Verizon offers Caller ID on TV, iTV features to subs

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 7:25am
Mike Robuck

Verizon has launched its newest feature for FiOS TV and voice customers – Caller ID on TV – and subscribers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Texas are the first to experience it, at no additional charge.

Customers will see incoming Caller ID information displayed for several seconds in the corner of their TV screen. They can then decide if they want to pause the program they are watching and answer the call, or if they want to continue watching TV and let the call go to voicemail.

Verizon plans to introduce the service – which requires customers to have both FiOS TV and FiOS voice services – in other FiOS markets in the future. Some customers must also subscribe to FiOS Internet to qualify.

Verizon also said today that it’s offering interactive TV features and navigational shortcuts to subscribers of its FiOS TV service in New Jersey, Delaware and Philadelphia.

Verizon competes with Comcast in Philadelphia, and last month it launched its video service in a few areas there.

The new, free upgrades to FiOS TV's interactive media guide (IMG) include personalizing video-on-demand, increasing the power of the remote control for Showtime and ESPN programming, adding gaming widgets and simplifying navigational shortcuts.

The new features, which launched yesterday, have been available in New York, Massachusetts and several other states. Verizon said the features would be expanded to other FiOS TV markets over the next few months.

Among the new FiOS TV IMG features are:

  • Recommendations For You: Subscribers can sign up to see personalized VOD recommendations that are based on movies they have viewed and ordered in the past from the FiOS TV VOD library.
  • More Like This: Subscribers can click on a "More Like This" button when previewing a VOD title and see additional, similar titles based on actors and genres.
  • On-Screen Premium Programming Purchasing – ESPN: Using the FiOS TV remote, subscribers can purchase a weekly pass or full subscription to ESPN pay-per-view events.
  • Quick Guide TV Options: A shortcut that allows, among other items, subscribers to set global parental controls or block specific channels, and it gives subs recommendations for similar shows to one that has previously been selected.
  • Quick Guide DVR Options: DVR shortcut providing subscribers with the following options: "play program from the beginning," "select delete," "save until I delete," "initiate parental controls," "select closed captions" and "help."
  • Full-Screen Program Information: Provides customers a full-screen view of in-depth program descriptions.
  • Reversi Widget: A one- or two-player game displayed on the TV.
More Broadband Direct 12/10/09:
•  Cox's D3 service goes live in Vegas, southern Nevada
•  Cox Business launches Online Backup service
•  Insight adds former Comcast execs in Ky.
•  Verizon offers Caller ID on TV, iTV features to subs
•  Spec for gigabit wireless LAN wrapped
•  FairPoint delays filing Ch. 11 reorg plan
•  Ciena swings to loss in '09
•  Panasonic to buy 50.2% stake in Sanyo for $4.6B
•  Broadband Briefs for 12/10/09



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