Verizon Magic Wire – Fiber Optics For Everyone!

I don’t usually get excited about wire, but I have to make an exception.

Verizon has an awesome new product called Magic Wire that’s about to make your home entertainment system better than ever before but, more importantly (and more noticeably), less ugly and obnoxious than ever before. Everybody who’s ever had a cable television installation knows that the cable used is ugly, is fat, is evil and goes all over the place. It looks like this, and is the mortal enemy of every interior decorator:

Coaxial Cable

Magic Wire is about to change that disgusting mess of a cable television hookup you have and make you wonder how you ever put up with that eyesore. Here’s a picture of me holding it while talking about it on Good Day Wake Up:

Magic Wire for Verizon FiOS

It’s so thin you almost can’t see it. Don’t believe me? The team over at Verizon sent me display models of traditional coax cable around a molding, as well as Magic Wire around a molding. Can’t see the Magic Wire? Me neither.

Magic Wire for Verizon FiOS

Can you see the Magic Wire?

Magic Wire gets laid around your molding (or wherever you’re running your cable), and it’s so low-profile that you won’t be able to see it, even if you’re looking for it. I’m stunned by how capable this piece of wire is, and how much it means aesthetically.

A Quick Overview

So what, exactly, IS Magic Wire? It’s a clear, clean, almost invisible fiber optic cable that can deliver the speed and power you’ve come to expect from FiOS. It’s currently right now only in use in the tri-state area, but may expand to other parts of the country in the future. It was conceived by Verizon, who reached out to Samsung to help bring it to life and help make the product.

Magic Wire is also laying the groundwork for the future of FiOS. The service’s next generation of set top boxes will also have Wi-Fi, which means even less cables will be needed in the house. Verizon says that once these boxes start making their way into homes, the only cables needed in the entire house will be a piece of Magic Wire to the FiOS hub and a coax cable to the first set top box. That’s it. No matter what other connectivity needs you have in your home, those are the only cables you’ll ever need. That’s awesome.

Benefits Beyond Its Look

Magic Wire is thin, but there are other benefits, too. The cable will stay exactly where you want it to. Verizon technicians slightly heat up the Magic Wire, and lay it where it needs to go. The wire has a self-adhesive that helps attach itself to the nooks and crannies to the point where you can’t see it at all.

Magic Wire can also find its way into more places than a traditional coax cable could. Want to run cable along a concrete wall, like in a basement? Stapling a coax cable into concrete isn’t an option, so you’re forced to come up with some other workaround. Magic Wire can be run anywhere you want it to go, and not ruin your room’s aesthetic. And because it doesn’t need to be stapled to stay in place, it eliminates marks left from staple guns.

But the very best part about it? It’s even more capable than the traditional coaxial cable that we’ve been using all these years. It has more capacity by an order of magnitude than the good old-fashioned wires we have in our house.

Eventually, there will come a day when our homes will be entirely wireless. The speed’s already there for 4G data, but it’s cost-prohibitive. 4G networks can deliver fantastic television, but it would cost a ton of money to watch TV all day over one of those networks. So until we’re able to go completely wireless, why settle for what we’ve always had? Magic Wire is faster and more aesthetically-pleasing. The only thing better than the Connected Home is a visually appealing Connected Home.

Author:

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, Shelly Palmer Digital Living Daily, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards).

  • WheresmyFIOS

    This would be great, only problem is that Verizon hasn’t even finished it’s obligations to the communities simply waiting for ANY FIOS. What makes you so sure we will ever see THIS in our lifetime?

  • condaggitt

    I’m in Long island city and cant get Fios, so I had to get Clear for $50 a month it works speeds 5-6 mbs….decent…..not for HD…but ok…

  • Erin

    Can you please explain — if Magic Wire is more capable than traditional coaxial cable, then why is Coax required from FiOS hub to the first set top box?

  • Robert M. Enger

    Most obviously, the use of black jacket coax cable exacerbates the comparison. Most operators use white-jacket coax indoors, which goes some way to improve the aesthetics.

    The main goal of Magic Wire is to reduce the cost of deployment. The looks they are most concerned about is the look of the bottom-line (VZ now has a huge debt to pay down after buying-out Vodaphone’s interest in VZW). They are squeezing every part of their company to pay for their wireless network.

    Unless VZ is deploying set top boxes with high-power multi-stream 802.11ac, they’re going to have a hard-time driving high-bandwidth to remote set top boxes over a wifi link. And that problem will be exacerbated in a high-density environment, such as an apartment complex.

    Limited as it is, Bluray uses codecs twice as efficient as what VZ and cable-tv companies presently use, and it requires 20Mbps sustained (peaks to 40+) to provide a moderately high fidelity HD image. Even with HEVC codec, a 4K stream will require double that data rate to maintain equivalent fidelity. NHK is pushing for 8K/p60. Double the BW a couple more times.

    On top of that, the world is changing. Viewers are moving away from time-coordinated (linear) viewing, and instead using on-demand (VoD, Netflix, youtube, etc). That means bandwidth cannot be shared, it must be dedicated on a per display basis. No 4G system can provide adequate bandwidth to support unicast viewing in 4k or 8k in a high density area.

    Even LTE-advanced only has ~1Gbps aggregate capacity from a tower. If you’re using that up 10Mbps at a time, you only get 100 viewers being serviced by the million-dollar-plus 4G tower. And if you start looking at 4k/p48 or 8k/p60, you only get 5 to 10 viewers from the tower. 4G is NOT the answer for lean-back entertainment. FIBER OPTICS IS THE ONLY SOLUTION. (in an MDU, you can put switches in the common-area closets and run cat-6 GigE or even 10GigE for a low-cost, all-IP solution; but in detached dwellings, Fiber To The Home is the only credible long-term future.

    Verizon’s vision and commitment to the future of America left with Mr. Seidenberg. I miss him.