Archives For FiOS

While core FiOS TV visuals have languished, amidst at least one possibly jettisoned reboot, they’ve continued to expand functionality … and introduced an Alexa skill just a few weeks back to enable DVR voice control.

With Fios TV and Amazon Alexa, you can enjoy easy, hands-free voice control over your TV. You can tell Alexa what you want to watch, search for TV shows, movies, and actors from the guide and Video On Demand catalog. Use your voice to pause, play, fast-forward, or rewind.

Alexa integration requires internet-connected Fios Multi-Room DVR Enhanced or Premium service and is compatible with all Echo devices including: Echo Plus, Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, or Echo Show.

Verizon may be new to Alexa, but they first implemented app-based voice control nearly two years ago – which isn’t as convenient as a somewhat ubiquitous and always-listening device. Initial FiOS skill reviews are mixed, as they often are at launch, but will hopefully improve over time. And, hey, at least they beat TiVo to market?

fios-ip-stb

Back in 2014, Verizon was working on a number of FiOS hardware offerings with Greenwave Systems… most of which have never seen the light of day. While the Quantum Router made it out of the labs, the heir apparent to their scrapped Home Control service did not. Further, the unannounced FiOS TV STB, pictured above, was another casualty. Beyond never being released, what makes the IPC 2100 notable is (was?) the inclusion of WiFi, in addition to their standard MoCA coaxial channel, as a means of receiving video content from one’s home gateway. Whatever piece of hardware that was intended to be… Router, VMS as done with mobile streaming, something else?

In any event, Verizon is changing tack (again), as they reportedly look to leverage acquired Intel OnCue hardware and technology “to launch its next-generation TV service in at least one of its Fios markets later this year.”

fios-tv-dvr-anywhere

With the rollout of FiOS TV IMG software 3.0, Verizon is bringing new capabilities to us television customers. However, to pull this off you’ll seemingly need both FiOS TV set-box and router hardware in the mix… as the Quantum DVR becomes a video gateway.

fios-tv-dvr-listings

Within the home, our entire channel lineups will be available for mobile app streaming – versus the subset of channels Verizon has historically offered. And, as you can see from the pics above, we’ve tested it on an iPhone and iPad. However, Android is also supported – including Amazon Fire variants. Beyond live television, we’ll also have access a certain amount of shows recorded on our Quantum DVRs both in the home or on the go, similar to what Xfinity and TiVo offer. As to the various relationships and remote limitations, we’re just going to have to wait and see. Continue Reading…

Fox Locks Down TiVo On FiOS

Dave Zatz —  July 17, 2015

For years, we’ve proclaimed FiOS to be the best home for TIVo owners. And I’ve put my money where my mouth is in that regard. Yet, with newly introduced copy restrictions, this may no longer be the case. As first discovered on the MythTV mailing list, and coming to my attention via Twitter, Verizon now flags Fox’s cable content with the CCI Byte as “Copy Once.”

For TiVo and/or CableLabs, copy once allows us to DVR a show… but that recording cannot not be streamed beyond our home networks or downloaded to computer by TiVoToGo clients. Also, given the unfinished TiVo Online experience, it’s quite likely these shows will similarly be out of reach for in-home browser-based streaming.

Continue Reading…

verizon-bundles

I’m failry certain we’ll never get to à la carte cable. Certainly not in the next several years… given the current content hegemony that requires channels on certain tiers and/or bundling of multiple properties. Having said that, industry has taken notice as consumers look to exert more control over their content choices and seek more value from their entertainment expenditures. And Verizon announced a new permutation of FiOS… that, interestingly, most closely resembles Sling TV.

Double play plans start at $55/month with both existing or new Verizon FiOS customers choosing the data speeds they want, including the base 34 Custom HD channel lineup, with the possibility to add “channel packs” for $10/pop. Triple play, for voice, is also an option. The new plans do not require a 2-year agreement, as so many other FiOS packages do, but the most interesting aspect is, of course, the ability to more finely tune the stations you receive. Continue Reading…

verzion-weather

Verizon has begun alerting customers that an agreement with the Weather Channel could not be reached… and, thus, the channel has been dropped from my FiOS TV lineup. Not only can’t I remember the last time I tuned the Weather Channel, I view its ongoing presence as something of an anachronism in this day an age. Although, apparently there are a number of people who do appreciate their on-air personalities and turning routine weather events into mass hysteria highly marketable content. Should you still turn to cable for atmospheric updates, in its stead, AccuWeather is now available (on channel 619) — as photographed by Parker below. Continue Reading…

Verizon FiOS TV Links Ultraviolet

Dave Zatz —  February 28, 2015

verizon-fios-ultraviolet

About the same time TiVo rolled out Vudu last fall, Verizon similarly deployed Ultraiviolet to their FiOS TV set-tops. Whereas TiVo went with a 3rd party app, Verizon has natively integrated the UV content locker within On Demand. And my pal Tim took it for a quick spin yesterday.

Within the FiOS On Demand UI, you’ll see a variety of titles featuring the UV logo. Yet account linkage is handled via webpage. Once synced up, your licensed UV titles show up under On Demand > My Library > Purchases. But, in a few minutes of streaming a couple of movies, Tim was not impressed by the artifacts seen in darker scenes… and pretty quickly concluded Vudu, via Xbox One, provides a superior experience. Beyond picture quality, I’ve also found the FiOS TV UI requires too many clicks – especially in the On Demand area. It’s generally far more efficient to rent or buy content from other sources. But this two-way FiOS TV UV integration still seems pretty cool and is worth keeping an eye on. Assuming Verizon sticks with FiOS.