Verizon Fios TV is the latest company to do away with [some*] hardware TV box requirements on a wider variety of devices with Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Instead of requiring a Verizon Fios TV box on every TV with which a user would want said TV functionality, Verizon released apps for Fios TV for Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, and Amazon Fire TV devices [that allows a user to reduce the number of boxes they use to one*]. These are only the latest platforms on which the Verizon Fios TV app is available. Switching from Verizon Fios TV hardware boxes to Fios TV apps on smart TV devices could potentially reduce a Fios TV user’s monthly bill by a substantial amount.
Television services have long profited from rental fees for devices that enable their advanced TV services on individual TV screens. In recent years, television services (like Verizon Fios TV) have opted to enable software apps to deliver their services instead. The user must have a smart TV device to run the app, but said smart TV device generally has a one-time fee, rather than a subscription cost.
Instead of paying a rental fee per-TV, per-device, users will be able to run Fios TV on any number of screens in their home [so long as they have at least one Fios TV One box]. Verizon suggests that all new Fios TV plans “come with the intuitive Fios TV One box with voice remote included at no additional cost,” but with apps on smart TV devices, the user removes the need for any additional hardware whatsoever.
Also important to note, about that “no additional cost” Fios TV One box with voice remote – that’s only free if you’re getting a “Mix & Match Fios TV Package”, and requires that you have a VMS box and a BHR 4 router or later. Verizon also stipulates that you have no more than 2 simultaneous streams running per VMS box.
UPDATE: To be extra clear, here, users DO need at least one Fios TV One box connected to a television in their home. After that TV is connected with said box, the app can function with “two simultaneous streams” at once. Per a Verizon representative, “the new Fios TV plans include the first box at no additional cost,” and if you’d like more than two streams at the same time, “additional boxes are $12/mo. each.”
TV plans such as these allow companies to profit from subscription fees and have, in the recent past, profited in a big way from rental fees for hardware. If you find a way to bypass the rental fee on a piece of hardware that you could potentially just buy for a one-time cost, it’s generally worth said one-time fee to remove the stacking cost of the rental.