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Video on Demand - VOD

With all the new technologies coming out in the cable TV industry these days Video on Demand or VOD is one of the most exciting. It's also known by many other names depending on your service provider, such as On Demand, iControl, TV on Demand, Movies on Demand, just to name a few.

Video on Demand is a service that is revolutionizing the way television is being watched. It goes by your schedule; you chose what you want to watch and when you want to watch it! With the evolution of Video on Demand {VOD} you may be able to watch an entire season of your favorite TV show at the time of your choosing, say on one of those rainy dreary weekends you can put on a favorite reality show and watch it play out without those weekly interruptions. Or catch that missed episode of The Sopranos to bring you up to date on the story line.

Many Cable TV providers offer free Video on Demand in their basic and family programming packages for select movies, programs, & other events. And of course there's always monthly Subscription VOD, where you can pay a fixed rate and watch premium movie channels and events at the time of your choosing. Also available is Pay Per View VOD services which offers individualized programming on demand. Many cable operators give you a 24 hour period to watch all you want with the PPV option of Video on Demand.

Some excellent interactive functions you have at your disposal with Video on Demand {VOD} works much like a DVR {Digital Video Recorder}. My favorite, Pause TV which gives you the ability to pause the show you're watching, say you get a phone call in the middle of an excellent movie, just press pause! After your phone call press continue and you have not missed a second of that movie. I've even gone out to dinner and paused a show, and continued the show when we returned home. It's also great for sporting events.

Other normal functions include, Play, Stop, Slow motion back, Skip back 15 seconds, Slow motion forward, Skip forward 30 seconds which makes it particularly handy when you want to skip commercials on some programs. This brings up an interesting subject, VOD Commercials are now available, now you ask yourself who wants to watch commercials? Well think of it as a tool. Example: You're in the market for a new car and your undecided and have some questions. Just choose the commercial you would like to see, say Dodge Nitro: is it available in 4 wheel drive? These Video on Demand commercials are like mini infomercials that will give you much more info than a normal 30 second commercial. Or you may want to find out the current promotions from Pizza Hut, just click that commercial and you have your answer. Like I said use it like a handy tool.

Video on Demand {VOD} is basically a library of assorted television programs that you can pull up with the touch of a button on your remote control. New content is rotated into the program line-up for your VOD service on a weekly basis. To give you an idea of how popular VOD is and how quickly it's growing, the largest cable operator in the country Comcast, offers just with its VOD service alone, over 8000 programs every month, which includes over 100 hours of spectacular high definition programming. Almost 95% of Comcast's Video on Demand programs are available for free! Now that's cool!

Besides the movies, broadcasting and sports, the cable industry has come up with some innovative ways to expand the use of Video on Demand content. In some local markets you can now view Dating on Demand, Exercise TV, Movie Trivia, or even Pet Adoption on Demand, Local Crime Fighters, and more. The list is growing as I write!

HDTV customers also have another addition to their already large High-Definition offerings, called Gallery Player on Demand, in which HDTV customers can walk through and view photography and art from fine museums from around the country.

Traditionally Video on Demand has been used mainly to access movies through their digital set top box {STB}. The reason VOD service is becoming such a huge success is the cable operators are working very hard with broadcasters and studios, while at the same time creating new technologies to better serve their subscribers. For a viable VOD service, cable operators require access to a diverse library of content, which includes TV programming, sporting events, public service, and special interest content, giving consumers a choice of what they prefer to watch.

Digital broadcast satellite {DBS} providers such as Direct TV and Dish Network are also trying to get into the Video on Demand ballgame, but their efforts fall far short of the Cable TV industries VOD services. Try as they may, Dish Network and Directv do not have a "true" interactive Video on Demand capability. I would consider it more like a instant pay-per-view {PPV} with premium prices. I give the DBS attempt at {true} VOD service Two thumbs down at this time.

For everyone wanting to experience the Video on Demand phenomenon, contact your local cable operator to check availability. VOD service may not be available yet in some areas, but I guarantee it's on all cable operators agendas. If you have any ideas on how VOD services can help your community, pass your suggestions on to your local cable provider, they are always interested in serving their customers and providing community service.

Video on Demand is one of those things that's not exactly a necessity, but once you have it, you wouldn't want to live without it. It changes the way you watch TV and gives you more of the viewing choices of what you want to watch at any time, day or night. There's no more living by the broadcasters schedules, the tables are turned and you can live by you own schedule. Watch what you want and have a pleasant viewing experience.

Benefits of Cable: Summary: Cable - The Obvious Choice!

tv digital television transition
Digital Television Transition
Coming February 17, 2009
Are You Ready?


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