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FiOS TV: First Impressions of a New Customer

Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎12-15-2008

FiOS TV: First Impressions of a New Customer

Message 1 of 5

I’ve been a DirecTV customer for about 10 years. D* has been my primary provider except for 2 years when Dish Network was. I had switched to E* because D* had something like 12 HD channels while E* had the VOOM Network channels. I dropped E* like a hot potato when they dropped VOOM, and D* took the lead in HD content.


I’ve had DVRs for the past 10 years. I have a 55” Hitachi plasma HDTV, as well as HD DVD and Blu-ray players. So basically, I’m a well-educated consumer with lots of grounds for comparison.


I just had FiOS installed over the weekend. I switched for 3 reasons: to save money, get more HD content, and to get better HD quality. Here’s how I think that FiOS TV measures up to D* and E*:


HD Quality: D* and E* both have very good HD quality, E* probably a little better than D*. FiOS is better than both though; it simply has the best HDTV picture that I have seen – the colors are more vivid and the picture sharper. It is very near Blu-ray quality. It’s beautiful, really.


HD Content: I’m a big fan of premium movie channels; yes, good old fashioned linear movie channels. I use NetFlix too but sometimes I just want to channel surf. As I write this I’m watching “Shooter” with Mark Wahlberg. I never would have rented this movie, or watched it on demand, but it’s pretty good.

Including East and West Coast feeds, FiOS has 42 HD premium movie channels compared to 15 on D*, and for just $30/month. There’s no comparison really.


Pricing: Bundling my phone, Internet and TV with FiOS will save me $90/month for the first 3 months and $50/month for 9 months after that, for a total savings of approximately $720. Plus my Internet speed went from 3 mbps with DSL to 20 mbps with FiOS.


DVR: The best DVR that I’ve had was an UltimateTV DirecTV receiver that I bought 10 years ago – that box rocked, it had PIP, a great guide, and it was very responsive.


When I upgraded to HD I got the original DirecTivo – {please keep your posts courteous}  No PIP, a super-slow guide, no video or audio when viewing the guide or menus, etc. This crappy D* HD DVR was part of my motivation for switching to E*.


Dish Network’s DVR was very good, almost as good as UltimateTV. It had PIP, a true 16:9 guide, and was easily extendable via a USB hard drive.

When I went back to D* I upgraded to their HR2* series DVR and it was pretty good, much better than the old DirecTivo. It had a big hard drive. The guide was OK, 4:3 stretched to 16:9. It was hard to change Favorite lists though. It was also a little sluggish, and it didn’t have PIP.


The best thing about FiOS’s DVR is that it is very responsive; when changing channels, the channels come up quickly. The DVR controls are also quick. I like the idea of the guide – different colors for different types of shows (red for movies, green for sports, etc.) but the non-stretched 4:3 aspect ratio is TERRIBLE; I don’t need a true 16:9 guide but at least stretch the 4:3 guide to 16:9!


The hard drive is tiny – only 20 hours of HD content. However, I’ve seen rumors on the Internet that Verizon will be adding external hard drive support in ’09.

No PIP currently but the box has DLB and technically will support PIP; Verizon just has to do the work on the software side. And they should!


Installation: The install went OK. The installer was an older guy and he was very good. The only bummer was that when another contractor previously ran the fiber to my house he cut it for some reason. So the installer had to call in his boss to splice it. I don’t know if this affects the quality or not but it freaks me out a little bit.


Customer service: Poor so far. I was supposed to have the Extreme HD package but only had the Essentials package when the box was activated. I had to talk to literally a dozen people before I got to someone who could actually help me. With D* and E* I usually got someone who could help right away, and they could push the signal immediately. With FiOS, it took hours to upgrade the service.


Every system has its warts and FiOS has a few. However, all in all FiOS seems like a darn good deal! IMHO, it’s a keeper!

Message Edited by KaLin on 12-15-2008 10:35 PM
Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 121
Registered: ‎09-30-2008

Re: FiOS TV: First Impressions of a New Customer

Message 2 of 5

Welcome to the forums!


I had DirecTV before I made the switch to Fios.  We had plenty of issues with DirecTV that made my wife and I so frustrated that we had to switch to something else.  DTVs hardware was a joke and we would always lose our satellite signal during your average rain shower, even though our sat signal always showed high 90s during clear days.  Their DVRs were the worse and we found ourselves resetting them several times a week just because they frequently locked up or started behaving strangely.


Fios definitely has their issues, especially their DVR.  I'm crossing my fingers that most of their issues will be resolved with this upcoming major firmware release.  You should report back to us in a month and give us an update on your impressions after having Fios for a while.

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎11-12-2008

Re: FiOS TV: First Impressions of a New Customer

Message 3 of 5

I switched from Dish Network. What can I say - what took me so long? I got rid of the ugly dishes, I can watch TV when it's raining and I save a bunch of money.


The more channels you previously had on Dish or DirectTV, the more FiOS will save you. I almost paid $200/month with Dish incl. some sports- and oreign language packages and had 2 receivers but NO HBO, Starz, Encore etc. Now I'm paying about $240 for 3 receivers, All channels PLUS all movie-channels, phone-service AND internet.

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus
Employee Emeritus
Posts: 895
Registered: ‎12-01-2008

Re: FiOS TV: First Impressions of a New Customer

Message 4 of 5
That's a very good write up and thanks for taking the time to write it! Smiley Very Happy
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-27-2008

Re: FiOS TV: First Impressions of a New Customer

Message 5 of 5
I had Ultimate TV with D* too and it was the best DVR interface ever made.  I still have 1 box with a bunch of movies on it and when I use it I'm still amazed at how much better the interface is then anything created since.  If they only had made an HD version.......
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