Video services

TelcoTV 2010: Verizon Takes a Flex View of the Cloud

LAS VEGAS -- TelcoTV 2010 -- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) took FiOS to the cloud today, announcing Flex View, a service to give consumers remote access to video and other content on demand. (See Verizon Launches 'Flex View'.)

The idea behind the service and the simple name is to kill off the acronyms of video formats, said Joe Ambeault, a Verizon director of product development, in his keynote today. Customers don't want to worry about where or how their content is stored.

"We can really reduce all the insanity to one basic click," Ambeault said. "They don’t have to worry about the formats. All they know is, 'I'm here to bore you with pictures of my child on any device.'"

The free service, available to all FiOS markets by the end of the month, lets subscribers download movies and TV shows to up to five Android or BlackBerry smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Starting next year, users will also get access to personal photos, videos, and music from the cloud.

Why it matters
In the face of over-the-top competition, pay-TV providers are stressing the value of a service that lets consumers take content to any screen, and the cloud is a popular way to do it. The format shouldn't matter and neither should the content's location, Ambeault said during a keynote panel yesterday. "Consumers don't buy protocols; they just want their content," he said.

What they do care about is quality of service, and the biggest thing Flex View is designed to rectify is the poor viewing experiences on mobile phones. The service brings the same high-quality proposition that "gracefully degrades" as you go from 4G to 3G or higher-speed connections to lower ones, Ambeault said.

For more
At TelcoTV at noon today, HR is presenting survey results that include evidence of consumers being willing to pay for this kind of multi-screen capability. (See TelcoTV 2010: Pay TV Shows Multi-Screen Appeal.)

For more on Verizon FiOS's progression from a cable me-too play to an interactive, multimedia service, please check out the following articles:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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