DirecTV is beta testing a near video on demand (VOD) service, utilizing the Internet as its content delivery network (CDN). A far cry from cable and IPTV VOD offerings, DirecTV’s VOD product is not trying to match their competitors head on. Rather, they are using the service to at least assert that they too have a VOD offering. The service has limited content options, but does allow fast forward, rewind, and pause features. The content is downloaded to a partioned hard drive on the subscriber’s set-top-box.
Give DirecTV credit. They are not sitting around and complaining about their platform’s deficiencies (namely the one way nature of their satellite technology, which doesn’t allow for a return path). They are pursuing all avenues that provide them a means to compete. Whether it’s BPL for broadband, or this VOD lite scheme, DirecTV is not conceding their future to anyone. Time will tell whether these strategies are enough. I for one question whether this patchwork for a triple play (never mind wireless) strategy will work over the long term. Seems like the challenges are quite high, and when compared with there competitors offerings, may prove to be inadequate.
For more info on DirecTV’s VOD strategy, check out this Light Reading article, and this DBS Talk forum.