It's been a long time comin', but it looks like DirecTV's bonafide video-on-demand service is nearly ready for primetime. Judging by a descriptive thread over at DBSTalk, the service -- dubbed DirecTV on Demand -- has been rolled out in beta form to at least some users, so here's a quick look at what you can expect. First off, DoD will reportedly "be available for internet connected HR20's that are running on a compatible version of software," and requires that a user request a program via the 'net or through their HR20, after which the DVR "downloads that content via the internet, and stores the downloaded content just like any other recorded program." Feel free to hit the read link for all the nitty-gritty details, but for those into abridged versions, click on through for a few key points...

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Key Points quoted from DBSTalk.com:
  • Content can be watched and trickplayed while downloading. But just like a live recording, you can't exceed the end of "recorded/downloaded" content
  • Content that "costs" will be denoted with a $. These are PPV's and follow the same rules as broadcast PPVs. You will only be charged when you VIEW the conent, not when you download it.
  • Some content is only available if you subscribe to the corresponding normal channel (such as Starz)
  • Download speeds are dependent on your ISP, home network, router, etc.
  • Some content has expiration dates
  • Some content will be PUSHED via SAT to the systems. This content will be stored in the reserved area of the drive, and will not use your normal recording space.