Video on demand (VOD) is a method of distributing video material to individual clients for immediate watching. Video content is saved as compressed digital files on a centralized server in a cable television Video on demand system. A consumer uses the cable set-top box to peruse a programming menu and select an option that is either free or charges a fee. The program is immediately streamed by the server.
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The program can be paused, fast-forwarded, rewinded, or stopped and resumed later. Occasionally, the program will only be available for a limited amount of time. Video on demand systems can also employ a download-based paradigm, in which the program is saved on the set-top box’s hard disc, or they can send the program via the Internet to a personal computer. In the 1990s, cable companies experimented with VOD, but the services were not very successful until the next decade, when equipment and bandwidth grew less expensive, and content suppliers began to allow VOD to deliver more programs. VOD has effectively replaced schedule-driven pay-per-view service on cable systems by the middle of the decade, and most television effective learning networks were delivering many of their shows via VOD by 2010. During the same period, Internet-based VOD became more common in the video-rental business, giving users instant access to a large library of work study programs at the touch of a button.
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