In the coming months, DirecTV subscribers will finally have access to on-demand content. Popular movies will automatically get pushed to set-top DVR boxes via satellite and everything else will be downloaded as it’s requested using the boxes’ built-in Ethernet ports.
It’s not a perfect solution, as automatically pushed content can take up precious hard drive space that’d otherwise be used for recording the programs that users actually want to see but it’s a step in the right direction since DirecTV has had no answer to cable’s on-demand offerings for quite some time now. It’ll also be interesting to see how quickly an internet-downloaded TV show or movie will be able to start playing back. Analysts believe that if users have to wait too long to start watching what they’ve ordered, the service could ultimately falter (especially with bandwidth-intensive high definition content).
At the outset, DirecTV will have about 3,000 movies and TV shows available and will be adding more over the coming months. There’s no hard and fast date yet for when the on-demand features will become available but DirecTV’s apparently been testing it and has said that it’ll come to fruition sometime in the second quarter.
DirecTV to Start On-Demand [WSJ.com]