FiOS unveils IMG updates in NYC (1 Viewer)

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SatelliteGuys Family
May 21, 2007
Long Island, New York
As reported 9/22/08 in Newsday, the Long Island newspaper now owned by FiOS arch-rival Cablevision:
Verizon unveils FiOS TV features

September 22, 2008

With a view overlooking the East River and family photos on display, Verizon Communications officials recently unveiled upcoming FiOS TV features in an unusual venue: their chief information officer's home.

Interactive features of the fiber-optic service will be upgraded this fall on Long Island and in New York City and other markets.

To show how they will work, Shaygan Kheradpir, who is also executive vice president of Verizon Communications, hosted an evening "cocktail reception and technology/service demonstration" for media last week followed by an open house for his neighbors in his Manhattan apartment.

"We're on a 38th-floor building of New York," said Verizon spokesman Eric Rabe. "It's actually here."

As a server passed a tray of mini tostadas, Verizon officials showed several reporters where the fibers came into the apartment and thumbed through menus for two high-definition TVs set up in Kheradpir's living room.

Ruchir Rodrigues, the company's vice president for product design and development, said FiOS was expanding its use of widgets, or programs instantly accessible from a screen toolbar. In addition to widgets available for local weather and traffic reports, new ones will provide news headlines and horoscopes.

Rodrigues also demonstrated a widget that is being tested for the social networking site Facebook. He scrolled through several of Kheradpir's friends on Facebook, opening a photo album for one of them with a click.

Verizon is opening the new platform up to third-party developers, representatives said.

New entertainment options will be available on FiOS, including several free games such as Sudoku, Solitaire, chess and Wordplay that a subscriber can play using the remote control. Also, subscribers can display personalized fantasy sports statistics on the TV screen.

All the new features that are part of the coming upgrade will automatically be included for FiOS customers at no extra cost.

Rodrigues also showed how to change settings on a DVR through Kheradpir's cell phone, an application that will be available in the future.

Verizon began rolling out FiOS on Long Island in 2005, competing with Cablevision, which recently bought Newsday.

It started selling FiOS TV service in New York City at the end of July, with plans to cover the city's 3 million households by 2014.

The service was available initially in 340,000 city homes - including, of course, Kheradpir's.

Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.
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