Verizon FIOS Architecture
This article about the Verizon FIOS (FTTX) program in Multichannel News is worth a read.
The FiOS TV platform is a hybrid of a traditional cable broadcast architecture coupled with an advanced Internet-protocol TV system. Verizon uses traditional cable quadrature amplitude modulation technology to deliver analog, digital and HDTV channels, and relies on IPTV technology to deliver video-on-demand programming.
Verizon officials say that using a traditional cable architecture allowed them to come to market faster with a video product than they could have if they pursued a dedicated IPTV platform. SBC Communications Corp. is pursuing a pure IPTV strategy for its video rollout, which has been delayed until 2006.
“We looked deeply at that [IPTV] option. We didn’t feel it was ready. It hadn’t proven to be scalable,” O’Connell says. “There was still a substantial efficiency in using broadcast for linear [programming], and since we had the ability to use the [IPTV] data stream for the interactive piece, we felt in a way we were sitting in the best of both worlds.”
FiOS TV vice president of product management Shawn Strictland says the company will rely on IPTV technology for advanced features, such as allowing FiOS customers to program digital video recorders with their mobile phones, or allowing them to access the V Cast programming service from Verizon Wireless.
“For us, that’s what IPTV is — it’s about that ability to give the customer control over their TV experience from wherever they are and on whatever device their on,” Strictland says.
In Keller, Verizon competes against satellite providers DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp., as well as Charter. The telco’s central office in Keller — which houses thousand of copper wires for its telephone service — also features a display of the HD and standard-definition video feeds for FiOS TV, DirecTV and Charter.
A demonstration of all three video feeds is a regular stop for Verizon officials giving visitors tours of the Keller operation. It’s easy to see why — the FiOS TV feed is distinctly crisper than the Charter and DirecTV feeds on regular and HDTV channels, including local, basic-cable and premium networks.
Verizon officials attribute the clearer video feeds on FiOS TV to its strategy of not compressing HDTV signals, as is the practice for Charter and DirecTV.
[via Broadband Reports]