Here’s one way to solve the “Web video to TV” puzzle: Have your TV service move the video there for you.
Verizon FiOS is in trials with YouTube, blip.tv, Break.com and Veoh to bring Web video into the living room. Blogger Dave Zatz, after meeting with FiOS executives, reports that Verizon is testing a system that uses their Media Manager PC software as an intermediary to deliver Web video to the set-top box.
We’ve heard a different version: that Verizon FiOS is adding Web shows to their IPTV system at their head-end facilities, allowing them to be included in Verizon’s regular on-demand TV offerings. The latter would be more seamless for consumers (no need for Media Manager), but cumbersome for Verizon to implement, since the videos have to be manually loaded.
Either way, it’s a significant new distribution channel for Web video that could make a difference for small advertising-supported Web shows that struggle for viewers. Verizon FiOS is available in 9 million homes, which means it’s probably a bigger distributor than TiVo, which is offering YouTube for subscribers with higher-end HD and Series3 boxes, and certainly bigger than the slow-selling Apple TV.
No word on the financials, which could be interesting: On the one hand, video producers making stuff that runs on the Web aren’t making much right now, so there’s not a lot of leverage. On the other hand, FiOS, which doesn’t have the complete offerings available on conventional cable (those producers do have leverage, and are using it), so they can use whatever decent content they can find.
See Also: YouTube Comes To TiVo
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