Video on Demand (VOD)
Video on demand (display) (VOD) are the new systems allowing users to select and watch/listen to online video or audio content such as movies, TV shows and music when they choose to. Giving them the ability to choose to watch a specific broadcast at a time suitable to themselves rather than the specific broadcast time. IPTV technology is often used to bring video on demand to televisions and personal computers.
VOD systems can either "stream" content through a Smart TV or a set-top box, called a TV Box or a computer. Most of these allow for real time viewing or the ability to download it to a device such as a computer, external drive or digital video recorder or portable media player for viewing at any later time. In most of the world the majority of cable and telephone company based television providers offer both VOD streaming, free content, whereby a user buys or selects a movie or television program and it begins to play on the television set almost instantaneously, or downloading to a digital video recorder (DVR) rented or purchased from the provider, or downloaded onto a PC or to a portable device, for viewing in the future. Internet television, using the Internet, is an increasingly popular form of video on demand. VOD can also be accessed via desktop client applications such as the Apple iTunes online content store.
Some long distant airlines offer VOD as in-flight entertainment to passengers through individually controlled video screens embedded in seatback so or armrests or offered via portable media players. Some video on demand services, such as Netflix, use a subscription model that requires users to pay a monthly fee to access a bundled set of content, which is mainly movies and TV shows (Series). Other services use an advertising-based model, where access is free
Legal or piracy
Although video on demand generally refers to delivery mechanisms operating in accordance with applicable laws, the motivation for the development of video on demand services can be traced back to peer-to-peer (P2P) networking and the development of file sharing software. These innovations proved that it was technically possible to offer the consumer potentially every film ever made, in a way which does not burden the original provider with the linear costs associated with centralised streaming media. This became illegal when some P2P services offered movies and TV shows without having paid for the rights. Torrenting is a popular alternative to legal streaming with as much as 6% of global internet traffic involved in file sharing applications. Many legal services such as Spotify use peer-to-peer distribution to better "scale" their platforms. Netflix is considering switching to a P2P model to cope with net neutrality problems from downstream providers.