Verizon Testing ‘Advanced TV Features’ for Fios

Verizon confirmed that it is testing “new advanced TV features” for Fios with a select group of employees and customers.

Citing an offer from Verizon to a small set of customers, DSL Reports said this week that the service provider was beta-testing an IPTV service, and offering those subs a free year of voice, broadband and TV service for joining the trial.

"You’re invited to be part of a select group of consumers to participate in a trial of some of our newest in-home entertainment features," Verizon told those customers in an e-mail, according to DSL Reports.  "This is a unique opportunity to test-drive these exciting new TV features in advance of general availability to the public."

Verizon isn’t detailing the precise nature of the TV trials, but in March Light Reading reported that the company was showing off a next-gen, IP-powered version of Fios TV at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain. Verizon reportedly is looking for the new IP-only platform to succeed its current hybrid QAM/IP system and also enable a new, more personalized  user experience for set-tops and mobile devices.

Light Reading  also reported then that the new platform leans on a revised gateway/client architecture.

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Verizon confirmed that trials are underway, but is not discussing any product details yet, with an official adding that “there is no guarantee that the products, services, features, equipment, or content from the trial will become available.”

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Though the features being tested are tied to Verizon’s primary Fios TV service, company chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam told an investors conference last month that Verizon also plans to kick the tires on a new over-the-top video offering.

“The platform will be in place to do an over-the-top sort of play…and we’ll go out and test it,” McAdam said then, noting that its acquisition of AOL and its pending one for certain assets of Yahoo will fit into the OTT initiative. “But we have not committed to a launch date or anything. We’re going to see how this evolves.”