GCET now offering TV

Staff Writer
Published: 4/8/2019 6:43:04 AM

GREENFIELD — As planned, John Lunt and GCET will be delivering TV streaming services to many residents this spring and at a typically cheaper rate than local competing cable providers. 

GCET launched its TV streaming service, TrueVision, which pairs the quasi-municipal internet services with television bundles, today. 

The TV-internet bundles tier from $70 to $100 to $120 a month, which includes DVR high-speed internet and a range of channels. Lunt, general manager of GCET, says with the services GCET provides there are no hidden fees, which he said is what people typically see with TV competitors. 

Based on local, in-house studies, Lunt estimates most people spend at least $176 on their cable and internet bill. He compares this to GCET’s $100 option, potentially saving people around $900 a year. 

“We’re looking at how we can save the taxpayer and at the same time offer a quality service, and that’s huge,” Chairman of the Board of Directors Tim Farrell said. 

The way the service works is similar to TV-streaming services in other cities and other platforms, like YouTube Premium. It also functions similarly to a service such as Netflix or Hulu, which can be watched on a TV with the television connected to the internet. 

All local channels are available, although Greenfield Community Television is not yet a part of the bundle; Lunt said he is ready when GCTV wants to come onboard. 

The TrueVision GCET television package can be accessed through a Roku TV or with a Roku device, which will be provided. 

The expanded $100 package features 135 channels, including several sports channels, such as NESN and NESN+ for Boston sports. The premium $120 package includes 175 channels with an expanded option of sports. 

Each package can be added to with bundles for Showtime or Starz. 

“So much of TV now is duplicated online. Most people already have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu,” Lunt said. “What we focused on was giving people the most amount of channels for the money than anybody else.”

Only those who have GCET can access this new television service. 

GCET currently is just short of a thousand subscribers. Lunt is hoping the TV service will help continue to increase itscustomer base, potentially growing by 20 to 30 percent within a year. 

“GCET is a community-owned entity,” Farrell said. “Our goal has been to provide the best possible service at the best possible price that we can do and keep it a financially viable option.”

At times GCET has come under intense scrutiny from public officials, especially in the middle of issues with its first general manager Dan Kelley. A lawsuit between Kelley and the city remains in court and Lunt did not have any update on it at the moment. 

Taxpayers helped fund this endeavor that has now led to a TV element. 

“It’s very difficult for people to look at government and say how do my tax dollars benefit me,” Farrell said. “This is showing the citizens made a financial commitment to GCET and how there will be a positive payback.”

Some residents continue to await for a further buildout of GCET into more rural parts of Greenfield. Farrell said some “decisions that were made prior to John taking his seat” just over a year ago have led to the slow down on the buildout. 

“In time, the goal is to be able to offer this service throughout Greenfield,” Farrell said. 

Lunt said he started in February 2018 with 124 customers and now there are close to a thousand. 

“I’m very glad we’re being more realistic with people with how long that will take,” Lunt said. 

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264




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