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Why I love Video on Demand

I may work at Cisco, but I don’t consider myself much of a technophile. Of all the gadgets I own, I only use about 10% of the features. I don’t like instruction manuals and don’t have the time to research all that my phone, MP3 player, etc are capable of. I’m mostly disappointed with the consumer technology I buy, but recently, I’ve been having a really good experience with Video on Demand from my cable TV company. As an employee of Cisco, I understand what Video on Demand (aka VoD (acronym alert!) is. I just never really spent much time using the service until recently. What changed? Well, I had always rented movies the way that most people rent movies. First it was a visit to the video store and then when I got lazy began to rent over the internet. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I eventually determined that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages and cancelled both services. Then I discovered Video on Demand. I’m an Astound customer in the San Francisco area. While I have a DVR, I often miss some of my favorite shows. While looking for a movie one night, I stumbled upon old episodes of Entourage, Weeds, Californication and Extras. I had seen about half the episodes but there were at least 20-25 I had not seen. The best part is that they were free since I subscribed to the premium services. In the last few weeks I’ve seen all of the episodes and continued to dig deeper into the VoD library. A lot of the content is B-grade, but a good portion is fairly entertaining. The best part is that it’s instantly available, it’s free, and I can order it from the comfort of my couch. Consider me a convert. I know check the library frequently to see what has been newly added. And that brings me to a few areas that need to be improved. Nothing’s perfect and the Video on Demand service from my cable company has a few issues. The act of finding interesting content is difficult. Somebody needs to step up and figure out a way to better present options to consumers. The delay between the DVD release and VoD is still too long. One of my favorite movies of the last 2-3 years came out in December…The Bourne Ultimatum. Rarely do I have to have a video when it comes out, but this was an exception. I ended up heading to Best Buy to purchase it, but I would have preferred to just order it over the network.Even with the negatives it amazes me that only 27% of broadband users use an on-demand service. VoD libraries are increasing with some service providers offering up to 7,000 titles. The quality is the same as watching broadcast TV, price seems reasonable and there is no waiting. Gotta go. The 3rd season of Entourage just became available and I’m trying to catch-up.Sign-up for Cisco’s new web series Digital Cribs.View Michael Kisch's profile on LinkedInTo learn more about visual networking go to: Wikipedia

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  1. My cable company does not offer the multi-room dvr; they said nobody could get it to work. I am skeptical. Does it work or not? I have the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD.