Verizon Preps Web Video For FiOS TV

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Verizon is testing a service for FiOS TV that will deliver Internet video from sites including YouTube, Veoh Networks, Blip.tv and Break.com to customers’ television sets.

The telco expects to offer the service to customers later this year or early next year, according to TV industry blogger Dave Zatz, who posted details of the Web-to-TV plans Thursday after meeting with Verizon executives

The service, as currently being tested, would require FiOS TV customers to install Verizon’s Media Manager software on their PCs to act as an intermediary. The software regularly indexes video clips from selected sites and, when a viewer selects a video, automatically transcodes and streams content to the FiOS digital video recorder set-top.

Verizon media relations director Bobbi Henson confirmed that the company is beta testing the service with YouTube, Veoh and others. But she said it is “premature to give any kind of service launch date… since this is still in the testing phase and we’ll make adjustments to the service based on test feedback.”

According to Zatz, Verizon expects to offer the service as part of its top-tier Home Media DVR package, currently $19.99 per month, which provides PC photo-sharing and multiroom DVR playback.

Verizon previously has discussed bringing Internet features to TV.

In a June 3 presentation at Oppenheimer & Co.'s Annual Communication & Technology Conference, Verizon chief information officer Shaygan Kheradpir discussed plans to deliver Internet content through FiOS TV.

“In addition to music and pictures which we have today, we've also added video so you can stream video from your PC or go out to the Internet and get content and bring it to your nice HDTV,” Kheradpir said.

Other devices have trickled out that promise to bring Web-based content to the living room TV. TiVo, for example, has deals with YouTube and other Web publishers to download short clips to subscribers’ DVRs.

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