It’s been 3 years since Dan and I first went to The Cable Show in Chicago to try and figure out what this whole broadcast TV thing was about. I quickly realized we didn’t know anything about starting a BDU (Broadcast Distribution Undertaking)…hell, Dan with his ever-present optimism and amazing sense of timing (right…) figured it would take about 6 months to put it all together.
Fourteen months later in June of 2012, after a lot of work – we had our BDU license from the CRTC and had chosen our two partners for beanfield TV. We were very excited…well, Dan was excited and I was terrified. Looking back, we still had no clue what we were getting ourselves into…Dan was still estimating we would be launched in 6 months. We kicked off the project in Cambridge (UK), and the funny thing is, the partners we chose were actually the first two companies we met in Chicago at The Cable Show. We locked ourselves in a boardroom for 3 days and finalized the scope of work that would eventually become beanfield TV. With some jiggery-pokery (we loved our British hosts terminology and the crustless sandwiches with crisps they brought in for lunch daily), we left with a plan that our partners believed would actually work. We weren’t crazy after all. When Dan told everyone we were going to launch in January of 2013 and he was going to put a countdown clock on our website, our partners just smiled…
Twenty-two months later, we finally launched beanfield TV. It isn’t perfect (yet) and we still have work to do on some features, but damn am I proud of what beanfield has accomplished! Everyone at beanfield contributed to the project in their own way. The guide is simple, quick and clean. The remote has a full keyboard on the back…talk about “high end”! The beanfield Media Centre (set-top box) is custom built and is something anyone would be proud to display in their living room. It would have been easy to choose an off-the-shelf solution and call it our own, but that isn’t how we do things.
We haven’t reinvented TV…but what is there to reinvent? When you want to watch TV, you want to put your ass in your favourite chair, turn on the TV and relax. You don’t want to be using Twitter, Facebook or playing Angry Birds on your TV. You want to watch TV. We are a true alternative to the established cable companies for anyone who lives in our On-Net buildings. We have chosen to invest in the quality of the TV viewing experience rather than various Apps and gimmicks. That’s not to say we won’t be adding Apps to the beanfield Media Centre – we will if they are relative and improve the TV viewing experience. However, you’re out of luck if you want to tweet or post from your set-top box.
There is still a long road ahead of us – Dan figures 6 more months – to add all the TV features (VOD, PPV), but I’m pretty sure we’ll stop and make time for a big bash, to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and say thank-you to everyone who has helped us along the way.