Posts Tagged ‘Verizon’

Verizon bringing Internet TV to its set-top boxes

Verizon bringing Internet TV to its set-top boxesAnother major player enters the PC to TV space. Verizon is currently beta testing web video on their set-top boxes, reports Zatz Not Funny.

Unsurprisingly, the content looks like it will be mostly user-generated or that which has been created specifically for the web, and therefore won’t compete directly with the telco’s own video-on-demand offering. Initial “marketing partners” to include Veoh,,, and YouTube.

On the downside, a PC is still required to act as a bridge between Internet content and the TV via Verizon’s DVR set-top box, notes Dave Zatz.

Unlike TiVo which taps directly into YouTube’s H.264 content, Verizon utilizes their Media Manager PC software as an intermediary. Sites are indexed on a regular basis and when a video is selected from the DVR, the PC software automatically transcodes and streams content on the fly.

In addition to pulling in content from supported video aggregation sites, Verizon’s Media Manager software “also facilitates shipping virtually any video podcast to your DVR”. Podcast subscriptions can be added directly to Media Manager in the standard way via the PC’s web browser.

The new features will be offered as part of Verizon’s top tier DVR package, which currently includes PC photo sharing and multi-room DVR playback, and is expected to be offered to customers later this year or early next year.

Verizon, Rhapsody also team up for VCAST Music with Rhapsody service

Verizon RhapsodyNot only did Rhapsody launch a DRM-free MP3 music store — see Steve O’Hear’s coverage today — but it also has engaged with Verizon Wireless to offer a new mobile subscription plan called VCAST Music with Rhapsody.

Verizon notes that, for the cost of a single CD, its wireless users can subscribe to VCAST Music with Rhapsody for $15 a month to gain unlimited access to Rhapsody’s five million songs. These songs will carry digital rights management to protect against copyright infringement and illegal file sharing. Users can authorize three PCs and three mobile phones for use with the service.

However, Verizon subscribers also have the option to purchase music over-the-air for $1.99 a track, which includes a “complimentary” DRM-free master copy that users can download from their PCs via a VCAST Music with Rhapsody software program at a later time. This software is not available for the Mac.

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Mobile OS wars heat up as Verizon joins LiMo Foundation, a Google-Android rival

VerizonHere’s an interesting jab at Google and its mobile operating system Android: Verizon, the No. 2 U.S. carrier, is joining the LiMo Foundation because it has software and phones available, Google does not.

LiMo FoundationThe LiMo Foundation, representing Linux Mobile, is the lesser known of the mobile operating systems. There’s Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, supplying many makers of smart phones; Symbian, supplier mostly to Nokia; Qualcomm, supplier mostly to Verizon; upstart Google, and Apple. Then there’s Linux Mobile, slowly creeping along by adding devices mostly in Europe and Asia.

The LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation is a consortium of companies well vested in the mobile industry: Motorola, Samsung, LG Electronics, Vodaphone, NTT DoCoMo, and many others. Verizon is the first U.S. carrier to join the LiMo initiative, which now has 40 members worldwide.

The idea behind LiMo is to build a standardized, Linux-based mobile platform, which members can customize to meet their needs. For the most part, Linux Mobile is a competitor to Android, which is not yet available on any handsets. Linux Mobile is showing up on phones from Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, and LG.

Kyle Malady, vice president of network for Verizon, said in a conference call today that he expects Verizon to sell both regular devices and smart phones using mobile Linux next year.

“We expect that Linux Mobile will rapidly become our preferred operating system,” Malady said to The Associated Press [via The New York Times] . “As the development community looks at how best to bring new applications to the marketplace, they should check out LiMo and Linux Mobile first.”

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