El Segundo (CA) – After more than a year of talking about a satellite-powered video-on-demand service, DirecTV has finally begun initial testing of such a platform for a widespread release later this year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, DirecTV has opened up the service to a select group of testers. Unlike cable providers, satellite services like DirecTV have historically had trouble storing and transmitting pre-recorded content to a large group of households all at once.
An example of what the NBC On Demand menu will look like when the service launches later this year.
It is using broadband connections and DVR technology to bring on-demand movies and TV shows to customers. For more popular titles, it says it will automatically send the files to people with DVRs for immediate access. For other content, users need to have a DVR and broadband access, which will allow DirecTV to send the content to their set-top box.
DirecTV first unveiled the technology at its 2007 CES press conference and suggested back then that beta testing would start later that year. It expects the service to be available to most subscribers some time during the second quarter of 2008.