Video services

Lufthansa on Demand

I've been covering the video-on-demand (VOD) industry for years, so I rarely turn away new story ideas when the opportunity arises. And one arose Tuesday during my flight from Denver to Munich, the stop before my final destination of Cannes, where I'll be covering the C-COR Corp. (Nasdaq: CCBL) Global IP Summit.

Besides, perhaps it's high time I take a hint from Mary Silbey, a columnist for ZatsNotFunny and a "Chief Blogger" among the Motorola crowd, and take a day off from covering the machinations and flagellations of the July 1, FCC-mandated ban on set-tops with integrated security.

Anyway, Lufthansa offers a decent VOD service for flyers who are lucky enough to trade in miles for an upgrade to first- or business-class. "Decent," in this case, means it actually exists and works, to boot. It doesn't hold a candle to most cable VOD offerings, but it really doesn't have to. In addition to a good stock of new and older flicks (I wonder where else can you get The Good German and Easy Rider on the same menu?), some limited TV fare, and a few simple games like Tetris, there's more than enough there to help those mind-numbing hours pass as one makes that jump across the pond.

There were plenty of shortcomings. Trick-play features were sluggish, and the hazy image on the tiltable screen made me pine for the VHS days. But that's just nit-picking or, as the Germans say, raisin-crapping.

Danke, Lufthansa!

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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