The internet introduced itself to the film world like a screaming child; shouting, demanding constant and rapid change, giving us many sleepless nights and quite frequently reducing us to tears and custody battles.
But that angry child is here to stay. Here at Peccadillo we get a lot of questions regarding the difference between VOD and EST, which is fair enough (we’re still getting our heads around them!) Basically, the difference between the two is the difference between renting and owning.
VOD stands for ‘Video-On-Demand’, which usually translates to ‘Download-to-rent’ or something similar. So, 4OD (4 On-Demand) allows you to watch Channel 4’s programme but not to ‘buy’ the content and own it. This is where EST comes in.
EST is a lovely and pointless acronym for ‘Electronic Sell Through’, which sounds like some jargon a bank would spurt at you whilst showing you images of a family rambling through a lake and reminding you that you can’t afford a summer holiday. But it’s not, it simply means ‘Download-to-buy’, like buying a DVD, but an ‘Electronic’ (digital) copy of the film. Once you’ve bought it, the film is downloaded to your hard drive and you can watch it as many times as you like and it’ll never expire.
We asked Olivier in our technical department if he could sum up the difference for us, the computer illiterate: ‘VOD is much better for those of you with commitment issues. EST is for the needy among you, those who can’t let go and want to watch the film over and over again.’ Olivier’s sarcastic tone was not appreciated and he has since been spoken to. He may also need therapy.
Peccadillo Pictures uses all the biggies when it comes to both VOD and EST: our films are readily available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant, Curzon Home Cinema, BFIplayer, Talk Talk, Filmdoo, Volta and BT Vision. So, for instance, when it says £1.99 To Rent on iTunes – that’s VOD, £8.99 To Buy – that’s EST. Bot VOD and EST frequently fall under the umbrella term ‘On-Demand’, which is our preferred phrase here at Peccadillo. But, as I said, the internet is a precocious child which changes what it wants and needs every 5 minutes. Once embraced, however, it’s a beast easily tamed. And then you can sit back and rent, download or own a bevvy of LGBT and world cinema titles whenever you want. I guess that’s why we put up with it.