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DirecTV begins beta testing video on demand

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 13 Mar 2008 15:46 User comments (16)

DirecTV begins beta testing video on demand In its competition with cable companies for subscribers DirecTV has had a number of successes, often due to the geographical size of their customer base, compared to no more than a regional presence for even the largest cable companies. One area that they haven't been a leader, for obvious reasons, is video on demand offerings. While DirecTV's lack of infrastructure (cabling) allows them to expand pretty much anywhre instantaneously, the cable companies' infrastructure makes it possible to offer an interactive on demand service, where viewers can choose from hundreds, or even thousands of (mostly free) TV shows and movies to watch whenever they want.
DirecTV now has their own on demand offering in beta testing, open to all current subscribers with DirecTV's HD DVRs, which will use a combination of content automatically downloaded from the standard satellite signal and customer-supplied broadband to provide around 2,000 on demand offerings. The titles delivered automatically to DVRs will include some of the most popular on demand programming, while additional movies and TV shows can be downloaded across the customers' broadband internet connection (connected directly to the DVR).

On demand programs downloaded via broadband will be available for viewing before they finish downloading, although how viable this is will vary depending on the speed of the internet connection itself. Programs can also be downloaded in their entirety before viewing.

If you'd like more information about DirecTV On Demand you should visit the website for the beta test, where you can also find information for setting up your DirecTV HR20 or HR21 HD DVR to participate.


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16 user comments

113.3.2008 16:24

I've been waiting for a satellite provider to do this, but I didn't think it would ever happen. Seems very cool! Too bad I have DN though lol, but maybe they will eventually implement this too?

213.3.2008 16:41

I have the HD-DVR HR21-700 series box, and I took advantage of the beta. All I had to do was connect my ethernet cable to it and the software came a day or so later.

The On-Demand is not bad at all, and you can start watching the movies before they download in their entirety. There is alot of variety, though it is lacking HBO and Regional networks (CBS, NBC, etc.) and has little HD content. Most of the other networks are well represented, but as usual, it's typically the shows they want to push (advertise) versus what you may want to watch. The movie channels (Showtime, etc.) are represented pretty well too.

The other major benefit is being able to stream media from your PC. All you need is either WMP11 (which only supports windows media stuff) Windows Media Center, or you can run TVersity and stream just like you can to the Xbox 360, however, it appears to have issues with 5.1 audio streams, just like the later.

313.3.2008 17:08
vinny13
Inactive

Will some one finally hack these guys again?

Those were the days :)

These guys just keep getting bigger and bigger... Imagine what a hack would do now >:)

413.3.2008 17:23

Vinny were you been man. im using a hacked DirecTV DVR as we speak, im waiting for the card in it to go poof. it usally takes a couple of months...

My hacked DVR includes A Big White Old Steel Comcast Dish W/ Green mold spots and the DirecTV DVR HR20.

513.3.2008 18:58
fgamer
Inactive

Originally posted by DXR88:
Vinny were you been man. im using a hacked DirecTV DVR as we speak, im waiting for the card in it to go poof. it usally takes a couple of months...

My hacked DVR includes A Big White Old Steel Comcast Dish W/ Green mold spots and the DirecTV DVR HR20.
You can't use hacked cards with DirecTV..it's not possible. I've heard from dozens of people that DirecTV is UN-hackable. And the one guy that did know how to hack them got sent to the slammer.

613.3.2008 19:41

This sounds like it would really tie up your broadband connection. I'd much rather stick with the cable company, but then again, I don't watch "TV."

713.3.2008 22:43

Sure you can, Just need to have the right stuff First you need to have your own Ceramic dish with a passive mode modulator.

ComTech has some
GTE has them
And the old black CoMcast dish has them so do the ceramic ones

then you need somebody that has the passive mode codes for your recever, I have friends that know the codes becuase they work at DTV.

About a given every three months they change the passive codes, those cards that dont change get fried by the DTV Pirate BE Gone zapper system.

witch by the way there oh so fond of.

814.3.2008 1:28
vinny13
Inactive

Quote:
You can't use hacked cards with DirecTV..it's not possible. I've heard from dozens of people that DirecTV is UN-hackable. And the one guy that did know how to hack them got sent to the slammer.
Well, I guess BEV and DNet it is, for now :(

Who knows how much longer that will last tough...

My cousin believes that once FTA is out then DTV or some other setup will get hacked... He was saying that when DTV was in the gutter it wasn't very long after when DNet and BEV was cracked. I guess that makes sense as that will drive more people to crack it, I hope :)

914.3.2008 8:14
duke8888
Inactive

Video On Demand will be a failure for the dish companies since they will have to download the movies via the dish very slow and expect lots of crashes.. Could be several years till they work out the bugs. Screw the dish.

1014.3.2008 8:21

I was able to download all of Click (in SD) in like 10-15 minutes, if that. I'm almost 100% sure it relies on your broadband connection, and does not download from the satellite, since you MUST have the ethernet cable plugged in for this feature. (I could be wrong, but that's my guess.)

It's not that slow, and it saves the movie to the DVR drive, that way, you are not streaming it, and can watch it at anytime, just like a recorded movie.

For those of you talking about FTA and hacked DTV, I'm pretty sure DTV is bulletproof for the most part. I just moved into a new home, and I have 2 dishes now, instead of one. The smaller dish with one transponder is supposed to be for local channels or those they haven't switched over to the other satellites. The other oval dish, has 5 transponders and points in a different angle. The installer told me that this dish receives 5 different signals and is necessary for HD channels.

I was wondering if any of you can elaborate, as I'm not that savvy with satellite tech.

1114.3.2008 9:36

Transponders Are like information pipelines For Content. the more you have the better the Send/Receive Signal. You need at least 32 transponders for Ku-band and 24 for a C-band Satalite. Most transponders Usally have bandwidth between 27 MHz and 50 MHz.

And think of the dish as a sling the bigger the dish the farther the Microwave's travel. the dish bing oval has nothing to do with the number transponder or the type of signal that it can receive.

Transponders and Data type's it can recieve are loosly based on each other's. the more transponders the better. the bigger the dish the more satalites in space you can pick up.

1214.3.2008 9:55

Gee, BROADBAND CONNECTION NEEDED. Will Comcast cut the bandwidth usage so they get the DirectTV customer frustrated to switch back to their wired-ran cable service? You know Comcast High Speed Internet will know that customers are downloading on demand programs from Direct Tv. Does anybody know where this is going? I sure do. Piss the customers off to join your service instead.

1314.3.2008 10:10

Originally posted by mlsgiant:
Gee, BROADBAND CONNECTION NEEDED. Will Comcast cut the bandwidth usage so they get the DirectTV customer frustrated to switch back to their wired-ran cable service? You know Comcast High Speed Internet will know that customers are downloading on demand programs from Direct Tv. Does anybody know where this is going? I sure do. Piss the customers off to join your service instead.


That is a very likely scenario since comcast throttles the hell out of their current customer base. It will be interesting for Hi speed comcast customers that have DTV and using their On-Demand like you said. I want to know what they are going to use as an excuse to do so.

1414.3.2008 15:56

You're right mlsgiant! Kudos for seeing that one! omg Comcast will say they're using "reasonable network management practices" to "shape up" their out-of-line customers.

1515.3.2008 17:47
fgamer
Inactive

Know what's so funny, I have several people on my Xbox 360 friends list who use Comcast for their internet and they ALL lag and get constant error messages in game while playing Gears of War. Comcast will surely screw your download speeds up when downloading movies from an competitor such as a satellite provider. Thank god I got Roadrunner...I've never had any connection issues or so called "Network Management" issues. Hopefully all other Cable operators are watching this Comcast fiasco go on and realize that they could be next if trying to screw their customers over!

1616.3.2008 15:57

Sweet i was just gonna switch to DTV.This just gives me more reason,I have RCN now for cable not sure if anyone even know what that is if your not from the east coast but ya im fed up with them this stupid cable box i have loves to reset all the time and its always oh were having netowk probs sorry just be patient were aware of the situation . :( And my kid and the old lady want on demand. RCN's internet is awsome though and not capped YAY! lol

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