In Demand: Is it better than it used to be?

Jason Fritz

Staff member
From 2003-2005, I had Comcast digital cable (and HD) service with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) set top box. I loved the amount of channels available, and quick load time for their guide menu with tv show listings (as opposed to some of the slower menu load times on Satellite boxes).

My biggest gripe about their service was this new technology (back then it was new) called "In Demand". The best way I can explain it, is by giving an analogy...

Most hotels have an option on their TVs to watch a movie with the press of a basically, you can choose whatever movie you want to watch, whenever you want to watch it.

That's how "In Demand" works, and in theory, it sounded like a wonderful idea!

The first day I tried it, I chose the "In Demand" menu option to view the movies they offered for free, and there were close to 100 or so. GREAT.

Unfortunately, after choosing a movie, the digital cable set top box froze and had to be unplugged from the wall before it would start working again. Eventually, I got it to work, but I would say that overall, the set top box had to be unplugged and restarted about 40% of the time in order to get "In Demand" to work.

Has Comcast gotten better with this service? Are there more offerings available now with the "In Demand" service? I cancelled service about 3 years ago due to being relocated for my job, so I'm curious if they've improved the overall experience.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
I've had Direct TV for many years. They have never offered on demand movies and I haven't heard of where they are even thinking about it. I noticed that Dish Network is now offering that service along with all HD channels. The VOD (video on demand) is supposed to be 1080p also which is the same clarity level as that of the Blu-Ray system. Should be an excellent picture quality.

I'd hate to think about switching after being with DTV all these years, but it is something that bears looking into.


Oh its improved quite a bit. Your freeze ups were caused by a error in the firmware upgrade that was sent to you when In Demand was added to your area. You might have gotten better service by requesting a new box. A word, never offer to purchase a new box. Remember your a customer, if they want to keep your business, they will give you what you want. Always adopt the idea of:

Give me what I want, when I want it, at the price I want it or I will keep my money and your company can go bankrupt. Customer service will then become the number one priority of companies here in American then.


Wow Taki, I wish I had you at my side when Comcast was giving me the run around. Yes, their video on demand has improved over the years. We had it a few days until I decided that I missed my Direct TV, just too much. My kids loved the Kids on demand. They even had a kids exercise shows they watched and exercised every night. My kids would actually beg me to let them excercise. That is the only thing I miss about switching back to Direct. Direct TV now has free video on demand, as well. But, that's another thread all together.


I watch On Demand sometimes and the movie (free:)) has always played. I've never had a problem with it. Maybe you just have a defective box that should be replaced. Just a suggestion.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
They have improved this a hundred times over and it is one of the best features that Comcast has.They even have the latest released dvd the same day it is available.That is one of the biggest reason that Comcast does so well.

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