NICE AND EASY: What’s the difference between DIRECTV Cinema and DIRECTV On Demand?

OK so they don’t make it easy. DIRECTV Cinema refers to movies on DIRECTV. It mostly refers to movies that are on traditional pay-per-view but it can refer to on-demand as well. DIRECTV On Demand refers exclusively to content that you download from the internet to your DVR, whether or not it’s a movie.

The funny thing is that there isn’t as much confusion as you’d think, because my informal research shows that most people aren’t really aware that both things exist. Yes , you heard me.

I’ve talked to any number of people who watch traditional pay-per-view. You know what I mean here — the channels in the 100s that show the same movies over and over again and you tune in at a specific time to get them. This is still a big moneymaker for DIRECTV and a lot of that revenue, believe it or not, still comes from people with regular, non-DVR receivers who watch in standard definition. You may not have even realized such people exist, but they’re still close to half of the DIRECTV population. These folks tend to be completely unaware that DIRECTV even offers downloadable content, because their homes don’t have it.

On the other hand, the folks with internet-connected DVRs tend to have some understanding that the pay-per-view channels exist, but they’re largely ignored. These folks go to the on-demand channels through the menu or by tuning to channel 1000 and get a lot of their entertainment that way, watching movies before they get to Netflix or Redbox.

Are you one of those rare people who watches both conventional pay-per-view and downloads on demand? You’re in a small group indeed… so let us know about your experience!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.