Verizon Brings Tampa Bay the Next Generation of FiOS TV With More Interactivity and Personalization Features

Verizon continues transforming the way people enjoy and interact with TV by introducing the next generation of its FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide (IMG) to subscribers in the company's six-county Florida service area.

Introduced in 2007, the FiOS TV IMG was the first broadband platform to pull together content from broadcast TV, the Internet and users' own personal media into one media-management system.  It has since evolved into an in-depth, interactive TV experience, with applications for advanced/intuitive search, social networking; Internet video; personal media streaming; high-definition music; remote DVR controls; account management and billing functions; multi-screen/mobile viewing and much more. (To see how the FiOS TV IMG has evolved, click here).

The company used customer feedback gained from its product development labs, field trials and social media forums to create many of the more than 25 new upgrades to FiOS TV's advanced IMG that debut in the Tampa Bay area on Thursday (July 7).  The enhancements include greater personalization and customization, easier navigation, deeper search, bigger storage options and optimization for new 3D technology.  To learn more about the customer participation in the development of the IMG's new capabilities, view this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iehPRr0-LFA.

"Customers are at the center of everything we do, and that includes how we develop our products and services," said Eric Bruno, vice president of product management for Verizon.  "FiOS TV isn't about passive video watching - it has evolved into an entertainment and information destination.  Our new generation of FiOS TV is all about increased interactivity, ease of use, simplicity of design and high tech made easy."

FiOS TV customers can find out more about the upgrades on the FiOS TV Central website.  A short video highlighting some of the changes can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/verizon?feature=mhum#p/u/6/iqQSE3TpbS8.

Highlights include:

  • 3D content software, which automatically detects when a customer tunes to a 3D program or channel and instantly changes the necessary settings for watching those programs on a 3D television set.
  • DVR enhancements, which give FiOS TV customers more control with the following:
    • DVR chaptering, giving viewers DVD-like capabilities to jump ahead or resume viewing at a particular moment of recorded programming by using on-screen thumbnails in 10-minute increments, providing more visual navigation.
    • Multi-hub DVR, which turns any DVR or HD set-top box in the home into a "hub," allowing customers to record and manage DVR settings from any room in the home, provided one of the DVRs is a multi-room DVR.
    • eSATA external storage device compatibility, available with most FiOS TV DVRs, allowing for increased overall storage capacity.  The eSATA hard drives can be purchased at most consumer electronics stores and will automatically record customer selections once plugged into the DVR.
    • New "play all" and "delete all" options, allowing customers to play episodes back-to-back and automatically delete all episodes of a show with the push of a button.
  • Personalization features, which let FiOS TV customers enjoy entertainment on their own terms, including:
    • New parental control options that make monitoring children's viewing even easier, with the ability to block out portions of programming by rating during key hours of the day, like homework time, and schedule certain times for Parental Controls to be automatically turned on and off for greater flexibility.
    • Guide customization, enabling a variety of settings, with a mini guide on the bottom of the screen, a half guide on the right side of the screen, and a full guide with a look at more hours of scheduled programming.
  • Improved search capabilities, which provide a smarter search function that predicts what the customer is looking for and automatically provides potential matches.  FiOS TV customers also can filter and sort by channel, and more easily locate favorite programs.

Verizon's FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide can be accessed with the FiOS TV remote control or by using Verizon's FiOS Mobile application, which turns an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android device into a remote control for a FiOS HD set-top box, making parental controls, customized interactive applications and program recording options easy to access.

"As customers explore the richness of their FiOS TV service, they'll find an easy-to-manage, highly interactive, technologically advanced offering unlike anything available in the marketplace today, delivered over the ultimate, advanced network," said Bruno.  "We're erasing technology boundaries to free customers to benefit from everything they're looking for in entertainment - at home and on the go."

The next-generation FiOS TV is built upon a long series of innovations, including Flex View and FiOS TV Online, which extend FiOS TV beyond the home to the Internet and a range of mobile devices; free interactive applications including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, HSN Shop By Remote, TMZ and others; Media Manager, which allows customers to access on their TVs personal photos, music and videos from their computers; and In-Home Agent, which frees customers to use simple online tools to diagnose and resolve a range of service issues.

For the latest news, updates and information about FiOS TV, visit www.verizon.com/newscenter  and http://www.verizon.com/athomeblog.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 104 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.