By Rich Nesin, General Manager and Resident Philosopher, HomePNA
Did you see the blog from Verizon about opening their FIOS TV platform to independent developers? Well, we’re excited! Why? As we’ve mentioned before, Verizon uses cable TV technology for its television service (unlike most North American telcos including our favorite son AT&T that offer IPTV based TV service). Like the other telcos, however, Verizon does use IP over a home network for other services like Video on Demand (VoD) and of course Internet access.
So what’s the big news? Verizon is “opening up our widgets platform to outside developers so that FiOS TV customers can benefit from their creative ideas”. A widget is a portable chunk of code that runs on its own – a little application that provides a function that can be added to one or more different software platforms – platforms like browsers and now … FiOS TV. Today Verizon provides weather and traffic information on FiOS using widgets but they recently demonstrated a couple more – ones that add Twitter and Facebook onto the TV screen in ways that enhance their value.
Sound like the ever evolving browser on your PC? It should. With home networking and IP integrated into the set-top box, television viewing can evolve quickly as well further blurring the differences. By offering a Software Development Kit (SDK) to third party developers, Verizon is opening up the FiOS platform to a lot of creative software development minds.