When I had Comcast, I was able to watch VOD – and it was pretty much ready to go when I was. And you could watch a video with no commercials. Sure, the controls were sluggish, but it worked pretty well.
I now have DirecTV. In order to get VOD, I had to hook up the DVR to my home network (and VOD only works if you have a DVR). You have to download the VOD content to the DVR. I have a speedy connection at home (8 Mbit/s) but it still took quite some time to download. You can start watching a video after it is 66 percent downloaded. Still, two things that annoyed me.
First, some of the content from the networks (like Heroes and The Office from NBC) cost $0.99 per episode for a 24 hour rental! I haven’t downloaded any of those.
Second, the free VOD content I did download had commercials! Fortunately, it ends up on your DVR like any other content, so I was able to skip them. But I found that very interesting.
Since I can’t watch “VOD” – on demand – on DirecTV, I find it obnoxious that I have to pay $0.99 for an episode that I have to wait to download, yet only have 24 hours to watch. I do think it’s funny, however, that I’m getting my DirecTV video on demand using my Comcast Internet connection.
Machine learning is primed to help service providers run more efficient and effective networks, but first the good ideas have to make their way from the lab to the real world – and that's a big challenge, according to the University of Chicago's Nick Feamster.