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FiOS TV: We Hear You

by Employee ‎02-01-2010 10:08 AM - edited ‎02-01-2010 10:24 AM

joe.JPG

Our guest blogger today is Joe Ambeault , who is responsible for Verizon's entertainment products. Joe will be providing his perspective on FiOS TV strategy in this and future posts.

 

As FiOS TV progresses through its fifth year in service, it is worthwhile to take a moment and reflect.  It has been an exciting four years of industry-first capabilities for your TVs, picture quality no competitors can dream of touching, an Emmy, multiple J.D. Power awards and many other awards for excellence.  But the most exciting thing from the last four years has been the incredible collaboration with our customers that has led to the product we offer today.  We continue to be amazed and extremely grateful for the time many of our customers have taken to help guide the evolution of FiOS TV.


Here's an update regarding one item you've told us that we need to do to make a great service even better:


Faster, faster, faster.  Whether it's launching new content and features faster or making sure that the features rapidly respond to your remote control clicks... everyone wants to go faster and so do we.


In 2009 we made some enhancements under the hood of FiOS TV.  These platform enhancements are what enabled over 12 new Widgets to be launched nationwide in less than 6 months.  There is no TV service in the market that has delivered that many new features to all their customers in such a short interval. 


This new technology not only makes things go faster, but it's also makes them much "prettier." Just take a look at the News Widget before and after the technology upgrade.

untitled.PNG

 

 The new technology is not only fast and pretty, but it also enables more sophisticated capabilities.   When we entered 2009, the Interactive Media Guide's help application was some simple text and a few videos.  But as we exited 2009, the new technology enabled a robust application called In-Home Agent, which provides selfhealing wizards to get problems fixed without calling customer support.


helptogether.JPG

 

Of course this new flexibility to rapidly develop and deploy even more sophisticated features goes way beyond Widgets and self -service applications.  During 2010 you will see more and more examples of the benefits from this new technology that we have baked into the platform during 2009.  What used to take months is now reduced to several weeks.  The screen shot below gives you just a small taste of what could be enabled without a massive software release using this technology's triple threat of fast, pretty and sophisticated.


VOD.JPG

 

Please keep those ideas coming - we hear you - and your ideas have been, and will continue to be, the core of FiOS TV's roadmap in 2010 and beyond.  If we missed one of your top requests, then let us know.  In the coming weeks and months I'll be back here to update you with more details on our progress with these and other items.  In the meantime you can join me and other customers debating the finer points of entertainment and technology on www.twitter.com/fiostv.     

 

 


 

Comments
by Gold Contributor VII on ‎02-01-2010 12:46 PM

Joe,

 

I try very hard to be positive in all, or at least most, of the posts I make on the Verizon forums and here. I am a 4 1/2 year FiOS internet user, and have had the TV service since Sept. 2005, the first month it was offered. But Joe, you have the focus completely backwards! You need to focus on fixing the existing, god-awful problems you have with FiOS TV first, then add that fluff if you want. Specifically:

 

1) Fix the Guide data. Get rid of FYI, get a company that can provide accurate, timely, and complete information on programs.

 

2) Fix the HDMI handshake problems.  While I have never had HDMI problems, plenty of folks have, and there is just no excuse for this to go on for years.

 

3) Get new DVRs available with more hard drive space and/or support external expansion.

 

4) Provide new remote controls with updated TV, DVD, and Home Theater device codes. The existing remotes won't control many of the newest devices, either provide updated remotes or a way to update existing remotes.

 

5) Add some new HD channels. It seems like forever since you last added any. Roll some out every couple of months, don't wait until you have a bunch to make more available. And get rid of those useless .tv channels! They waste space and contribute absolutely nothing to the TV watching experience.

 

6) Fix the Caller ID on TV problems. I personally do not have any problems, it works just fine for me, but plenty of people have trouble getting it working, or keeping it working. And provide some documentation for it!

 

7) Create a central, easy to find location (website) where Verizon can keep us up-to-date on: known problems, fixes, scheduled updates, outages, etc. For some reason Verizon seems to want to keep everything secret and/or deliver everything all at once; you need to stop that right now!

 

I could go on and on, but at least to me these are the most immediate, important needs. I may be in the minority, but I have FiOS TV to watch TV first and foremost. You need to make that the best experience you can. Then you can add all that other stuff.

 

I hope you will listen, it does not appear that we have been listened to in the past. Thank you.

 

Justin

by robgettier on ‎02-01-2010 03:22 PM

For me it is all about storage space.  None of the other fluff matters.  The HD recording capacity is simply not good enough.  Where DirecTV has 100 hours of HD storage, Verizon has 20.  This just cannot go on much longer like this.  All of the marketing focuses on HD, but yet the DVR can only record 20 hours of it.  So what is the point of the HD content, if you cannot record it?

 

And secondarily, there is currently no where to go to find answers to issues like this.  I agree with the above post that there needs to be a central place where we can find out for example what the plans are for the DVR storage capacity issue.

 

I am already considering going back to DirecTV in order to get a bigger DVR.  That could be halted if I atleast had some viable information on the plan.

by on ‎02-01-2010 04:59 PM

I am amazed, in 2010, I still have to deal with a 160 gig hard drive and no way to expand it!

 

 

by Employee on ‎02-01-2010 05:09 PM

Joe's comment:

 

Really appreciate the thoughtful responses.

 

We are working on multiple priorities from our customers' feedback simultaneously.

 

It is important to note that the plaform changes I described actually enable us to address items on Justin's list more effectively.  This is especially true for item #7 on the list.  With the modifications from last year, we no longer have to wait to deliver everything all at once in a large, complex software release.  Changes and enhancements to FiOS TV can now be delivered more often and faster.

 

Improving guide data is our #1 priority for the product.  And #2 on the list is the DVR.  My upcoming posts will give you an update on these topics and others.

 

Joe

by JeffLac on ‎02-02-2010 01:34 AM

Firstly, I love Verizon FiOS TV. The TV picture is incredible. Congratulations on mastering the most important part of TV delivery: picture quality. Compared to the cable company I switched from, it was a great upgrade. I knew I had to do something, when on the other cable system, the pixelization on "HD" channels were destroying the picture on fast motion. It was actually unwatchable. FiOS TV has never exhibited any quality problems.

 

Now, on to the biggest issue: DVR space. I have lost dozens of programs because there is not enough space. Keeping a show for a potential rewatch is a non-starter, the space is too valuable. Consider that during the TV season, it's not unusual for my DVR to record 1-2 hours a night of "prime time" TV. Add that with the late night shows, and the various cable programs being recorded and halfway through the week, the DVR is maxed out. Remember, *everything* is in HD now, and eats space. Here's how I would like to see the problem solved (any of below):

 

1. Open up the eSATA or USB ports on the DVR to allow an external harddrive

2. Allow NAS storage, or other remote backup

3. Offer a bigger DVR

 

Next issue is channel availability. I know Verizon has contracts with almost all of the sports networks in the country. Why can't I get sports networks not from my area? Verizon has the capacity to offer this, obviously at a significant monthly fee, because most people don't want this. However, for transplants, this would be great. DirecTV offers this, cable companies don't have the capacity, Verizon could break the model.

 

Integrate the FiOS TV + FiOS Internet. Why do I have a router and a set top box? Can't all the equipment be consolidated into one ultimate network device? Building a gateway on the set top should be trivial, and would allow for easier network management.

 

Improve VOD. I know a lot of this is because of the content owners, but if you want me to use VOD more, include more shows, more consistently. I don't have to record a show if I know it's going to appear on VOD after airing, and that it's going to stay there for some time. The other thing with VOD is that the menus are not intuitive. There is a category for HDTV, and then NBC HD under that, and all the shows. But HBO is under "premium subscriptions" then it goes into HBO HD, then the shows. Little inconsistencies like this make me unsure of where I'm supposed to browse to get to the content I want. In general, there are too many categories at the high level. Why not something like: Drama, Comedy, Documentaries, etc. and then let me browse to the specific show? Why even have an HD option? If I have a HD box, show me HD. If I have an SD box, downconvert automatically.

 

Another cool feature could be "remote backup". One of the worst parts of a set top box breaking is that you lose all of your saved video. The second worst part is that when you get the new one, it doesn't know what to record. Verizon should be able to keep a list of shows that I have set to record, and automatically reprogram the new box, based on what the old one had. I know that restoring the actual content would probably result in some issues with the content holders, but my settings should be able to be restored. Again, no one offers this.

by on ‎02-02-2010 08:59 AM

Joe,

 

You may not be ready to comment on this yet, and that is fine.  But if you can, could you clarify whether we will see this interface on the existing QIP7216 boxes, or will it be a feature of another upcoming STB/DVR product?

by on ‎02-02-2010 10:17 AM

Joe,

 

Thanks for the communication!  It has been said by many that as a communications compnay, VZ needed a lesson of it's own kind, But let's try to keep this up down the road, and not make it a rare occurance! 

 

I quickly would like to say that I have seen a big improvment in the guide data.  I also am very pleased with the development of the widescreen guide. I just hope it is rendered in true 16x9 HD.

 

But with all that said, I hqve to say that you have not heard us when it comes to the biggest issue with Fios. This issue is still unaddressed after years, and if not finnaly resolved soon and correctly, could force me and many other customers to switch carriers. I'm talking about the DVR storage issue. 

 

As a previous poster had said, how in 2010 on --and I quote...."a network built for HD,"  can there only be 160GB in the DVR?  I'm frustrated with the lack of space and I'm single, let alone a family that shares a mulit-room DVR! It must be a constant battle!  It truly is the shortcoming of Fios. I understand not everyone needs 1TB while some families sharing via a multi-room DVR  could use over 1TB. So what I am trying to get at is VZ will only satisfy ALL customers when the eSATA and/or the USB ports are functional!  This is crucial to the overall experience and enjyment of ALL customers.  It would be foolish for VZ to only upgrade the internat hard drive while not enabling the ports.  It must be done and done relativly quickly. 

 

Thanks for reading the long post. 

 

-JW

by robgettier on ‎02-02-2010 01:56 PM

I will expand on my previous comment about DVR storage space with an example of lost business.  I already mentioned that I am a potential lost customer if I go back to DirecTV because of the DVR storage.  Mind you, I was a very happy DirecTV customer.  I only terminated service because I moved and did not feel like going through the installation nightmare.  FiOS was already in the house I moved into and thus it was an easy decision.

 

My brother is a voice and internet FiOS customer.  However, he remains with DirecTV for video.  Wanna guess the reason?  He cannot live with a 20hr HD DVR.  So he will not switch.  Nothing else matters.  Not the potential triple bundle savings.  Not the improved picture quality.  Not the improved reliablilty (no dish issues).  Not real VOD (DirecTV has it, but it is weak). 

 

So here are two examples.  You have a happy customer that may go back to DirecTV for one and only one reason.  And you have a potential customer that is staying with DirecTV for the same reason.  And to be quite honest, the only reason I have not switch back is because my wife does not want to deal with the install etc.

 

Fix the DVR storage issue.  It should be #1 priority and the plans NEED TO BE COMMUNICATED now.  We should not have to troll the forums for nuggets of possible information about a new Cisco box that will have a 320gb hard drive and externals allowed.

 

Rob

by alangenh on ‎02-02-2010 06:51 PM

 

I have to agree with everyone here about DVR space. When people considering switching to FIOS ask me how the service is, I tell them that I'm generally satisfied except that there's only room to store about 10 things on the DVR if they are in HD, which everything is. 

 

I also complain about this to anyone who asks if I've seen this or that, when I haven't because it wouldn't fit on my DVR, or was deleted by my DVR because it was out of space.

 

by richgreeenberg on ‎02-02-2010 07:31 PM

I too must agree with the DVR space issue. When, in God's name can we expect some hard drive expansion options.

by on ‎02-03-2010 10:53 AM

A relative of mine would switch from DirecTV if FiOS offered...

 

1. A Larger capacity Hard Drive.  It is nearly impossible to record more than 4 or 5 programs in HD.

 

2. http://tycsports.com/global/programacion.php   DirecTV has TYC Sports.  FiOS would have to have TYC Sports.

 

 

Will FiOS get theses 2 items anytime soon?

 

 

by Employee on ‎02-03-2010 02:36 PM

Joe's comment:

 

I appreciate all the comments and will have more to say about the DVR in an upcoming blog post.

 

Joe

by on ‎02-04-2010 12:47 PM

Hey Joe,

 

I have to agree with Justin on guide info and storage space, both are unacceptable. Also the updating on the VOD is horrible! I have been with verizon for 2 years and never have I seen consistant update times. You talk to CSR and they tell you its up to the networks on when things update. Thats not true. Before switching to Fios I had comcast for 10 years and never did it talk more than 24 hours for the VOD to update and half the time the show was availalbe within 2 hours. Why do we have to wait so long with the Fios VOD? It is unacceptable that we have to wait anywhere from 2-7 days f or VOD content from national networks to update!

by Kent on ‎02-06-2010 07:35 PM
As a new FiOS user, I'll add my two cents. In addition to greater storage capacity, the DVR feature I'd most like to see is a wishlist -- the ability to tape movies and programs that don't appear on the guide because they're not airing during the next two weeks. And the problem I'd most like to see fixed -- one that affects people using at least two different STBs, judging by conversations on the forum -- is the apparently random inability to play certain taped events. (A program appears to have recorded correctly, but when you try to play it, you just get kicked back to live TV.) It's like Russian roulette: you don't know when something you've taped will be impossible to access. So far I haven't seen any indication that folks at Verizon are even aware of this problem, much less that they plan to solve it in a future firmware release.
by bfaria on ‎02-08-2010 01:37 PM

Verizon advertises that TV shows become available On Demand the day after they premiere. This is not true! It takes 7-10 days for multiple networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Lifetime, etc.). My friends with Time Warner and Comcast get their shows the next day. Why can't we? We're not getting what we're paying for.

 

And yes, I've had my top box reset by tech support.

 

See more here: http://forums.verizon.com/t5/FiOS-TV-Programming/Delayed-Programming-on-Demand/m-p/156939#M4718

by Rebalol on ‎02-08-2010 08:45 PM

I am 1000% in agreement with everyone else here. I am a former Dircttv customer and I was getting a verizon bundle discount.  However I saw FIOS ads over and over and over about how advanced the tv service is, etc. so when I was solicited to change I did.

 

I have been complaining since I was installed -- the guide is horrible! And the latest changes, IMO, didn't fix what is wrong.  You need a new provider.  FYI gives the most non descriptive descriptions, wrong descriptions, no descriptions, etc I have ever seen and I've had cable or satellite since 1982!

 

The second is the DVR storage space. What good is all this great HD if I can't record it.  I record all my shows in SD so I'll have more space and I still have to play around/look for different later episodes on cable, etc to be able to record what I want to.  Because of this, I'm paying extra for HD boxes that I can't use to their full capacity because their capacity is so limited!

 

And speaking of looking for shows to record, your system of search is labor intensive.  I can find a show in the guide and look for future episodes or I can look through the dvr create recording or I can look to menu/search and each one brings up a different result.  Then, when I spell out my request the list doesn't drill down, it keeps looking for more and more listings that contain the letters I'm keying in so I have to look down an entire list and just hope what I'm looking for appears. 

 

Also, the HD DVR box (7216) turns itself off a lot. In the beginning, it seemed constant and I called  to complain over and over and over! They finally sent me a new box, which was the wrong one and I had to send it back. By that time, my box was not turning itself off as much but it still does turn itself off, as it did today. I was looking up a future show in search, went to set up a recording in about 11 days and the box shut itself off!  I was recording something on one channel so I lost the middle and I lost my buffer on the other channel, too.  Unacceptable. And no, I didn't call because I don't want to sit on hold forever and have them do a hard reset so I have to restore all my settings!

 

You wrote about widgets and all these other improvements. Widgets are an extra. They are the topping on top of the ice cream at dessert but if you can't get the main entree right, what does it matter? 

 

I continue to receive Directv offers to change back and I will soon if we can't get answers.  I've been hearing about this new box and the fixes for 6 months and you are still not giving more specifics. I can promise something, too, to someone and say I'll take care of  it soon but when soon never comes and I don't deliver, my word means nothing.  Does Verizon's?

by Gold Contributor VII on ‎02-11-2010 02:07 PM

Joe,

 

I feel compelled to repeat my last point in my original message here:

 

7) Create a central, easy to find location (website) where Verizon can keep us up-to-date on: known problems, fixes, scheduled updates, outages, etc. For some reason Verizon seems to want to keep everything secret and/or deliver everything all at once; you need to stop that right now!

 

Two recent events:

 

- Per the blog today, MSNBC HD is now on. Fine, but no message on my TV about it (I found it only because I read the blog). How would I know if I didn't read the blog?

 

- Apparently Verizon tried out 1.7.1 of the IMG a few days ago and had problems, had to revert back. Were the folks affected warned? Or even given an explanation afterwards? It doesn't appear so, see the complaints posted on the Verizon forums and other places that their STBs no longer worked, wanting to know what happened.

 

Honestly, for a communications company, Verizon is doing an absolutely awful job of keeping its customers informed. The At Home Blog is good, but realistically how many of your customers even know about it, much less view it? You have a website, but it is incredibly convoluted, so many places with no links to the other places, search just sucks, but boy, you can inundate us with paper ads to sign up for FiOS, even though you won't give those of us who already have the service even a $1 incentive to stay.

 

Please, give us ONE central location to go to on the web to know what is going on (at the Verizon forums might be a good place!) - outages, new service, known STB bugs, planned fix schedules, etc, etc, etc. Don't leave us in the dark!!!!

 

Thank you for listening....Justin

by derekjetergirly on ‎02-11-2010 04:09 PM

I am disappointed that I left Comcast based on the promises made by Verizon only to find that the On Demand tv shows are not available next day as promised.  They are not even there 48 hours after original run. Comcast had them there the next morning, very early.   You should stop advertising that this service is available, though it isn't.  I have been told that the problem lies with the provider, yet every single tv show that I have checked is not there next day.  So what you are saying is that every single channel fails to send you the tv show? I find that a bit hard to believe.  Had I realized this along with other issues before my 15 day trial was up, I would have backed out.  Even though it is a great savings to me, the false promises are very disappointing.

 

Please step up and correct this issue and stop shifting blame.

by Gold Contributor VII on ‎02-12-2010 02:46 PM

@ Justin:

 

I suspect I know why the do not have one location to know what is going on.

 

#1 They are to big, and they really do not care.

 

#2 AND OR they are greedy.

 

For example: Always blaming the customer, so that they can get more money...

 

--

If what I say/suspect is correct, that is really sad.

 

^^

by Gold Contributor VII on ‎02-12-2010 04:04 PM

From my post here on 2/11: "Per the blog today, MSNBC HD is now on. Fine, but no message on my TV about it (I found it only because I read the blog). How would I know if I didn't read the blog?"

 

Well, today, 2/12, a messages did appear telling me MSNBC HD is now available. Good, a small step in the right direction, but a day after the channel shows up? Why not a day or two before the channel appears? And why in the world does Verizon not use the message light on the STB to tell us there is a message? The message light is there to be used isn't it?

 

 

by Employee on ‎02-16-2010 04:57 PM

derekjetergirly:

We are working with our content partners to improve the availability of VOD content and expect full resolution within the next few weeks.  We apologize and agree that it does not matter to you who is at fault - you buy FiOS TV from Verizon and do not want to hear how we make the sausage.

Joe
by Employee on ‎02-16-2010 05:00 PM
dslr595148
We care what you think and want.  Can you please hit our twitter site (www.twitter.com/fiostv) or here with some example links from other companies that would satisfy what you are looking for...?  Let's continue this dialogue by looking at what you would consider best practice in this realm.  Once I can digest... then we'll figure out what, if anything, I can do to help with this request.   
 
Joe
by Employee on ‎02-16-2010 05:01 PM
Justin:
 
Our standard practice is to provide a message the morning something new is made available.  The last several years have shown that timing to be the most effective moment for the largest portion of our customers.  In some cases we wait until the next day before promoting something for operational reasons.
 
In 2006 we introduced Message Center to communicate changes / additions to FiOS TV through the Interactive Media Guide.  When a message was delivered to the set top boxes Message Center also turned on the message light on the set top boxes.  Many customers called to report a problem as a result of that light.  After several weeks of increased calls, we decided to disable the light and all the calls ceased when we sent messages to the set top boxes. 
Joe
by Gold Contributor VII on ‎02-16-2010 06:09 PM

Joe,

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Re: Providing the message the morning something new is made available. What percentage of your TV users see those messages the first day? The second? The first week? The first month? Do you know (I hope you do)? I for sure don't. Now I am serious here! To see the message I have to hit the Menu button, which I most certainly do not do on a regular basis. For me, maybe once every two or three days, maybe once a week. Am I abnormal? Don't answer that :-)  Plus I almost never use the full Guide, I have a Favorites list set up and use that almost exclusively, so if you add a channel I will never know about it unless/until you send a message and I happen to hit the Menu button, and happen to notice the new message indicator, and happen to decide to go see what the message is. How about automatically adding any new channels to all existing Favorites lists automatically so that people will see them even if they use Favorites pretty much exclusively? It is easy to remove a channel from a Favorites list (but I bet most people don't know that, how to do it is not very well documented)

 

Re: Message Light. I had heard a rumor about that happening when you turned on the message light. Interestingly, I have had FiOS TV since Sept. 2005, the first month it was available, and I don't remember EVER seeing that light on. But maybe during the brief period you used it there weren't any messages in my area (Texas) - hard to believe, but maybe. Anyway, the possible solution(s) to the problem of the calls is(are) simple - provide some simple text explanation whenever the light is turned on, display a one-time pop-up any time the Menu or Guide button is hit, or include some simple text in the Menu (lower right corner is pretty much always empty), kill some trees and send out a one-time explanation, include a paragraph in the material that comes with the STB, there are lots of ways to minimize the calls. And even if people call in, while they are waiting to talk to somebody, have a brief spiel that tells the caller about the message light. And if all else fails and they actually talk to someone, it is a 30-second solution, and those people most likely will not call in again for that issue. I'm sorry, the excuse for not using the light just does not work for me: document the light, turn it on, handle the calls, and move on.

 

Joe, I appreciate the opportunity to have a dialog. I am a long term, very satisfied FiOS TV user (well, except for my bundle price, it keeps going up and up.....), but there some areas that really could stand some improvement. I wish there was a way to communicate more closely with the development side of Verizon and FiOS in particular- I have participated in a couple of trials and spend some time at the Verizon facility in Las Colinas critiquing a proposed web design change, and maybe I had a little bit of positive impact, but overall I really feel like Verizon is going to do it their way, what that is, and listening to customers is just a necessary evil. I hope I am wrong......

 

Justin

by Rebalol on ‎02-17-2010 07:42 AM

Gee, Joe, you are reinforcing to me just how much you don't value my business or me as a customer.  I take my time and come back here to read updates to your post and what my fellow viewers have to say and see that you didn't even acknowledge my comments  You appreciate hearing form other people and have more comments for them but i'm ignored.  What does that tell me?

by Employee on ‎02-17-2010 11:47 AM

Rebalol,

 

Joe's not ignoring you.  He definitely saw your comment, and we thought he was going to get in touch with you.  We'll make sure he knows that you're still waiting for a response.

 

Editors

by Moderator on ‎02-25-2010 06:57 PM
Moved to FiOS Internet for better exposure.
by Gold Contributor VII on ‎02-26-2010 08:50 PM

Joe,

 

Back on 2/1/2010 you posted that you would have some additional comments on a couple of the issues raised and others. Since it has now been 25 days I thought I would open it back up again to see if you still plan to give us some more information, and if so, when. I think there are a lot of FiOS customers very interested in what you have to say.

 

Thanks, Justin

by face1234 on ‎03-09-2010 01:23 PM

Hey Rebalol,

 

I guess Joe was ignoring you!

 

Maybe they're too busy releasing more useless widgets, and bad firmware updates.  Oh well....come on Cisco DVR!!!

by Gold Contributor VII on ‎03-16-2010 05:59 PM

Joe,

 

On Feb 1, 2010, you posted this article. In one of your responses to user comments you promised to get back to us with more information on two topics:

 

1) Guide data

 

2) DVR plans

 

It is now March 16, 2010. Surely you have formulated plans by now for these subjects; when can we expect to hear something? You even tweeted about eSATA on the DVR so you are not keeping everything totally secret, I think you owe us a response.

 

Now a new issue. I just found out today, via posts here in the Verizon forums and at DSLReports, that Verizon plans to drop a number of channels from the Extreme HD package if it was contracted for before Jan. 10, 2010. I in good faith renewed my Extreme HD package at a higher price in Oct. 2009, and I guess I am affected. While I have no interest in many of the channels I presumably will lose, there are several that I do care about. Why is Verizon following this path? I understand channels might disappear if the broadcaster discontinues the channel, but to remove channels from a tier that I agreed to sign up for for 12 months is just not playing fair. Now if you announced at the same time that you were adding x channels to replace the ones being dropped I would not be as disappointed in Verizon, but you didn't. You are reducing my value but not my price; not illegal I guess, but certainly not right, especially if you want to keep your existing customers.

 

For those not yet familiar with this action, here is a link to the web page with this announcement:

 

www.verizon.com/extremechannelswww.verizon.com/extremechannels

 

Joe, I am a long-term FiOS user, been a very happy user, but this kind of action is just not acceptable! I have taken the position in the past that I would never return to my previous cable supplier Charter Cable, and I remain committed to that position. But I am seriously going to evaluate DirecTV or Dish when my FiOS commitment expires this Oct.

 

I am really, really disappointed what is happening, and not happening, with FiOS.

 

Please give us a response.

 

Justin

by AndrewF on ‎03-17-2010 11:23 AM

I can't agree more with Justin's post as it pertains to DVR capacity.  The new Cisco DVR was rumored to be launced in Q1 2010.  We are less than 2 weeks away from the end of Q1 and there has been no announcement.

 

Meanwhile, DirecTV has once again partnered with TiVo and will be shortly going to market with their new DVRs.  TiVo themselves came out with a new generation of DVR.  Why hasn't FiOS kept up?  To make matters worse, even doubling the current capacity of the FiOS DVRs will not be enough to keep up with the Jones'.

 

All we want, as customers, is to be informed and not misled.  Communication is easy, even if the news isn't good.  Let's hear some news... any news.

 

Andrew

by richgreeenberg on ‎03-23-2010 08:05 PM

Hey Joe...give us some news! We spend all of this time communicating with you and hear nothing for such a long time. Not good.

by Employee on ‎03-24-2010 05:18 PM

Joe Ambeault is responding to Justin and others who have asked about guide data, DVR plans and changes to the channel lineup:

 

Hello, Everyone,

 

About Guide Data

My apologies for the delay in providing this update, but we are in a non-disclosure period.  This silent period is part of our technology sourcing process and its non-disclosure agreements (i.e. we cannot talk about it publicly until the contracts are  signed).  Once that clears, then I can provide the information that was promised. 

About DVR plans

I feel we have a good dialogue going on Twitter with this topic.  I was taking advantage of the give and take on Twitter to make sure we were pointed in the right direction - think "focus group" or survey.  And that to the greatest extent possible in a highly competitive market we have provided visibility into our thinking and approach during those dialogues. 

 

The design is finished.  We are working to qualify solutions that meet all of our customers' requirements, including those that are less technically savvy.  A solution is more than a drive hanging off the DVR.  As an example, some drives have been easier to install than others.  I appreciate your patience as we work to make sure everyone has a good experience adding more storage to their DVR. 

 

But to set your expectations we will not have details to share publicly until the capability is ready to ship.  I don't want to promise something that fails in testing (e.g. a candidate eSATA drive fails multi-week endurance testing). 

 

About Changes to the Channel Lineup

We've posted about the changes to the channel lineup here:

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/FiOS-TV-Programming/Changes-to-Verizon-s-Channel-Lineup/td-p/175954

 

Joe

 
by scnd1016 on ‎03-25-2010 07:36 PM

I have been a long time Verizon customer and have had Fios since its been available in NJ which has been 3 or years but these past few months I have to say have been a bad experience particuarly with VOD.  Let me say I love Fios, I jumped right on board when it first was made available, and also have 2 accounts and have reffered many family members.  But VOD these past 5+ months has been awful.  Updates are eradic.  For example for some of the networks, the shows will be available in SD but not available in the HD folder.  Who wants to watch SD when you can watch it in HD especially with Fios.  For weeks the NBC folders were not being updated, now its also happening with the ABC folders.  I have contacted Mr. Ambeault multiple times through his twitter account explaining the problems I was having with VOD.  One time I got a response.  Everytime after that  I was simply ignored.  Not only his account but also the Verizon support twitter account told me to submit a message through the customer support site - which I did and left my email address and never heard a response.   I also posted a message on Mr. Ambeault account asking why Verizon did not offer all available HD VOD - which is a fact that sadly Verizon does not offer all the free HD VOD thats available and featured on other systems.  He replied essentially that its not Verizon but the content providers, and updated will occur as content becomes available - to which I replied that content is available and named mulitple networks that are available that Verizon does not carry even though they do carry the HD channel. Granted you offer all the premiums in HD which is great and why I subscribe to Verizon among other reasons. I even posted on his page that I would like to submit to Verizon many ways to improve the service - as I said I do love the service and want it to be better.  Again no response.  I have posted on the Verizon.com Forums about troubles with VOD.  Again no response from Verizon but responses from other Verizon subscribers.  I have posted on the Broadbad reports direct forums and again No response.   What I am saying in this blog is that as a subscriber to Verizon I do not like that when I have actual problems with a service that I am paying for - no one from that service is willing to address the problems or even acknowledge that problems do exist and a solution is being worked on.  To me it is offensive to be ignored by a company that I am supporting.  I like your service, I fill out the questionaires everytime they email me, but what I do not like is feeling that the Verizon corporation does not care about its customers.  Why should I subscribe and pay my hard earned money to a company that has no appreciation for its supporters?  I think your service is great, but I have not been satisfied with Verizon's customer relations lately.

 

To offer some suggestions.

Fix VOD - update issues

Increase Free HD VOD including - AMC MTV History TLC IFC MGM

Add all available HD channels that are not

Increase functionality of remote dvr - ability to protect single recordings, schedule manual recordings, increase buffers on current or future recordings.

Enable DVR expansion through Esata or USB

Enable scheduling and deleting through all boxes connected to MRDVR

Ability to customize widget bar and ability to display widget Bazaar directly on screen through single button on remote

16x9 guide

Improve guide data

Improve information available on VOD titles - for example how long available until, cast, and ability to read all information on screen in full screen the same way when using the guide.

Improve viewing function of guide - ability to view hour by hour for one channel, ability to scroll through 1 1/2, 3hrs at a time instead of having to go through each half hour.

Improved function of Caller ID -  Call log, ability to view messages and hear them through TV, ability to quiet or ignore call through TV.

 

Fios today is much improved then it was at the begining and hopefully with upgrades and additions it will continue to improve and be better then the competition.

by PhiTauBill on ‎03-26-2010 07:56 AM

Bobbi and Joe,

 

This is probably best answered in the PolicyBlog, but I can't seem to get any traction on a response, so I'll ask it again here.  We've had radio silence from Eric Rabe since August of 2009 on the issue of the Cabelvision program access complaint (http://policyblog.verizon.com/BlogPost/642/VerizonAsksFCCtoRuleonMSGHDChannels.aspx).  Any update you can provide as to Verizon's course of action now that the order was issued by the FCC on 1/20, and upheld in Federal Court on 3/12?  As stated in the news release accompanying the order, "The Order does not decide [existing] complaints but describes how they can be handled going forward. It provides that complainants may continue to pursue their complaints as filed. If, instead, a complainant wants a currently pending complaint to be considered under the new rules, it may submit a supplemental filing alleging that the defendant has engaged in an unfair act after the effective date of the rules."

Will Verizon be submitting a new complaint or continuing to pursue the complaint filed July 7, 2009.  Inquiring minds want to know... we want MSG in HD just in time for the Knicks and Rangers to not be participating in the playoffs...

 

Thanks!

by Employee on ‎03-30-2010 02:54 PM

PhiTauBill,

 

We've posted about this today (March 30, 2010) at the Verizon at Home blog. 

 

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/Verizon-at-Home/Verizon-Asks-the-FCC-to-Rule-on-Program-Access-Complain...

by TheWizard on ‎04-01-2010 02:28 AM

Based on Bobbi Henson's post of 3/25/10 where the statement about expanding the drive space on an HD DVR having the design finished, I am at least a little excited.

 

"The design is finished.  We are working to qualify solutions that meet all of our customers' requirements, including those that are less technically savvy.  A solution is more than a drive hanging off the DVR.  As an example, some drives have been easier to install than others.  I appreciate your patience as we work to make sure everyone has a good experience adding more storage to their DVR"

 

I am currently a Dish Network customer and just inquired about upgrading to HD service (we got a new HD tv for Christmas).  Their Newest HD DVR not only stores up to 35 hours of HD it supports adding up to a 1TB USB 2.0 external drive.

 

Fios became available in our neighborood last week.  All things being equal, it is the recording space issue that will make my decision for me.  I am willing to wait a while for FIOS to make additional storage available.  But what ever decision is made it will be a 2 year commitment. 

 

After all this conversation, wouldn't it have been easier to require Motorola to increase the size of the hard drive in the DVR?  The current retail price of a 1TB SATA drive is around $100.00.

 

by gwd on ‎04-03-2010 09:21 AM

I have FiOS TV Service in the Philadelphia area.  Overall, the service is great, but I am routinely having problems viewing the Non-HD Comcast SportsNet Channel.  However, when this channel is not viewable,  I am still able to view the HD equivalent Comcast SportsNet channel without a problem, and all other FiOS TV channels (HD and Non-HD) are fine.  I have this problem on every set top box (5) in my house.  I walked through the typical diagnostics with Customer Support, and we had a technician out this week, and they could not find any problems.  Is anyone aware of any problems  with the Comcast SportsNet transmission?  Any other suggestions?  Thanks.

by sister2 on ‎05-19-2010 07:14 AM

When oh when are we going to get TCM HD????

by seshrum on ‎05-21-2010 04:59 PM

Completely agree with everyone here who says that they care much more about hard drive capacity than about widgets and other nonsense. I just got FIOS in my home (replaced DirecTV), and can't believe how little storage space there is on the hard drive. To shout from the rooftops about all of the amazing HD programming available, but then to only give people the ability to store no more than 20 hours of the programming, is ridiculous. If I had been smart enough to look into this more before switching, I'd still be a DirecTV customer right now.

 

I generally like FIOS overall so far, but this hard drive issue needs to be fixed. Why not let your customers add storage space on their own?? Please focus on this more than adding another way for me to tweet about a show while watching it.

by DillyDally on ‎05-26-2010 10:57 AM

I have had FIOS TV now for almost a year.  Because of my work schedule, I do a lot of recording.  Needless to say, the lack of storage capacity is a definite downer.  Unless Verizon fixes this lingering issue, I will definitely go back to Directv as soon as my contract ends.  

by Durrell on ‎07-19-2010 02:46 AM

I have had Fios internet service for about 4 years now since it originally became available. I have had Directv with 5 DVR in my home for 10years now. Each DVR had at least a 500gb hard drive installed, with one having a 1tb drive. Recently due to an air conditioning failure all of my boxes died due to overheating. So instead of replacing those boxes I decided to switch to Fios TV (just last week) because of its many ads concerning the number of HD channels that they have available. Just image my shock after installation that the DVR can only record 20 hours of HD content.

 

It is amazing that a company of Verizon's size would simply ignore the outcries of so many users, the hard drive storage space on these DVR's is prehistoric. How can someone truly enjoy the benefit of having a DVR when it only has a 160gb hard drive when HD content requires approximately 3gb of storage for a one hour program. Guess this means we cannot record the Olympics in the future.

 

Come on Verizon get on the band wagon we don't need the widget add-ons the immediate need is larger storage and not a 360gb hard drive, the hard drive needs to be increased to at least a 1tb drive or give the customers a way to change out the hard drive and replace it with a large one.

 

Another change that would help most users would be to change from IR remotes to RF remotes. There appears to be many different factors that affect the use of the IR remote successfully.

Also, the Program Guide data is very inaccurate and needs to be corrected to provide more descriptive information.

 

The series manager program could learn a few lessons from Tivo or SageTV on how to track and avoid the recording of the same show multiple times.  Currently when you set a program to record new or repeats shows but never duplicates, it still records the same program multiple times (duplicates), thus using up the very valuable/precious storage space.

 

Bottom line - Fios has great picture quality, but I still may have to return to Directv for increased storage space.

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About The Authors

Bob Elek

Manager - Media Relations

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with FiOS since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

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Alberto is in the public relations group. He loves to share tech, sustainability, feel-good, and random news of interest. A happy FiOS quad play customer, he likes to use his family as guinea pigs.

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Caroline manages the Verizon FiOS Google+ page, capturing the latest in entertainment, technology, sports and everything in between. She loves using social media and the written word to extend the FiOS conversation.

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