Satellite TV provider DirecTV, which is partially owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
Through the service, DirecTV users will be able to order videos through their DVRs, or through a website. Granted, people will have to wait to pop the popcorn, since it will take some time for the videos to download to their DVRs for viewing -- apparently the videos will be fully downloaded later that day, or even the following day. DirecTV will offer a library of 2,000 videos for users to choose from.
The big-name cable operators like Comcast
For those of us who have watched TiVo over the years, it's hard to think of DirecTV without thinking about TiVo's lucrative deal with the satellite TV provider -- a deal that will end in 2007. When rumors floated that TiVo and Netflix were in talks to develop a video downloading service together, many of us likely imagined that these were going to be the two companies to bring just such a service to the mainstream. That the deal never reached fruition is one reason why I consider TiVo a big disappointment here lately. TiVo really needed to bring something like this new DirecTV service to market, and here it is, beaten to the punch.
Meanwhile, I can see how this type of service could pose a threat to Netflix ... well, eventually, anyway. Netflix may be showing Blockbuster
One thing is certain: Methods of video content distribution are changing rapidly, and all of the players are going to have to stay on their toes as they vie for consumers' attention -- and dollars.
For some related stories, tune in to the following Foolish articles:
- Recent rumors spoke of News Corp.'s new VOD model.
- Is TiVo the biggest disappointment?
- Is Netflix making an expensive bet on growth?
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.