YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Get your electronics ready as American Forces Network invites members of the public in Japan and South Korea to test drive its new video-on-demand and live streaming app starting Tuesday.
AFN Now is the biggest technological leap for the network since launching its multi-channel satellite television services in 1997, according to a press release published Tuesday by Defense Media Activity.
“This gives us the opportunity to accelerate AFN digitally with content delivery and customer experience while preserving the integrity and story of the AFN brand,” said DMA Director Hal Pittman, in the press release.
AFN Now will deliver AFN television programming to U.S. service members, families and retirees living overseas on the devices they use every day, such as smartphones, tablets and computers. The app can be downloaded and used for free to watch AFN programming with internet access, according to the statement.
APN’s typical programming consists of popular television shows in the United States, as well as professional sports, movies, and news programming.
“We are looking for as many people as possible to sign up, download and test AFN Now ahead of global release,” Mike Drumheller, director of the AFN Broadcast Center in Riverside, Calif., said in the release. “We want honest and helpful public feedback on the app’s performance to make it the best possible media platform for the greatest audience in the world.”
Verizon Media built the streaming service which has been in the works for three years due to AFN negotiations with more than 40 major program owners to gain license approval to place their shows on the app, the statement said. .
“Some of the shows on AFN Now can be viewed wherever you are, while others are limited to U.S. military installation IP ranges and restricted to base or viewing,” the TV chief of the AFN said. AFN, Karreem Lowe, in the press release.
AFN Pacific’s commander, Air Force Maj. Kenneth Scholz, said he doesn’t know what programs will be available off base, or when the AFN Now trial will end.
During the app testing period, the AFN team will evaluate the app’s functionality and performance on devices such as Apple iPhones, tablets and Apple TVs; Android phones and tablets; and digital home media platforms including Amazon Fire, Roku and smart TVs with app functionality.
Military personnel, Department of Defense civilians, and their family members in Japan and South Korea are eligible to participate in the testing period. Sign up at www.afnpacific.net and click on the AFN Now banner at the top of the page. After registration, candidates will receive a web page with instructions.
The new app will only be available to DOD-affiliated members of the public outside of the United States and its territories. Anyone signing up for the service must pass the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System check before the app will work, according to the statement.