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Guest Message by DevFuse

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On Demand is Missing a Lot of Choices


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   tunchman

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:05 PM

When Directv promoted their new On Demand product it was stated that with an IP delivery system that the amount of product available could be limitless. I don't understand why then HBO, Cinemax and all of the networks are not offered by Directv. The ON Demand product of Directv is really poor when compared to Comcast or Verizon. I just don't understand why they are so slow in rolling out content?

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#2 OFFLINE   nybill38

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 04:19 PM

Direct has much more on Demand than our Cox cable here in Arizona...sure its not quite the same in the way it works...but I think HBO and Cinemax are the only two that DTV doesn't carry but it carries alot of other stuff.

On another note why does HSN have On Demand? does someone actually watch that stuff on demand???

#3 OFFLINE   davring

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 04:28 PM

On another note why does HSN have On Demand? does someone actually watch that stuff on demand???


My wife actually records some of their shows:) That must explain why the UPS truck is here so frequently.
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#4 OFFLINE   timmmaaayyy2003

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 07:07 AM

My wife actually records some of their shows:) That must explain why the UPS truck is here so frequently.


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#5 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 03:08 PM

When Directv promoted their new On Demand product it was stated that with an IP delivery system that the amount of product available could be limitless. I don't understand why then HBO, Cinemax and all of the networks are not offered by Directv. The ON Demand product of Directv is really poor when compared to Comcast or Verizon. I just don't understand why they are so slow in rolling out content?


The answer to your question is: contracts. Many of the networks are rethinking their OnDemand strategies, with all of the new options, such as Hulu, and they are also trying to gauge how it will impact DVD/Blu-Ray sales of their TV series, which has been a big source of revenue, and the main reason that DVRs and other commercial-avoidence technologies haven't destroyed commercial TV.

These networks signed on with Comcast years ago, before any of them had their own service or many other alternatives available. Depending on how things go, it's conceivable that they won't renew those, in favor of their own Internet distribution. The networks would love to be able to directly control distribution of their content, and the ability to do that is just starting to emerge with ever-higher Internet speeds.

#6 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 07:40 AM

The answer to your question is: contracts. Many of the networks are rethinking their OnDemand strategies, with all of the new options, such as Hulu, and they are also trying to gauge how it will impact DVD/Blu-Ray sales of their TV series, which has been a big source of revenue, and the main reason that DVRs and other commercial-avoidence technologies haven't destroyed commercial TV.

These networks signed on with Comcast years ago, before any of them had their own service or many other alternatives available. Depending on how things go, it's conceivable that they won't renew those, in favor of their own Internet distribution. The networks would love to be able to directly control distribution of their content, and the ability to do that is just starting to emerge with ever-higher Internet speeds.


I think you're partially right. Yes, these channels are rethinking their on-demand strategies, but that's not causing them to pull their stuff from on-demand. They are changing how things are done, however. For example, Verizon, as far as I can tell, is the only service which gives network VOD feeds for free - Comcast just started charging for them. As does U-Verse. Not sure about other providers. As a result, Verizon just recently disabled the ability to ffwd through the NBC VOD offerings (following ABC's lead).

As for HBO - they currently offer no HD VOD to anyone. They're holding off on concerns about the customers being able to make illegal copies of their stuff. Once they're convinced that they can offer it up without comprimising their stuff, they'll start offering HD VOD.

Besides, VOD offerings across the board have been increasing pretty dramatically. Services like Starz offer alot on demand - including alot in HD. I think there is some concern about VOD eating into other profitable areas, but that's why these networks charge for their on-demand service. Some cable systems eat the costs (or, actually, roll them into the general cost of service), while others pass them on to their subscribers.

You're really not seeing the number of VOD offerings in general go down at all. In fact Verizon just signed a deal with Sony, which will dramatically INCREASE their VOD offerings (I've already seen some of those new offerings materialize on our FiOS system).

#7 OFFLINE   Rhoq

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 09:49 AM

Services like Starz offer alot on demand - including alot in HD.


Where? The only premium movie channel with HD On Demand (on DirecTV), currently, is Showtime - unless Starz On Demand added HD content starting today.
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#8 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:25 AM

Where? The only premium movie channel with HD On Demand (on DirecTV), currently, is Showtime - unless Starz On Demand added HD content starting today.


Sorry for not being clear. I was talking generically. I'm not a DirecTV subscriber, so I don't know what they offer on demand. In general Starz seems to have more stuff on demand than other premium movie channel. I have FiOS and they have a number of HD movies on Starz VOD.

I was countering the claim that channels are getting stingy with their VOD offerings because of concerns that they eat into their profitability. In general that's not true. Some channels offer alot of VOD - whether a particular system offers all the titles is another matter.

Also countering it is the fact that NBC, e.g., seems to be just fine with putting newer series on demand - that's how I've been watching Kings and Knight Rider.

Edited by jpl, 01 April 2009 - 11:37 AM.


#9 OFFLINE   Rhoq

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 12:43 PM

Sorry for not being clear. I was talking generically. I'm not a DirecTV subscriber, so I don't know what they offer on demand. In general Starz seems to have more stuff on demand than other premium movie channel. I have FiOS and they have a number of HD movies on Starz VOD.


Gotcha. Now you just made me jealous. Starz On Demand does have a nice selection to choose from every month, but we (on DirecTV) get nothing in HD :mad:

I know a few months ago we had a discussion going on in the Showtime On Demand thread. I expressed how I find it a disappointment, given Liberty Media's relationship with DirecTV, that they don't offer HD On Demand for Starz.
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#10 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 01:18 PM

Gotcha. Now you just made me jealous. Starz On Demand does have a nice selection to choose from every month, but we (on DirecTV) get nothing in HD :mad:

I know a few months ago we had a discussion going on in the Showtime On Demand thread. I expressed how I find it a disappointment, given Liberty Media's relationship with DirecTV, that they don't offer HD On Demand for Starz.


I would keep at them (DirecTV) about it. Not to stir the pot, but I swear that Starz HD VOD actually looks BETTER than the linear TV feed (at least it does on my system). And considering that they put many of their 'early premier' movies in HD too, it's a nice bonus. Then again, FiOS didn't offer Starz HD VOD until fairly recently (probably 6 months ago), so like I said, keep at them.

#11 OFFLINE   juniormaj

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 04:18 PM

Not to stir the pot, but I swear that Starz HD VOD actually looks BETTER than the linear TV feed (at least it does on my system).


I wouldn't doubt it. I've seen HD VOD offerings from DirecTV that look better than the actual channel (at least to my eyes). Mostly PPV, Showtime, and Smithsonian. Maybe they get a better encode since it's not "on the fly" or they're just giving them a better bitrate. I don't have the means/patience to figure that out. Downside is that they can be hit and miss on the DD5.1 audio. Sometimes the VODs have just 2.0 stereo.

#12 OFFLINE   eandras

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 05:45 PM

As for HBO - they currently offer no HD VOD to anyone. They're holding off on concerns about the customers being able to make illegal copies of their stuff. Once they're convinced that they can offer it up without comprimising their stuff, they'll start offering HD VOD.


Cablevision (Optimum Online) offers HBO On demand in both HD and SD.
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#13 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 06:53 PM

OnDemand content can be sent at higher bit rates, since it is via Internet, than you can get over the sat in real time (with the current channel/transponder/encoder configurations), so it is very possible for OnDemand content to look better.

#14 OFFLINE   Golfman

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:10 PM

Cablevision (Optimum Online) offers HBO On demand in both HD and SD.


I'm pretty sure Comcast also provides HBO HD On Demand also. I know they provided HBO when they first offered On Demand because I was a Comcast subscriber at the time. I've been periodically pinging D* with emails asking when they plan to provide HBO On Demand and the reply is always that they are forwarding my request to upper management. This has been going on for over a year, so it's not clear what the holdup is. I cant imagine why HBO would be worried about bootleg copying of their stuff since it doesn't look like any of the other premium providers have that concern.

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