Verizon Communications has rolled out the ninth major upgrade of its Interactive Media Guide, the advanced operating system for FiOS TV, its fiber-based IPTV service.
The latest upgrade will be made available to FiOS TV subscribers throughout the summer, bolstering Verizon's quest to provide an in-depth, interactive TV experience. The service will now include 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.
Introduced in 2007, the FiOS TV IMG was conceived of as a way to pull together content from broadcast TV, the Internet and users' own personal media into one media-management system.
"At its inception, FiOS TV was designed to deliver a radically different home-entertainment experience," said Eric Bruno, vice president product management for Verizon's consumer and business services. "The vast variety of programming and capabilities we offered from the start of FiOS TV required an operating system that could organize and simplify content for customers. Every year we've added more advanced capabilities that have changed TV viewing from a one-way passive experience into an interactive and social journey of search, discovery, personalization and community."
Verizon recently used customer feedback gained from its product development labs, field trials and social media forums to create more than 25 of its latest upgrades to its FiOS TV IMG, including greater personalization, easier navigation, deeper search, bigger storage options and optimisation for new 3D technology.
FiOS innovations include: Advanced, customized search for linear, video-on-demand (VOD) content, personal and Internet media by day/time, program, genre, actor and keyword; DVR "chaptering" similar to DVD functionality that allows users to return to specific points in recorded programming by referencing a visual chapter; recommendation engines for content discovery and multi-room and multi-hub DVR, and remote DVR control.
The service was also early to embrace interactive widgets that now include games, Facebook, Twitter, KODAK Gallery, NBA League Pass, Visual 411, WeatherBug, FiOS Mobile Remote, HSN Shop by Remote, AP Headline News, Spend Smart Coupons, YouTube, Yelp, iHeartRadio, TMZ, Traffic, Zona Latina, Music Choice, baseball, football, international soccer, horoscopes, sports headlines, daily news and more.
It also offers the ability for customers to stream personal photos, music and videos to the TV via their laptop or PC. Customers can also flick photos from their smartphones to the TV screen.
"As customers explore the richness of their FiOS TV service, they'll find an easy-to-manage, highly interactive, technologically advanced offering unlike anything else available in the marketplace today, delivered over the ultimate, advanced all-fiber-optic 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."