DirectCom is now a Netflix SuperHD Partner

Netflix SuperHD - from https://signup.netflix.com/superhd

Netflix SuperHD – from https://signup.netflix.com/superhd

Direct Communications faster streaming broadband just got even better.

Directcom is pleased to announce that our broadband service is now Netflix Super HD enabled.

This means that Directcom customers will now automatically be able to  watch movies and TV shows in Super HD on a supported device if your connection is fast enough. ( At least 8Mb/s download for best quality.) Super HD delivers the best Netflix picture quality yet, even better than regular HD, because of better encoding technology and an incredibly clear, smooth 1080p picture with less compression.

Super HD is only available via Internet Providers that are part of the Netflix Open Connect network. Our move onto the Open Connect Network was made technically possible by Netflix co-locating their servers in Syringa Networks main Central Office in Boise, Idaho this week. Each night, Netflix updates these servers with their highest demand content. Direct Communications, as an owner-partner of Syringa Networks, is now part of the Netflix Open Connect network.

What this does is move the Netflix content closer to the end customer.

Ron Asche, Engineering Manager for Syringa Networks explained the benefits by saying, “Bringing the Netflix content on Net has resulted in a drop in content latency and an enhanced user experience for Syringa Networks customers.  Additionally, having the content on our network enables Syringa Networks customers access to Netflix SuperHD and 3D content.”

Jeremy Smith, General Manager for Directcom in Idaho, says most importantly this will result in faster loading for customers while accessing Netflix content on our network. “There should be less buffering, and less waiting for the interface to load, because the customer won’t have to travel all over the internet to choose or stream a movie—it’s right here on our fiber network in Idaho.”

Faster streaming broadband means no buffering when watching online video.

Faster streaming broadband means no buffering when watching online video.

When Netflix first announced their Super HD network opportunity several months ago, Direct Communications attempted to sign up individually with Netflix as an Open Connect partner, but was unsuccessful at that time because Netflix required a larger customer count threshold before they would deploy their servers into the network. Fortunately , the combined customer numbers of all the Idaho independents together meant Netflix was willing to partner with Syringa Networks to deploy servers locally here on the Syringa regional network in Idaho, so all Direct Communications customers in Idaho can now benefit from being on the Netflix Open Connect network.

In addition to Super HD, Netflix is experimenting with 3D video, which will also only be available to customers of ISPs like Direct Communications who are on the Open Connect network.

Netflix now offers Super HD streaming on the following devices:

•Sony PlayStation 3

•Apple TV with 1080p

•Roku with 1080p*

•Nintendo Wii U

•Windows 8 App

•TiVo Premiere DVR

•Blu-Ray Players, Smart TV’s, Home Theaters, and Streaming Players with existing Netflix 1080p support*

Hopefully more devices will be coming soon, since , most notably, the Xbox is currently missing from this list.

To stream titles in Super HD, your Internet Provider needs to be connected to the Netflix Open Connect network. You can find Super HD titles by looking for the Super HD logo, on the movie description page on a compatible device.

At time of press, only DirectCom customers in southeast Idaho are Netflix SuperHD enabled. This feature is not yet active in Eagle Mountain.

Requirements to view in Super HD
from (http://support.unblock-us.com/customer/portal/articles/973404-netflix-super-hd)

– Your Netflix Bandwidth Settings

Your Netflix bandwidth preferences must be set to “Best Quality” otherwise you will not receive it. To find out how to check and change your Netflix bandwidth settings please see this support article.

– Your Internet Connection

Super HD requires an Internet connection speed of at least 6Mb/s, and 8Mb/s to view the highest available video quality. Please ensure you test your speed as detailed here. Some other factors will also affect your ability to stream in Super HD; wireless connections from your device to your router, traffic shaping by your ISP at peak hours – sadly these sort of factors lay out of our control.

PLEASE NOTE: The Adaptive Bit-rate streaming algorithm that Netflix uses to stream in Super HD, should always ramp up to the highest bit rate encode available to you that fits in the resolution you’ve set on your device. This means that if your device is not set to 1080p you will NOT see super HD.

Please be aware that some Super HD eligable Roku devices do not currently display the Super HD logo (http://support.netflix.com/en/node/8731#gsc.tab=0)

Direct Communications Makes a Move

DirectCom's new pocatello office reception area

During this rough economic time when most companies are looking to downsize, Direct Communications found it the perfect time to expand into a larger facility.  On October 31st Direct Communications moved from 485 W Chubbuck Rd, Suite B to 345 W Yellowstone Ave, Suite B in Pocatello, Idaho.   While Direct Communications was a proud resident in Chubbuck, the increase in staff and cramped work space made it apparent that a larger location was forth coming.   When we entered the office doors on Yellowstone, we knew we had found our perfect fit to make it our new home.  With a little muscle, paint, and new furniture, Direct Communications’ move was done in a flash.  As you enter our Pocatello office you are greeted by a friendly member of our sales staff.  There is a soft, leather couch to relax as you ponder the possibility of purchasing cellular phone service,  or enjoy watching the flat screen TV as it navigates through some free on line tools to enhance your web browsing  experience. 

Office on Yellowstone and Maple in Pocatello

DirectCom Office on Yellowstone and Maple in Pocatello

Direct Communications’ cozy, relaxed atmosphere is a reflection of their home town values and their commitment to bring the latest broadband technology to southeast Idaho.  Direct Communication will like to proudly invite everyone to visit us at our new home located at 345 W Yellowstone Ave, Suite B, Pocatello, ID 83201.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8am through 6pm.

Direct Communications: Idaho’s Own Modern Day Pioneer

Who is Direct Communications and what makes this company special? Direct Communications would proudly say that they are builders and pioneers.  While some might say that this is a big statement to come from a company that many in the larger metro areas of Idaho don’t know much about, ask most rural folks in southeast Idaho about Direct Communications, and they will likely tell you about their first experience with high-speed internet.

Direct Communications’ vision is to improve the communications infrastructure throughout Southeast Idaho by connecting rural towns and delivering improved services via their state-of -the-art fiber optic network. As this might seem like foreign language to some who may not have any knowledge of this technology; Direct Communications can best be described as an independent telecommunications leader that has been providing quality communications services since 1954, specializing in rural areas.  Presently, Direct Communications provides telephone, high-speed internet, and cable television service to customers across Idaho.   

Direct Communications is headquartered in Rockland, Idaho, a rural town 40 miles southwest of Pocatello. Direct Communications has been a family owned business since 1954. The Rockland office still has the original little Rockland phone switch on display.  The current president, Leonard May, used to sit at that switch as a child, acting as the operator, changing plugs to switch the calls.  The switch was in his family’s own home.  An alarm would ring each time there was a call, and somebody in the family would have to wake up to connect the caller. He bought the company from his father in 1974.  Starting out with 300 local phone subscribers, Direct Communications now serves over 10,000 customers with a range of communications products.

Direct Communications has a long list of new technologies that they have pioneered.  To name a few of their ventures, Direct Communications was the first to implement a digital switch in Idaho, the first to use fiber optic cable in telephone communications network in Southeast Idaho, the first to provide high-speed internet to rural southeast Idaho, the first IP (Internet Protocol) switch in Southeast Idaho, the first in Southeast Idaho to install fiber to the home, the first to offer DBS satellite in Southeast Idaho, and the first to offer satellite internet in Southeast Idaho.  To add to the list Direct Communications was also one of the first cellular offerings in Idaho and helped build the first and only state-wide fiber optic cable sonet network.  With a list that long, it is no wonder that they have been able to withstand the test of time. 

With all the “Big city Technology,” Direct Communications refuses to give up their small town values.  Direct Communications is a firm believer that communications services must enrich people’s lives and enhance their relationships.  Direct Communications takes pride in knowing that their employees work hard to make sure each customer knows that they are being taken care of.  Direct Communications believes that customers deserve the very best technology available, and knows there is viable business in the small rural areas often neglected by larger companies.  Most recently Direct Communications has expanded into the Declo, ID area providing a much needed reliable high-speed wireless internet option. 

Direct Communication’s latest endeavor is giving customers the availability to have fiber optic cable directly to their home.  Direct Communications was the first company to Southeast Idaho to provide this service. This results in being able to give customers not only faster connecting speeds, but also better quality internet.  Fiber optic cable transmits information using light signals through hair-sized strands of glass, and drastically enhances both its clarity and bandwidth for sending information.  The possibilities once you have fiber into your home are endless with all of the rapid advances in technology. 

The telephone industry as a whole has seen some changes, with more customers replacing their traditional land line phones with mobile/cell phones. However , being able to offer a wide variety of internet services, Direct Communications has been able to evolve with the changing times.  Direct Communication has seen the largest increase of sales with their wireless internet service.  The number of wireless internet customers grew by almost 81% in 2008.  Brandon Jolley, Installation Manager for Direct Communications, modestly attributes this success to his technicians.  Stating, “Without my technicians, it would make my job pretty difficult.”  Brandon also attributes the success to being able to use the latest technology to upgrade his wireless equipment.   In 2008, Direct Communications added five new wireless towers and upgraded eighteen wireless towers.  Brandon and his team’s endless hours of hard work have paid off and it shows by the increase of loyal customers.   Direct Communications services around 85 cities and towns in Idaho with a variety of communication products.

With all this talk about Direct Communications, one last question begs to be answered: Why should I support local businesses like Direct Communications?  Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who feel the impacts of those decisions.  Thus each decision made has an impact that “hits home.”  Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.  Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, contributing to local causes. Some of the organizations and Community projects that Direct Communications has proudly contributed to in 2008 include the Friends of Scouting, 4-H Program (state-wide), Chesterfield Historical Society, Aberdeen Community Channel, ISU Rally Rags, Oregon Trail sponsor, Paris Community Center, Rockland 5th grade mentor program, Power County Junior Miss Pageant, Bear Lake Memorial Hospital foundation and the list continues from there.  (Complete listing of Community projects that Direct Communications was involved with can be found at www.directcom.com/goodworks.htm.)  If you look behind the scenes at any civic activity that contributes to the common well being of the community, you are likely to find a local business person, giving their time, and often their money, to the common good. The service provided by the voluntary efforts of people who care about our community could not be replaced by any amount of government assistance or tax money. Local business people are the unsung heroes of our community.

Direct Communications has found success in rural areas where larger out-of-state companies have failed because of their commitment to invest in the local communities they serve.  Employees for Direct Communications can have pride knowing that they are working for a company that looks out for their local communities.

To find out more information about Direct Communications or the services they provide in your area you may contact them at 800-825-7137 or check them out at www.directcom.com.

Direct Communications to donate $100 of each sale in July to School District #25.

Direct Communications to donate $100 of each sale to Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25.

 Pocatello, Idaho (Tuesday, June 22, 2010) Direct Communications, a local internet service provider, will host a benefit event for School District #25 on Friday, June 25th, 2010, at the Direct Communications Chubbuck office located at 485 W. Chubbuck Rd. Suite B, and will donate $100 of each sale of its new Amped Up Wireless Broadband service during the month of July 2010, to School District #25.

In continuation of their loyalty to southeast Idaho communities, Direct Communications is excited to announce an event to benefit School District #25 scheduled for June 25th, 2010, 11 am-6 pm.  This event will include live entertainment with local bands, games, cotton candy, prizes and more for children in the area as well as free food donated by Costa Vida. Free massages will be provided by Sunsations Spa. Many prizes will be given out at the event, including a free Xbox 360.  Parents can receive information from Direct Communications knowledgeable staff regarding free services available through the internet, as well as the new Amped Up internet product available from Direct Communications. 

Direct Communications will begin the event with a ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce for the new Direct Communications Chubbuck office located at 485 W. Chubbuck Rd. Suite B, and the festivities will commence directly following.  In support of our schools and children, a donation jar will be available and Direct Communications will commit to donating $100 of each sale that day and through the month of July to School District #25.

The general public is invited to attend this event that is set to be both beneficial, informative, and fun for children and adults.

Jeremy Smith, general manager for Direct Communications, said: “When we were looking for ways to get involved in the community, we examined what issues were important right now to families in the Pocatello area, and of course the number one issue everybody was talking about was funding for local schools. We thought this would be a good way to show our support for the community and the issues they care about, and hopefully make a positive lasting impression.”

Shelly Allen, community relations specialist for the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25, said: “It’s partnerships like this with local businesses that will help us provide a quality education to students in our area. Any proceeds from this event will go directly to the Education Foundation and will benefit both students and their teachers.”

Direct Communications has a long history of partnering with local school districts, especially in remote rural areas. In many rural towns in Idaho, in places like Aberdeen, Montpelier, Paris, Grace, Thatcher, and many others, Direct Communications was instrumental in bringing the first high-speed internet access to rural school districts. Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, explained: “Education and high-speed internet go hand-in-hand. Not only is the education market thirsty for better broadband access to improve educational opportunities for their students, but we find that the more educated people are, the more likely they are to subscribe to higher speed internet services. We want our schools to be strong, because that makes our communities strong and keeps our company healthy.”

Shelly Allen added: “We really appreciate Direct Communications thinking of us and involving us in their planning for this product launch and open house.”

Anya Beauchat, local Direct Communications office administrator for the Pocatello sales office, and organizer of this benefit event said: “As a parent I wanted to find a way to help support our local schools. I hope a lot of people will come out to our event on Friday and show their support for our local school district.”

For more information about the open house on Friday or to contact Direct Communications for product information, call Anya Beauchat at 208 237 9729 or visit www.directcom.com

Direct Communications Opens New Retail Store in Preston

Direct Communications, Preston’s local cable company, recently opened a retail and customer service location at 138 S State, Preston, and would like to extend an invitation to all residents of Preston to visit their new location, try their products on display,  and see what new services are available to them.

Brendon Larsen, 17, of Preston, one of the sales representatives working at the new store, explains that the store actually opened in March, but it wasn’t until they put the new sign up outside the store that people really began walking in. “Usually people will see the sign, and recognize the name because a friend told them about their cable TV or internet service from Direct Communications. Most of our business comes through referrals.”

While the space inside the storefront is small, judging by the range of services on offer this is a company with large ambitions.

“We have our entire digital cable lineup playing on the big screen TV, so people can browse through our channels, see the picture quality. We have a computer setup so people can sit and try our high-speed internet. Right now we have our connection at the store set at 5Mb, and we are seeing fairly consistent speeds. We also have our digital VOIP phone set up, which uses our cable internet connection to make calls, and that is actually the only phone line we use at our businesses, so people can test that out, make a couple of calls and see how it compares to traditional phone service.”

Brendon says working at the new store has been a good job for him, and talking to people about communications services is something he enjoys compared to other things he might be doing. “It pays well, and will look good on my resume when I apply for college.”

Jeremy Smith, General Manager for Direct Communications Cable, explains why the company decided to open a retail location in Preston.

“Ever since we purchased the Preston TV franchise from Comcast, we have been looking for ways to improve customer service, and bring a local flavor to the cable network. We know we have a lot of competition from national providers, so we thought a physical location in Preston would help bring our services to the people, increase convenience and create value, because we can show we are a local company, where you can walk in talk to a local representative anytime, face to face. Hopefully that is still worth something today.”

Brendon says current customers use the store to come in and pay their bill, saving them the cost of mailing it in, and to make quick upgrades or changes to their service. “They sometimes come in with technical questions—if I can’t give them an answer right away, I at least can refer them to the right person in tech support immediately.”

The store is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

“If new people come in, and try our products, they will usually sign up for service. Actually, I had a salesman walk in the other day, trying to sell me a newspaper or magazine subscription, and he ended up walking away with internet service from us.”

Direct Communications has been providing internet service to Preston residents since 1999, and offers Telephone, Internet and cable TV services throughout southeast Idaho.