Verizon officially launches Flex View
Much-hyped multi-screen video download service limited to video-on-demand movies, TV episodes coming
Verizon Communications has formally launched its cloud-based Flex View multi-screen video content sharing service for FiOS TV customers. The offering’s arrival, discussed at the TelcoTV Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this week by Joe Ambeault, director of FiOS TV product development, had been anticipated since Verizon demonstrated Flex View at an event in New York City in late August. The company also reportedly started rolling the feature out to a limited number of devices last month.
The service currently offers about 1,400 movie titles, but no TV shows yet. However, the carrier has a rapid expansion planned to about 2,000 titles by the end of this year, and to at least 6,000 titles, including TV episodes, by sometime next year. The service also eventually will support access to personal media, such as photos and music libraries.
Not to be confused with a streaming service like Netflix, Flex View actually allows subscribers to fully download content from the cloud to be viewed on a wide range of devices, including laptop PCs, tablet PCs, and Android and BlackBerry smartphones. On the tablet PC front, Verizon just started selling the iPad itself, but also has been rumored to be working with Motorola on its own iPad alternative that presumably would support the service. The Flex View rentals can be played anytime within 30 days, but once viewing is initiated, viewers wil continue to have access to it for only an additional 24 to 48 hours.
FiOS customers can authorize Flex View to be used on up to five devices per account (with multiple set-top boxes in the home registered as a single device) at no extra charge beyond normal video-on-demand rental fees. The new service can be found in the FiOS TV VoD guide, via a PC, by downloading Verizon’s Media Manager software, or via a mobile device loaded with the Media Manager Mobile application.
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