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Verizon FiOS TV Takes a ‘Quantum’ Leap

As it did with broadband in mid-2012, Verizon Communications is now looking to take its video service to the “Quantum” level with two new packages that feature a souped-up multi-room media server, including one set-up that will allow customers to record up to 12 shows at once.

The telco’s new FiOS Quantum TV-Premium and FiOS Quantum TV-Enhanced Service tiers both center on an Arris-made Verizon Media Server (VMS) outfitted with six tuners and 1 terabyte of DVR storage – enough for about 100 hours of HD video – that can be paired up with client devices that hang off a MoCA-based home network. All of those devices will be capable of supporting trick-play functions (pause, rewind, fast-forward, etc.)

The Premium set-up ties together the functions of two VMSs, giving customers access to 12-tuners – enough to record 12 shows at once – and 2 TB/200 HD hours of DVR storage. Verizon’s previous generation HD-DVR offered 50 hours of HD storage and live TV control of one TV set (versus control of 10 TVs with the new Premium set-up).  

From a simultaneous recording standpoint, Verizon’s new Premium-level package will edge ahead of Cablevision Systems’ network-based Multi-Room DVR product, which can handle 10 recordings at the same time. For those keeping score elsewhere, Dish Network’s Hopper HD-DVR with the Super Joey can record up to eight shows at once,  while DirecTV’s Genie whole-home DVR and Comcast’s X1 platform each can currently record up to five shows at the same time.

Customers who take one of the new Quantum TV packages will be subject to a one-time upgrade fee of $24.99, a Verizon spokesman said. The Enhanced-level tier is an additional $22 per month, while Premium runs $32 per month. Those monthly lease fee will vary based on the number of TVs supported in the subscriber’s home.

Verizon, which ended 2013 with 5.3 million FiOS video subs, is initially offering FiOS Quantum TV in the Dallas area and Harrisburg, Pa., with plans to extend it to all other FiOS TV markets over the next three months.

Here’s a video clip Verizon is using to promote the new Quantum-level TV tiers.