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Verizon Freshens Up FiOS TV Guide

Verizon Communications has begun to roll out a new version of its FiOS TV interactive Media Guide for set-tops that tack on new features and several enhancements in areas such as search and discovery, personalization and management of the customer’s DVR.

Word of the features overhaul began to spring up on the DSL Reports message board and the ZatzNotFunny blog. Verizon confirmed Tuesday in this blog post that the enhancements to FiOS TV IMG will be rolled out across the FiOS footprint “over the course of a few months,” and are getting underway today (Septebmer 30) in Harrisburg, Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany.

On the search and discovery side, the new IMG, which is accessible through the traditional remote control or the FiOS Mobile App, provides search results and recommendations based on viewing behaviors, ties in Rotten Tomatoes and FiOS TV star ratings of movies and shows, presents cast and crew biographies and filmography.  Some networks, including HBO, are also providing direct links to VOD content via the guide.

For more personalization, the revised guide now offers a My FiOS TV Feature that directs viewers to their favorite content and shows what’s trending on FiOS and Twitter. 

Some of those features, such as tighter integration to Rotten Tomatoes rankings and what’s buzzing on Twitter, are among the kind that Comcast offers on its recently upgraded cloud-based X1 user interface for set-tops and mobile devices.

Verizon has also added new DVR-facing elements that lets viewers sort and filter recordings into groups, reduces duplicate recordings, provides an automated prompt to extend recording time when shows or events are selected for recording, and introduces an improved indicator to show how much time is left in a TV show or movie.

Verizon, which ended the second quarter with 5.41 million FiOS TV subs, recently completed the rollout of FiOS Quantum TV, a platform that is anchored by the Verizon Media Server, an Arris-made device that’s outfitted with six tuners and 1 terabyte of DVR storage.