Everything You Wanted to Know About Video-on-Demand

It's the dream of home-theater fans and TV addicts everywhere: Video-On-Demand, better known as VOD. The concept is simple: Viewers pick movies or shows from a list and watch them via their cable, satellite, or Internet connection when they want to—no waiting for the program to start at the top of the hour, or recording something that is broadcast only while you're on vacation. But getting VOD to work, especially in anything approaching DVD quality, is another issue altogether, and has become something of a Holy Grail for VOD developers in the broadcast industry.

The development of VOD is an interesting story, and nobody is quite sure how it will all turn out. But nCUBE, a supplier of high-performance broadband streaming media systems, has announced the publication of Fast Forward: Video On Demand and the Future of Television. nCube says that the book, written by communications expert Stewart Schley, provides a historical review of the development of VOD technology as well as a projection of the direction and growth prospects of the VOD industry.

According to nCube, the 200-page book is designed to educate and inform the reader about the history of VOD, how VOD works, the key companies involved in the VOD revolution, market prospects, and what form VOD's future development likely will take. In addition, a glossary of terms defines an entire bank of acronyms and initialisms commonly used in discussing the subject.

nCube's Michael J. Pohl explains that when "Stewart approached us about this project, nCUBE jumped at the chance to support his efforts. The book is an excellent educational resource for reviewing the evolution of this new medium. Fast Forward offers a valuable resource for all of us as we shape and create its future."

The book's author, Stewart Schley, says that "the lesson suggested by VOD's various incarnations to date is that the killer app of interactive television might just turn out to be television itself—television presented in a more responsive fashion. Viewers clearly adore VOD, and the persistence with which key players have attacked this dream makes for one of the more interesting chapters in the media evolution."

nCUBE says that it has a limited number of copies of Fast Forward: Video On Demand and the Future of Television available. For more information about the book, contact Ron Barracks at rbarracks@ncube.com.