Video on demand opposite to live streaming

January 8th, 2010 - Posted by Tim in General discussion

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VOD is the technology allowing viewers to watch or listen video or audio content on demand. A VOD system at the end user level is basicly about having a standard TV receiver combined with a set top box. At the same time, this service may be delivered via the Internet to PC’s, laptops or other devices.

Video on demand is the opposite of live streaming. It was first addopted in Hong Kong in the yearly 90’s but was not a big hit because at that period of time it was cheaper to buy CDs than paying for a service like this. One possible way a site owner can create revenue is by charging a subscription for their users to view the content on their site or he can „sell” tickets for each video.

Here is an example of a website offering VoD for it’s viewers:


There are two options available: First is streaming video on demand and second is downloadable VOD. The streaming options let’s you watch videos at the same time when it is downloaded to your personal system. What I mean is that the movie is first downloaded to a STB (set top box) before the end user can have access to view it. That’s the case when you use a set top box.

You get all the functionality of a DVD meaning pausing, rewinding, and FF (fast forwarding the film).

VOD may be (or have been) categorized as follows:

– Interactive Video On Demand
– True Video on Demand
– Near Video On Demand
– Exclusive Video on Demand
– Free Video on Demand
– Subscription Video on Demand
– Quasi Video on Demand

Interactive Video on Demand – It is considered the standard of TV-based VOD (functions, such as fast forward, rewind, and pause are available). An IVOD system has three components: a set top box, a network where this STB is connected to and the servers with archives.Set-top boxes are the intermediate between the VODservers and video content.

True Video On Demand – this is an older term for VOD. Here users will have an very fast response time when communicating with the VOD system. This type of VOD offers the possibility to order videos and to perform commands similar to a VCR on the VOD system. The response time is very fast.

Near Video On Demand – In this type of VOD service a specific video is advertised to start at a regular interval on a private channel. Users pay trough an electronical system then schedule the desired day and time they want to attend the program.

Quasi Video on Demand – (QVOD) – The concept is similar with Near Video on Demand with the difference that the event will be presented only if a minimum number of subscribers sign up and pay in order to view it.

Subscription Video on Demand – This works with a monthly subscription fee. By paying a fixed fee, the subcribers get unlimited access to video content for a specified period of time. (Usually monthly)

Exclusive Video on Demand – (EVOD) – This is the case when a VOD content provider is differentiating from the competition by offering a service that no other provider has.

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