Challenged by cable and phone-company competitors, DirecTV will offer video-on-demand for the first time, a combination of DVR and broadband-connected content with significant limitations. Because the biggest satellite-TV provider doesn’t use terrestrial connections, it’s been long unable to offer instant play options. Its new plan will store some content on customers' DVRs, and allow them to stream more of it from the Internet.
But the workaround isn’t perfect, the Wall Street Journal notes, as viewers may balk at having DVR space eaten up by stored programming. Streaming content could have also have major delays, meaning users would have to pick and choose in advance—building in load time. Comcast, the biggest cable provider, offers 275 million on-demand programs a month; DirecTV On Demand will start with 3,000 titles.