Verizon’s advanced new Interactive Media Guide slicker, cooler, and, best of all, feature is free
FiOS TV’s new enhanced Interactive Media Guide, introduced today in Virginia, takes some getting used to, but it’s a major improvement.
“The DVR chaptering that is contained in this release as well as the high-definition, full animation graphical interface are unique to the IMG,” Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell said. “And while you will find that the other features [multi-hub DVR, eSATA external hard drive, 3D content software] are offered in one form or another from other providers, only Verizon has put the best-of-the-best together while adding great new features like DVR chaptering.”
Mitchell said that: “When a handful of New York and Pennsylvania markets first received the new IMG in April, they gave invaluable feedback on a few areas they thought needed fine tuning. For example, they wanted better color contrast on the channel guide and an easier way to interface with our standard definition set-top boxes.”
Verizon press release follows.
Verizon’s Next Generation of Interactive FiOS TV Comes to Maryland, Virginia and Washington.
WASHINGTON – Verizon continues to transform the way people interact with and enjoy TV viewing by bringing the next generation of its FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide to subscribers in the company’s Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., service areas. More than 2.2 million households from Bel Air, Md., to Virginia Beach can now take advantage of award-winning FiOS TV and the advanced IMG.
Introduced in 2007, the FiOS TV IMG was the first broadband platform to pull together content from broadcast TV, the Internet and users’ own personal media into one media-management system. It has since evolved into an in-depth, interactive TV experience, with 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. (To see how the FiOS TV IMG has evolved, click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34800970@N05/5839279534.)
The company used customer feedback taken in through its product development labs, field trials and online consumer forums to create many of the more than 25 new upgrades to FiOS TV’s advanced IMG that are now available to subscribers in the region. The enhancements include greater personalization and customization, easier navigation, deeper search, bigger storage options and optimization for new 3D technology.
“Customers are at the center of everything we do, and that includes how we develop our products and services,” said Eric Bruno, vice president of product management for Verizon. “FiOS TV isn’t about passive video watching – it has evolved into an entertainment and information destination. Our new generation of FiOS TV is all about increased interactivity, ease of use, simplicity of design and high tech made easy.”
· 3D content software, which automatically detects when a customer tunes to a 3D program or channel and instantly changes the necessary settings for watching those programs on a 3D television set.
· DVR enhancements, which give FiOS TV customers more control with the following:
o DVR chaptering, giving viewers DVD-like capabilities to jump ahead or resume viewing at a particular moment of recorded programming by using on-screen thumbnails in 10-minute increments, providing more visual navigation.
o Multi-hub DVR, which turns any DVR or HD set-top box in the home into a “hub,” allowing customers to record and manage DVR settings from any room in the home, provided one of the DVRs is a multi-room DVR.
o eSATA external storage device compatibility, available with most FiOS TV DVRs, allowing for increased overall storage capacity. The eSATA hard drives can be purchased at most consumer electronics stores and will automatically record customer selections once plugged into the DVR.
o New “play all” and “delete all” options, allowing customers to play episodes back-to-back and automatically delete all episodes of a show with the push of a button.
· Personalization features, which let FiOS TV customers enjoy entertainment on their own terms, including:
o New parental control options that make monitoring children’s viewing even easier, with the ability to block out portions of programming by rating during key hours of the day, like homework time, and schedule certain times for Parental Controls to be automatically turned on and off for greater flexibility.
o Guide customization, enabling a variety of settings, with a mini guide on the bottom of the screen, a half guide on the right side of the screen, and a full guide with a look at more hours of scheduled programming.
· Improved search capabilities, which provide a smarter search function that predicts what the customer is looking for and automatically provides potential matches. FiOS TV customers also can filter and sort by channel, and more easily locate favorite programs.
Verizon’s FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide can be accessed with the FiOS TV remote control or by using Verizon’s FiOS Mobile application, which turns an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android device into a remote control for a FiOS HD set-top box, making parental controls, customized interactive applications and program recording options easy to access.
The next-generation FiOS TV is built upon a long series of innovations, including Flex View and FiOS TV Online, which extend FiOS TV beyond the home to the Internet and a range of mobile devices; free interactive applications including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, HSN Shop By Remote, TMZ and others; Media Manager, which allows customers to access on their TVs personal photos, music and videos from their computers; and In-Home Agent, which frees customers to use simple online tools to diagnose and resolve a range of service issues.