Last month, John Shoch responded to a message about Video on Demand (VOD) on Dave Farber's Interesting People mailing list. I found the thread interesting because I do use NetFlix rather than my cable company's pay-per-view VOD service, but John's post made me realize how quickly I *would* use it if they offered anything even remotely resembling his vision.
“VOD will clearly have a market for immediate viewing of feature films. Delayed access via PVRs and Netflix is clearly better than no access at all — but if the choice is available, I'm sure the vast majority of consumers would prefer immediate access.
But VOD will be much broader — let your imagination roam:
— 'I just watched the Harrison Ford version of Sabrina; gee, how does it compare to the old Humphrey Bogart version — let's watch that one now!'
— 'West Wing is starting again tonight, but I want to watch the final episode from last year first.'
— 'I missed my favorite team in the quarter-final match in the Australian Regional Rugby tournament, let's watch that.'
— 'How is German TV covering the flap with George Bush?'
— 'My doctor showed me a video on how to do a breast exam, but I sure would like to see that again…..'
— 'I can't get this darn Weber BBQ put together! Is there a video that shows how to do it??' “
Wonderful examples of the type of service I would pony up money for yesterday. The entertainment industry just doesn't seem to grasp how much I do want to interact with their content, just on my timetable and in a place of my choosing. (Aside: It's interesting that where the media companies are choosing to alienate their customers, Microsoft at least realizes the folly of this strategy.)
For example, Ryan left me a great suggestion to plug my forthcoming Archos Multimedia Jukebox into my ReplayTV, record a couple of shows onto it, and watch them on my upcoming flights. I'm definitely going to give this a try, and I'm pretty sure I can get his second suggestion to hook the Archos up to the multimedia unit in the minivan to work, too!
Tangential anecdote: while riding in my car last week (not the minivan with the video player), eight-year old Kailee explained to her five-year old friend how she thinks that someday, the back of the seat will have a television display in it and you'll be able to watch anything. When you want to go on the internet, a keyboard will fold down and you'll be able to work as you would on a regular computer. This is what she is expecting to happen, and she would rather it happen now. [The Shifted Librarian]