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Starz on Demand

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by rrbhokies, May 18, 2004.

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  1. rrbhokies

    rrbhokies Legend

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    May 10, 2004
    On the Starz website, they advertise On Demand as being a number of movies that are always on and always available. It also lists a large number of shows that are supposedly currently playing.

    On the Directv website it says that you can signup for Starz on Demand through the Showcases link under Directv Central. According to Directv, it's a 6 month trial service and will tape 5 shows per week to your DVR, but may take at least a week before the first movies appear.

    I'm guessing that Directv is not utilizing the full On Demand service that Starz advertises? It looks like Directv is providing some kind of reduced service of this functionality, and is only a 6 month trial to see if they want to continue or not?

    Does anyone have any more insight as to how all this works?

    Also, I found something interesting. I have two Samsung 4040 DVRs with the most current revision 'C'. "Showcases" appears on one of my machines and I went in and activated the Starz on Demand. However, on my other DVR, there is no "Showcases" link there. It's missing. Why would this be? Is there someplace else that I have to set up the DVR to show the Showcases link? I have full DVR service enabled on both machines, so I'm at a loss as to why I can't access it.

    Finally, with two DVRs on my account, by activating the On Demand Service, where will the 5 movies record? From the DVR that I activated it from or will it download it to both? What if I wanted it on both, do I have to activate it from each unit?

    Any help with this mystery would be appreciated.
     
  2. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jun 22, 2001
    I subscribe to Starz on demand and I get about 4 or 5 movies a week. Some of them are even wide screen which is sort of cool. No Dolby Digital though.

    When you subscribe to Starz on demand, the movies will get downloaded to all DVR's in the house.

    I don't understand why you don't have a "Showcases" link on one of your DVR's. Have you had the DVR for a while? If it's new, Showcases won't show up for about a week after initial activation.
     
  3. rrbhokies

    rrbhokies Legend

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    May 10, 2004
    Yes, my service was installed last Saturday, so it's only been 3 days. The DVR in my study already has the Showcases and I activated STARz on Demand. I also verified that I had Update 'C'.

    However, as of last night, the same brand Samsung 4040 DVR in our family room did not have the Showcases link, nor did it have the 'C' update. I turned the machine into standby mode overnight, and this morning confirmed that the 'C' upgrade had been installed. However, still no Showcase link. I was not told that it took up to a week for Showcases to be available. Interesting how one unit has it and the other doesn't.

    So, that mystery appears to be resolved. However, is there anyone out there that can explain how the Directv "on demand" service is different than what Starz touts on their website? According to Starz, it's supposed to be a continuous video stream that you can access at any point in the day live, but Directv's service just seems to be nothing more than recording their top 5 movies each week, which simply saves you the hassle of having to find them and set them to record yourself. Is that really all that there is to it, or is there more?
     
  4. shaun-ohio

    shaun-ohio Icon

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    Aug 24, 2002
    zanesville ohio
    yes i can help you there, all it does is record movies that have already been on, no way does it compare to starz on demand or other video on demand on cable. i hope this has helped you.
     
  5. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jun 22, 2001
    Actually DirecTV broadcasts Starz On Demand movies on channel 581. Some movies are aired on 581 before they air on the regular Starz channels.
     
  6. rrbhokies

    rrbhokies Legend

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    May 10, 2004
    I went to channel 581 and it's just the Directv logo. I assume then that this channel becomes available once the "on demand" service is enabled? Does it really take a week after you sign up for it to activate?

    Is there only one channel? How does this channel work as opposed to the other Starz channels? Does it just have the 5 movies that spooled to your DVR or is there anything special about this channel?
     
  7. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jun 22, 2001
    Sorry, I guess I should have clarified a little further.

    No, the movies are not on a continuous loop. Channels 581 and I believe 582 "spool" the showcases trailers and Starz On Demand but only at certain times of the day.

    Yes, it will take up to a week possibly two before you see any downloaded movies.
     
  8. ddobson

    ddobson Legend

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    Nov 25, 2003
    They record on the DVR on Monday and Tuesday nights beginning around 11:00pm. They're usually through by 3am. You get 3 movies Monday night and 2 movies Tuesday night. Or at least that's what I've seen so far.

    If you're up you can watch these movies on non DVR receivers in the house as long as you have Starz and Starz on Demand activated. I have watched a couple in the bedroom on our regular receiver.
     
  9. junyoure

    junyoure Cool Member

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    Oct 22, 2003
    I've had my DVR service since December and have "activated" starz on demand seeral times. I've only had one movie download since december, and no other activity to indicate that I ever requested starz on demand. Has anyone else had this problem? how did you rectify. My DVR is always recording something at night, but the showcase trailers is all that ever seems to change.
     
  10. Curtis0620

    Curtis0620 Hall Of Fame

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    Is channel 581 checked as a channel you receive?
     
  11. junyoure

    junyoure Cool Member

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    Oct 22, 2003
    Channel 581 is listed as a channel I recieve. Could being under P* have anything to do with this? I also thought that my season passes and things I'm holding my have preneted Starz on Demand from recording, but as summer's here, there's just not much on the TIVO these days.

    -jr.
     
  12. LonghornXP

    LonghornXP Mentor

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    Nov 10, 2003
    Well I just watched Pirates of the Caribbean this morning after it recorded on channel 581 last night starting at 12:01. Again no DD5.1 sound but at least I saw this movie almost two weeks before its June 12 premier date. But I would never pay for this service at its current state ever even with early premiers.
     
  13. kwajr

    kwajr Icon

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    Apr 7, 2004
    but its not true on demand that means they would be on a server and you could watch anytime
     
  14. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I agree. The service isn't quite there yet. It also would have been nice is they had at least letterboxed Pirates of the Caribbean. Sometimes the Starz On Demand movies are letterboxed but it seems to be random.

    DD5.1 would also be a big plus.
     
  15. ddobson

    ddobson Legend

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    Nov 25, 2003
    I have actually been deleting the Starz on Demand movies and recording them from the regular Starz channel because they're NOT in 5.1. Although I've received dozens of Starz on Demand movies I have only watched 2 or 3 because of the 5.1 issue.

    Also when I signed up it said Starz on Demand would have movies before they were regularly available on Starz. I haven't found that to be the case yet, in fact I've watched many of the movies on Starz before they end up on Starz on Demand.

    I think this is going to fail but not because it's a bad idea. It may fail because it's not living up to expectations.
     
  16. rrbhokies

    rrbhokies Legend

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    May 10, 2004
    I activated Staz on Demand back on May 18th, and still absolutely nothing. Very disappointed:

    (1) - Showcases still shows the Starz on Demand and asks whether I want to activate or deactivate, but it doesn't display any kind of status. Is there any way of know if Starz on Demand is activated? Seems silly to offer an activate link if you are already activated, or a deactivate link if you aren't activated.

    (2) - What's the deal with channel 581 and 582. I forgot that I hadn't added them to the channels I receive. It's only on this website that I've seen any reference to these channels. Do you really have to have these channels checked and if so, why isn't there any documentation anyplace to indicate this.

    (3) Where will Starz on Demand movies appear? Do they show up on the "Now Playing" list or do they show up on the "Showcases" page?

    (4) Assuming I ever get a movie from Starz on Demand, what are the initial settings? Are they set to "Keep until Deleted" or are they set to expire after a certain number of days?

    (5) Should I consider selecting to Activate Starz on Demand again, and if so, will that reset the clock if my account is currently in the process of being activated?

    (6) Will the Starz on Demand service appear on my monthly bill? Is there ever any kind of confirmation or notification of any sort indicating that I subscribe to this service?

    Thanks!!!
     
  17. Tusk

    Tusk Back in the Game DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Nov 14, 2002
    Be thankful, I got Gigli this week and I feared for the integrity of my TiVo. :D But seriously:

    Mine is still there and I have Starz on Demand.

    One of these channels (I don't remember which) has the movies on them. So the channels have to be part of the channels you receive list, or the TiVo can't record the movies.

    They show up in now playing with a little 4 colored circle beside them.

    I think they are saved for a week or so.

    Go to the website and log in. Under your services, it will list Starz on Demand if it is active.

    Have not received a bill since I activated, but there is no charge.
     
  18. ddobson

    ddobson Legend

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    Nov 25, 2003
    If you don't add the channel to your list with the Starz on Demand movies, and it is 581 or 582, I can't remember which it is. But without those in the list you won't get showcase videos and you won't get the demand movies.

    I have had a VERY hard time getting these movies as well. They're very spoiradic in recording and I don't ever get all 5 of them. Not that it matters, they're all movies that have been on Starz for months anyway. Bad Company was one of them this week, or is it scheduled for next week. I saw that on Starz over the winter.

    I have found you are more likely to get the movies when you have a LOT of spare space. I quit recording TIVO suggestions for a few weeks and cleared off about 40 hours worth of space on our TIVO. I have an upgraded 157 hour unit. When I did, for the only time since I signed up I got all 5 movies in a week. They are set to keep until space needed I think because some have disappeared that we haven't watched.

    To make this work they need an option in the software for "special recordings", or "on-demand", etc. I would love to be able to say the on demand movies have a certain priority. If there's one I definately want to watch I have to manually go back in and tell it save until delete.

    Here's my way around that though and to make sure I get a movies if I want it. Go to the guide on 582 or 581 and manually record the movie... They're in the guide so you can record the ones you want to see.

    Unfortunately the movie choices for the on-demand stuff have left me with very few I haven't already seen or that I want to see. They should also air them at least twice, at different times of the night so the recorder has 2 chances to grab them. I was recording Mr. Ed for my son at 2:30am every night so unless I cancelled it I never got the movie at that time. Yes I have dual tuners but for some reason the movies did not seem to record, even if I had only 1 program scheduled to record in the middle of the night.

    I hope I answered most of your questions and some you didn't ask :)

    Too much info is better than not enought, right? Anyway these are my observations and not necessarily fact. But I think for on-demand to work there will have to be some TIVO software enhancements.

    Now that DirecTV has sold all of their TIVO stock and now that Eddy Hartenstein has resigned from the TIVO Board of Directors, I'm doubting we'll ever even see Home media which really stinks.

    I'm certain they'll start using their own DVR service in the near future and abandon TIVO all together. I just hope they give all of us early adopters the new boxes for free.
     
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