According to a press release Monday, DIRECTV has launched its DIRECTV On Demand service to all U.S. customers. You must have a DIRECTV Plus HD DVR or R22 DVR receiver in order to take advantage of this service, but there is no additional charge. Customers can choose among 4,000 standard definition and HD titles, at any time. Many of the titles are free, and others are available on a pay per view basis.
The service also lets subscribers program their DVR over the Internet, using a computer or mobile phone. The service relies on a broadband Internet connection to the DVR to download the requested programming. The company offers a variety of installation options, including wired and wireless Ethernet, or HomePlug networking over AC power lines.
The number of titles is still small compared with the Netflix Player, which offers more than twice as many titles, all of which are free. On the other hand, Netflix is not offering HD content yet, which could tilt in DIRECTV’s favor. In any case, the new service is free if you’re already a subscriber, which is a brilliant move by DIRECTV and shows that electronic delivery of on demand content should be a bargain going forward.