Some are strategically placed. A link to "HBO On Demand," for example is now channel 549, where the HBO multiplex is. "Free HD On Demand" is offered on channel 660, where the HDTV lineup resides. The main VOD service is still offered on channel 1, which Comcast now markets to the hilt as…Channel 1.
This list shows how Comcast is mapping VOD services on the guide I use here in the Denver area (the GuideWorks LLC iGuide).
Table 1: Hyperlinking VOD
|166||FearNET On Demand|
|219||ExerciseTV On Demand|
|542||HD Premium Channels On Demand|
|549||HBO On Demand|
|648||HD On Demand|
|660||Free HD On Demand|
|799||Free Movies On Demand|
|800||Movies On Demand|
|850||Adult On Demand|
|886||Entertainment On Demand|
|888||Searchlight On Demand|
|889||Auto On Demand|
|899||HD Music On Demand|
|Source: Comcast IPG Data/Denver Market|
It's easy to see why an operator would want to do this. Not only does it point out that these services actually are available as subscribers surf through the lineup, but it also reduces the number of button-pushes required to get to some of this stuff.
It also offers some aid until Comcast introduces its "video rich navigation" system in my market. (See Comcast Ramps Up 'Video Rich Navigation' .)
So I did a brief experiment with my IPG to see what kind of efficiencies subs are actually gaining here.
To get from linear television to the HD On Demand service, it took four button presses.
To get from linear television to the HBO On Demand service, it took eight button presses.
So, in these cases, one is better than four or eight.
It's also, therefore, better than three, the answer to an age old question from my childhood that involved an owl, a boy, and a lollipop.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News