Verizon (NYSE: VZ) will begin deploying its next-generation FiOS Media Server at the end of the first quarter, Shawn Strickland, VP for video in the company's product group, told FierceCable on Wednesday.
Strickland said Verizon is currently conducting trials of the new home video gateway, which is being built by Arris (Nasdaq: ARRS), in employee homes. "We'll be rolling market by market through the summer," he added.
Verizon had announced at last year's Consumer Electronics Show that it was shooting to deploy the media server, which contains six tuners and 1 terabyte of storage capacity, in 2013.
The launch could help Verizon compete with Cablevision's (NYSE: CVC) network DVR, which can record up to 10 programs simultaneously, and Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) new X1 home video gateways, and a similar product that Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) plans to begin deploying later this year. It could also help Verizon compete with DirecTV's (Nasdaq: DTV) Genie and Dish Network's (Nasdaq: DISH) Hopper DVR.
Strickland said the media server will be able to transmit IP video to multiple devices in subscriber homes. While he didn't detail the devices it will support, they likely include tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs that wouldn't need to be connected to a traditional set-top. In September, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told attendees at a Goldman Sachs conference that the media server would eliminate the need for set-tops.
The first DVR that Verizon introduced in 2006 contained 250 GB of storage capacity. Its current high-end set-top, the Motorola Mobility 7232 HD DVR, contains two tuners and 500 GB of storage capacity.
Verizon's 2013 demo of the Motorola, now Arris, media server. (Source: Verizon / YouTube)
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