Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Verizon Adds Facebook, Twitter and Internet Video Widgets to FiOS TV

Verizon has enhanced its FiOS TV service with two new social TV services -- the Widget Bazaar applications store and Internet Video on TV.

Verizon has worked with Facebook Connect, Twitter, ESPN, Veoh, blip.tv, and Dailymotion to create a converged Internet-to-television experience that lets FiOS TV subscribers connect with others while watching TV, plus search and view a variety of online, personal PC-based videos on their television screens.

Verizon also plans an open development platform to permit developers to write interactive FiOS TV applications that will be available through the Widget Bazaar.

The new services combine television's larger-than-life entertainment experiences with the

The new Widget Bazaar applications marketplace, located within FiOS TV's Interactive Media Guide, is launching with free Facebook, Twitter and ESPN Fantasy Football Widgets.

Through the Twitter Widget, FiOS TV subscribers can follow Tweets related specifically to the program, movie or sporting event they are watching, bringing a new level of community and interactivity to watching TV. They also can select from a list of top topics to view Tweets associated with today's hottest topics and trends, search for specific Tweets, and create and save a favorite-topics list.

FiOS TV subscribers with Facebook accounts can log in to Facebook through the FiOS TV Widget to update their Facebook status with messages about what they're watching, view their own photos, and view their friends' photos and status updates.

The ESPN Fantasy Football Widget provides instant on-screen access to personalized ESPN Fantasy Football points and football statistics, including rosters, box scores, scoring leaders and player information. All the information is available, at no additional charge, for FiOS TV customers who are registered ESPN Fantasy Football players.

In the coming months, Verizon plans to add to the FiOS TV Widget Bazaar dozens of additional free and transactional applications developed by the company and others.

Later this month, customers who subscribe to the Home Media DVR service will have access a new Internet Video feature that will allow them to search and view on FiOS TV user generated online videos from video-sharing sites blip.tv, Dailymotion and Veoh. In addition, a new My Videos feature will let these subscribers view via FiOS TV personal videos stored on their PCs. Both new features will be available free of charge to FiOS Home Media DVR customers and require no additional equipment.

The new Internet Video feature will allow customers to search content on the blip.tv, Dailymotion and Veoh sites individually, or on all sites at once, using either key words or by selecting "most watched," "top rated" and "recent searches" categories; view thumbnail screen grabs of videos that appear in search results, and bookmark favorite videos - among other features.

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