Video on demand (VOD) is a programming system which allows users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content such as movies and TV shows whenever they choose, rather than at a scheduled broadcast time, the method that prevailed with over-the-air programming during the 20th century. IPTV technology is commonly used to bring VOD to televisions and personal computers.
Television VOD systems can stream content through either a set-top box, a computer or other device, allowing viewing in real time, or download it to a device such as a computer, digital video recorder (also called a personal video recorder) or portable media player for viewing at any time. The majority of cable- and telephone company–based television providers offer:
Some airlines offer VOD as in-flight entertainment to passengers through individually controlled video screens embedded in seatbacks or armrests or offered via portable media players. Some video on demand services, such as Netflix, use a subscription model that requires users to pay a monthly fee to access a bundled set of content, which is mainly movies shows. Other services, such as YouTube, use an advertising- model, where access is free.
Downloading and streaming video on demand systems provide the user with all of the features of Portable media players and DVD players. Some VOD systems that store and stream programs from hard disk drives use a memory buffer to allow the user to fast forward and rewind digital videos. It is possible to put video servers on local area networks, in which case they can provide very rapid response to users. Cable companies have reeled out their own versions of video on demand services through apps, allowing for TV access anywhere where there is a device that is internet compatible. In addition to cable services launching apps that offer on demand video, they have combined it with offering live streaming services as well. The recent launches of apps from cable companies usually have the phrases "go" or "watch" are attempts to compete with Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) services since they lack having live news, sports, etc. Streaming video servers can also serve a wider community via a WAN, in which case the responsiveness may be reduced. Download VOD services are practical to homes equipped with cable modems or DSL connections. Servers for traditional cable and telco VOD services are usually placed at the cable head-end serving a particular market as well as cable hubs in larger markets. In the telco world, they are placed in either the central office, or a newly created location called a Video Head-End Office (VHO).
The first video on demand (VOD) systems used tapes as the realtime source of video streams. GTE started as a trial in 1990 with AT&T providing all components. By 1992 VOD servers were supplying previously encoded digital video from disks and DRAM.
In the US, the 1982 anti-trust break-up of AT&T resulted in a number of smaller telephone companies called Baby Bells. Following this the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 prohibited telephone companies from providing video services within their operating regions. In 1993 the National Communication and Information Infrastructure (NII) was proposed and passed by the US House and Senate, thus opening the way for the seven Baby Bells—Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell, and US West—to implement VOD systems. All of these companies and others began holding trials to set up systems for supplying video on demand over telephone and cable lines.
In November 1992, Bell Atlantic announced a VOD trial. IBM was developing video server code-named Tiger Shark. Concurrently Digital Equipment was developing a scalable video server (configured from small to large for a range of video streams). Bell Atlantic selected IBM and in April 1993 the system became the first VOD over ADSL to be deployed outside the lab, serving 50 video streams.
In June 1993, US West filed for a system consisting of the Digital Equipment Corporation Interactive Information Server, with Scientific Atlanta providing the network, and 3DO as the set-top box, with video streams and other information to be deployed to 2500 homes. In 1994–1995 US West went on to file for VOD at several cities: 330,000 subscribers in Denver, 290,000 in Minneapolis, and 140,000 in Portland.
Many VOD trials were held with various combinations of server, network and set-top. Of these the primary players in the US were the telephone companies, using DEC, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, USA Video, nCube, SGI, and other servers. The DEC server system was used in more of these trials than any other.
The DEC VOD server architecture used interactive gateways to set up video streams and other information for delivery from any of a large number of VAX servers, enabling it in 1993 to support more than 100,000 streams with full VCR-like functionality. In 1994, it would upgrade to a DEC Alpha–based computer for its VOD servers, allowing it to support more than a million users. By 1994 the Oracle scalable VOD system used massively parallel processors to support from 500 to 30,000 users. The SGI system supported 4000 users. The servers connected to networks of increasing size to eventually support video stream delivery to whole cities.
In the UK, from September 1994, a VOD service formed a major part of the Cambridge Digital Interactive Television Trial in England. This provided video and data to 250 homes and a number of schools connected to the Cambridge Cable network (later part of NTL, now Virgin Media). The MPEG-1 encoded video was streamed over an ATM network from an ICL media server to set top boxes designed by Acorn Online Media. The trial commenced at a speed of 2 Mbit/s to the home, subsequently increased to 25 Mbit/s. The content was provided by the BBC and Anglia Television. Although a technical success, difficulty in sourcing content was a major issue, and the project closed in 1996.
In 1997, Enron Corporation had entered the broadband market, constructing and purchasing thousands of miles of fiber optic cables throughout the United States. In 2001, Enron and Blockbuster Inc. attempted to create a 20-year deal to stream movies on demand over Enron's fiber optic network. However, the "heavily promoted" deal fell through, with Enron's shares dropping following the announcement.
In 1998, Kingston Communications became the first UK company to launch a fully commercial VOD service and the first to integrate broadcast TV and Internet access through a single set-top box using IP delivery over ADSL. By 2001, Kingston Interactive TV had attracted 15,000 subscribers. After a number of trials, HomeChoice followed in 1999, but were restricted to London. After attracting 40,000 customers, they were bought by Tiscali in 2006 who were in turn bought by Talk Talk in 2009. Cable TV providers Telewest and NTL (now Virgin Media) launched their VOD services in the United Kingdom in 2005, competing with the leading traditional pay TV distributor BSkyB. BSkyB responded by launching Sky by broadband, later renamed Sky Anytime on PC. The service went live on 2 January 2006. Sky Anytime on PC uses a legal peer-to-peer approach, based on Kontiki technology, to provide very high capacity multi-point downloads of the video content. Instead of the video content all being downloaded from Sky's servers, the content comes from multiple users of the system who have already downloaded the same content. Other UK TV broadcasters have implemented their own versions of the same technology, such as the BBC's iPlayer, which launched on 25 December 2007, and Channel 4's 4oD (4 on Demand) which launched in late 2006. Another example of online video publishers using legal peer-to-peer technology is based on Giraffic technology which was launched in early 2011 with large Online Video-on-Demand publishers such as US based VEOH and UK based Craze's OnlineMoviesBox movie rental service.
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 planned to launch a joint platform provisionally called Kangaroo in 2008. This was abandoned in 2009 following complaints investigated by the Competition Commission. That same year, the assets of the defunct Kangaroo project were bought by Arqiva, who used the technology behind Kangaroo to launch the SeeSaw service in February 2010. A year later, however, SeeSaw was shut down from lack of funding.
VOD services are now available in all parts of the United States, which has the highest global take-up rate of VOD. In 2010, 80% of American Internet users had watched video online, and 42% of mobile users who downloaded video preferred apps to a normal browser. Streaming VOD systems are available on desktop and mobile platforms from cable providers (in tandem with cable modem technology) who use the large downstream bandwidth present on cable systems to deliver movies and television shows to end users, who can typically pause, fast-forward, and rewind VOD movies due to the low latency and random-access nature of cable technology. The large distribution of a single signal makes streaming VOD impractical for most satellite television systems. Both EchoStar/Dish Network and DirecTV offer video on demand programming to PVR-owning subscribers of their satellite TV service. In Demand is a cable VOD service that also offers pay-per-view. Once the programs have been downloaded onto a user's PVR, he or she can watch, play, pause, and seek at their convenience. VOD is also quite common in more expensive hotels. VOD systems that store and provide a user interface for content downloaded directly from the Internet are widely available.
According to the European Audiovisual Observatory, 142 paying VOD services were operational in Europe at the end of 2006. The number increased to 650 by 2009. At the January 2010 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Sezmi CEO Buno Pati and president Phil Wiser showed a set-top box with a one-terabyte hard drive which could be used for video on demand services previously offered through cable TV or broadband. A movie, for example, could be sent out once using a broadcast signal, rather than numerous times over cable or fiber-optic lines, and this would not involve the expense of adding many miles of lines. Sezmi planned to lease broadcast spectrum to offer a subscription service which National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon H. Smith said would provide a superior picture to that of cable or satellite, at a lower cost.
Developing VOD required extensive negotiations to identify a financial model that would serve both content creators and cable providers while providing desirable content for viewers and an acceptable price point. Key factors identified for determining the economic viability of the VOD model included VOD movie buy rates and setting Hollywood and cable operator revenue splits. Cable providers offered VOD as part of digital subscription packages, which by 2005, primarily allowed cable subscribers to only access an "on-demand" version of content that was already provided in linear traditional broadcasting distribution. These on-demand packages sometimes include "extras" and "bonus footage" in addition to the regular content.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software allow for the distribution of content without the linear costs associated with centralized streaming media. These innovations proved that it was technically possible to offer the consumer potentially every film ever made, and the popularity and ease of use of such services may have motivated the rise of centralized video on demand services. Some services such as Spotify use peer-to-peer distribution to better "scale" their platforms. Netflix is considering switching to a P2P model to cope with net neutrality problems from downstream providers.
Transactional video on demand (TVOD) is a distribution method by which customers pay for each individual piece of video on demand content. For example, a customer would pay a fee for each individual movie or TV show that they watch. TVOD has two sub-categories: electronic sell-through (EST), by which customers can permanently access a piece of content once purchased via Internet; and download to rent (DTR), by which customers can access the content for a limited time upon renting. Examples of TVOD services include Apple iTunes online store and Google Play service.
A growing number of TV stations offer "catch-up TV" as a way for viewers to watch TV shows though their VOD service hours, days, weeks, months, years or even decades after the original television broadcast. This enables viewers to watch a program when they have free time, even if this is not when the program was originally aired. Some studies show that catch up TV is starting to represent a large amount of the views and hours watched, and that users tend to watch catch up TV programs for longer, when compared to live TV (e.g., regular scheduled broadcast TV).
Subscription VOD (SVOD) services use a subscription business model, where subscribers are charged a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly fee to access unlimited programs. These services include Now TV, Netflix, Amazon Video, TVPlayer, Hulu Plus. SVOD services have drawn a lot of attention for their role in films. As of June 2017, Netflix is expected to add nearly 40 original movies to its platform. Hulu has invested its time in creating documentaries for its platform, while Amazon has acquired films from notable producers such as Spike Lee. Because of the large following SVOD services have, Netflix made an appearance at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France. Many took offense to this, stating that movies not presented in theaters should be omitted from qualifying from winning the Palme d'Or prize. SVOD services can be seen as highly successful, and will continue to grow their audience for it being "a production house, broadcaster, recommendation and hosting service, and pseudo-DVD rental store."
Near video on demand (NVOD) is a pay-per-view consumer video technique used by multi-channel broadcasters using high-bandwidth distribution mechanisms such as satellite and cable television. Multiple copies of a program are broadcast at short time intervals (typically 10–20 minutes) on linear channels providing convenience for viewers, who can watch the program without needing to tune in at only scheduled point in time. A viewer may only have to wait a few minutes before the next time a movie will be programmed. This form is very bandwidth-intensive and is generally provided only by large operators with a great deal of redundant capacity and has been reduced in popularity as video on demand is implemented.
Only the satellite services Dish Network and DirecTV continue to provide NVOD experiences. These satellite services continue to provide NVOD due to a lack of broadband Internet access for their rural customer bases. Before the rise of video on demand, the cable pay-per-view provider In Demand provided up to 40 channels in 2002, with several films receiving up to four channels on the staggered schedule to provide the NVOD experience for viewers. As of 2018, most cable pay-per-view channels now number mainly 3-5 and are used solely for live ring sports events (boxing and professional wrestling) and concerts. In Australia, pay TV broadcaster Foxtel offers NVOD for new release movies.
Push video on demand is so-named because the provider "pushes" the content out to the viewer's set-top box without the viewer having requested the content. This technique used by a number of broadcasters on systems that lack the connectivity and bandwidth to provide true "streaming" video on demand. Push VOD is also used by broadcasters who want to optimize their video streaming infrastructure by pre-loading the most popular contents (e.g., that week's top ten films or shows) to the consumers' set-top device. In this way, the most popular content is already loaded onto a consumer's set-top DVR. That way, if the consumer requests one of these films, it is already loaded on her/his DVR. A push VOD system uses a personal video recorder (PVR) to store a selection of content, often transmitted in spare capacity overnight or all day long at low bandwidth. Users can watch the downloaded content at the time they desire, immediately and without any buffering issues. Push VOD depends on the viewer recording content, so choices can be limited.
As content occupies space on the PVR hard drive, downloaded content is usually deleted after a week to make way for newer programs or movies. The limited space on a PVR hard drive means that the selection of programs is usually restricted to the most popular content. A new generation of Push VOD solution recently appeared on the market which, by using efficient error correction mechanisms, can free significant amount of bandwidth and that can deliver more than video e.g. digital version of magazines and interactive applications.
Advertising video on demand is a VOD model which uses an advertising-based revenue model. This allows companies that advertise on broadcast and cable channels to reach people who watch shows using VOD. As well, this model allows people to watch content without paying subscription fees. Hulu has been one of the major AVOD companies, though the company ended free service in August 2016, which was transferred to Yahoo! View using the existing Hulu infrastructure. Ads still run on the subscription service if the consumer chooses a lesser plan including commercial breaks (though even with Hulu's commercial-free plan, some programs still carry advertising due to programming licensing issues). Advertisers may find that people watching on VOD services do not want the same ads to appear multiple times. Crackle has introduced the concept of a series of ads for the same company that tie in to what is being watched.
ASVOD stands for ad-supported video on demand. It applies to video services that provide free content supported by advertisements. Popular services include Vudu, YouTube, PLUTO TV, the ROKU Channel, TUBI, and Crackle.
Walmart is adding SVOD original programming to Vudu, and YouTube Originals will be ASVOD by 2020.
ALTBalaji is a subscription based Video on demand platform which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Ltd. Launched on 16 April 2017, ALTBalaji is the Group's foray into the digital entertainment to create original, premium, and tailor-made content especially for Indians across the globe.Animax Germany
Animax Germany is a German video on demand service and former television channel, a local version of Animax. It was launched during Summer 2007, the same year as its Eastern European counterpart.CBS All Access
CBS All Access (known as 10 All Access in Australia) is an over-the-top subscription streaming video on demand service owned and operated by CBS Interactive. It offers original content, content newly aired on CBS's broadcast properties, and content from CBS's library. In the United States, many markets offer a live stream of the local CBS affiliate's main channel.
The service is noted for streaming the Grammy Awards and Star Trek: Discovery. As of February 2019, it has over 4 million subscribers.Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll is an American distributor, publisher, and licensing company focused on streaming anime, manga, and drama. Founded in 2006 by a group of University of California, Berkeley graduates, Crunchyroll's distribution channel and partnership program delivers content to over 35 million online community members worldwide. Crunchyroll is a subsidiary of Otter Media, which is a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chișinău and Tokyo, and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA).Crunchyroll offers over 900 anime shows, more than 200 Asian dramas to users, and 50 manga titles, although not all programming is available worldwide due to licensing restrictions. In February 2017, Crunchyroll passed one million paid subscribers. Crunchyroll also selects some anime titles for release on Blu-ray/DVD through its distribution partners (Funimation in the United States, Anime Limited in the United Kingdom).DC Universe (streaming service)
DC Universe is a video-on-demand service operated by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Networks. It was announced in April 2017, with the title and service formally announced in May 2018. The service includes original television programming, access to select animated series and films from DC's back catalogue, a rotating selection of comics from DC Comics, forum discussion space, and a merchandise store. DC Universe launched in a beta state in late August 2018, with its full release on September 15, 2018.DisneyNow
DisneyNOW is a TV Everywhere app for Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD. It launched on September 29, 2017, replacing the individual "Watch" apps that originally launched for these networks in 2012, as well as the networks' respective official websites.Facebook Watch
Facebook Watch is a video-on-demand service operated by Facebook. It was announced on August 9, 2017, with initial availability the day after, and with rollout to all U.S. users by the end of the month. Facebook Watch's original video content is produced for the company by partners, who earn 55% of advertising revenue while Facebook keeps 45%.
Facebook Watch offers personalized recommendations for videos to watch, as well as categorized content bundles depending on factors such as popularity and social media engagement. Facebook wants both short-form and long-form entertainment on its platform, having a reported total of $1 billion in budget for content through 2018. Facebook monetizes videos through mid-roll advertising breaks, and plans to test pre-roll advertising in 2018. On August 30, 2018, Facebook Watch became available internationally to all users of the social network worldwide.HBO Go
HBO Go is a TV Everywhere service offered by the American premium cable network HBO. It allows HBO subscribers to stream video on demand selections of HBO content, including current and past series, films, specials, and sporting events, through either the HBO website, or apps on mobile devices, video game consoles, and digital media players. The service first launched on February 18, 2010.HBO Now
HBO Now is a subscription video on demand service operated by American premium cable and satellite television network HBO. Officially unveiled on March 9 and launched on April 7, 2015 the service allows subscribers on-demand access to HBO's library of original programs, films and other content on personal computers, smartphones, tablet devices and digital media players.Unlike HBO Go, HBO's online video on demand service for existing subscribers of the linear television channel, HBO Now is available as a standalone service and does not require a television subscription to use, targeting cord cutters who use competing services such as Netflix and Hulu. As of February 2018, HBO Now has 5 million subscribers.Hotstar
Hotstar is an Indian digital and mobile entertainment platform launched on February 6, 2015 by Star India. It is owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Star India, which itself is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India. It provides streaming media and video-on-demand services and is available on web, Android, iOS, FireTV, and Apple TV platforms.IPTV
Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is the delivery of television content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. This is in contrast to delivery through traditional terrestrial, satellite, and cable television formats. Unlike downloaded media, IPTV offers the ability to stream the source media continuously. As a result, a client media player can begin playing the content (such as a TV channel) almost immediately. This is known as streaming media.
Although IPTV uses the Internet protocol it is not limited to television streamed from the Internet, (Internet television). IPTV is widely deployed in subscriber-based telecommunications networks with high-speed access channels into end-user premises via set-top boxes or other customer-premises equipment. IPTV is also used for media delivery around corporate and private networks. IPTV in the telecommunications arena is notable for its ongoing standardisation process (e.g., European Telecommunications Standards Institute).
IPTV services may be classified into three main groups:
Live television and live media, with or without related interactivity;
Time-shifted media: e.g. catch-up TV (replays a TV show that was broadcast hours or days ago), start-over TV (replays the current TV show from its beginning);
Video on demand (VOD): browse and view items in a stored media catalogue.Nash TV
Nash TV is an American video on demand television network that is owned by Cumulus Media, building on Cumulus' Nash FM and Nash Icon brand. The channel launched January 26, 2015.Prime Video
Prime Video, also referred to as Amazon Prime Video, is an Internet video on demand service that is developed, owned, and operated by Amazon. It offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and Prime Video, a selection of Amazon Studios original content and licensed acquisitions included in the Amazon's Prime subscription. In the UK, US, Germany, and Austria, access to Prime Video is also available through a video-only membership, which does not require a full Prime subscription. In countries like France and Italy, Rent or Buy and Prime Video are not available on the Amazon website and Prime Video content is only accessible through a dedicated website. In some countries Amazon Video additionally offers Amazon Channels, which allows viewers to subscribe to other suppliers' content, including HBO in the United States.Launched on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States, the service grew with its expanding library, and added the Prime Video membership with the development of Prime. It was then renamed as Amazon Instant Video on Demand. After acquiring the local streaming and DVD-by-mail service LoveFilm in 2011, Prime Video was added to Prime in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria in 2014, a move that angered some Prime UK members as the bundling was non-negotiable with a 61% increase in subscription fee.In the UK, Germany, and Austria, Prime Video has been available on a monthly subscription of £5.99 or €7.99 per month, continuing the plan of LoveFilm Instant. The service was previously available in Norway, Denmark and Sweden in 2012, but was discontinued in 2013. On April 18, 2016, Amazon split Prime Video from Amazon Prime in the US for $8.99 per month. The service also hosts Amazon Original content alongside titles on Video as well.
On December 14, 2016, Amazon Video launched worldwide (except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria) expanding its reach beyond US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Japan. Among the new territories, the service was included with Prime in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Brazil, while for all other countries – for instance Bulgaria, it was made available for a monthly promotional price of $/€2.99 per month for the first six months and $/€5.99 per month thereafter.Rakuten TV
Rakuten TV is a video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service, offering movies and TV series for subscription, rental and purchase. Rakuten TV's catalogue includes content from studios around the world including Warner Bros., Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, local distributors, and independent labels, being the smallest and least known service among its competitors.
Rakuten TV's content can be streamed to most devices, offering a similar service as Netflix and other streaming services,.The company is headquartered in Barcelona and currently operates in eleven countries around Europe; Spain, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland.
In June 2012 – Rakuten, the world's third largest e-commerce company, acquired the company previously known as Wuaki.tv.In July 2017 – Wuaki.tv changed its name to Rakuten TV.
In May 2018 - Rakuten took over the user base from TalkTalk TV Store (previously Blinkbox) including migration of user purchased titles.Sony Crackle
Sony Crackle is a US-based OTT platform of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The library consists of original content as well as programming acquired from other companies. The streaming network is available in 21 countries and is accessible on connected devices including mobile, tablets, smart TVs, desktop, and through gaming consoles. It can also be seen in-flight on American Airlines and in Marriott Hotels.
Originally known as Grouper, and later renamed Crackle, the name of the streaming service was officially changed to Sony Crackle on January 14, 2018.Tubi
Tubi is a streaming service based in San Francisco, California, United States, that launched in 2014. The service provides more than 12,000 titles, including movies and TV shows from studios such as Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Lionsgate. Tubi is a free, ad-supported service, with advertisements shown during commercial breaks in-between programming.VRV (streaming service)
VRV (pronounced "verve") is a digital video aggregation platform launched in November 2016 that is owned by Otter Media, a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. The service bundles together anime, speculative fiction and gaming related channels and the service targets these large fandoms.
Some of VRV's content can be streamed for free, while other content requires a subscription. The subscriptions to its channels can be purchased individually, or in a premium bundle. VRV is currently available only in the United States, despite some of its partnered content being available for viewing worldwide.Yahoo! View
Yahoo! View is a video on demand service operated by Yahoo!. In partnership with Hulu, it streams recent episodes of television series from the ABC, NBC, and Fox networks in the United States, as well as a moderate selection of archived programs from various distributors.
It was initially established as Yahoo! Video, a video hosting service. Later on, the ability to upload video was removed, and the website began operating as a portal for curated video content hosted by Yahoo's properties. In 2011, the service was re-launched as Yahoo! Screen, placing a larger focus on original content and web series. Yahoo! Screen also acquired the sitcom Community for an additional season, following its cancellation after the fifth season on NBC.
As of September 2013, the service had more than 1,000 hours of content. In January 2016, following a $42 million write-down on the poor performance of its original content, Yahoo! Screen was shut down. In August 2016, Yahoo! announced a partnership with subscription video-on-demand service Hulu to move its free video library to a de facto successor known as Yahoo! View.
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