DirecTV Officially Debuts On-Demand Service


After months of testing, DirecTV Monday officially launched its on-demand service to its subscribers across the county.

The DirecTV on Demand platform is offering customers more than 4,000 standard-definition and HDTV titles, and is available at no additional charge to subscribers with a DirecTV PlusHD DVR or R22 DVR receiver.

The nation’s largest satellite provider has been beta testing its on-demand service since last fall.

The service allows customers to download the programming of their choice from the satellite provider’s on-demand library to their DVRs to enjoy whenever they want. DirecTV is touting its service as having an easy-to-use interface, with unique features that make navigating through titles simple and quick.

Those features include:

-- Customized programmer home pages—Each programmer has its own on-demand channel to highlight the latest shows and movies available from the network. Each programmer page consists of rich graphics and posters that highlight the most popular content. The customized home pages correspond to the programmer’s regular channel number with a “1” in front of it (i.e. The Discovery Channel is on 276, The Discovery Channel on Demand is at 1276.) Channel 1000 is the main home page for DirecTV on Demand.

-- Internet remote schedulingOn-demand customers have access to DVR Scheduler, which will allow them to remotely schedule on demand programming to their DVR from an Internet-connected computer or mobile phone.

-- Free titles—Thousands of free titles (in both standard-definition and HD) always available, including movies, TV series, kid’s shows, specialty programming (music, exercise, educational, and more.)

-- Expanded Pay Per View TitlesExpandedvariety of pay per view titles is also available with on demand trailers.

DirecTV on Demand service offers content downloaded via a broadband connection, while other content, primarily blockbuster movies, is pushed to the customer’s DVR via satellite. Much of the content, depending on the speed of the customer’s broadband connection and type of content, can be viewed in real time as it is being downloaded. 

To begin receiving the DirecTV on Demand service, customers can choose professional installation or request a self-installation kit. Customers will need broadband high-speed Internet access, a router or Internet gateway with an available Ethernet port, and equipment to network the HD DVR or R22 DVR.

In other news Monday, DirecTV announced it has opened its sixth owned-and-operated customer-care facility, with its new facility in Huntington, W. Va. The center, which had a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, will employ more than 550 DirecTV customer service representatives and supervisory staff.

DirecTV completed the acquisition of the former PRC facility Saturday and has been in the process of transitioning the more than 550 employees to the DirecTV team. The employees in the 114,567-square-foot call center, under PRC, had been working on the satellite provider’s account since February 2007.

DirecTV also owns customer-care centers in Boise, Idaho, Huntsville, Ala., Tulsa, Okla., Missoula, Mont., and Denver.