Owners of LG Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players will soon be able to access up to 75 channels of video from their FiOS TV subscription, provided they also subscribe to FiOS Internet. The new FiOS TV app will also offer VOD titles from Verizon’s Flex View service.
The move illustrates an ongoing trend for video service providers to look for ways to lessen their dependence on set-top-boxes. While in parallel, TV manufacturers like LG are looking to increase content libraries on their smart TV platforms. LG and Samsung both offer smart TV platforms that include access to a variety of OTT content without the need for set-top-boxes. Verizon announced a similar move to this LG development with Samsung back in August 2012.
Channels in the LG package include HBO, Food Network, NFL Network, TBS, and VH1, among others, but do not include local broadcast channels. “Offering more FiOS channels on LG Smart TVs epitomizes Verizon’s commitment to delivering the best in-home entertainment experience to our customers across the greatest number of viewing platforms,” said Maitreyi Krishnaswamy, director of product services for Verizon in a press release. “We understand that consumers’ content consumption habits are changing and consumers are engaging on many different platforms within the home. We’re working with LG to make watching TV and interacting with it more interesting and enjoyable than ever before.”
Verizon is not alone in this approach. Comcast, DirecTV and others are implementing similar strategies. One potential outcome from all of these experiments is a set-top-boxless environment, where content is delivered via the cloud to a variety of devices. Some form of home gateway may be involved as well, but ultimately, service providers would like to get to an environment where costly set-top-boxes are not required. We’re a long way off from that scenario, but we are witnessing baby steps.