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.