For a significant amount of time, cable providers like Comcast held the advantage over satellite with their “On Demand” offerings which provided an easy to use interface to find what the user wanted when they wanted. It also gave them access to a whole slew of movies and TV shows, with additional tidbits like news clips and exercise programs as well as a variety of music channels. This innovation drew in a lot of new customers, as I could pop open the HBO “on demand” section and bring up the latest new movies as well as a few oldy but goodies, as I like to call them.
Of course not to be out-done, DirecTV came out with it’s own on demand service in early 2008. They claim it’s one of the easiest-to-use On demand interfaces ever made available to the general public. In addition, they currently have 4500 movies, TV series, kids shows, specialty programs, music videos, and more 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all at your finger tips.
Much like other on demand services, you’re going to need some equipment to get access to it. You’ll need a DirecTV Plus HD DVR Receiver, a broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 750kpbs or higher (DSL and cable are both applicable here), as well as DVR service and a network router with a readily available ethernet port. This may seem like a lot, but it’s really par for the course when it comes to these types of services.
If you’re not sure how to get setup, DirectTV has it’s own flash demo that brings up their home networking self installation guide. If you’d prefer to just read the manual thoroughly yourself, you also have the option of picking it up in PDF (Acrobat Reader) format.
All in all it looks like DirecTV has really tried to get back to equal footing with cable providers like Comcast. I’ve seen advertising touting the on demand services of both firms. In fact, most recently, Comcast launched a marketing campaign displaying “interventions,” speaking to why Comcast’s on demand was better than competing services like DirecTV. Needless to say that’s a little biased, and from what I’ve seen and heard myself both services are rock solid and provide a great foundation for any avid movie/TV watcher. Your mileage may vary!
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