11.12.2008Personal Tech

Verizon Launches New Wave of Interactive Features for FiOS TV Customers in Tampa Bay Area

TAMPA, Fla. - Verizon FiOS TV - the ultimate home-entertainment experience - becomes even more dynamic for customers in the Tampa Bay area as Verizon introduces new interactive features for the TV service, delivered over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network straight to customers' homes.

FiOS TV's innovative Interactive Media Guide (IMG), which already provides an unprecedented, next-generation video service, now also gives customers unique new features, including free casual games, purchasing power via remote control, more widgets that provide on-demand access to information and entertainment, and other exciting options.

"FiOS TV gives customers an experience they can't get from cable," said Kathy Koelle, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Verizon's South-West region.  "The immense two-way capacity of our fiber network allows us to continually introduce interactive capabilities that give our customers richer, more robust and personalized entertainment."

Among the new FiOS TV IMG features now available in the Tampa Bay area are:

  • Streaming of recorded HD video - Verizon's Home Media DVR now allows customers to stream recorded high-definition (HD) programs to six other TV sets throughout the home equipped with HD set-top boxes.  The feature, which has been available for standard-definition programming, includes the ability to watch three separately recorded shows on three sets at the same time, plus pause recorded programming in one room and continue watching in another.
  • New channel sorting options - Verizon FiOS TV customers now can create two separate lists of favorite channels for family members.  Customers also can now filter channels in the guide by genre for instances where a customer may only want to see HD content, international channels or kids programming, among others.
  • Return to paused programming - Customers can pause live programming, change channels, and then return to the paused program and pick up where they left off.  No part of a program will be missed with this new feature.
  • New free widgets - FiOS TV widgets offer customers one-touch, on-demand access to local weather and traffic reports shown on TV screens.  Now customers have more widgets, including:
  • Daily national news and sports headlines.
  • Community news, based on the customer's zip code and featuring information submitted by local municipalities.
  • Daily horoscopes.
  • What's Hot on FiOS TV, featuring information on the most popular programs currently being broadcast in a customer's region and the most popular video-on-demand (VOD) titles currently available.
  • Instant Upgrades - Customers can watch VOD offerings from HBO, Cinemax and more by subscribing to these premium channel packages straight from the VOD menu, with a touch of their remote control.  Customers who subscribe to a DVR can instantly upgrade to Verizon's Home Media DVR, bundled with the free Media Manager service, without calling Verizon to sign up.
  • Free casual games - With the remote control, a customer can access chess, solitaire, wordplay and Sudoku from the FiOS TV Main Menu and play any one of them, at any time.
  • VOD Performance Enhancement - Faster response times will enable customers to search and select VOD titles more quickly than ever before.

Verizon is also planning to launch several other new IMG features in the future, including:

  • Fantasy Football - FiOS TV customers who are registered users of ESPN Fantasy Football will have instant on-screen access to personalized NFL statistics, including rosters, box scores, scoring leaders and player information.
  • "My Videos" - Customers will be able to access personal videos stored on their home computers and enjoy them on their TV sets.  This feature is accessed through Verizon's Media Manager service, which already allows customers to stream personal music and photographs from their PCs to their TVs.
  • Remote DVR Programming - Customers who subscribe to FiOS TV's Media Manager service will be able to remotely program their FiOS TV DVRs and set their Parental Controls through select Verizon Wireless handsets and through Verizon's FiOS TV Central Web site (www.verizon.com/fiostvcentral).  This site already provides TV listings and VOD title search capabilities, as well as more information on all of the IMG features.

FiOS TV is delivered over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network straight to customers' homes and businesses, providing stunning picture-and-sound quality, more and more HD and VOD choices, a broad spectrum of content diversity, and interactive features that create the ultimate home-entertainment experience. 

The service offers a broad collection of programming, with more than 400 all-digital channels and 11,000 VOD titles each month - 8,500 are free of charge.  The VOD library also includes a growing number of HD titles.  FiOS TV is currently available to more than 8.2 million homes in 14 states.

New consumers who sign up for FiOS TV by Dec. 31 are eligible to enjoy free access for 90 days to three premium entertainment packages - Cinemax, HBO and FiOS TV's Movie Package, which includes Showtime, Starz, The Movie Channel, Encore, Sundance Channel and IFC. 

For more information on FiOS TV, consumers can visit www.verizon.com/fiostv or call their local Verizon sales office or 888-438-3467.