Copyright 2004 The Omaha World-Herald Company

Omaha World Herald (Nebraska)

March 8, 2004, Monday SUNRISE EDITION

Cox Cable's digital subscribers soon will be able to access Hollywood at the click of a remote.

Starting Wednesday, the communications company will offer entertainment-on-demand, also known as video-on-demand, to its Bellevue and Elkhorn customers. The remaining customers will be phased in over the next few weeks.

Entertainment-on-demand is similar to a digital video store. It allows customers to choose a movie stored in a digital library and watch it when they want to. They also can fast forward, rewind, pause, stop and resume the film.

Cox's digital customers can find the service on Channel 998.

"This channel is going to revolutionize TV watching for viewers," said Cox spokesman Mike Kohler. "It gives total control to the viewers."

Viewers can choose from about 100 titles, which are rotated each week to keep the selection fresh.

No additional equipment is required to activate entertainment-on-demand, available only to digital subscribers.

There is no monthly service fee. Customers are charged only when they order a movie, similar to pay-per-view channels.

New releases cost $3.95, and older movies are $1.95. The charges are billed to customers on their monthly cable statement.

Once customers have ordered a movie, they have 24 hours to watch the program.

The parental controls on Cox's digital service also apply to channel 998. Parents can program it to block movie titles, as well as movies with certain ratings.

Cox is working on a similar service, subscription-on-demand, which it expects to roll out in three to six months. Subscription-on-demand permits viewers to watch programming on pay channels like HBO whenever they choose.

In addition, the cable company intends to offer a digital video recorder service later in the year. DVR, the technology behind TiVo, allows viewers to pause, rewind and record live TV.