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Verizon IPTV Ambitions May Go Beyond Go90

Mari Silbey
4/14/2016
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Passing through the electronic halls of the FCC is a new IPTV set-top.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) filed documents on the box this week (Hat tip, Dave Zatz) and revealed a few technical details. The box is all-IP (no QAM support, which FiOS uses for linear TV), and it includes both 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth. The label below also suggests MoCA support.

Today, Go90 is the centerpiece of Verizon's consumer IP video portfolio. However, it's possible with a new IP set-top that Verizon may have further IPTV plans beyond the existing Go90 app, something the company has hinted at before. (See Verizon Plans Mobile TV Service in 2015 and Why Did Verizon Buy OnCue?)

One industry source says that the box is meant to be a replacement client set-top for the Verizon Media Server product, which powers the FiOS Quantum TV service. Verizon did not respond to a request for comment.


For more on TV technology trends, check out our dedicated video services content channel here on Light Reading.


Interestingly, the new IPTV box is surfacing in the same week that Verizon announced it's expanding into a new FiOS market. The surprise news that Verizon plans to introduce fiber-to-the-home broadband service and pursue a TV franchise agreement in Boston counters a years-long trend of the telco moving away from further FiOS investment. (See Verizon Throws Surprise FiOS Party for Boston.)

New competition in both broadband and video services may have Verizon rethinking its strategy.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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brooks7
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brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/16/2016 | 5:43:14 PM
Re: IPTV makes sense-no?
wanlord,

Yes and no.  It is still limited and the more long tail content you put out there the less you have for HD/4K/8K streams.  Verizon started moving low volume content (Long Tail/PPV and the like) to IP a long time ago (almost 10 years).

seven

 
wanlord
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wanlord,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/16/2016 | 2:33:50 PM
Re: IPTV makes sense-no?
I am going to assume without having any data, that broadcasting a thousand channels over QAM in a different wavelength over FIOS is more effecient than streaming individual channels to subscribers from the SHE/VHO & Central Office, even more when factoring in HD. Multiple that by a few million users watching the same channel. 

Maybe the tune times are faster than setting up an IP stream, since the broadcast is already being seen by your STB, just need to decrypt.

 

 
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/16/2016 | 2:19:34 PM
Re: IPTV makes sense-no?
I'm very interested in IPTV. I don't have Verizon broadbant service, so here's hoping Comcast develops a competing product. 

Price point is going to be important here. I'd be interested in paying a subscription for the channels I want. I do expect providers to come up with an IPTV service offering like that in the near future. 
steve q
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steve q,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/15/2016 | 2:37:34 PM
Re: IPTV makes sense-no?
Why will Verizon be looking for a newer way to provide a stb to their customer when the vms can already do the same thing. It looks like Verizon does not have an idea on what their next move is with the open doorway for Boston they can try newer way to provide those customers a better service. But what about those that do have FiOS and are looking for the same product, is Verizon looking to push the FiOS service into their wireless 5g network and maintain the network over the 5g. That is a big jump for a company that has lots of customer still on the copper network and when those that have to move off the copper to a different carrier due to not able to provide voice link with Verizon wireless due to the single lost how will they handle those issue.
wkm001
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wkm001,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/15/2016 | 10:35:11 AM
Hard Drive
Is 2 amps enough to power a hard drive? If I have to watch commercials I have no interest in streaming.
Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/14/2016 | 3:32:38 PM
Need to get a bigger box
Consumers will need to buy bigger houses to accommodate all the set-top boxes. 
brooks7
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brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/14/2016 | 12:58:31 PM
Re: IPTV makes sense-no?
Dang it Carol, I can not correct you when you are right.  STOP IT!

But there has been IP Video as part of FiOS for some time.  It is integrated over MOCA and the consumer is unaware.  It is done that way for essentially spectrum management.  

I think the notion of getting lots of PPV/VOD/Long Tail content off the 3rd wavelength makes sense.  Eliminating the 3rd wavelength altogether makes a lot of sense as well.  The Triplexers are a LOT more expensive than Diplexers (it is a manufacturing yield issue).  By going with Diplexers, it might make the faster PON options more palatable.  You have to think that it is going to be a LONG time for 10Gig PON options to have $100 ONTs.  Especially if they have to support 3 wavelengths.

seven

 
msilbey
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msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
4/14/2016 | 12:42:34 PM
Re: IPTV makes sense-no?
Verizon does their on-demand content over IP, but they do linear TV over QAM. And yes, it certainly does make sense to move to IP, but Verizon has virtually abandoned the FiOS platform in favor of focusing on wireless and the Go90 app. 

As for supporting other OTT content, some small and independent pay-TV operators are doing this today, but the big guys don't want to open the door to their OTT competitors. On a related note, the pay-TV guys are in theory moving forward with turning their own services into apps that can be viewed on boxes like the Roku, AppleTV, etc. So in theory you should be able to navigate all of your content (pay-TV and OTT) from one of those devices. Unfortunately, what the industry says it's doing and what it actually follows through on are two very different things. 

Much more to come on the app debate soon. The NCTA hosted a press demo event yesterday to show how pay-TV providers are delivering apps today. However, those apps are only available from a few providers in select markets with select content available.  The picture they paint and the reality that exists are not well aligned.
cnwedit
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cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/14/2016 | 12:25:44 PM
IPTV makes sense-no?
Dusting off my memory banks, I seem to remember that Verizon did the video feed the way it did initially because of the maturity level of IPTV at that time - someone will correct me on that, I'm sure. I know there was a specific reason. 

But with the world moving to IP, doesn't it make sense for them to move to IPTV? What am I missing here? And could this box support the browsing of OTT and direct paid content at the same time, so we aren't all flipping back and forth between the set-top box and our Roku/AppleTV/Google Chromecast devices?
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