What is On Demand TV?
Digital TV provides viewers with a way to enjoy TV, movies and sport whenever they choose, using a library of content. This is called ‘video on demand’ (VOD), or simply ‘on demand’.
The convenience of having 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 and on the go.
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, smartphone or console. 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. You can also attach most laptops to an HDTV, and watch on a bigger screen that way.
When subscribing to a digital TV provider, you will usually have some 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?
This depends on your choice of provider; the leading names in digital TV have their on on demand libraries, and this can include films, TV shows and sport, as well as live channels so you can watch the channels available with your subscription at any time, as long as you have a connection.
The providers which specifically operate an 'on demand' service all have their own unique libraries of content, although there will certainly be some element of a crossover, with the same latest movie releases available in many cases. You can be sure that each library will be extensive, and the content available will change regularly to keep the service fresh and appealing to users.
How much will on demand cost?
This entirely depends on your choice of 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.
If you are choosing an on demand service, like NOW TV, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, then there is a single monthly fee, and you are usually offered the service subscription-free, giving you the incentive of a low-commitment deal on premium content.