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Thursday, February 26, 2009

VOD, Maybe the Coolest New Toy Yet

It took us much longer than we anticipated, but Video On Demand (VOD) is now working on our cable system and should be available to nearly everyone who is taking the digital tier of service (sorry, we still have a few days to work on getting it to work to our Fiber To The Home customers). VOD is chock full of really amazing technology, and, for the most part, the best way for you to come to understand it is to simply start playing with it! Go to your remote and press the "VOD" button if it has one, or simply go to channel 1 and hit enter. Either way, you go to the VOD menu screen and things are pretty intuitive from there.

There is a lot of free content and simply reading the screen lets you know when you are about to view something free versus buying a movie. Don't worry one bit about breaking it! You are not going to do that and don't worry about buying something by accident - the menu prompts you at least twice before you finally confirm your purchase of a movie, so accidents simply should not happen.

Once you choose to watch something on VOD, that movie or event appear on your screen under the menu heading "My Rentals" and they stay there for 24 hours. While in there you can pause, rewind, and replay them as much as you like. What is really, really cool is that, once you have an event in your My Rentals folder, you can watch the movie or event on any digital converter in your house! You can start watching something on the television in your den and then go the bedroom to pick up where you left off and finish watching it there! This is so cool!

Now, all of the content that should be available is not yet populated on our VOD server. I can assure you we are pounding on the programming vendors as hard as humanly possible, but they often ignore us because of our diminutive size. When this is all done, if you are a subscriber to a premium channel like HBO, Showtime, etc., you will also get free content on your personal VOD menu from those services which will be free with your purchase of the premium channel. Unfortunately, this feature is not yet populated. But there is already tons of other programming on there. Movies, both very old and very new, are the main feature on VOD, but there is a lot more stuff. For example, most of the programming on PBS Sprout is also available on the VOD menu. That means if you have a son or daughter who is addicted to Bob the Builder or Thomas the Train (like my grand daughter is), you don't have to record the episodes, they are simply available at the push of a VOD button on your remote!

We will be putting together some long form demonstrations of the VOD system to play on Cable6 and we may be holding EPBU classes to demonstrate it as well, but, really, you can just go to it and start playing. You may even discover features that we did not even know about. It is yours to enjoy Glasgow!

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