New Service Delivers Video On Demand When You Order The DVD

Cablevision and Popcorn Home Entertainment have announced a new service that lets you watch movies immediately through Cablevision’s set-top box whenever you buy the DVD through their menu system. The DVD is mailed to you, but in the meantime you have the on-demand version for “instant gratification,” reports Reuters.

Prices will range from $9.95 to $19.95 plus shipping, which puts it in line with retail DVD prices but certainly not any cheaper, especially with shipping fees currently undisclosed. Still, the on-demand aspect brings ordering online that much closer to the retail experience—we wonder why Amazon hasn’t considered a similar offering by combining its Unbox content with shrink-wrapped DVDs, especially since Unbox now streams directly to Tivo.

“Cablevision, Popcorn offer instant-gratification DVDs” [Reuters]
(Illustration: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ClayS says:

    So you watch the movie on-demand and then sell the DVD unopened on eBay?

  2. AmericaTheBrave says:

    Exactly, Clays. This is a dumb idea. Just offer the movies as an on demand rental. Why would the customer want to buy it and stream it?

  3. mycroft2000 says:

    Seems to me that this will also open up whole new dimensions of buyer’s remorse … Regret your purchases while they’re still in the mail!

  4. ConnerC says:

    Until you mentioned that Clay, I thought this was a great idea.

  5. edrebber says:

    I wonder what the return policy for the DVD will be? Suppose you watch the on demand version, but the DVD is never delivered. Are you entitled to a refund?

  6. Sherryness says:

    What came first, the quandary or the egg? This whole can of worms kind of just blows my mind.

  7. redkamel says:

    uh maybe you buy the DVD and you can watch the stream once. If you resell, you just rented a movie for 9.95-19.95.

  8. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Maybe just buy the DVD in the store?

  9. TTFK says:

    Actually, I could see this working for older movies.

    An example: Tonight, I had the sudden urge to watch Good Morning Vietnam. I do not have this in my collection, so I started checking all the local stores. Both Worst Buy and Circuit Sucky only offered it via shipping.

    Had this service been available to me (I have Comcast) I would have happily paid for the DVD had I been able to watch the stream immediately.

    Perhaps this is the one type of market they had in mind?

  10. dvdchris says:

    Dumb. If I want to buy a DVD, I’ll buy it. If I don’t think enough of the movie to buy the DVD, I’ll watch it on demand or on Netflix or rent the DVD from Netflix.

  11. glitterpig says:

    YepRoc Records does something similar – buy a CD, and you can download the MP3s immediately. I love it. But it makes sense for music, because the first thing I’m going to do with a CD is put it on my MP3 player anyway – the physical copy is just a backup.

    I guess you’d do this if you’re really into DVD extras, but want to watch the movie right now?

  12. firesign says:

    epic fail.

  13. attackgypsy says:

    Funny thing, they never told their employees. I work for them in tech support, and we haven’t seen anything. And we’ve already gotten calls on it.

  14. This would just add to the pile of DVDs I bought, yet never opened.

  15. MikeHerbst says:

    Actually, I like this idea. For exactly the reason Clay gives.

    After several bad purchases, the wife and I have a strict no-blind-buy policy for DVDs now. So, I feel compelled to see a movie in theaters, on DVD, or TV at least once prior to purchase.

    Most typically, we rent movies first, then purchase, which “raises” the overall cost of getting the movie a few bucks. The ability to “buy” a movie for a more-or-less regular street price, preview it, then decide for myself whether or not I want to keep the hard copy or resell it, sounds like just the kind of consumer choice we all bitch about wanting most of the time.

  16. Thorny says:

    I think this is silly too, but then again, I’m not somebody who feels a need to watch a movie more than once unless it really does something for me. Which is why I don’t understand people that have hundreds of DVDs in their homes.

    But the funny thing is that essentially we end up “renting” video and audio content no matter what format we acquire it in. Think about all those albums, VHS tapes, cassettes, and now CDs that you don’t even use/have anymore because you re-purchased your videos/music in the latest formats simply out of convenience (or because your VCR broke and it would cost more than a new DVD player to fix it.)