Since Verizon launched its Home Media DVR service (whole-home/multi-room DVR) I’ve wondered why the feature hasn’t been highlighted more prominently. Cable, teleco and satellite operators have few attractive options for differentiating their video services. The choices come down to:
- Price, which is not an attractive option at all;
- Content, which requires difficult negotiating for exclusive rights;
- Video quality, which can require costly network upgrades and/or compromises on video quantity;
- New video applications
Logic seems to dictate that offering new video applications is the easiest way to stand out. Verizon’s had Home Media DVR for two years now, and apparently it’s ready to test new marketing strategies to turn the differentiator to its advantage. As of today, Verizon is offering new FiOS TV subscribers a free HD DVR set-top for a year to use with Home Media DVR service. That’s a free, shiny Motorola set-top that will let you access DVR recordings and features anywhere in the home.
Of course, some cynical folks might point out that the freebie offer is the result of a not-so-stellar Q2 for FiOS TV and telecom in general. But whether it is or it isn’t, the marketing move is a smart one. It highlights a true differentiator, and ultimately, multi-room DVR service is likely to increase the overall number of set-tops per home. That’s a payoff that all TV service providers should be considering.