FiOS TV On the Air in Texas


New York— Verizon Communications Inc. launched its FiOS TV video product earlier this month to a small number of trial homes in Keller, Texas, executive director of investor relations Tom Buzi told attendees at a financial conference here last Thursday.

Verizon, which is supplying the video content to trial homes in Keller for free, expects to commercially deploy FiOS TV in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2005, Buzi added.

Verizon director of interactive TV Steve Haire told a reporter after the Ferris Baker Watts conference on video businesses that Verizon hasn’t yet launched interactive TV content in Keller. Haire had given attendees an overview of FiOS TV’s ITV strategy, demonstrating how customers would be able to access interactive sports tickers and other ITV content from any channel.

Haire said FiOS TV will allow subscribers to share home videos edited on a PC with friends and family that are also FiOS TV customers.

While FiOS TV would support short text messaging on the TV between customers, he said Verizon won’t offer Internet access and e-mail access through the TV, noting that he believed those applications work better on a PC.

Interactive shopping will be another key component of FiOS TV, Haire said, giving the example of how Verizon could allow viewers to buy a vacuum cleaner from with a few clicks of the remote. The customers would receive a short text message on the bottom of their TV screen confirming the purchase, and they’ll also be told to check their e-mail on a PC for a more detailed report of the transaction, Haire explained.

Haire said Verizon also hopes to offer its customers the ability to download high-definition movies and their DVD extras directly from the studios.

If Verizon can guarantee movie studios that its digital rights management system will protect their content, Haire said the telco may be able to allow its customers to download DVDs directly to set-top box hard drives.

One purchase model would be to download the content, and have the movie expire after the subscriber watches it, Haire added.