each month. Right now it lacks CBS and Showtime, and live TV from several other networks is available only in certain cities. A cloud DVR is promised but so far not delivered.

HBO Now

Price: $15 per month.

Who It’s Best For: HBO fans who don’t want to pay for cable. Sign up to get all the network’s series, movies, specials, and documentaries. If you already get HBO through your cable package, remember that the HBO Go app lets you watch HBO on your phone, tablet, and other devices.

Latest News: HBO Now just hit the 2 million-subscriber mark, and it’s now available on more devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Microsoft Xbox, Roku, Samsung TVs, and PlayStation Vue.

Hulu

Price: $8 per month with ads or $12 per month without ads.

Who It’s Best For: Cord-cutters who don’t want to miss out on broadcast TV. Hulu has current shows from ABC, Fox, and NBC; older ones from CBS; plus the “Seinfeld” library. Original content includes “The Path” and “The
Handmaid’s Tale.”

Latest News: Hulu is reportedly close to launching a pay-TV alternative along the lines of Sling TV and DirecTV Now (see below). It recently signed an exclusive deal with Magnolia Pictures to stream the company’s films after their theatrical release.

Hulu Live TV

Price: $40 per month (not yet available).

Who It’s Best For: Cord-cutters who want yet another option. The planned service will have the CBS, ABC, and Fox broadcast networks, plus cable channels such as A&E, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney, Fox News, FX, TBS, and TNT, among others.* It will also include ESPN and Fox Sports, plus some regional sports networks.*

Latest News: Right now the plan doesn’t include Viacom (Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon). The service, expected to launch this spring, will have separate logins for family members and will include a cloud DVR for recording shows. It may also provide real-time alerts for shows you want to watch. It’s not clear how many users will be able to access the service at one time.

Netflix

Price: $8 per month for standard-def video on a single screen; $10 per month for high-def video on up to two screens; $12 per month for 4K UHD video on up to four screens.

Who It’s Best For: Everyone. Netflix is still the king of binge. It has a vast library of movies and TV shows, plus now-classic original shows (“House of Cards,” “Orange is the New /”) and new hits (“Stranger Things”). It even has original movies (“Beasts of No Nation”). A deal with Marvel has spawned “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones,” and Netflix subscribers will get exclusive access to Disney titles within a year of their debut,
starting with 2016 releases.

Latest News: Netflix is luring Jerry Seinfeld away from Crackle, so in 2017 subscribers will get new episodes of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” plus two exclusive stand-up shows. New movies range from kid-friendly Disney fare to raunchier works.

PlayStation Vue

Price: $40 to $75 per month, depending on package.

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a real cable TV-style programming package, and who are willing to pay for it. Packages range from basic channels (the $40-per-month Access plan) to a comprehensive package of about 90 channels that includes some premium channels (the $75-per-month Ultra plan). You also get local channels in many major markets—on-demand in others—plus a cloud DVR for recording shows.

Latest News: Late last year Vue added several channels, including BBC America, NBA TV, and Vice but lost Viacom stations such as Comedy Central, Spike, and MTV. It also added support for Apple TV last fall.

Showtime

Price: $11 per month, or $9 per month when purchased through certain services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu.

Who It’s Best For: Showtime fans. Like HBO Now, this service lets you watch a cable network without the cable. You get all Showtime’s movies, plus original shows such as “Billions,” “Homeland,” and “The Affair.” If you subscribe to Showtime through your cable provider, Showtime Anytime lets you watch Showtime fare on your phone, tablet, and other devices.

Latest News: A new 18-part “Twin Peaks” is coming this spring. Also, Showtime Films is releasing an Eric Clapton documentary, “Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars,” theatrically in 2017. It will hit Showtime in 2018.

Sling TV

Price: Sling Orange costs $20 per month; Sling Blue costs $25 per month; A combined package costs $40 per month. Add-on packs cost $5.

Who It’s Best For: Cord-cutters. With Dish’s Sling TV you don’t get individual shows. You get channels. The basic Orange package comes with about 20 cable offerings, including A&E, Food Network, and TBS but not broadcast TV. It’s also one of only a few ways you can get ESPN without a TV service. Themed add-on packs cost $5 per month, and HBO costs $15 per month.

Latest News: Sling started beta-testing a cloud DVR feature in December, but only for Roku users. It’s now being rolled out to more platforms, including Amazon Fire TV, Android TV devices, and Android phones and tablets. Apple support is expected to follow. There’s now also a $100 AirTV box from Sling owner Dish that combines SlingTV channels and free over-the-air broadcasts in one device.

Starz

Price: $9 per month.

Who It’s Best For: Like HBO and Showtime, you can now get Starz without a pay-TV subscription. Content includes shows like “Outlander” and “Power,” plus movies including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Latest News: The Starz streaming service is newly available on DirecTV Now for $8 per month. The much-anticipated series, “American Gods,” based on the Neil Gaiman book, is slated to debut in 2017.

YouTube TV

Price: $35 per month

Who It’s Best For: Cord-cutters looking for another option beyond Sling TV and DirecTV Now. It promises access to live TV from up to 50 providers, including all the major networks. It will also have a nice selection of cable channels—such as Disney, ESPN, FX, Fox News, MSNBC, and USA, and it’s adding AMC soon. It’s missing those from Time Warner (HBO) and Viacom (Comedy Central), though. It does have some regional sports networks, and Showtime and a few other premium channels can be added for an extra monthly fee.

Latest News: YouTube TV is now available in five major metro areas: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay area. It will support up to three simultaneous users and up to six separate accounts. It also has a cloud DVR—a virtual recorder that stores programs for you on YouTube’s servers—that lets you record and save as many shows as you want for up to nine months before they’re deleted.


Major network programming – totally free with no subscription

– https://www.lifewire.com/watch-free-tv-3482281
– http://corporate.pluto.tv

ALL THIS MADE POSSIBLE WITH HIGH-SPEED INTERNET – * PETERSHAM BROADBAND

02/6/2017

THE OPEN SUBSCRIPTION PERIOD FOR BROADBAND SERVICE IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN
AS SOON AS THE REVIEW OF NECESSARY LEGAL DOCUMENTS HAS BEEN COMPLETED BY
THE ATTORNEYS FOR PETERSHAM AND MATRIX.

While the Selectboard and the Petersham Broadband MLP understand that this
delay is frustrating, our anticipated partnership with Matrix is an
agreement lasting 20 years and beyond, and both parties want to make sure
that final details are completed properly.

AS SOON AS THE CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTRACT HAS BEEN COMPLETED, COPIES WILL
BE MAILED OUT TO EVERY HOUSEHOLD AND WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PICK UP AT THE
LIBRARY, POST OFFICE, COUNTRY STORE & QUABBIN WOODS.

While the open subscription period is scheduled to be available for three
months; your help in achieving the required 270 sign-ups ($250 of the total
$500) during the first 30 days would allow us to shave two months off the
overall construction schedule thus allowing some customers to begin
receiving Broadband service in the late summer/early fall of 2017.

01/24/2017

As required by the Dec 12th 2016 Special Town Meeting vote, residents of
Petersham have been waiting for the results of the State’s request for
proposals from cable companies for the 40 Massachusetts unserved
communities before Petersham moved forward with a pending agreement with
the Matrix Design Group for Broadband services.

On Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI)
announced the results of its process:

Only two qualified proposals had been received in response to their
request. Petersham was one of 32 towns of the 40 unserved communities that
had *NO* qualified offers for Broadband service.

With these results, the way is cleared for the Town to now move forward
with its plan to partner with Matrix who provided their proposal to
Petersham in October 2016 and had been waiting with the town to hear the
results of the State’s efforts.

The agreement with Matrix will make affordable, state-of-the-art, fiber
optic Internet available to all of the residents, students, and businesses
in Petersham within 24 months of the start of the Pole Survey process.

Matrix and Petersham are ready to start the first step (Pole Data Survey )
as soon contracts are signed and with the completion of at least 270
Petersham subscribers.

With this update on the status of the MBI process, the Selectboard, at a
joint meeting with the Broadband Committee on Jan. 24, appointed members to
the Petersham Broadband MLP Board which will replace the Broadband
Committee to facilitate the next phases of the implementation process and
provide oversight of the project. Forming the MLP for this purposes had
occurred with voters’ approval at two previous Town Meetings in 2015.

The Petersham Broadband MLP (made up of individuals from the Broadband
Committee as well as one member of the Selectboard) will move quickly to
work with the Town Treasurer and Town Accountant to setup the Broadband
Escrow Account creating an easy to use system for signing up subscribers.

A public announcement will be made as soon as that payment process has
been completed and the subscription process officially begins.

Although there will be a three month window for subscribers to enroll, if
Petersham is able to sign up 270 subscribers in the first thirty days, the
entire project timeline could be reduced by two months.

On behalf of the Petersham Broadband Committee and the new PBMLP Board, we
thank you for your support as Petersham moves forward to become only the
second of the forty unserved towns to achieve town-wide Broadband
connectivity. The PBMLP Board will be reaching out to residents with
regular updates, please watch for more information in the coming days as
the project moves forward.

 

12/21/2106
On Wednesday the Petersham Broadband Committee, at their regularly
scheduled December meeting, held their long awaited vote and forwarded a
unanimous recommendation to the Selectboard requesting that the Board
formally constitute the Petersham Broadband Municipal Light Plant Board at
their upcoming meeting scheduled for January 17, 2017.

This milestone comes as the Town moves forward towards its goal of
providing true high-speed Broadband availability to every resident, student
and business in Petersham within 24 months.

On Monday December 12th the Town by a near unanimous vote of 299 to 7
agreed to provide $560,000 to fund the necessary pole survey and Make-Ready
work to prepare its utility poles for the installation of fiber- optic
cable.

The Town’s chosen partner in this project, Matrix Design will invest
$1,759,000 to design, build and operate this state of the art fiber-to-the
home network.

It is anticipated that Petersham  will be ready to begin accepting
subscription payments by mid January to be held in a Treasurer’s Escrow
Account until a minimum of 270 subscribers has been reached and network
construction begins in April.

After more than eight years of effort, this will make Petersham just the
second town, among the forty Central and Western Massachusetts unserved
communities, to begin actual fiber-optic network construction.

For weekly project updates please refer to the *Project Blog* coming soon
on the *ConnectingPetersham.com* and at* PetershamCommon.com.*