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Creating TV Apps for the Big Screen

by Employee ‎09-09-2009 12:06 PM - edited ‎09-09-2009 02:25 PM


usethis send tweet.JPGA recent New York Times story leads off with a suggestion that as Verizon moves forward with breakthrough innovations in TV service with its Widgets Bazaar, we are suffering from “iPhone envy.”

Not so much.  Of course, like most everyone, we recognize that opening the FiOS TV Widget platform to other developers besides just us will mean more applications sooner.  But this is a concept pioneered in the days of VisiCalc, not the iPhone.  We see the FiOS TV consumer experience as much different from the smart phone experience.

FiOS on-screen TV apps target the 40-inch screen the whole family watches together, not a personal 3-inch handheld or 15-inch desktop screen.  Our Widgets are created with the idea that they work best on the bigger screen – like Facebook photo sharing or Twitter postings related to a TV show.  Future Widgets might provide information about what’s being viewed like sports stats or product information. 

The Times article made the point that Verizon does have a technological advantage over other TV service providers.  Our set-top boxes connect directly to both the Internet and our TV streams.  Most other STBs don’t have IP capability.  We can write and push innovative software to them over our network.  That lets the FiOS Interactive Media Guide provide new features and functions like advanced search, better graphics and, of course, Widgets.

Finally, as we develop our business plan for which Widgets to make available and under what terms, we are going to use simple common sense.  The Widgets will be useful, family-friendly and offer some value to the viewer, whether it’s something as simple as a ballplayer’s batting average or something more complex, like GPS tracking of the kids on their way home from school.

Envy? No. Wrong deadly sin.  Pride?  Yes, guilty as charged.

by on ‎09-17-2009 11:01 AM

I applaud all of the exciting new features that you tout in this blog, and look forward to seeing them in action on my TV.  Every day there seems to be something new.  Bravo!


That said, you need to be careful about making claims that brag about, in particular, your Interactive Media Guide.  The IMG is a far-from-mature product with many problems that need to be addressed.  SImilarly, the basic DVR functionality of your STBs needs to be corrected first, before investing a lot of time, effort and hot air in new features for which nobody is clamoring.

by Platinum Contributor I on ‎09-18-2009 02:04 PM

+1 to CapnTrips comments. PLEASE



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About The Authors

Bob Elek

Manager - Media Relations

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with Fios since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

Alberto Canal

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Alberto is in the public relations group. He loves to share tech, sustainability, feel-good, and random news of interest. A happy Fios quad play customer, he likes to use his family as guinea pigs.

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Deidre is a member of the consumer PR team and loves to talk everything Fios and everything football. She’s also a happy Triple Play customer.

Phil Santoro

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Phil has been extolling the virtues of Fios ever since he had his Triple Play installed and can’t image how he ever managed without it. He writes about developing technologies that enable him to fuel his addiction to movies and sports whenever he wants, no matter where he is.

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Caroline manages the Verizon Fios Google+ page, capturing the latest in entertainment, technology, sports and everything in between. She loves using social media and the written word to extend the Fios conversation.

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