Video on demand

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Video on Demand (VOD) or Audio Video on Demand (AVOD) are systems which allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content on demand. IPTV technology is often used to bring video on demand to televisions and personal computers.[1]

Television VOD systems either stream content through a set-top box, a computer or other device, allowing viewing in real time, or download it to a device such as a computer, digital video recorder (also called a personal video recorder) or portable media player for viewing at any time. The majority of cable- and telco-based television providers offer both VOD streaming, including pay-per-view and free content, whereby a user buys or selects a movie or television program and it begins to play on the television set almost instantaneously, or downloading to a DVR rented from the provider, or downloaded onto a pc, for viewing in the future. Internet television, using the Internet, is an increasingly popular form of video on demand.

Some airlines offer AVOD as in-flight entertainment to passengers through individually-controlled video screens embedded in seatbacks or armrests or offered via portable media players. Airline AVOD systems offer passengers the opportunity to select specific stored video or audio content and play it on demand including pause, fast forward, and rewind.

Contents

Functionality

Download and streaming video on demand systems provide the user with a large subset of VCR functionality including pause, fast forward, fast rewind, slow forward, slow rewind, jump to previous/future frame etc. These functions are called trick modes. For disk-based streaming systems which store and stream programs from hard disk drive, trick modes require additional processing and storage on the part of the server, because separate files for fast forward and rewind must be stored. Memory-based VOD streaming systems have the advantage of being able to perform trick modes directly from RAM, which requires no additional storage or CPU cycles on the part of the processor.

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