Comcast: On-Demand Rentals on DVD Release Date

The New York Times is reporting that Comcast will begin testing a new video on demand service in two cities, Pittsburgh and Denver. Unlike traditional video on-demand that shows movies 30- to 45-days after their release date on DVD, this service will allow movies to be ordered the same date as the DVD release. This puts video on-demand in direct competition with sales and rentals. Each on-demand rental will cost $4, which compares with DVD rental prices. Uh-oh, Blockbuster. Forget the beginning of the end, this is the end of the end. —MEGHANN MARCO

On Demand and on DVD at the Same Time [New York Times]


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  1. ElizabethD says:

    Hell yeah. I am so sick of Blockbuster and its late fees (ours is a franchise and sets its own rules), but our movie-renting habits are too erratic, and too last-minute, to make Netflix work well for us. I think all media should be available on demand at all times. The consumer has spoken.

  2. foggybottom says:

    Maybe Comcast should work on getting On-Demand to work properly…say…. 50% of the time before they start trying to add content. Maybe they could improve the fast-forward/rewind functions (witch is extremely lacking) before they do this. Maybe they should quit acting like this is some free extra service they graciouslly bestow upon you just because they love you so much when they constantly increase your rates with little or no notice.


    Maybe shit should just work.

    Oh well. I’ve got DirecTV now so it doesn’t matter. By the way, my signal hasn’t gone out once as opposed to at least once a week with Comcast Digital Cable.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I think I’ll still stick with Blockbuster Online. About $20 a month, I get 3 rentals at a time. That works out to about 12 a month, plus you can now return them to the stores for free rentals…so that is about 24 movies a month (in theory). I should sit down and actually figure how many I do end up with per month, and how much each rental costs me. Either way, it seems less than $4 a movie.

  4. jitrobug says:

    I just want them to leave the movies in the original dimensions. I’m ok with the weak fast forward and rewind, but I can’t stand pan and scan movies.

    I think in generally it would be better if it worked by dropping the movie on to your DVR drive rather than trying to stream it in real time.

  5. I’m with Foggybottom. When I was a Concast customer, OnDemand was rarely “on” when I “demand”ed it… Not only that, but the picture quality was awful…full of pixelation and artifacts…

    OnDemand is a great idea, too bad it’s being poorly implemented by a bunch of asshats like Concast.

  6. rbdfoxes says:

    Blockbuster will be worth it as long as the ripping technology stays ahead of the copyright protection. (Obvi.)

  7. handovergold says:

    What I think is a real nail biter is that for $3.99 the rental expires in 24 hours. There have been times I either fell asleep during a movie or simply wanted to share it with someone else without having to plug in another $3.99. Another thing I’ve encountered previewing a movie is that if you hit “BACK” instead of “STOP” you are automatically charged for the movie…”THANK YOU FOR YOUR PURCHASE!” I actually made this mistake twice in a row in one sitting but Comcast agreed only to removing one of the un intentional purchases…