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Verizon debuts FiOS TV 'Widgets'

Thu, 06/01/2006 - 8:09am
Brian Santo, CED

Verizon is adding an interactive weather and traffic feature for its TV service, available at no cost to subscribers. Verizon is positioning the service, called FiOS TV Widgets, as a differentiator from cable TV.

Later this year, Verizon will add a multi-room DVR and a feature that lets customers access PC-based photos and music on their TV screens.

FiOS TV Widgets supplies on-demand access to real-time local weather and traffic information. Subscribers use their remote control to display text-based weather and traffic on their TV screens without interrupting the program they are watching.

The first time customers access the service, they use their remote control to pull down a Widgets menu from the FiOS TV interactive programming guide and enter their five-digit ZIP code on the keypad. After setting up the service, customers can access Widgets simply by pressing a button on the remote. To view traffic and weather from across the country, they can return to the menu and enter a different ZIP code.

Verizon is making Widgets available on a market-by-market basis, and deployment will be completed with the north Texas market in the next several weeks. Future Widgets enhancements may include personalized news, sports scores and fantasy-league sports results or community information.

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