In an interesting move from the cable giants, Verizon introduced some new upgrades to its FIOS TV service this week that seem to be moves in the right direction. DVICE reports that the new upgrades plan to be deployed this September and that "the most noticeable upgrades in the new FiOS, version 1.7, is that premium channels like HBO and Showtime will now be able to promote specific shows when non-subscribers tune to those channels."
I like the idea of being able to preview a station's content before committing to add it to my bill. I think this should be the case for all cable channels. Cable package options are so passé. Why not offer an a la carte option, where people can preview a channels content and then opt in or out.
I for one, know that I don't want any sports channels, so I would opt out of those from my cable provider. My there are a few food and animal stations I'd like to check out.
The new Verizon upgrade works like this:
If you don't have Showtime, instead of seeing a regular to-subscribe-fork-over-another-$9.99-a-month message when you flip to that channel, you'll see something like the screen above. FiOS already lets you subscribe to individual premium channels via your remote control (as opposed to a phone call), which has led to a huge spike in impulse-buying those channels, company reps said. Now they're taking it a step further with channels promoting shows and offering sample episodes for free. [via Dvice]
Another upgrade is the ability not only to browse media (videos, music and photos) from computers on your home network but you'll also be able to browse media via devices attached to those computers.
While it's not enough for me to fork over for cable, these are steps in the right direction. I'm waiting for a la carte. What are you guys waiting for?