Verizon FiOS set-top boxes getting a new HD guide, external storage and more in Q4

Streaming and downloading TV content to mobiles is nice, but we enjoy watching TV... on the TV, and Verizon had plenty of that to talk about today as well. Due in Q4 along with its FlexView app for mobile VOD access, version 1.9 of its FiOS TV guide software will finally add a 16x9 HDTV-filling guide to those Motorola boxes and it looks like many of our suggestions (and yours, according to Director of Product Management Joe Ambeault) made it in. Beyond a fresh coat of paint (although, with animated transitions, highly customizable viewing and browsing options and 3D-ish elements it's shaping up to be a very nice fresh coat of paint), the real meat is in the enhanced DVR features.

New updates include support for external storage (up to 1TB eSATA per DVR), automatic DVD-style chaptering on recordings, and an undelete button to bring back mistakenly removed recordings. Also freshened is its MoCA-powered multiroom setup that now shows all recordings from any box or external storage all in one list. About the only thing we can find missing from the new software is any sort of support for conflict resolution across DVRs or using all tuners as a pool, but it's otherwise robust, with each box handling up to 4 streams (2 in, 2 out) at once, and 7 connected devices (6 boxes plus one router) per home. Check out a couple more screens after the break, though skipping directly to house shopping in FiOS-connected neighborhoods may make for more efficient use of your time.