2/7/2019 9:00:00 AM | BEC | 0 comments


Note: We will update this information as new streaming services become available and as partnerships between streaming devices and services evolve. Thanks for reading!

 
Welcome back and thanks for learning about the ways to watch live TV without paying the high cost of cable or satellite. To catch up on streaming services, read How to Watch Live TV through BEC Fiber Internet: Part 1.

In “How to Watch Live TV through BEC Fiber Internet: Part 1,” we discussed the variety of streaming services like DirecTV Now, Hulu + Live TV, Amazon Prime Video, Sling, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV that use the internet to transmit video to your TV.

Now we’ll tackle the streaming devices you can use to cut the cord, drop the dish and watch what you want when you want it. Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a great place to research common options.
First you need a fast, reliable internet connection with the ability to handle streaming live TV like BEC’s fiber internet.

Streaming Devices and TVs
To stream to your TV, there are devices that connect to your TV and TVs with streaming devices built in.
Streaming devices include Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick, some game consoles, and iOS (Apple) and Android devices like phones and tablets. Televisions include Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and other “smart” TVs.

Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox One, and most computers can support Sling.
Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Sony game consoles, smart TVs and Blu-ray players support PlayStation Vue.
Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS (Apple) and Android support DirecTV Now.
Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, iOS (Apple) and Android support Hulu with Live TV.

Chromecast, iOS (Apple) and Android support YouTube TV.
If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you can stream to an Apple TV through Airplay.

Network Subscriptions
You’ll need a streaming device to stream stand-alone network subscriptions CBS All Access ($6 a month), HBO Now ($15 a month), Showtime ($11 a month) and Starz ($9 per month) to your TV.

Live News & Sports
Roku offers dozens of news channels. Apple TV offers CBS News, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and Bloomberg. Amazon Fire TV offers a handful of news channels. It all depends on what you want.

Due to licensing agreements, the streaming services cannot show games covered by your local stations. To watch those games, use an HD antenna combined with a streaming device.

In “How to Watch Live TV through BEC Fiber Internet: Part 3,” read specifically about using an HD antenna to stream live TV.

We hope this helps. No matter what streaming devices you choose, BEC’s 100% fiber internet makes streaming live TV easy and more affordable.
1/15/2019 3:00:00 PM | BEC | 0 comments
Note: We will update this information as new streaming services become available and as partnerships between streaming devices and services evolve. Thanks for reading!
 
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It’s true! You can watch live TV without paying the high cost of cable or satellite, and there are plenty of ways to do it.

First you need a fast, reliable internet connection with the ability to handle streaming live TV. With BEC’s fiber internet, consider that box checked.

Then read on to learn about the streaming service options you have for cutting the cord, dropping the dish and watching what you want when you want it--affordably. While not an exhaustive list, this information is a great place to research common options.

A Variety of Streaming Services
Streaming services are subscription-based services that use the internet to transmit video to your TV. Here’s a quick guide to some popular streaming services.

 
  Sling TV DIRECTV NOW Hulu + Live TV YouTube TV PlayStation Vue
Price $25 - $40/month $40 - $75/month $40/month $40/month $45 - $80/month
Channels 32 - 51 65 - 125 65+ 74+ 49 - 98
Simultaneous
Users or Devices
1 - 3 2 - 3 Unlimited at Home
Up to 3 On-the-go
Up to 3 Up to 5
Other Features* Cloud DVR, Channel Add-Ons Cloud DVR, Live/On-Demand, Channel Add-Ons, 4K Streaming Cloud DVR, Live/On-Demand, Spotify Music, Limited Ads Cloud DVR, 50+ Live Channels, On-Demand, Channel Add-Ons, Up to 6 Accounts Cloud DVR, Live/On-Demand
Supported Devices Android, Apple TV, Google, Chromecast, iOS (Apple), Roku Devices, Smart TVs, XBOX ONE Amazon Fire TV, Android + Chrome 58+, Apple TV + iOS, Safari, Google, Chromecast, Online, Samsung Smart TVs Amazon Fire TV & Tablets, Android, Apple TV & iOS, Google, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Online, PlayStation 3 & 4, Roku Devices, Samsung & LG Smart TVs, XBOX ONE & 360 Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV & iOS, Google Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Online, Roku Devices, Samsung & LG Smart TVs, XBOX ONE & 360 Amazon Fire TV, Amazon HD6 Tablets, Android, Android TV, Apple TV & iOS, Google, Chromecast, Online, PlayStation 3 & 4, Roku Devices

Stand-Alone Network Subscriptions
CBS All Access starts at $6 a month, offers access to both live TV and recorded programs, and is available to Amazon Prime members. HBO Now ($15 a month), Showtime ($11 a month) and Starz ($9 per month) offer live and recorded versions of their channels.

You’ll need a streaming device to stream these network subscriptions to your TV. Read more about devices in our upcoming article “How to Watch Live TV through BEC Fiber Internet: Part 2.”

Live News & Sports
Some broadcast networks offer free local news programs online. Check your local news station’s website, to determine if it offers a live stream.

Streaming sports services are available through sport leagues’ websites, and prices vary depending on how many games you want to watch.

Due to licensing agreements, the streaming services cannot show games covered by your local stations. To watch those games, use an HD antenna or an antenna combined with a streaming device.
 
Whew! We hope this helps. No matter what streaming services and devices you choose, BEC’s 100% fiber internet makes streaming live TV easy and more affordable.

In How to Watch Live TV through BEC Fiber Internet: Part 2 we discuss the devices you can use to stream to your TV.
1/2/2019 9:00:00 AM | BEC | 0 comments
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As a business owner, you work every day to realize your dream, and you decide what tools to use to help you reach your business goals.

Today, internet connectivity has become an increasingly necessary business tool, and now more than ever, the right kind of internet is one of the best tools you can have.

That internet is made possible by fiber connectivity, and it can help companies of all sizes, from mom-and-pops to corporations. Read on to learn more about the top 8 business benefits of fiber internet:

1. The Need for Speed
First things first. Good internet connectivity is all about speed. You need your file sharing, order tracking and sales transactions to happen in real time at the pace of business. Your internet should work for you not against you.

To do that, fiber internet is many times faster than copper cable internet connections like DSL or Ethernet. With fiber internet, you can continue doing business without slowing down during high-demand times.

Additionally, with fiber internet you benefit from equal upload and download times called "symmetric speed.” Symmetric speed allows you to upload and download video content and files, and make phone calls simultaneously without delays.

2. Bandwidth
If you use an internet-based phone system, video-conferencing, high definition video streaming, file sharing or cloud applications to run your business, you transmit large amounts of data. And if you’re doing that with cable internet, it can be easy to max out your bandwidth, causing delays and poor video quality.

However, fiber internet’s bandwidth is significantly higher, and speed does not decrease as demand increases.

3. Reliability
Unreliable internet connections are more than a headache. They can delay or halt your business altogether.
With fiber, you get a stronger cable than copper, and fiber internet is not susceptible to inclement weather conditions like copper cables.

Unlike copper cables that are susceptible to electromagnetic interference from heavy machinery, fiber internet is not affected by electromagnetic interference. When other businesses are using equipment that can interfere with your connection in the same space, fiber internet can protect your connectivity.

If your business requires the internet to conduct transactions, make phone calls or access applications, the reliability of fiber internet is a must.

4. Signal Strength
With copper cable internet connections like DSL or Ethernet, the signal weakens as you get farther from the switch. However, the signal strength of fiber internet stays stronger over distance. If your business occupies a large space, you could benefit from fiber internet’s more consistent signal strength throughout.

5. Access to the Cloud
The cloud is an important business tool for apps, hosting and data storage, and with fiber internet’s speed and bandwidth, you can access your cloud-based data and applications more quickly. With faster access, your team can communicate and make sales faster.

6. Security
Your business’s information is a valuable resource, and when that information is compromised, so is your relationship with your customers. Today, hackers can tap into cable internet easily, but they can’t penetrate fiber-optic cables without physically cutting the fibers, causing a loss of signal. In short, using fiber internet helps safeguard your business against cybercrime.

7. Support for HD Video
If you use teleconferencing or video conferencing to run your business, a fiber internet connection keeps those tools running smoothly without sacrificing bandwidth. Investing in video conferencing also increases collaboration and can save travel costs.

8. Cost Savings
There are no two ways about it: Without fast, reliable internet connectivity, your business is losing money.
With fiber internet, your business is more productive, flexible and scalable, both saving you money and making money. Fiber internet ensures that your business is sustainable today and in the future.
 
Let BEC take care of you so you can take care of business. Learn more here.
12/6/2018 10:00:00 AM | BEC | 0 comments
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The numbers don’t lie, more Americans are cutting the cord when it comes to cable. By the year 2020, 40 million former cable subscribers will have cut the cord and switched to streaming video via the internet.

When we spoke with local residents, we found that many folks in Bandera have already put the scissors to the wire leading to the television. The services they use the most are Hulu with Live TV, Netflix, DirecTV NOW, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. If you already have a smart TV, and all you will be using local programming for is watching the news, then you already know that you’re set because most smart TVs have free local news apps. (No you don’t get the full line up of network programming, just your local news).
 
Those of us who grew up watching conventional TV (when there were only three networks) remember the Nielson™ Service. They measure a viewers watching habits so that networks could know what shows were number one, at what hour on what nights. They also measured which local newscasts were the most watched. (Which in turn allowed those way cool news promos featuring some fella with a really deep voice saying: “Its ten o’clock and you’re watching the number one rated newscast in “insert your hometown newscast here.” – Oh the good ole days.)
 
The most recent metrics released by the Nielson™ group found that Americans are now streaming nearly 8 billion hours per month on connected TV devices like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV
 
What’s more is that consumers ages 13 to 34 will spend twice the time streaming when watching on connected TV devices, compared with watching on the computer or mobile devices. All this proves that the winds of change continue to blow when it comes to how Americans choose to watch their favorite programming.
 
One last thing, if you’re thinking of cutting the cord, you’re going to have to select a streaming video service. Here’s how the top five rank according to money expert Clark Howard.
   
All of these streaming services offer free trials to allow you to “try before you buy.”
 
11/14/2018 9:53:21 AM | BEC | 0 comments

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BEC CEO, Bill Hetherington Speaks at 2018 Key Accounts Meeting

At Bandera Electric Cooperative (BEC), every member and every account is important to us. You are the reason we are here and why we work to provide the best possible service every day of the year.

Here at BEC we have a group made up of the largest energy users we supply power to. These are industrial accounts, governmental entities, educational institutions and other major players from throughout our service area. We call this group our Key Accounts.

On November 14, 2018, BEC hosted a gathering for representatives from those key accounts in Boerne, Texas. This provided the forum for BEC to say “Thank You” for allowing us to be a partner. It was also an opportunity to inform the group of where we are, and where we are heading.

POWER

BEC Chief Executive Officer, Bill Hetherington, was pleased to be able to inform the key account holders that our numbers continue to grow. Currently we serve almost 27,000 members with 37,000 meters. Energy sales are up 8% and member growth is up 5%. Members can look forward to a major announcement regarding our Apolloware™ energy analytics software in 2019.

Supported efforts like BEC's Operation Round Up and Selectricity™ prove BEC doesn’t just strive to provide the best in service, we’re also looking for ways to help those less fortunate afford those services.

SOLAR

BEC saw tremendous growth from our solar efforts this past year. In 2018, the BEC Solar team was responsible for an impressive $1.5 million dollars in sales. BEC Solar is also second in the nation in sales of Tesla energy storage products.

Look for continued expansion from the BEC Solar team in 2019. Through solar system sales and Tesla products, the group expects to enter Bexar County/San Antonio in 2019. The foundation laid by BEC Solar will pave the way for the group to equal or surpass the record sales numbers they achieved in 2018.

FIBER

On the internet front, this year BEC Fiber has strung and buried 225 miles of fiber optic line. We are currently serving 2,350 internet customers, which translates into BEC being 31% over its initial projection of customers. Revenues generated have BEC Fiber “Cash Flow” positive after only eighteen months of operation.

In 2019, our goal is for continued expansion of our broadband service by 40%. And, if you don’t mind us “tooting our own horn,” BEC Fiber was voted 2018 “Best of the Best” Internet Provider by Boerne Star readers.

Our commitment to make new technologies available to our members, and our continual search for alternative and clean renewable energy options prove that we’ve come a long way since 1938. Our drive to be the best in reliability, response and customer service prove that some things will never change.