A programming-on-demand cable system is provided which allows any one of a plurality of individual users to request anyone of a plurality of video programs they wish to view from a library of programs, and permits the requested program to be available for viewing on a conventional television set at the user's location following a request initiated by the user. Each program is preprogrammed in a memory device selectable by a host computer at a central data station in response to an address signal transmitted from the user. The host computer in conjunction with other electronics transmits the video program at a high non-real-time rate over a fiber optic line network to a data receiving station at the user's location. The data receiving station then converts the received optical data back to electrical data and stores it for subsequent real-time transmission to the user's television set. The system permits the user to view any one of a number of programs transmitted on a non-real-time basis, and also allows the user to store the transmitted program at his data receiving station for an indefinite period of time for viewing at a later date. A method is also provided for transmitting the programs on a non-real-time basis.