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Verizon FiOS to Clip Off YouTube

Telco will shut off Internet vid service May 1, as it preps new direct-streaming device for later in 2013

Verizon is notifying FiOS TV subs that as of May 1, YouTube will be stripped from the service for existing customers — although telco says it will stream popular Internet vid service directly to new set-tops later in 2013.

FiOS TV added YouTube “widget” to interactive menu in spring 2010. YouTube has been the most popular interactive TV widget on the FiOS service, according to Verizon’s website.

A Verizon rep declined to explain why telco is shutting down the YouTube widget.

To access YouTube vids under current setup, subs needed to install Verizon Media Manager software on a PC to stream them to the TV. Later this year, telco plans to introduce Verizon Media Server, a device that allows direct broadband video streaming from YouTube to set-top boxes, company spokeswoman said. She added that “the majority of connected TVs and so many connected devices within the average home today also provide access to YouTube.”

Verizon offers a subset of YouTube’s most-viewed clips, not every video available on it.

Overall, majority of YouTube clips are watched on computers, with 25% of global views (about 1 billion daily) from mobile devices, according to Google.

YouTube is available on the three major game consoles — Microsoft Xbox, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii/Wii U — plus connected TVs and other living-room devices, including the Apple TV set-top, TiVo DVRs and Boxee.

According to Google, the interfaces to integrate YouTube into devices, apps and websites are available to anyone for no fee.

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