Verizon FiOS TV upgrading to version 1.7 next month

Today at Verizon's New York City headquarters the company showed off some upgrades to FiOS TV that are coming in September. One of the most noticeable upgrades in the new FiOS, version 1.7, is that premium channels like HBO and Showtime will now be able to promote specific shows when non-subscribers tune to those channels.

So if you don't have Showtime, instead of seeing a regular to-subscribe-fork-over-another-$9.99-a-month message when you flip to that channel, you'll see something like the screen above. FiOS already lets you subscribe to individual premium channels via your remote control (as opposed to a phone call), which has led to a huge spike in impulse-buying those channels, company reps said. Now they're taking it a step further with channels promoting shows and offering sample episodes for free.

Also coming up with version 1.7 is bidirectional side-loading of devices. What the frak is that? Verizon FiOS already lets you browse media (videos, music and photos) from computers on your home network; now you'll be able to browse media on devices attached to those computers via USB — portable media players, cameras, phones or whatever. There's no software to install, no delay; just plug them in and they'll show up in your FiOS Media Manager menu. Nice.

Lastly, look for major enhancements to FiOS's app store, the Widget Bazaar, next month as well.

While we're on the topic, anyone else disappointed with how slowly FiOS TV is spreading to new areas? And are you few lucky subscribers looking forward to these upgrades?