Parks Associates Blog

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Verizon FiOS TV 1.6 IMG Update

Verizon invited me to their Irving, TX, offices on Thursday for a briefing of their FiOS TV 1.6 update. These updates have already taken effect on the West Coast and in East Coast markets like New York and New England. We in North Texas are expected to get the updates in November.

There's a lot to talk about with the updates, including expanded Widgets (and the opening up of Widget development to third-party developers), new "What's Hot" features that provide a look at which shows are currently the most-viewed in any given city/region, a fantasy football tracker, and a Facebook Widget that is in beta (developed in-house by a Verizon programmer). Currently, Verizon is in beta testing with some Internet video offerings, including YouTube, Blip.tv, and Veoh Networks.

The Verizon folks are talking about set-top box DVRs that double the current storage (320 GB), and did mention that they are looking at a couple of options for allowing subscribers to add storage, either through eSATA or via a network attached storage (connected to the Broadband Home Router).

The demos were impressive, but I was impressed with a basic improvement that Verizon has implemented - a much more responsive experience. Using the remote to scroll through the IMG and call up VoD and DVR options is significantly more responsive than what I have right now with my FiOS TV.

There were a couple of reporters from The Dallas Morning News at the demonstration, and they provided an update on their Technology Blog.

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