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July 28, 2014

On Demand

ABC restored to Cablevision

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 8th 2010 10:05AM
ABCIn a nick-of-time save that was worthy of a movie unto itself, ABC was restored to Cablevision just in time for the Academy Awards. Apparently both sides hammered out enough of a deal for the awards show to be broadcast.

Cablevision customers -- 3.1 million in the New York City area -- got another treat on the same day. To accommodate those that lost their ABC, the company offered free On Demand movies all day. As a Cablevision customer, I was interested in the veracity of the claim and took advantage of that particular offer. Later this month, it will be determined how legitimate that offer was when I see my bill.

So many people were using this freebie that the first few times a movie download was attempted, the system would return an error. This issue stopped once the Academy Awards started.

It seems more likely that Cablevision acquiesced to the demands of ABC given the timing of the channel restoration rather than the other way around. What do you think?

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Comcast launches new online video service today

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 22nd 2009 1:30PM
ComcastBuying NBC isn't the only big news from Comcast happening at the end of the 2009. Today they're launching a new online on-demand service. It's only for Comcast customers, but I'm a Comcast customer, so I'll be able to watch it!

It's called XFinity, which sounds like that name for the next Stargate spinoff but is actually a new part of the Fancast site where you can watch TV shows from channels like HBO, AMC, A&E, STARZ, The History Channel, and Cinemax. That means you can watch shows like True Blood, Entourage, Mad Men, The Colbert Report, Big Love, and many other shows. (By the way, right now Fancast is running a marathon of Friends Christmas episodes.)

Now that Comcast owns a big chunk of NBC, I wonder how this service could someday be combined with Hulu in some way, or if launching this service will affect Hulu in other ways.

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Disney's new family movie on demand service offers free peek

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 19th 2009 10:02AM
Disney Family Movies on-demand channel will be free the first week of September.Disney Family Movies, the new video on demand subscription service offering animated and live action titles from the studios' voluminous vaults, will offer a free trial Sept. 3-7 for viewers to get a feel of The Magic Kingdom's latest offering.

Subscribers to the service get access to a rotating selection of Disney's classic and contemporary films and animated shorts. Obviously, the on demand lineup is put together with the emphasis on family friendly. Each title in the selection menu remains in rotation for about a month, with new movies added weekly.

While this looks like a great thing for parents looking to have a steady inventory of safe video babysitters, the only concern is how this service might gut the programming on Disney's other cable entities -- or how it might affect the availability of DVDs.

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Yule Log 2008: A review

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 9th 2008 10:09AM
It's approaching midnight, it's in the single digits outside, and I really don't feel like watching regular TV right now. I feel like having something on while I get under the covers and read. Time for the Yule Log!

This season (Jay reviewed one a couple of years ago), Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, and Bright House all have the Yule Log on their On Demand service (via iN Demand). It's that scene of a crackling fireplace to get you in the Christmas mood. It's especially good if you don't have a fireplace of your own (duh), and it's in HD! I have Comcast digital, and to access it, go to your On Demand menu, then scroll down to HD On Demand, then go to TV Entertainment. You'll see a "Yule Log & More" category (not sure how to get to the section on other cable systems - maybe it's the same?).

But wait, there's more...

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Things I learned from my cable TV

by Brett Love, posted Jun 26th 2008 6:02PM
Kristy SwansonI'm going to hazard the guess that if you are a regular visitor to TV Squad that you, like me, probably watch more television than the average bear. Partly out of good old fashioned curiosity, and partly because I'm paying for all of those channels so I might as well use them, I make it a point to cover as much of my cable TV package as I can when time allows. Doing so, you end up finding some odd and interesting things. After the jump, five things I've learned from my cable TV over the last week or so.


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Would you pay a premium to watch shows early?

by Brett Love, posted Apr 19th 2008 12:02PM

NBCThere's an interesting little blurb over at Digital Spy about NBC's TV Box. The network is currently working out distribution deals in up to ten European and Asian countries, building their global video-on-demand service. They don't detail exactly which shows will be a part of the package, other than a mention of both current and past series being involved.

That's all fine and dandy, but the interesting bit comes from something NBC's Belinda Menendez says. Apparently, the big shows, like Heroes, may be available before they are broadcast for an extra price. And that leads us to the question in the post title.

For the sake of argument, let's assume this all works out for the peacock bunch in Europe and Asia and they make it a global policy. Would the prospect of getting Thursday's episode of The Office on Monday be enough to let those sticky Donaghy fingers into your wallet?

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HBO: no On-Demand premiere for Wire finale

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 27th 2008 5:55PM

Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty on 'The Wire.'Interesting bit of news just came into TV Squad headquarters:

HBO has nixed the early On-Demand premiere of The Wire series finale. Set to bow on Sunday, March 9th from 9:00 to 10:35PM, that airing of the finale episode (entitled "-30-") will be its first.

This bucks the trend of debuting each new episode On-Demand the Monday before its Sunday premiere. HBO maintained this practice for all of season four and had been doing the same with season five, until now. This Sunday's new episode (it's the second to last one) has been On-Demand since Monday.

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What JJ is thankful for

by JJ Hawkins, posted Nov 20th 2007 4:41PM
TV Squad TurkeySeveral of my colleagues here at TV Squad have listed personal video recorders as one of the things they're most thankful for this holiday season.

I wholeheartedly agree with them and think the list could even be extended a little bit further.

We live in an age where our televisions, computers, cellphones, PDAs, PMPs, video game consoles, and a myriad of other products can all communicate with other devices wirelessly and at broadband speeds - all in the pursuit of making the TV watching experience as convenient as possible.

From a technology perspective, it's never been a better time to be a fan of watching TV. Here is a list of the TV related items I'm most thankful for this holiday season.

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BBC to try out on-demand TV

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 1st 2007 1:02PM

BBCThe BBC Trust is moving forward with a new plan to allow viewers to download and save BBC programs from the last seven days for up to thirty days on their computers.

The BBC is funded by a fee paid by television owners in the UK. Certain revisions have been made to the new plan to make sure BBC's entry into the world of on-demand TV doesn't negatively affect the market or provide unfair competition for other broadcasters such as ITV, Channel 4 and BSkyB which have also begun to dabble in on-demand services.

Some changes to the initial proposal have already been made, such as reducing the amount of time allowed to keep a program from thirteen weeks to thirty days, and to disallow downloading long-running and continuing shows such as Top Gear and EastEnders. A final decision for the new iPlayer service will be made sometime before May 2, 2007.

[via Digg]

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Nielsen stats coming to Video On Demand

by Brett Love, posted Nov 17th 2006 11:01AM
kate jackson, jacklyn smith, cheryl laddAn interesting article over at CNET about Nielsen's planned video on demand ratings which are set to begin in December. As the cable companies continue to offer more options to subscribers, there needs to be some way to measure who is watching what in order to manage the advertising. There is already a system in place that tries to fill the void, but it has its problems. For one, the cable companies have control over the numbers, which obviously presents a huge conflict of interest. Of course, on the other hand, we are talking about Nielsen here, so if you want to toss out the usual arguments about their shortcomings, I'll understand.

It's good to see more interest in the video on demand services as I've been really impressed with the selection Comcast is offering. My favorite features at the moment are the growing list of network shows, FEARnet, and Tube Time, which currently features both Soap and Charlie's Angels.

[ via lost remote ]

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Comcast launches FEARnet on Halloween

by Brett Love, posted Oct 28th 2006 2:24PM
Night of the Living DeadWe have a channel for golfers, one for soap fans, and even one that is all reality tv all the time, so why not an outlet for horror fans? Seeing the recent growth in the horror market, Comcast has decided to do just that. But this isn't just some run of the mill obscure cable channel. FEARnet is a "multiplatform network". Customers will be able to view content from three different platforms. The video on demand component will feature 200 movies over the course of the first year, at around 70 hours a month. Those movies will be free to Comcast digital subscribers. And I thought the Charlie's Angels section on TubeTime was good.

The online companion, FEARnet.com, will have 9 movies and 200 shorts that stream for free. In addition, there will be 50 downloadable movies available for rent or purchase. The site will also have news, reviews, and some community features. One of those that sounds interesting is the interactive database. Users, or victims as fearnet calls them, will also have the ability to chat with other members while they watch the movies. Sure, you could do it with IM, but it's good that they are trying something new. And finally, mobile.FEARnet.com will have news, reviews, and polls all designed with the tiny screens in mind. There are also plans to add ringtones and other goodies in the future. It's all very niche market, but since I find myself in that particular niche, I'm all for the idea. The various sites and services will all go live on Halloween.

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Cablevision subscribers can now see more NBC shows on demand

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 28th 2006 9:23AM
Cablevision logoEarlier tonight, I mentioned that networks like NBC are creating cable rerun windows in order to help people without TiVos catch up on their favorite shows (and shows like The Megan Mullally Show, heh). But another way networks are helping people catch up with their shows is by offering them to cable providers' on demand services.

Well, at least NBC is. According to TV Week, they are extending the offerings they are providing to Cablevision's digital on demand service to include episodes of L&O:CI, L&O:SVU, and The Office, with Friday Night Lights and Las Vegas coming in October. Customers will be able to access these episodes the day after they air for 95 cents apiece. So it's not free, but it's cheaper than downloading the episode via iTunes. So you get ten or more times the screen size for half the price. Nice.

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The Office - Hardest working cast in show biz - VIDEO

by Brett Love, posted Sep 10th 2006 10:10AM
rainn wilson of the officeSheesh. You'd think that winning an Emmy would buy a cast some time off. Not so for the crew over at Dunder Mifflin. Michael has been covering the webisode mystery since July. But that isn't all that NBC had the cast up to this summer. While clicking around Comcast's On Demand service today I came across the NBC fall preview. Between promos for their various shows, there were eight little scenes from The Office. Everyone gets to play, but the focus is mostly on Dwight, Pam, and Jim. If you are a fan of the show, you will enjoy it. I'll not spoil it for you by quoting, but there are some classic Dwight lines. And thanks to the power of the internet, you won't even need Comcast to see it. Watch the video, sans previews, after the jump.

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How Comcast On Demand made my weekend

by Anna Johns, posted Jun 15th 2006 8:57AM
karaokeOne word: KARAOKE. I just returned from a long weekend visiting friends in Savannah, Georgia, where we discovered the joy that is Comcast On Demand Karaoke. Sure, some of the songs suck to sing: who knew there really aren't any lyrics to Salt 'n Pepa's 'Push It'? But, there are some goodies like 'Baby Got Back' by Sir Mix-A-Lot, 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn' by Poison, and 'Pour Some Sugar on Me' by Def Leppard. Listing those songs dates me, doesn't it? There are also some songs by Britney Spears, Elton John, Beck and R. Kelly.

Anyway, it was a great way to spend a Friday night. On the couch, yelling out songs at the top of our lungs. Margaritas are optional.

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HBO wants you to stop recording

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 12th 2006 11:10AM
hboIf you own a Tivo or DVR you can record all of your favorite shows, correct? Well, not if HBO has anything to say about it. The company wants to make it illegal for DVR owners to record episodes from its on-demand service and have petitioned the FCC to look into it. Apparently HBO doesn't want free copies of these shows floating around. However, shouldn't people be allowed to record them for private use? HBO isn't just setting its site on DVR users, the company doesn't want to see these shows recorded in any fashion whatsoever.

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