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DirectTV Prepares VOD Service

1 Mar, 2006 By: Holly J. Wagner

DirecTV plans to roll out a DVR-based video-on-demand service, launching with 2,000 titles by the end of the year.

Along with the satellite provider's aggressive moves into high-definition content, the company — nearing the end of a deal that put thousands of TiVo boxes into American homes — has rolled out its own proprietary DVRs and plans to let consumers download movies to them via the Internet starting in the fourth quarter.

The company expects to deliver 50 hours a week of VOD programming by year's end, including feature films, cable series and casual games via DirecTV's Gamestar service.

DirecTV is also revamping its pay-per-view interface, with the help of film critic Leonard Maltin. Together they are working on plans to help studios market catalog titles beside new feature films; DirecTV Entertainment president David Hill gave the example of marketing the Elizabeth Taylor classic National Velvet alongside last year's Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story. The interface will also include search and recommendation engines.

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