Verizon Communications announced this week that its expanded Fios DVR television service is now available in the Baltimore region.

The Quantum TV set top box can record six or 12 programs at once, depending on the customer's service plan, said Harry J. Mitchell, a Verizon spokesman. The box is capable of storing up to 200 hours of HD programming.

The compact Quantum box replaces Fios existing hardware and can serve up to four additional televisions via a compact companion device. The existing interface for various menus and channel guides will remain mostly the same, Mitchell said. Verizon launched the new box in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in April and gradually has been adding more markets.

Customers can get the new box by requesting a service appointment online or by phone, Mitchell said.

In recent years, cable and satellite providers have been upgrading their software and hardware offerings aggressively as new video streaming devices such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire and video game consules such as the PlayStation 4 vie to become the media hub of the living room

Fios competitor Comcast, which is the dominant provider in the region, launched its X1 platform last summer. The new boxes featured an updated interface and increased DVR storage. A single X1 box can record four shows at once and hold about 60 hours of HD programming, according to Comcast's website.

Verizon said the new device was spurred by the results of a recent company survey that found 78 percent of the respondents wanted more DVR storage capacity to record and save more TV programs and movies.

Fios is available in Anne Arundel, Harford, Howard and Baltimore counties. The service is currently not available in Baltimore City.

timswift@baltsun.com