Verizon FiOS TV feeds Twitter, Facebook generation
Users like to chatter about programs on the big screen as they watch, Verizon says
Computerworld - The modern big-screen, high-definition television is not only taking on the PC for basic Web access. It's now becoming a social networking device serving Twitter and Facebook users -- as they watch TV.
Verizon FiOS TV, which has 3 million subscribers in 16 states, has steadily pushed out new applications over the past year, and most recently the ability for a user to interact with friends on Twitter while also watching a split-screen display with sports, movies or other content such as music and video.
Verizon showed off the capability to reporters at a demonstration center in Waltham, Mass., on Thursday. The carrier is in a race with AT&T's U-Verse TV service, but also a variety of traditional cable TV companies.
FiOS TV's social networking service is an example of how Internet connections, and the content on the Web, is being pushed into new directions. Not only is Verizon supporting the large TV format, but small devices, including the iPhone, that can interact with TVs.
Even though Verizon has not been able to sell the iPhone (which is exclusive in the U.S. to AT&T), it has come up with an Apple App Store application to turn an iPhone into a remote control device for its Verizon FiOS TV service. There is a similar application for the Motorola Droid Android device as well, said Joseph Ambeault, direct of consumer product development for video at Verizon.
Users can tweet using their remote control apps on their smartphones, or by using the universal remote that comes with the FiOS TV service.
So far, Verizon's service is not supporting a keyboard to use with the set-top box that enables the service, but the remote has pre-set "canned" comments that a user can execute when in a Twitter or Facebook session, Ambeault said.
Even with that level of complexity, users like the social networking capability via TV, more than Verizon -- or Twitter -- initially expected, Ambeault noted.
Users like to watch a play in a baseball or football game, then comment with friends, or do the same with a movie or TV show they have in common, Verizon has found. "For some reason, the tweets you see during an awards show are the most outrageous, like, 'Look at what's she is wearing,'" he said.
When Twitter first heard of the concept more than a year ago, it was somewhat apprehensive, but the social networking capability has been popular, Ambeault said. He said there have been 15 million Facebook session on Fios TV in less than a year, and as many as 5 million tweets. "People like the dialog" on a subject or program they have in common with others, he said.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Broadband White Papers | Webcasts