The move to differentiate services through networked applications and enhanced DVR functions continues. Verizon announced the addition of two new free features for FiOS TV customers who also subscribe to FiOS Internet. “We’ve extended these advanced features to our DVR customers so hundreds of thousands more FiOS TV subscribers can enjoy more of the unique multimedia entertainment options afforded by a fiber-optic-powered home-entertainment network,” said Shawn Strickland, vice president of marketing for Verizon Telecom, in a news release.
FiOS Media Manager enables DVR users to transfer and play videos, photos or music from their PCs to their TV and personal entertainment systems. The service mimics a home media server of sorts, allowing Internet and PC derived content to be viewed and interacted with on a television screen. The second new feature enables subscribers to remotely manage their DVRs via any Internet-enabled cell phone. Features include the ability to review, change or add recording requests, delete recorded programs, browse and search TV and video-on-demand listing, and set panel controls, as well as take advantage of other personalized viewing options. Both features were previously available only to FiOS TV Home Media DVR subscribers.
A high stakes game of digital one-upsmanship is taking place as telecompetitors, in a bid to attract new and retain existing subscribers across the digital media spectrum, increasingly turn and open up their network platforms to third-party software application developers to differentiate their products and services. We’re seeing the development of a new ‘app’ culture being applied to broadband and video mediums, in much the same way that it is transforming the wireless business. Granted, wireless is way ahead, but this app trend is beginning to take hold in wireline as well.