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On Demand Entertainment - Dream or Reality?

Pallavi Shah
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Pallavi Shah
PETER PARKER, A STANFORD ALUMNUS AND A college football fan, is currently on a business trip in Boston. Peter wants to watch the Stanford-Berkeley game playing that day. No problem! Peter picks up his cell phone and calls for “sports,” one of the services offered by his cell-phone carrier. The voice-detection system activates the sports service with a quick welcome prompt. Peter says “football” followed by “Stanford” and “today's game.” The system checks for his location and confirms that he is not near Stanford and is eligible to receive the game.

The cell-phone service provider then orders the “Stanford-football-game” video-on-demand service by contacting the college football game distributor services. The distributor checks the validity of the carrier service and sends back the appropriate information, such as the time and price of the game. The East Coast time for the game appears on Peter's screen followed by the price for ordering it on demand. Peter selects to pay by hitting a key on his keypad.

Within seconds, his order is processed and his hotel information appears on the screen asking for confirmation. This information appeared on his cell phone automatically because when Peter checked in to the hotel, he had ordered “booking the hotel” and “payment for hotel” on-demand services and had granted permission to save this information in his profile. He hits “OK” and the carrier service provider activates the video-on-demand service. Infrastructure services, such as “video-on-demand server” and “connection bandwidth,” are also activated and Peter gets to watch his favorite game on the television in his hotel room.

Is this a dream or a reality? While not yet a reality, this scenario, from a technology perspective, is plausible-if not today, then at least in the near future. Below, we'll define exactly what it takes-from services to technologies to financial, organizational, and business model issues-to make Peter's football fantasy a dream come true.

What's Behind Entertainment-on-Demand Services?

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