Verizon prepares to offer gateway device with FiOS

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is prepared to offer a gateway device that lets third party IP-connected devices access and control FiOS TV services--if some other conditions are met before the product is rolled out.

Verizon first talked about the device last December, when it said Motorola Mobility was developing units that would deliver video wirelessly to IP-connected devices such as tablets, smartphones, game consoles and laptops. The company now says it's prepared to launch sometime in 2012 if the FCC pushes back its recommended deadline for an open home networking standard until 2014. Until then, Verizon hasn't set a specific launch date for the device, a report in Multichannel News said.

Whichever way things go, the gateway should "fully meet the Commission's output and home networking requirements and create new choices for consumers in… how and on which devices they access content," Verizon said in an FCC filing covered by the publication.

TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO), too, has sought a delay on FCC open home networking standards which are set to go into effect in December 2012. Both companies agree that standards developments still have not settled, so the FCC should wait until they do.

Verizon's gateway will follow the path blazed by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), neither of which have been fully settled standards-wise. Both are unlikely to meet the December deadline the FCC is brandishing.

"Moreover, even after standards are established, manufacturers will have to implement those standards in their devices, and subsequently deploy those devices in the marketplace--a process that can often take a year or more," Verizon reportedly said.

The FCC wants things to happen a little faster so that consumers can connect the growing number of devices they own to set-top boxes provided by multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and enjoy the so-called "connected home" experience.

Verizon, incidentally, only agrees with TiVo to a point. TiVo believes in a single standard across all platforms; Verizon backs something else, noting that "there is no need for a single standard to ensure TiVo's success in this market--any obstacles to implementing multiple protocols in third-party hardware generally are manageable."

TiVo is backed by the AllVid Alliance and its fellow members Best Buy, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC).

For more:
Multichannel News has this story

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