Verizon may launch its TV service based on a set-top box in at least one market within this year.

A Variety report cites multiple sources with information regarding Verizon's plans and suggests that the TV service will be set-top based and will include some technology that the company acquired from Intel about two years ago.

Variety also reports that Verizon has already filed documents with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for getting approval for a "video set-top box." The document filed with the FCC also mentions OnCue, which is an Internet TV service developed by Intel. Reports suggest that the set-top box being developed by Verizon is dubbed "Mallard."

If rumors are to be believed, then the Verizon set-top box will offer pay-TV services with a fresh interface and it will not look like the company's existing Fios TV service. The new TV service is also expected to offer online video services to customers. Former OnCue members are said to be working on the project for many months.

Currently, Verizon relies mainly on traditional QAM technology, which is how digital cable signals are encoded and transmitted by providers. However, with the new set-top box, Verizon may transmit cable programming with the help of Internet-based technology, which is similar to the way Netflix works. Verizon may benefit a lot from the switch as it may reduce cost and free bandwidth for the network, which can be used to offer faster Internet services to consumers.

Some experts suggest that Verizon's move in the Internet-based home service model is in line with the company's mobile video efforts. Verizon has been trying to shift resources and address the way younger audiences watch video that is mainly at no cost via apps such as YouTube, Snapchat and more. The company also released a free app called Go90 in 2015, which is full of traditional cable content as well as original series.

Market observers also suggest that Verizon's TV service based on set-top box could be the company's ambition of building a big ad network for competing with Facebook and Google. A fresh internet-based TV service may provide Verizon with a novel place to serve ads to customers.

However, these are just speculations and Verizon is yet to confirm any details about the new TV service. 

Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr

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