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Download Dilemma

12 Apr, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

I hate to use pay-per-view. Frankly, I'm always a little worried they'll charge me twice or the picture will cut off in the middle and I'll have to haggle with the cable company over getting a refund.

It seems to me, downloading a movie, unless it's on a subscription model of some kind, would pose similar problems. Granted, it would be more convenient than PPV, but there's still that same worry of the disconnect between the purchase and the viewing.

Admittedly, I'm not exactly a technophile. When my computer breaks down or I have to redirect the music system from the DVD player to the CD player in my own house, the frustration with technology can send me into a tizzy. I don't know how many times my husband has walked into the room and switched the settings after telling me in exasperation, “You've got the settings all wrong!”

Recently I asked Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, a knowledgeable tech industry video source, how long he thought it would be before half his business would come from downloads. He said eight years — and that was coming from a member of the tech community, which is most gung-ho about the VOD future.

I'm inclined to agree that it will take a long time for consumers to get comfortable with VOD, but no doubt it will happen. After initial trepidation, I've begun to purchase things with a credit card over the Internet.

See? You can teach an old technophobe new tricks.

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