TiVo’s not the only primary television add-on with web video intentions. Verizon is currently beta testing web video on their set-top boxes and their initial marketing partners include Veoh, Blip.tv, Break.com, and YouTube. Unlike TiVo which taps directly into YouTube’s H.264 content, Verizon utilizes their Media Manager PC software as an intermediary. Sites are indexed on a regular basis and when a video is selected from the DVR, the PC software automatically transcodes and streams content on the fly.
In addition to serving up those large video aggregation sites, Media Manager software also facilitates shipping virtually any video podcast to your DVR. The functionality is similar to what TiVo provides today. However, from a conceptual and functional point of view Verizon’s solution looks like it’ll be more elegant – allowing you to add RSS subscriptions directly to Media Manager via web browser.
These features will be offered as part of Verizon’s top tier DVR package, which also includes PC photo sharing and multi-room DVR playback. As you hear in the video above, customers not currently enrolled in that plan will be able to self-provision a trial through their box. The functionality and business implications are currently being evaluated and refined in beta, with the expectation it’ll be offered to customers later this year or early next year.
(This is Part 2 of a 2 part series. Part 1 covers Verizon FiOS TV IMG 1.6 software, which includes PC video serving, web scheduling, games, dual tuner buffers, GUI enhancements, numerous fixes, etc. and will begin rolling out later this summer.)