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Guest Message by DevFuse

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DirecTV to Enter VOD … Twice


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25 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   lee1203

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 05:57 PM

New York -- DirecTV Inc. is preparing to launch two types of video-on-demand services: one that will be broadcast via satellite and one that will be delivered via high-speed-Internet connections.

The satellite service, available sometime "over the next few months,'' will deliver a limited set of top movies to the hard drives of DirecTV customers with digital-video recorders. Customers would pick a movie off the shelf, in effect, and pay for it at that time. The on-demand offering would also include TV shows from NBC Universal and FX, as well as other content providers.

In the fourth quarter, DirecTV -- which has more than 15 million subscribers all told -- also expects to allow customers to use a high-speed connection that they purchase from any source -- be it cable company, telephone company or other provider -- to download thousands of movies and other video programs, then watch them on their television sets.

This "broadband VOD" service will be made possible with the introduction of HD versions of DirecTV set-top boxes with DVRs, officials said at the direct-broadcast satellite provider's investor meeting here.

The newer boxes, available later this year, tie together TV sets and high-speed-Internet connections, according to Eric Shanks, DirecTV's executive vice president of entertainment.

"This will enable the viewer to download titles through their broadband connection right to their play list," he said. "So with only a single headend for us to manage, unlike cable, we will have the technical capability to deliver the same volume -- tens of thousands of titles, if they want them."

DirecTV broadband video will launch with 2,000 titles, which will include cable-TV shows, movies, premium service and non-linear-channel content.

DirecTV expects that it will have 300,000 boxes that can support this service deployed by the end of the year, Shanks said.

"We will include rich graphics promoting the broadband content inside of our existing [electronic program guide] to give viewers easy access to find the titles," he added. "Plus customers will be able to use Directv.com [www.directv.com], or even their mobile phone, to select titles and have them downloaded to their DVR at home. So broadband VOD is the obvious starting point for us, but once the set-tops hook up to the home network, the possibilities will be virtually endless."

DirecTV's satellite-delivered VOD service, which will be deployed first, will include programming from the major networks such as those owned by NBC U, premium-network content, airings of some FX shows 48 hours before they run on the cable network, movies and customer-care information.

"So in essence, what we're doing is providing a top tier of television and movies right at the customer’s fingertips, which is a little different from what research shows as cable's VOD, which is usually the destination of last resort," Shanks said.

DirecTV will be able to store 60 hours of VOD content in its new DVR set-tops now, leaving subscribers another 100 hours for their own recording of shows.

"In 2007, we are roughly going to double the size of the drive, which will give us even more capacity for the viewers' home," Shanks said.
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#2 OFFLINE   newsposter

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:54 PM

sounds like the downloaded stuff will all be SD eh? (their hour totals)

#3 OFFLINE   matty8199

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 03:48 PM

So you need HD to get the broadband VOD? That's crap...

#4 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 05:32 PM

So you need HD to get the broadband VOD? That's crap...

Matty, what are you talking about? HD to get broadband VOD? I must have missed that portion. I have yet to see any HD VOD offerings in anything from DTV.

#5 OFFLINE   KyL416

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 06:01 PM

Several articles, including this one, seem to give the impression that the broadband VOD service will only be available on the new HD DVRs coming out later this year.

#6 OFFLINE   newsposter

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 06:15 PM

i think that's a given since you need a broadband connection and no way will they make our old machines' work

#7 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 06:44 PM

But an R15 should work. Why would a Hr20 (or whatever it is) work and not an R15?

#8 OFFLINE   Fl_Gulfer

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 11:15 PM

What if we don't want any of that crap on our Bought DVR's

#9 OFFLINE   jfalkingham

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 07:24 AM

But an R15 should work. Why would a Hr20 (or whatever it is) work and not an R15?


"This "broadband VOD" service will be made possible with the introduction of HD versions of DirecTV set-top boxes with DVRs, officials said at the direct-broadcast satellite provider's investor meeting here.

The newer boxes, available later this year, tie together TV sets and high-speed-Internet connections, according to Eric Shanks, DirecTV's executive vice president of entertainment."

Sounds to me like the HD DVR will be the first device capable of the internet connectivity to get the on demand content over broadband. The R15 will have the satellite fed info, but not certain about the broadband piece. Is there even an ethernet jack on the r15? I know they could use USB, but sounds like in conjunction with their lease model, the new devices will have ethernet (maybe wireless) and larger hard disks.

Who knows for sure, but DTV, bring it on!

#10 OFFLINE   Clint Lamor

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:53 AM

"This "broadband VOD" service will be made possible with the introduction of HD versions of DirecTV set-top boxes with DVRs, officials said at the direct-broadcast satellite provider's investor meeting here.

The newer boxes, available later this year, tie together TV sets and high-speed-Internet connections, according to Eric Shanks, DirecTV's executive vice president of entertainment."

Sounds to me like the HD DVR will be the first device capable of the internet connectivity to get the on demand content over broadband. The R15 will have the satellite fed info, but not certain about the broadband piece. Is there even an ethernet jack on the r15? I know they could use USB, but sounds like in conjunction with their lease model, the new devices will have ethernet (maybe wireless) and larger hard disks.

Who knows for sure, but DTV, bring it on!


So I wonder if that means they will have a SD version of the DVR coming out also? In my eyes they would be stupid to make a box that just came out obsolete already, thats a great way to have your clients be afraid to upgrade. Thats all they should need to do is support certain USB Wireless and Wired adapters and then update the software on the R15 to take advantage of this. I mean they do have USB on the front and on the back and I don't think the HD box they showed at CES had Ethernet in it either.

#11 OFFLINE   Rob00GT

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 05:46 AM

That ties in well with the announcement on the analysts web cast that the DVR will have "100 hours" available to the consumer and "60 hours" reserved for DTV's use.

I can already tell you that if I own this piece of equipment and decide the broadband VOD is crap, I'll be blocking that port on my firewall. :nono:

#12 OFFLINE   SCDishMan2006

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 07:11 AM

Eh..I call lame on this one.

So let me get this straight..you have to use your own broadband connection to download full movies that all you can do is watch? ZZZZzzzzzz


Not to mention you'll need a new box.....ugh.

#13 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:23 AM

Needing a new box.... Come-on... that is a no brainer. Even the newest of computers are outdated in a couple years.

As for the broadband method.

Umm... You know, I am pretty sure they are going to have to "ask" if you want to use the Broadband VOD offereings... So you would have control over what goes over Broadband line or not.

But they are just announcements... we will have to wait to see how it is implemented.

Note: The 60hr reserved space, is more for the VOD content via SAT... which is less "On Demand Request" as compared to "On Demand View"
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#14 OFFLINE   matty8199

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:46 AM

The impression I got from the PDF was that they were shooting to make this just like cable's onDemand (I saw HBO onDemand, Showtime onDemand, etc). If they can do that, I'll be very impressed (and interested as well - it was a feature of cable I enjoyed having but not a deal breaker to prevent me from switching).

#15 OFFLINE   Chris Freeland

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:06 PM

That ties in well with the announcement on the analysts web cast that the DVR will have "100 hours" available to the consumer and "60 hours" reserved for DTV's use.

I can already tell you that if I own this piece of equipment and decide the broadband VOD is crap, I'll be blocking that port on my firewall. :nono:


That "60 hours" will be for the satellite delivered VOD, has nothing to do with the broadband VOD.

As far as the broadband delivered VOD goes, if it is crap to you, just do not request any shows, it will not effect your broadband connection unless you order a program. The programing will be setting on a HD in a D* server and will only stream to you over your broadband connection unless you order a OD Movie or OD show, and then it will use just enough buffer space on the HD of your DVR so you can start watching the movie or show immediately. If they do this like cable VOD, some of it will be at no extra charge if it is a show or movie from a channel in your package, and some will be on a pay per view bases. VOD is one feature I have found that I really like on cable. :)

#16 OFFLINE   newsposter

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 02:04 PM

Needing a new box.... Come-on... that is a no brainer. Even the newest of computers are outdated in a couple years.

As for the broadband method.

Umm... You know, I am pretty sure they are going to have to "ask" if you want to use the Broadband VOD offereings... So you would have control over what goes over Broadband line or not.
"


My win98se is humming quite nicely :)

Still, I wish they had an option for us dialup users. Don't they have those self destructing disks out yet? They could mail them to us and poof, gone in a day.

#17 OFFLINE   jfalkingham

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 02:13 PM

This thread has brought to light another area where DirecTV will be partnering, broadband (and not talking latency prone satellite!).

WiMAX, Ethernet over power lines, you just gotta believe that they need a strong national partner to get that broadband connection.

Not owning or vested in the broadband piece leaves QoS to another provider that is an unknown entity. It's not a far stretch to imagine Comcast detecting the VOD requests and interfering in one way or another. Kind of like what they did with VoIP in certain areas (although they were sued and backed off).

Even doing all of these steps, will DTV still be a viable medium come IPTV (like FiOS) time? Content is king, but only if you have enough bandwidth.

#18 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 02:43 PM

Even doing all of these steps, will DTV still be a viable medium come IPTV (like FiOS) time? Content is king, but only if you have enough bandwidth.


But getting that bandwith too everyone is the biggest and most expensive part of that battle.

I don't see FiOS or anything like it comming to my new subdivision, any time soon.
Heck... my InLaws just now got Cable based Broadband... and that was after a 3 year effort on Comcast's part to re-run all the cable lines.

I can't see FiOS making it to them anytime soon.
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#19 OFFLINE   newsposter

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 09:49 AM

Is FIOS monopolistic by township much like cable is today? Yes I know it's 'cable' but was wondering to myself: hey self, they are starting up this new thing called fios and it appears to have a great amount of capacity. Wouldn't it be wild if they installed it in "every" house at least in dense areas instead of picking and choosing townships. Just seemed like the economies of scale would dictate in any 'dense' area it's a win situation.

#20 OFFLINE   Brent04

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 11:35 AM

I can already tell you that if I own this piece of equipment and decide the broadband VOD is crap, I'll be blocking that port on my firewall.


When this new receiver comes out you will not own it anyway. You will be leasing it from DirecTV. Since DirecTV will still own the receiver I guess they can download any program they want to on it.




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