DirecTV Adds HDNet On-Demand

High-definition programmer HDNet announced this week that satellite operator DirecTV is making its content available in on-demand form, giving viewers another option besides the linear HDNet and HDNet Movies channels.

DirecTV now offers more than 20 hours of on-demand programming from HDNet each month, along with over 25 movies from HDNet Movies, to subscribers with late-model set-top boxes that have a broadband connection.

For the past year, DirecTV has been using the Internet to deliver on-demand movies and other content to subscribers with broadband-connected HD set-tops, with 8,000 titles from more than 70 programmers. The on-demand movies from DirecTV are provided on a “pull” basis and are delivered as progressive downloads that start playing almost instantaneously for subscribers with fast broadband connections. As it continues its battle with cable over the quality and quantity of its HD programming, DirecTV is also “pushing” popular high-definition movies in the 1080-progressive/24-frames-per-second format to be stored on its HD DVRs.

The HDNet on-demand content, available to DirecTV subscribers with the HD Access package, includes concerts, in-depth news from "Dan Rather Reports", Mixed Martial Arts events, and shows such as "New York Confessions” and "Bikini Destinations." DirecTV customers who subscribe to the HD Extra Pack will also have access to over 25 films from HDNet Movies, including "Lost in Translation" and "Hoosiers". The on-demand programming will be refreshed on a weekly basis.

"HDNet is excited to partner DIRECTV on their VOD offering," said Mark Cuban, chairman and co-founder of HDNet, in a statement. "Now, HD subscribers will have access to HDNet's critically acclaimed movies, in-depth news, provocative originals and exciting MMA coverage not only on our linear channels but also on a video-on-demand basis."