FiOS Turns Phones Into Remotes


Verizon FiOS TV customers
can now use certain smartphones
from Verizon Wireless
as TV remotes, in the telco’s latest
move to deliver a “gee-whiz”
feature that sets it apart from

Initially, the feature will be
available only to FiOS TV customers
who have an HD settop
box and a Motorola Droid or
HTC Imagio mobile phone, both
of which are based on Google’s
Android platform and available
exclusively through Verizon
Wireless. The telco said it would
add other mobile phones down
the road, but didn’t specify which
platforms are in the works.

The concept of using a smartphone
device as a remote has
been demonstrated by other pay
TV providers, including AT&T,
which has plans to
introduce an app to
let Apple iPhone users
control U-verse

The FiOS Mobile
Remote, available
for no addit ional
charge, has virtually
the same functionality
as the standard
FiOS remote — including
digital video
recorder controls
— plus other features, such as the
ability to transfer photos from the
phones to the TV screen.

FiOS TV customers can access
the new feature through the applications
store on their Verizon Wireless
mobile phone handset and
then associate the device with their
in-home FiOS network by opening
up the “Mobile Remote” widget on
FiOS TV. Customers must then register
their wireless telephone
number, using
the widget.

FiOS Mobile Remote
provides channel change,
volume, DVR, favorite
channels and parental
controls, and subscribers
can use the handset’s
keyboard to type in
search terms or manage
the Facebook and Twitter
widget applications.

The “My Photos” feature
lets subscribers “flick” a single
picture at a time to view it
on the TV screen; the app also
can display an entire slideshow
of stored pictures. Finally, the
“tele-TV mute” feature can automatically
mute the TV when a
subscriber answers a call on the
mobile phone, then resume the
previous TV-volume level after
the call ends.