Selling video-on-demand services to consumers remains a thorny proposition, but the outlook is going to look rosier in two years. That was the message of Monday's TV On-Demand Summit, sponsored by Independent Research Group. The event, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in midtown Manhattan, brought together leading players in the evolving video-on-demand business. IRG is the securities brokerage unit of TheStreet.com Inc. ( TSCM), publisher of this Web site. A noontime panel focused on cable giant Comcast's ( CMCSA) experience in video-on-demand. Comcast's remarks carry a great deal of weight, both because the company is the No. 1 U.S. cable system operator and because Comcast has been the most aggressive advocate of the technology. A subsequent discussion explored video-on-demand's advertising promise. Video-on-demand -- a service that enables viewers to select video from a centralized library of programming they can watch whenever they choose -- has been a hot button because Wall Street sees a goldmine for big media companies. Cable/satellite operators and their telco rivals have been hard-pressed in recent years to keep growing and expanding their profit margins. Fans say VOD will allow them to tap into a huge, lucrative market now ill-served by video store chains and the like. Participants in Monday's noontime panel see plenty of opportunity, and soon. Steve Heeb, Comcast's vice president for product and business development, told an audience of IRG clients that "'06 is where the fun is going to come in" for video-on-demand providers. "This is no longer a science project," added Comcast's Mark Hess. "This is now the way people are watching television."