Sunday, August 13, 2006

Verizon Adds Multi-room DVR to FiOS TV

Verizon introduced a new Home Media DVR featuring multi-room capability that enables up to three simultaneous viewings of programs recorded by the device without requiring customers to set up a complex home network or buy extra equipment. The recorder is bundled with Media Manager, a new feature that lets customers access photos and music from their personal computer and play them on their entertainment center.

In the multi-room DVR configuration, Verizon's DVR set-top box (the Motorola QIP6416) functions as the media hub, which records and streams the video, and its standard-definition set-top boxes (the Motorola QIP2500) are the remote terminals. To watch recorded programs on the media hub and up to two remote terminals simultaneously, customers just pull down the menu, click "recorded TV" to find and select their program, and then press "play." The media hub also functions as a dual-tuner DVR on which viewers can watch one program while recording another.

Home Media DVR is $19.95 per month, only $7 more than the monthly fee for the FiOS TV DVR. Customers also need a $3.95-per-month standard-definition set-top box for each TV that will receive recorded video from the media hub.

Future releases of Home Media DVR will increase the number of set-top boxes that can simultaneously access recorded programs, provide playback of protected content, and permit playback of home videos stored on the PC.