Brian Whitton, Executive Director of Access Network Design and Integration for Verizon, answered questions via IM and email for a Q&A session with PolicyBlog. It was posted in two parts: part one and part two. Before the Q&A Dave Zatz of ZatzNotFunny.com collected some of the questions, including some on TiVo which I, and others, submitted. The Q&A is interesting in general, but the TiVo questions are most relevant here.
John S. Czwarta… Back to real blogger questions: â€œwill the FiOS service consider licensing the TiVo software for it’s DVR’s? while I can’t get FiOS TV yet in my area, the idea that I will lose TiVo2Go if I drop TiVo and move to Verizon’s DVR is not a thought I like and one that will keep me from using the Verizon DVR.â€Brian H. Whitton… We continually examine the value proposition our services bring to our customers and look for ways to further enhance our product. Our DVR offering received great reviews from our customers, and in 2006 we greatly enhanced our DVR product with the launch of multi-room DVR, allowing customers to record content to one device, and play back to other TV’s in the home equipped with a standard set top box. Regarding TiVO (use with FiOS), a customer who wishes to use the TiVO service can indeed continue to do so and still subscribe to and use FiOS TV
Q. Is there any possibility of Verizon licensing the TiVo software, as Comcast and Cox have done, for FiOS?
A. I am not familiar with any plans to do so, but we continually re-evaluate our product set and seek ways to enhance the quality of our FiOS TV product for our customers.
Q. FiOS currently supports CableCARD systems, such as the TiVo Series3. Should this continue indefinitely? Will Verizon continue to add channels to the standard digital tier that CC devices can access, or will they begin using Switched Digital Video for channels, locking out CC 1.0 devices?
A. That is correct, we do support CableCard so that devices, or hosts as they are often referred to, that are CableCard compliant can view encrypted content. We have no plans to cease support for CableCard. Since our launch of FiOS TV in 3Q’05, we have continued to expand our broadcast channel lineup, inclusive of both SD and HD content. Using the bandwidth enabled by FTTP, our plans are to continue adding broadcast channels this year and CC devices will of course be able to decrypt and view these channels as well.
Verizon views IP TV as the next stage in the evolution of entertainment video. The industry, comprised of equipment manufacturers, service and content providers, are currently evaluating the solution for digital rights managements for video delivery using a unicast and multicast approach and it would be premature to speculate what the impact might be on CabeCard devices.