Video on Demand (VOD) technology essentially allows a person to watch any form of video when it is most suitable to him/her. There are two modes of VOD: steaming and download. In the former, the video is streamed from a video server while it is being viewed. The latter mode entails that the video is first fully downloaded to the user's system before it is viewed.
While streaming video has been around for several years, it hadn't really made an impact until recently, mainly due to the lack of bandwidth offered by mainstream Internet connections. However, with today's connection speeds, it is viable to offer various video media on demand over the Internet. This opens doors to various companies in the video industry, and concurrently also makes life difficult for other companies for example in the television industry.
Netflix is currently the largest online movie rental company in the United States. Last year it generated revenues of over $700,000. In order to keep up with current trends in IT and technology, Netflix is strongly looking into the option of also offering movies using VOD technology. This would strongly change their business model, but would greatly increase the scope of their business as they could also offer their service outside of the USA.
Recently the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) introduced a new website through which they offer streaming video of various events played throughout the world. The site is updated on a daily basis and the content is offered free of charge. Furthermore, all content is maintained in an archive for users to view in the future. The quality of the videos is near tv-quality on a reasonable Internet connection. This initiative by the ATP clearly scores points with the fans and simultaneously reduces the ATP's dependence on television companies to broadcast their media.
Contribution by Jasper
There was an interesting article on Frankwatching, a Dutch tech website, about the future of Cable TV. Might be usefull. Cable in the 21st century