Say Goodbye to Your Set-Top Box with Verizon Home Media Server
One of the largest wireless network operators in America, Verizon, is coming up with a home media server product that removes the need for your set-top box. According to the company’s spokesperson, Verizon has plans to get rid of the set-top boxes that are being used for its pay-TV service, FiOS. Instead, a common interface would be created for streaming media all internet-enabled devices, using wi-fi connectivity. This means no more huddling in the living room or fighting for the remote to watch your favorite program. But more than that, the main advantage of this system is reduction in energy costs, according to Verizon.
How it works
Verizon’s new media server product would be using wi-fi connectivity to stream media to your main television set, and other devices including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles. With the potential to stream HD video, and may be even 3D in future, the home media server product is designed to connect multiple devices without the need for a bulky set-top box.
The company had released a promotional video for its upcoming product, where it explains that the current set-top boxes being used by its customers are “out-dated”, and had to be upgraded multiple number of times in the recent past. In addition to that, bigger set-tops also consume more electricity. The video also includes smaller and lighter set-top boxes, which consume 30% less electricity. These smaller boxes, however, are for the additional television sets in the house, as the main television set would be connected to a slightly larger media server.
With the help of this server, you can stream HD quality videos to your iPhones, tablets, Playstations, Xboxes and other wi-fi enabled gadgets in the house. Verizon is also testing the possibility of using its home media server technology for streaming 3D HDTV using wi-fi. As of now, the company has been successful in transmitting the 3D HD FiOS signals for over 200 feet, past a wall, without disrupting the quality of video.
The transition from the cable TV to wi-fi enabled media streaming for multiple devices in your house can take a few years time. In the meanwhile, Verizon plans to launch its media server sometime towards the end of year 2012, although the exact launch date has not been revealed. Also, the company has made no statements about the pricing of the product.
What this means for home users
Verizon media server product is designed to connect all your wi-fi enabled devices using a single home media server, which would replace your old-fashioned set-top box. This means that you would be able to watch televised programs on your laptop, PC, tablet and smartphone, from anywhere in your house. Added to that, this product is energy efficient, which means your electricity bill would go down. However, this media server product is only for those using Verizon FiOS TV, which is a bundled service for television, internet and telephone access through fiber-optic networks. While the product definitely seems to be promising, how much it is going to cost the users is yet to be known.
Stay tuned to Home System Integration for more details as they become available!