Verizon, the company that is rumored to get the iPhone onto their network in the not so distant future, has an app planned that will bring live TV to FiOS subscribing iPad users (FiOS, for those who don’t know (which included me until about an hour ago), is Verizon’s bundled home communications service which includes internet, TV, and phone). The live TV in the app will be a completely separate experience, letting the iPad work as an independent TV rather than an extension of another, a la Slingbox.
While the news is not quite as epic as a confirmed by Apple Verizon phone, the ability to stream live TV is something that iPad owners have been yearning for.
There is a major limitation though, as the service can only be used in your home due to Verizon’s need to authenticate users to send them the correct content. While it is unfortunate for the end user, it wouldn’t make sense for every user of the app to get every premium channel just for having it. The eventual goal is to provide a TV anywhere model, but there are apparently some kinks that need to be worked out.
Verizon is also planning a video on-demand store to be ready in Q4 2010 (which may or may not be before the release of the iPad app) that will let you stream rented and or paid for movies on the fly. Instead of making you store the content on-device though, the service saves the media onto a 70 GB HD in the clouds that is specifically dedicated to you. This capability allows users to watch the videos on whatever device they choose, from one of the TV’s connected to FiOS to a supported mobile device.
Verizon doesn’t have a set date for the apps arrival as they are waiting for all of the content partners to get on board, something that could be very difficult in today’s world where everyone is trying to make money in the App Store, but the “cloud TV” experience could be right around the corner. If you are one of the lucky 2.5 million FiOS TV customers, your TV on the iPad dreams could soon come true.