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Pros and Cons of Verizon FiOS TV vs Comcast

Pros and Cons of Verizon FiOS TV vs Comcast

Contributor DemonJuice
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-08-2009
Message 1 of 10

I recently (two weeks ago) switched from Comcast to Verizon FiOS TV in the Portland, OR area and I have mixed feelings about it.  There are several things that are better, but also many that are worse than Comcast.


I'll get the bad things out of the way... and maybe I'm wrong about a few of them:




-- My most expensive Mitsubishi TV that has worked fine on everthing via HDMI for the past 6 months (Comcast Motorola HD DVR, PS3, Wii, Wireless Media Extender) will not work via HDMI with the Verizon Motorola STB.  Green screen of death.  I don't have any optical audio cables, so I'm currently running with component cables and regular audio (which sucks).  This is horrible.


-- Changing channels sometimes doesn't work.  This happens when I'm flipping through channels using the Channel +/- buttons.  I'll hit + and the on screen display will say it has changed channels, but the previous channel's video and audio are still on the screen.  I have to change to the next channel and back again to get it to synch up.  This happens a lot.


-- The DVR skip buttons are nearly worthless to the impatient (read: me).  If you hit the skip button too fast, it either doesn't skip at all or causes the video to go blank.  On my other TV which is working via HDMI, this makes it have a green screen of death and I have to turn the TV off and back on.  This is a big deal for me.  I'm used to hitting the skip button quickly a set number of times to skip past known lenghts of commercial breaks.  I simply can't do that with Verizon.  I have to hit the skip, wait a couple of seconds, hit the skip again, wait a couple of seconds, hit the skip again, oops... it didn't skip... I must not have waited long enough, hit skip again.  THIS IS INFURIATING.


-- If I have rewound back into a certain channel's buffer, as far as I can tell there is no way to immediately return to live TV.  Comcast's remote had a LIVE button that would skip to the end of the buffer without clearing it.  The only way I've figured out to do it is change channels then come back to the original channel, but this sometimes clears the buffer so that isn't acceptable.


-- I can't adjust the end time of an already recording program.  This comes up frequently, especially with sporting events and programs that have been delayed because of sporting events preceding them.  I'll sit down in the middle of a show and start playing the recording from the beginning but notice the basketball game before it is still finishing.  I want to extend the end time of the recording so I can start watching it immediately from the end of the basketball game and not have to worry about whether it will be in the buffer or not.


-- If I have two succesive shows set to record, there are several seconds dropped between the two shows in the recordings.  Comcast would miss one maybe two seconds... Verizon misses almost 10.  Why does this matter?  Well, sometimes shows run a little long and with Comcast I would be guaranteed to see the end of that program on the beginning of the next recording.  Not so with Verizon.  For example, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.  Frequently the "moment of zen" at the end of The Daily Show is a few seconds after the end time of the show.  I could always see it at the beginning of the Colbert Report recording with Comcast. Now it is completely gone on the Verizon recordings.  South Park always runs several seconds long, but now I miss the end of every episode because it's not at the beginning of the Reno 911 recording.  THIS IS REALLY INFURIATING.


-- Whether or not a show is New is not easily discernable from the guide.  The "New" icon needs to be one of the ones that show up in the guide listing, not just the info screen.  Having to hit the Info button to tell if a show is new or not really annoys me.


-- The DVR does not offer to automatically extend the end time for live events as Comcast's did.  I have to go through several annoying steps to extend the end time.




-- I can record sporting events as a series, which Comcast didn't let me do.  This is great!  I no longer have to go through the guide and manually record English Premier League, Champions League or MLS games.  I just set up series recordings.  This, I REALLY like.


-- The channel selection is way better (more HD, more music, more sports)


-- I don't have to buy the entire latin language channel package just to get Gol TV which has english audio too.  THANK YOU!


-- The series recordings do a much better job with cable shows that repeat a gazillion times a week than Comcast's did.  I couldn't even set many cable shows to be series recordings on Comcast or it would fill up my DVR.  THIS IS EXCELLENT.


-- Changing what series are being recorded or their priority doesn't cause all the shows you removed from the recording schedule to magically appear back in the schedule to be recorded like Comcast's DVR does.  THIS ROCKS.



So, there are several things I like a lot better than Comcast but there are also many things I hate about Verizon so far.  Coupled with the fact that my FiOS router just stopped working last night (blinking red light) requiring a new router to be sent meaning I'll have no internet all weekend (I'm at work right now), the fact that they still haven't buried the fiber and the fact that the installer lied to me about the green screen of death on my Mitsubishi, I'm seriously second guessing my decision to switch.

Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 186
Registered: ‎09-09-2008
Message 2 of 10

@DemonJuice wrote:



-- If I have rewound back into a certain channel's buffer, as far as I can tell there is no way to immediately return to live TV.  Comcast's remote had a LIVE button that would skip to the end of the buffer without clearing it.  The only way I've figured out to do it is change channels then come back to the original channel, but this sometimes clears the buffer so that isn't acceptable.


I agree with most of your other complaints (although the HDMI problems seem to be hit or miss - appearing to be a compatibility problem among certain specific combinations of equipment) but as for the one above - just press the "FIOS TV" button.  It is effectively a "Live TV" button.

Copper Contributor mark_e
Copper Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-07-2009
Message 3 of 10

Some have found a work around for similar HDMI issues by either routing through an A/V receiver or if yours doesn't support HDMI, routing through a relatively inexpensive HDMI switch like the one sold by Monoprice.  Of course you could replace the DVR with a TiVo ;).



Contributor Japhy
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-10-2009
Message 4 of 10

I really feel that Verizon is short of the mark when it comes to on demand.  I can't figure out why Showtime and Starz has HD versions of their programming on demand, yet I can't find a single program or movie for HBO.  And as it has been pointed out before, the non HD, digitial picture is not as good as Comcast (though Fios HD is better than Comcast).  Extremely annoying.


Also very annoying is that outside of the premium channels we pay for, there are no free movies on demand.  Comcast has many, many free movies every month but for the same movies I have to pay a minimum of $3.99.  What gives?  Seriously, 3 year old movies or older and I have to pay for it?  At least give us 2 dozen or so freebies.


Here in central NJ, I can not watch MSNBC because I'm on the Northern NJ channel line up which some of their customers are in competition with Cablevision.  Cablevision has exclusivity rights for MSNBC, but in my area we have Comcast for cable and I should not be penalized. 


!!!  Verizon needs to create a central Jersey channel line up because here in the middle of NJ you have equal parts Mets, Yankees, and Phillies fans, all games for Philly and NY sports should available for no additional costs like they are with Comcast.  We are not cablevision.

Copper Contributor wessock
Copper Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-15-2009
Message 5 of 10

I agree with and have all of the same problems except the geen screen, but I have another HDMI problem with drop-outs. Why on Earth they don't include an option to extend the recording time as you're setting a recording I'll never know. The no "new" indicator in the guide is a major annoyance of mine as well.


Japhy: There is no such thing as HBO HD On Demand for any carrier because HBO doesn't allow HD on demand versions of their shows. Stupid I know, but it's HBO's fault. The rest of the Fios On Demand is completely useless. They charge for everything and the prices are way too high. I'm not paying $4 for a 24 hour movie rental of a 20 year old movie when I can buy it off of Amazon or at Walmart for the same price, or download or watch it for free on Hulu or something.

Contributor Japhy
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-10-2009
Message 6 of 10

Wessock, you are correct and it's something I didn't realize.  But then like I said, the picture for standard digital was sharper with Comcast than it is with Fios.  I really can't watch anything that's not HD with Fios, I find it too fuzzy.  So perhaps when I was with Comcast I didn't take exception because the on demand picture was watchable.


I did some research and HBO made that decision a couple years ago for fear of piracy being too easy.


I will give the Fios On Demand kudos for their kid programming which my 11 year old loves and says there are more programs for her to watch than what we had with Comcast.

Copper Contributor wessock
Copper Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-15-2009
Message 7 of 10

Yeah that's exactly why HBO says no HD On Demand, even though it makes zero sense since it's no different than watching a regular HD broadcast. I don't find it too big of a deal though considering all of the HD HBO channels Fios has combined with HBO airing everything a million times a week. Plus, if it keeps HBO from putting those annoying logos and banners like the other premium channels (Starz, Showtime, etc.) then I'm fine with it. If I'm paying extra money for a channel, it shouldn't have those in my opinion. HBO and Fios will have to add more HD On Demand for free relatively soon in order to stay competitive. It should be an easy thing for them to do.


The SD picture is better with a 7216 DVR than the 6416 DVRs. I also switched from Comcast and the SD picture with my 7216 is very noticeably better than Comcast's boxes, so I'd try playing around with your settings or switching to a 7216 box if you don't have one. Almost everybody I've talked to thinks their SD picture is better than comcast's. Mine, although not as clear as HD obviously, isn't pixelated or blurry at all. Even G4, a channel owned by Comcast, is greatly improved over Comcast's signal. G4 on Comcast was almost unwatchable it was so pixelated. Since Fios is fiber, they don't hav e to compress and degrade the signal as much as Comcast does .

Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 121
Registered: ‎09-30-2008
Message 8 of 10

Fios, Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, etc, etc..........


.... they all pretty much suck (sorry if this is too harsh) for one reason or another.  There is no single provider that is outstanding in all that they do.  Either their content lacks, their firmware programming lacks, their picture quality lacks, their customer support lacks.... well, you get the picture.  Go to any of the TV provider forums or dslreports and see that there are plenty of unhappy people out there for many different reasons.


Thankfully in the OP's case, his HDMI issues can be easily resolved by using component cables.  And no you will not receive any reduced picture quality versus using HDMI cables.


Contributor Steve99
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-15-2009
Message 9 of 10



Having switched from Comcast about six months ago, very happy with FiOS.  Agree with the topic creator, not everything is perfect. 


- The selection of free programs on demand could be better.


- When I change channel with +/- sometimes the channel changes but the channel info at the bottom of the screen doesn't, can be annoying.  To fix, I hit ++++ or ---- a few times quickly and it starts working correctly.


- The info button could have more on a show or movie.  Comcast has quite a bit of information.  This has gotten better though.



Most everything else though is better so I'll be sticking with one FiOS for the foreseeable future.


Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎04-30-2009
Message 10 of 10

I switched this month also from Comcast.  Very rarely do we say to ourselves, oh man, we used to have this or do that on Comcast. 


  • The installer was much better than the zombies Comcast contracts.
  • The Caller ID on TV would be nice, but it sounds like it requires Digital Voice, though I don't know if I have that or not?  The Fios guide is so much better than Comcast, moves so fast! 
  • The Picture quality is not a contest, nor is the channel selection, FIOS rules.  Luckily we do get MSNBC.
  • I know people complain about On Demand, but frankly, we never used it on Comcast.  I'm just not going to bash Verizon for not spending millions on old movies.  Most of them are played on a channel anyhow.  I'd rather have the additional channels like Boomerang, AmericanLifeTV, MGM, etc.  
  • We do not have a DVR so can't compare.

Ironically, the only drawback is not the fault of Verizon or Comcast, but Cablevision.  The lack of the MSG HD channels.
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