Verizon Communications is preparing a new live TV streaming app for tablet PCs like the Apple iPad, a move that could ultimately eradicate the need for a home set-top box and set the stage for true “TV everywhere” viewing. At a demonstration at the home of Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir, Verizon executives showed off a slew of new features for its Fios TV service, including the live TV streaming application on an iPad.
The new app allows Fios TV subscribers to stream live TV from their service onto an iPad over a home Wi-Fi connection. Primarily, the service will work only in the home. But Kheradpir said that eventually the service could be offered as part of Verizon’s TV-anywhere strategy, allowing people to access live TV anywhere they are using a username and password to authenticate the service.
“We built Fios TV as a cloud computing product,” Kheradpir said. “The set-top box function is all done in software, and we simply redirect the broadcast TV signal to another screen. And because the set-top function is in software we can implement the functionality in devices.”
Kheradpir said that the iPad is a perfect device for the application because of its elegant design. The large touch screen is big enough for comfortable TV viewing. And the device also turns on and off quickly, unlike many laptops, which take several minutes to boot up and shut down. Eventually the app will be available for other tablet PCs as well as other connected devices, such as laptops and mobile phones.