Verizon FiOS has applied for a patent on a technology that will expand DVR storage capacity by transferring stored digital programming to a network-based storage system.
If the new storage technology is developed as envisioned, FiOS TV subscribers won’t have to delete programs to make space for new recordings. The data gathered on the customer’s viewing history could be utilized to determine which recorded programs should be transferred to the network storage system.
“Those video recordings with the highest probabilities of being watched during the time period may be stored on the digital video recorder and those video recordings with the lowest probabilities of being watched during the time period may be stored at the network storage system,” Verizon states in the filed patent application.
“Monitoring component may monitor the user’s viewing habits (e.g., does the user tend to watch recorded videos at particular times such as during the evenings), how many recorded videos does the user tend to watch during a particular viewing period (e.g., the user tends to watch two recorded videos in the evenings), etc.”
In the escalating DVR arms race, it seems as if Verizon FiOS is playing catch up, since Dish Network’s Hopper offers a 2 TB hard drive—the most in the industry. DirecTV’s recently launched flagship Genie DVR offers 1 TB worth of storage, while other pay TV providers continue to offer more pedestrian storage capacities.
In using a network storage system, there should be no need for a hard drive with maximum storage—so theoretically, a Verizon FiOS TV subscriber could store more programming than even Dish’s vaunted Hopper DVR.
However, Dish and DirecTV’s main advantage over Verizon FiOS is its ready availability. Because FiOS is a true fiber to the premises (FTTP) network, it’s only available in certain areas—which means if you live in the rural areas that Dish or DirecTV normally services, you can’t choose Verizon simply because their networks don’t cover your area.
Still, it’s great that Verizon is looking to innovate in order to stay competitive. As long as their customers are happy and their service continues to attract more subscribers, there’s a good chance for network expansion in more areas. More choices, better technology, and hopefully better prices—that’s the promise every customer wants to see fulfilled.