LAS VEGAS -- On Sunday (Jan. 7) Verizon unveiled the next generation of its FiOS TV service, which makes it easy for consumers to find and manage multimedia content, and creates the most advanced combination of voice, broadband, mobile and TV services content in the industry.
"The next generation of FiOS breaks new ground and moves way beyond traditional television to make managing multimedia simple for customers," said Bob Ingalls, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Telecom, to an audience at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show here. "We've dramatically distinguished the new FiOS digital media experience from old-fashioned TV."
The new FiOS is the first broadband platform to pull together content from a variety of sources - broadcast TV, the Internet and users' own private music and photo collections - into one media-management system. It also provides the company's growing base of FiOS TV customers with a powerful new navigational tool and delivers a superior entertainment experience not available to users of competitors' broadband or cable services.
Ingalls noted that customers today demand and deserve infinite choice, absolute control and precise personalization. The FiOS digital media experience delivers to consumers all three.
New Interactive Media Guide Enhances Entertainment Experience
At the heart of the system is a new interactive media guide that makes watching FiOS TV easier and better than ever. With the new guide, customers can find, control and manage a vast array of digital content including television programming, movies, Internet video, games, music and photos. This lets a customer, for example, watch a movie about an action hero, play a video game about the same character and buy retail items associated with the character, all on the same home system.
FiOS TV customers in New Jersey will be the first to receive the new FiOS TV applications. By mid-year, all FiOS TV customers in the 10 states where the service is offered today will enjoy many of the new applications and services enabled by the new FiOS.
"FiOS TV already is intuitive and easy to use," said Ingalls. "In 2007, we'll further transform home entertainment by making it easier and more enjoyable for consumers to access rich Internet content and other digital media through the TV."
Simplifying the Entertainment Experience
The FiOS digital media platform provides FiOS TV customers with two key enhancements - a simplified entertainment experience and greater convergence of devices.
"As we designed the new FiOS, a key principle was to help customers reach all content with just two clicks of their remote control," said Ingalls.
The FiOS media guide helps customers easily navigate, personalize and enjoy all their digital media. The new interactive guide features a network search function that brings multimedia into the television-viewing experience.
During a demonstration of the new FiOS TV features, Ingalls explained that most search functions on TV today are limited to looking for broadcast listings. With the new FiOS TV, however, customers will be able to scan through broadcast, on-demand and recorded content with a single search.
In addition to getting Internet content to the television, the new FiOS gives customers the power to remotely manage parental controls and program their digital video recorder from any Web-enabled PC. Later in the year, the company will extend that capability to a customer's Verizon Wireless cell phone.
"We've designed this experience with minute attention to detail and have borrowed from advances in our other businesses, including the use of predictive text and "triple-tap" input when using the remote control that you typically find on a cell phone," Ingalls said.
The new FiOS builds on Verizon's earlier launch of the Home Media DVR and adds games atop the PC-based digital photos and music that FiOS TV customers can access on their TVs today. In addition, Verizon will deliver this year Internet radio and video content to the TV sets of FiOS TV customers, including user-generated content like that from Revver; expand its video gaming offer to embrace serious video gamers; and personalize customers' viewing experience with ratings and recommendations based on personal preferences.
FiOS Delivers Greater Convergence
"The combination of Verizon's unique 100-percent fiber network, which, extends all the way to customers' homes and our in-home FiOS network makes this all possible," said Ingalls. "This powerful network combination means we can capitalize on the interactivity of broadband, the mobility of wireless and the entertainment experience of TV.
"Only Verizon is positioned to enrich the entertainment experience across all three platforms - broadband, mobile and television," said Ingalls. "So don't think of us as a traditional telecommunications provider. Think of us as a key to the growth of the entertainment industry."
Verizon began offering FiOS TV service in the fall of 2005, and the service is now offered in more than 200 cities in parts of 10 states: California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, with more states being added this year.
FiOS TV provides a true choice for subscription television and on-demand programming via the company's all-digital, fiber-optic network, said Ingalls. The company, which plans to have customers in 3 million to 4 million homes by 2010, said FiOS TV offers a better-quality picture, more high-definition and on-demand programs, and more reliable service at competitive prices.
The company's fiber network also offers consumers and businesses high-speed FiOS Internet Service, which is currently available in more than 1,600 cities in 16 states. Only Verizon's fiber to the premises (FTTP) network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes and businesses.
More information about FiOS TV, fiber optics and other broadband services and applications on display during the International Consumer Electronics Show is available in Verizon's online News Center at www.verizon.com/news.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 57 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.