What is On Demand TV?
Digital TV provides viewers with a way to catch up on TV, movies and sport, or watch from a library of content. This is called ‘video on demand’ (VOD), or simply ‘on demand’.
The convenience of having a variety of popular TV content available whenever, and in some cases wherever, a viewer chooses has proven a huge hit, and the option is now a key part of watching TV at home or online.
How does on demand work?
Video on demand can be streamed or downloaded to a digital TV set-top box, or internet connected device such as a computer or smartphone. If you have the option of on demand TV with your digital TV provider then you can access the content through your set-top box using your remote, and you can search for on demand content online.
When subscribing to a digital TV provider, you will usually have free access to anything that would be included in your monthly viewing package anyway, and if you want to get films, TV or sporting events that you wouldn’t normally get monthly, then you can often pay a single fee for short-term access to that content.
What can I get on demand?
The terrestrial channels, which are all available without subscription, have catch-up services for their recent programming, and, in some cases, older content as well. You can go online and catch up with programmes from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, along with many of the sister stations.
However, you may not be able to access this through your TV. Providers regularly change their set-up, develop new technology and enter into new agreements with broadcasters; this means that whilst your TV can’t receive on demand content from a free-to-air channel yet, you may be able to in the near future.
If you subscribe and pay monthly to a digital TV provider, then a catch-up service will be available with a range of programmes to choose from, and this can be accessed at the touch of a button.
Will on demand cost me extra?
This entirely depends on your TV package and your provider, as well as the method of catch-up or on demand viewing (internet or TV). If you want to catch up with programmes from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5, you can do this online and there’s no extra cost. This is simply an internet service available to all.
Your digital TV provider may have catch up and on demand access to some of this free-to-air content, as well as other programming exclusive to that provider. Your subscription will determine the content that you can access at no extra monthly cost, so if you have movie channels included every month, you would then be able to use the on demand service to get one of the films whenever you want to watch it.
You can also pay for content, if it would not be part of your usual monthly programming; sporting events, movies and TV can be purchased for a one-off cost, and will be there for you to view for a specified, limited amount of time.