UTOPIA Video Coming Soon; Prime Time Scrambling to do STB Replacements

Good news out of UTOPIA: the video product will be ready to launch as early as next week. Service providers will reportedly have a list of prices and channel lineups by Saturday in preparation for reselling to customers. I don’t have a list of the channel line-up, but I would bet it’s going to be competitive with both cable and satellite providers. Now that MSTAR/Prime Time won’t be the only video game in town, you’ll be free to grab triple-play any way you want it.

Speaking of Prime Time, the word on the street is that they’ve been rushing to upgrade all of the MSTAR STBs ahead of being cut off from Broadweave’s headend on May 1. With just two days left, sources tell me that some customers may experience a loss of service since there’s been so little time to do the swap. My understanding is that Prime Time is going to use their headend out of St. George rather than use UTOPIA’s new MPEG-4 headend. Have some patience with them.

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5 Responses to UTOPIA Video Coming Soon; Prime Time Scrambling to do STB Replacements

  1. Capt. Video says:

    I hope they have found a way to allow customers that are signed up with a provider who might elect not to offer video to get video from another provider at a good price. I suspect they have.

    It will be interesting to see which providers elect to offer video and which might not?

    I’m also interested to see how the licensing is done. Does UTOPIA have the video licenses or will each service provider?

    It’s likely they are obtaining content via a third party transport agreement with someone like Avail Media and FourComm? But even with those transport agreements I think the end subscribers owner will likely need to have a license agreement with the programmers?

    In the past, iProvo and UTOPIA have had the problem of meeting the programming contract language which typically does not allow “distribution” (allowing someone else to use your licenses to deliver video) while not violating Utah state rules which addresses their ability to have retail customers.

  2. Jesse says:

    I’m those issues is what caused UTOPIA to take so long bringing it to market. I’d like to think the new guys in charge worked all of that out by now. Maybe that should be a future podcast topic?

  3. Jonathan says:

    I don’t know where or who I asked, but I was under the impression that you could get different services from different providers currently.

    I could be way off base though but it was a question I had at one time which was answered somewhere.

  4. Jesse says:

    Yeah, you can. It has previously been a big hassle, though, and MSTAR wouldn’t let you subscribe to just video. With the new video product, I think that will change. That said, bundling will probably offer some big pricing advantages.

  5. Capt. Video says:

    In the past, I think UTOPIA prices to service providers made it difficult (more costly) for service providers to be the 2nd or 3rd provider.

    So you could buy that way, but cost made it a rare event?

    Your total cost was much greater than a triple play from a single provider.

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