A Closer Look at DISH’s Video on Demand Service
Most people dig movies but as with most things, it’s gotta be convenient and reasonably priced. DISH’s revamped Video On Demand (VoD) service attempts to elegantly satisfy both requirements. So, how’s it stack up? Let’s take a closer look at the service, from the ordering process to your cost for the “average” flick and big-budget blockbusters…
DISH’s VoD Ordering
With DISH On Demand, there are basically two main categories to choose from: DISH Cinema (movies) and network/PPV TV. DISH Cinema is where most of the action is. At any given time, DISH Cinema carries thousands of 1080p HD movies. The network/PPV section covers about 70 different TV networks such as Bravo, Discovery, etc. If you already have access to those channels, most of their on-demand programs are 100% free and a nice way to catch up on missed episodes. Whatever your flavor, there are 3 main ways to order:
1) Online: Your first step is to find the “Order ID” of the show/movie of interest. Simply use your remote to visit channel 1 or 501, click the program and hit “Info”. The Order ID will pop up. Now simply go to MyDISH to log into your account and order the program.
2) Phone: Fully automated, this is probably the second-quickest way to order. The menu walks you through the process and once you enter the Order ID, your DVR is almost instantly updated to unlock the program.
3) Remote: The fastest route to PPV, head over to channel 501 and pick your movie. Confirm your purchase in a couple clicks and you’re all set. DIRECTV and various cable companies have similar Program Guide ordering options, but DISH’s design and interactivity stacks up well against them all.
DISH’s Pay-per-view Prices
When it comes to movies, there are basically two different rental prices: $4.99 for SD (standard def) and $5.99 for HD. After ordering, you generally have 24 hours to enjoy the movie. You can also record the movie on your DVR and play it back within 48 hours. Thereafter, the movie is no longer available. Why? Well, just as with iTunes or elsewhere, this is a rental so providers are forced (by the studios) to put a time cap on the purchase.
Other popular PPV events include: Boxing, UFC, WWE, etc. Pricing here depends on the event and match-up but generally go for between $30-$60 (as with movies, there’s usually an added charge to watch it in HD).
Internet-connected DVR – if not already, the first thing you’ll need to do is connect your DVR to the internet (it has to relay your purchase and order details to DISH’s servers)
Compatible DVRs – all modern DISH receivers give you access to PPV, but specifically the following are required:
512, 522, 612c, 622, 625, 722, 722k, Hopper® and Hopper with Sling®
One of the most convenient aspects of DISH’s On Demand service is its integration with DISH Anywhere, an app for your mobile device that gives you easy and immediate access to DISH Cinema and all other PPV programs. Just make sure you’re on at least a broadband connection. Trying to stream HD (and even SD) on a 4G or less connection is a recipe for frustration.
DISH’s On Demand service has come a LONG way over the years. Its current iteration is both easy-to-navigate AND competitively-priced. We also hear plenty of cool new features are in the works, so keep an eye out. Enjoy your next purchase!
Isn't there a DISH promo that gets me free PPV movies?
Yes. Among other perks, DISH offers free PPV to military, first responders, folks 55+ and teachers. Depending on the deal, it's either good for 1 or multiple PPV orders a month.
Are there parental controls for on demand?
Yep. You can restrict access altogether or by rating or a dollar amount cap. Control settings are available on all Hopper units.
Do I always need internet to order PPV?
In most cases, yes. Internet connectivity immediately alerts your provider about the purchase. Otherwise, your transaction may be delayed.
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