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November 21st, 2006

FiOS TV

After six-and-a-half years with DISH Network, I decided to switch away from the dish and move to the new kid on the block: Verizon FiOS. We already had fiber coming to the house for net access, so we figured we’d try out their cable service, which had gotten some pretty high ratings as looked around the web. For the same price we were paying for DISH, we could get more channels, a better DVR with more space, and a second receiver for upstairs that also let us watch recordings from downstairs.

We’ve had FiOS TV for almost a month now, so I thought I’d give some pros and cons about it.

Pros:
– more channels
– better quality picture
– loads of HD options, should we ever opt to buy an HD set
– DVR with a good amount of storage and most of the options you’d expect
– ability to watch TV upstairs (couldn’t with DISH)
– ability to watch recorded programs upstairs, even without a special receiver
– ability to stream music from my PC to any of the TVs in the house (though I haven’t gotten this working just yet)
– Widgets – right now only weather and traffic alerts are available, but it’s pretty nice to be able to get a quick view without changing the channel.
– Weird local-only channels, like one with a 24-hour view of the Doppler radar.

Cons/Annoyances:
– The font on the TV listings is too big. The tail end of a movie will often show up on the screen only as “The K…” and you have to highlight it to see what the full title is.
– There’s no 30-second skip on the remote… I seriously miss this from DISH. Apparently the fix is to go out and buy an $8 Comcast remote that can be programmed for it (the one that comes with the system cannot be programmed to do such a thing).
– The interface for the DVR is pretty darn bad. But, like anything else, you get used to it and eventually learn your way around.
– No Sirius. DISH had a handful of good Sirius channels. Sure, there are the typical music-only channels on FiOS, but they’re pretty lame.

That’s the main stuff. So, thusfar, I’m very happy. I’m surprised at how much I enjoy being able to watch TV from bed. We don’t very often, but it’s good for Saturday Night Live, so we if we nod off during the show like we tend to do, we’re already in bed.

Thusfar, thumbs up for FiOS. If they take some steps to improve the interface and I can find a remote that does the 30-second skip, then call me happy slappy.

Posted in Technology, Television, Movies, and Music

Steve A November 22, 2006, 11:02 am

Wow and I was excited when we started transmitting in COLOR last year (joking, of course)!

Ciao,

Henry November 22, 2006, 11:54 am

My friend has a lemon tree he does not want anymore. He asked me if I wanted it, and I said sure. What is the best way to remove it, and transplant it? What type of soil do I need?

Paul November 22, 2006, 2:48 pm

That’s a great question. Maybe the answer is on FIOS?

Marcus Mackey January 5, 2007, 10:57 pm

Git ‘ya a shotgun Hank, go to the neighbors (preferably one’s that have kids) in a ski mask with it and a bunch of shovels at 2am and get them out of bed. Wave the shotgun around in a violent rage for emphasis. Take them to the spot of the tree and yell “Start digging!!” They’ll have it done in a hurry I’m sure and it’ll save you the brunt of the work on your back. Glad to be of help! This is the type of stuff you can’t get on HGTV. 😉

At any rate…

Cool on the FiOS, I’m hoping we get more alternatives to Comcast in our neck eventually and am eager with anticipation for WiFi broadband to hit the area (although we might get it later than most as our wired broadband services are pretty engrained). My broadband internet access here has been kinda’ shoddy despite Comcast having better speed for the $ than AT&T. The other problem is I have Comcast for phone service and moving to AT&T for internet would require an AT&T phone service package from what I’ve been told. Last I checked, Earthlink didn’t offer DSL in my neck either, and I’m skeptical that they’d have a higher-end, higher-speed DSL package even if they did.

It’d be nice to be able to mix/match services again without getting bundled to death. With the monopoly Comcast has in terms of services in our area, it’s either go to the dish and get significantly less channels… or stick with Comcast and pay through the nose (continually, they up their prices yearly) too. I like our cable TV service, it’s been pretty reliable for the most part although admittedly… the interface for various parts of the system is anything but intuitive. It’s more the internet access and the occasional OnDemand glitches (might just need to upgrade the cable box, it seems a bit slow) that bug me more than anything.

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