AFN tests new video-on-demand app in the Pacific

AFN tests new video-on-demand app in the Pacific

Department of Defense, Defense Media Activity, American Forces Network Broadcast Center

The Defense Media Activity (DMA) and the American Forces Network (AFN) invite audience members in Japan and the Republic of Korea to test their new video-on-demand and live streaming service app, AFN Now.

DMA is the parent organization for military-produced media brands, including the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS),, the military service websites and news services, publications like All Hands and Airman magazine, and AFN.

To help launch this new AFN video-streaming capability successfully, the DMA team asks DOD audience members in Japan and the Republic of Korea to be the first to test the new app, AFN Now.

The AFN Now app delivers AFN television programming to service members, families, and retirees living overseas when and where they want it, on devices they use every day.

DMA’s Director, Hal Pittman said, “It gives us the opportunity to accelerate AFN digitally with content delivery and customer experience while preserving the integrity and history of the AFN brand.”

The new streaming service is the culmination of three years’ work with Verizon Media, who built the platform, and AFN’s negotiation efforts with more than 40 major program owners to get licensing approval to place their shows on the app. The real-world test of the app will enable the AFN team to assess its functionality and performance on devices the audience uses every day, including Apple iPhones, tablets and Apple TV, Android phones and tablets, and in-home digital media platforms Amazon Fire, Roku, and smart TVs with app functionality.

Mike Drumheller, Director of AFN Broadcast Center said, “We’re looking for as many people as possible to register, download, and test AFN Now before the worldwide release. We want honest and useful audience feedback on the app’s performance to make it the best media platform possible for the greatest audience in the world.”

Mr. Karreem Lowe, the Chief of Television at the AFN Broadcast Center in Riverside, California, has led the content licensing efforts and said, “some of the shows on AFN Now can be viewed no matter where you are, while others are limited to U.S. military installation IP ranges and restricted to on base or on post viewing.”

Mr. Lowe added, “All of our authorized recipients -- service members, DOD civilians, and family members in Japan and Korea should go to the website, and click on the AFN Now banner at the top of the page. By doing so, you’ll be sent to a webpage with directions. The app is free to download and use if you have an internet connection.”

The app is only available to DOD-affiliated audience members outside of the United States, its territories, and its possessions. Everyone registering for the service must pass Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) verification before the app will work.

AFN Now is the biggest technological leap for the network since multi-channel satellite-delivered TV service started in 1997 and aligns with the network’s 80th anniversary.

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