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Considering FiOS (Tough decision)


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#1 OFFLINE   jmudukes07

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:17 AM

I love my DirecTV service but I just moved into a house that is in a FiOS neighborhood. I went to sign up for their internet and phone service and saw that I could lock into their highest TV package along with all of the equipment (MRV, etc.) for about $160 for the first 6 months and $173 for months 7-24 and this includes the 35/35 internet service and phone.

Does anyone have any opinions on FiOS vs. DirecTV? I know their DVR will be a huge disappointment but I wouldn't have to worry about rain fade with them and MRV would work on more than just the HD boxes. I'm a bit concerned because according to avsforum it appears they started packing in 3 HD channels per QAM on some of their channels last week. (Cox did that around here and their HD quality was awful.)

Other than the sports channels and Cartoon Network I'm not sure what else I'd be missing out if I switched the FiOS. Anyone have any experience with both?

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#2 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:20 AM

Do you want more than one DVR?
Do you want HD sports packs like NHL CI, MLB EI, ect?
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#3 OFFLINE   norfolktide

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:57 AM

I love my DirecTV service but I just moved into a house that is in a FiOS neighborhood. I went to sign up for their internet and phone service and saw that I could lock into their highest TV package along with all of the equipment (MRV, etc.) for about $160 for the first 6 months and $173 for months 7-24 and this includes the 35/35 internet service and phone.

Does anyone have any opinions on FiOS vs. DirecTV? I know their DVR will be a huge disappointment but I wouldn't have to worry about rain fade with them and MRV would work on more than just the HD boxes. I'm a bit concerned because according to avsforum it appears they started packing in 3 HD channels per QAM on some of their channels last week. (Cox did that around here and their HD quality was awful.)

Other than the sports channels and Cartoon Network I'm not sure what else I'd be missing out if I switched the FiOS. Anyone have any experience with both?



I have DirecTV and my best friend has Verizon FIOS. He got a deal on his service because he is a former Verizon employee. He FINALLY made the switch to FIOS for high speed internet. DSL was not available in his neighborhood before FIOS and he loathed Cox Cable so it wasn't an option for him and he was satisfied.

Now that he has FIOS, he loves it. I actually like it a lot too. It's definitely a different system from DirecTV but he has had absolutely zero problems w/ his service. I'm not 100% sure of the specs of how much HD the DVR's will hold but he hasn't had a problem with that generally because he deletes things pretty quickly after he watches them. The On Demand service is pretty cool. The On Demand portion does have quite a few options in HD. During the regular viewing season, the list can be pretty nice - especially if you miss and episode and forgot to DVR it. We missed the first night of Big Brother on both my DVR AND his DVR and was able to pull it up from the FIOS On Demand service essentially commercial free. It was pretty cool.

I may not be the best person to ask about HD quality - because I think ANY HD quality is better than Standard Def! But he does have channels in HD that I don't. I realize that some people really do not care about having HSN or QVC in HD on DirecTV but I do tend to flip to those channels every once in a while and believe me....it's tough watching it on DirecTV when I see the fantastic quality of those channels in HD on FIOS. It's definitely quite a difference! I would love to have those channels in HD on DirecTV just for the sheer pleasure having them in high definition. Pretty cool. They also have quite a few more Premium Channels in the HBO and Cinemax packages if you're into the movie stations. And they're ALL in HD starting at Channel 899 to boot.

He did have DirecTV prior to FIOS and had absolutely no complaints. He very much enjoyed DirecTV - but the bundle package was too good for him to pass up plus he was able to get rid of the dish on his house. I would consider FIOS if offered in my apartment complex now that I've had some experience with it. It would be hard though because I do love my DirecTV.

If there are any specific channels you are looking for in HD, I would be happy to see if they are on there for you. :-)

Not sure if my post helped in your decision but I don't think you'd be disappointed in FIOS. For me, I would choose either or depending on what I could get in HD and what channels I would be receiving for how much. As in any situation, there are services unique to each provider and it's going to be all about what you want to receive programming wise. Good luck!

#4 OFFLINE   jmudukes07

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:58 AM

Do you want more than one DVR?
Do you want HD sports packs like NHL CI, MLB EI, ect?



I certainly want more space than what FiOS can offer at this point on their Whole Home DVR - although I understand they're supposed to be coming out with a bigger one this year.

I sometimes do the sports packages but I could probably live without them (although the free previews with every game in HD are nice)

I'm leaning towards staying with DirecTV but the lower costs combined with the additional premium HD's offered by FiOS are making it a very difficult decision.

#5 OFFLINE   jmudukes07

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:07 AM

Norfolk, thanks for the response it was very helpful.

My main hang up's with FiOS at this point are mainly with the DVR capacity and the fact that they seem to be having trouble clearing enough space to add HD channels. The 3 HD channels per QAM is a bit disturbing to me because that tells me that their HD quality might start to take a slide and I've been very happy with the crystal clear picture on DTV.

It's just TV but this has become a pretty tough decision for me.

#6 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:20 AM

I've had FIOS available here for over 5 years and I'm still with D* even though most of my neighbors have FIOS. It will work for some, but not for me.

Since the switch to D* MPEG4, I don't see any difference in picture quality, so that's no longer a benefit to FIOS, IMO.

Their DVR's are just not good enough for me. They don't have enough storage, they don't have separate and discreet IR codes, and they seem to have too many problems in general (not recording shows, etc.).



I do have FIOS internet, however, and it's great.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#7 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:23 AM

My problem with Verizon is that they can't seem to offer a bundle that doesn't include landline telephone. Plus, I need my NFL on DirecTV

#8 OFFLINE   celticpride

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:28 AM

I recently switched to verizon fios after being with directv for 16 years ,and i must say i love the quality of verizons signal even some of there standard channels are almost HD like!, but the price you quoted seems kind of high, right now in so. cal. they offer the triple play for $99.00 and have even seen it offered for $89.00 a month. When i signed up in april i got the triple play ULTIMATE HD PACK which includes all the showtime and TMC channels plus EPIX channel for $139.00 a month. and 35/35 internet as far as channels go verizon is back to adding HD channels here and there I.D.investegative discovery was just added, and word is we'll be getting NAT GEO WILD in HD this week! I must admit i miss having the regional sports networks that directv has,because there sports packages on fios only have 2 hd games per week, i dont know what i'll do come basketball season,because last year i got EVERY GAME in HD on nba league pass with D* .:P

#9 OFFLINE   pappy97

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:30 AM

Last year, when I moved to Texas, I purposely moved us to a FIOS area, for FIOS internet, but not TV.

I have to admit, the pricing is attractive for a TV and internet bundle, but

1.) As an out of market sports fan, I want my teams in HD as much as possible (And I want to watch my team's feeds). FIOS is a joke in that regard (As is just about every provider, except DirecTV).

2.) MRV? I heard they may have it, not sure, but even if they do, it's not going to be as good as DirecTV's implementation of MRV.

3.) As bad as the DirecTV HD-DVR's can get (in terms of slow response time to pushing buttons), I think FIOS uses the same Moto boxes that Comcast does and those have plenty of issues that I'd rather not have to deal with.

P.S. FIOS does have TV and internet bundles only. No need for phone line. I could get what I want for less than $100/mo.

Love my 25/25 internet for $44.99/mo.
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#10 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:53 AM

I have DirecTV, with FiOS for Telephone/Internet. Perfect combination.

On my FiOS lacking list:

160GB for DVR with no e-SATA support. (TiVo is an option but would worry about rumors of future copy protection issues with MRV).

Can only have one FiOS whole home DVR, and other DVR's can not see recordings on the whole home DVR.

The receiver I did play with (at neighbors) seemed slow, as compared to HR24.

No NFL Sunday Ticket.

Not as much HD for MLB EI.

Yep, it's certainly less expensive, but DVR capacity and now loving DirecTV's MRV.
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FiOS: Roamio Pro's (2), Roamio Plus, Mini's (4) with Ultimate HD (My Roamio Thoughts)

#11 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:05 PM

Norfolk, thanks for the response it was very helpful.

My main hang up's with FiOS at this point are mainly with the DVR capacity and the fact that they seem to be having trouble clearing enough space to add HD channels. The 3 HD channels per QAM is a bit disturbing to me because that tells me that their HD quality might start to take a slide and I've been very happy with the crystal clear picture on DTV.

It's just TV but this has become a pretty tough decision for me.


Just curious - where did you see the information about 3 HD channels per QAM? From where I sit, that's not true. Verizon recently got rid of 4 premium HD west coast feeds (2 Max and 2 TMC), and added a couple channels in their place.

Are they butting up against a space issue? Yes, they are. Is their plan to go to 3 channels per QAM? Not that I'd heard. From what I understand, their plan is and always has been to migrate to IP.

On the DVR capacity... yeah, that's an issue. They currently offer a 160 GB box that can store about 20 hours of HD. There is a new box coming out later this year which will double that capacity, and include esata. They were supposed to have a new box out already (by CISCO) but they hit major production problems, pushing them to go back to Motorola to come out with a newer version of the boxes they currently offer.

If recording space is that much of an issue, then you do have other options - the most obvious being a 3rd party DVR (TiVo or Moxi, e.g.). You can have multiple DVRs on FiOS as well, but as someone else pointed out, for now you can't share recordings from one DVR to another. You can only have one DVR specified as your Home Media DVR (multiroom) and it would share recordings with other stand-alone STBs on your other TVs. It's the setup I have and I have to say, it works beautifully. My one nit on that is that I can't manage recordings from those other STBs. I can only play back what I have recorded.

Overall their PQ is just outstanding. Their boxes aren't as feature-rich as DirecTV's, in my opinion, but are really fast, and pretty darn bug-free.

If you're considering FiOS, but aren't sure, then you may want to just try it. Suspend your DirecTV service, and sign up - I believe Verizon is still offering a trial period for FiOS service...

Even if you don't get their TV service, though - their internet service is (again, in my opinion) the best going. It's fast - there are no slow periods... none... there's no throttling... there are no download caps... and it's rock solid - in my 4 1/2 years as a FiOS internet customer I've had one minor outage.

#12 OFFLINE   norfolktide

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:16 PM

Norfolk, thanks for the response it was very helpful.

My main hang up's with FiOS at this point are mainly with the DVR capacity and the fact that they seem to be having trouble clearing enough space to add HD channels. The 3 HD channels per QAM is a bit disturbing to me because that tells me that their HD quality might start to take a slide and I've been very happy with the crystal clear picture on DTV.

It's just TV but this has become a pretty tough decision for me.



You are certainly welcome. :) It looks like a lot of us would agree that the FIOS internet service is bar none. It is truly fantastic. I did have Verizon DSL but switched to Cox Cable internet last week because they offered me a MUCH better rate for a MUCH HIGHER download speed. I was getting 3MB - now getting 15MB - still not as good as FIOS, though. :-(

There are definitely some valid points you should consider. I personally do not care about the sports networks - used to watch baseball all the time as a kid but once they had the strike back in the mid 90's...that did it for me. :-( I absolutely love DirecTV - they have been very good to me. I almost swtiched to Cox last week only because I gotta get a hold on some of my bills and every few dollars counts. DirecTV graciously gave me a few dollars off per month - enough to beat what Cox could offer me...so what can I say - they have given me fantastic customer service. The only complaint I have about DTV is that sometimes their reps don't know the products like they should. I called this morning to order an AM-21 OTA tuner to merge in with the HR22 I have and the first two reps I spoke to had no clue what that was. *Sigh* I had to go up the line a little bit but eventually got it ordered. :-)

My best friend and I both only have one TV in each household so MRV has never been an issue for either one of us. I have not had the opportunity to play with it so I would trust the advice of some others on the board who have that luxury. I will say that my HR22 does frustrate me from time to time and I do tend to cuss at it occasionally. Seems like when I press 4-3 for 43 or any other combination, it takes it 8 or 9 seconds to think about the fact that I have pressed it. I understand that has been taken care of with the HR24 but I do not want to lock into another agreement w/ DirecTV right now just to upgrade that receiver. I am sort of holding out for the TiVo - that is, if it becomes a reality. :-) If that bites the dust, I may look into other options.

If you have more than one TV and are worried about MRV - OR if you are wanting Sports Programming or other things, DirecTV might be a better solution. I rarely have an issue w/ rain fade unless it is pouring...or shall I say...POURRRRRING down rain. Even through our Nor'easter last year, my signal pretty much stayed intact.

Now - it is true - the boxes they provide are the same Motorola boxes that Cox Cable provides and for that reason, I was worried simply because I had Cox years and years ago and the boxes were terrible. Remotes constantly would lose functioning, etc. Honestly, my buddy hasn't had any issues with the box he has. Maybe he's been lucky?

TV is definitely a tough decision. I just went through the process myself....so I feel for you! Good luck.

#13 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:16 PM

If recording space is that much of an issue, then you do have other options - the most obvious being a 3rd party DVR (TiVo or Moxi, e.g.).


That tends to defeat the purpose of switching to save money though. I considered that route a few years ago, but when I calculated all the costs of obtaining 4 HD Tivo's, it was out of the question.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
Directv customer since 2000

#14 OFFLINE   jmudukes07

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:19 PM

The discussion about the 3 channels per QAM starts on the last page or two of this thread. It seems they just started this with a block of channels and it has me worried that FiOS will start to become more like Comcast and that's not a good thing.

http://www.avsforum....590208&page=433

#15 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:01 PM

The discussion about the 3 channels per QAM starts on the last page or two of this thread. It seems they just started this with a block of channels and it has me worried that FiOS will start to become more like Comcast and that's not a good thing.

http://www.avsforum....590208&page=433


Thanks for the posting. Sounds like they are moving in that direction (the posters who are speaking definitively on the matter I know from other forums, and their information has always been pretty spot on). In one respect that's pretty disappointing. I knew that there was a move on the part of some of the premium channel providers (HBO, e.g.) to start packaging 3 HD to a QAM, which Verizon would then pass on as they get them.

All that being said, there is room to do this without PQ taking a hit. Most HD channels don't run anywhere near the 19.4Mbps, and if you group thing correctly, you can carry everything without any of the HD feeds taking a hit. I have noticed this first-hand with Comcast. When Comcast first went down this road, it was really noticeable (at least from my own experience in watching TV in other homes). Now it's not really noticeable at all (again, based on what I've seen). They've clearly done a much better job of managing the bandwidth to mitigate the effects of over-compression.

Overall, though, I can't say I'm happy about this move by Verizon. At least it's likely to be pretty temporary. Eventually they'll migrate to mpeg4 and to IP, and all of this becomes moot (their VOD comes in via IP, and the PQ is pretty amazing - in many cases the IP feeds look better than the linear TV feeds). I've had their TV service for over 3 years, and I absolutely love it. I do echo what I wrote before, however - if you're interested... try it out. You can suspend your DirecTV account while you decide. About all that you will have lost in the process is your copper phone line connection. In any event, I would still strongly encourage you to look at FiOS internet, even if you don't care for the TV service.

#16 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:05 PM

My problem with Verizon is that they can't seem to offer a bundle that doesn't include landline telephone. Plus, I need my NFL on DirecTV


On the first part, I don't know where you get that:

http://www22.verizon...ndles/overview#

Look at the first bundle listed. It's a double-play. Is it ideal? Maybe... maybe not. But it's not the only double-play they offer. I recently moved to a new house, and Verizon treats moves like new customers. As a result, I had to reup when I moved. I called their movers connection, and was given a list of bundles that they don't even show on their website. Meaning that there are others available that they don't even list. You can do a double play - you don't need landline phone service. Besides, they also offer bundles with FiOS digital voice - which is VoIP.

#17 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:26 PM

I have Fios TV running side by side with DirecTV. As for PQ, pretty much DirecTV's HD is as good or better. Fios's SD is slightly better on some channels and a lot better on a few.

The DVR is pretty stinky but it is a lot better than the Comcast piece o' crap I had when I had them.

I love the internet speed but I have seen many reliability issues with Fios and the Rube Goldberg nature of their setup makes it difficult to see what is going on while their customer support, while very friendly, is very slow and pretty much clueless.

I have seen breakups on TV (particularly on On Demand) when a phone call comes in and problems with my internet connection when that happens.

Just about every Fios customer I know has had hardware replaced at least once in the first few months. Either they have problems with hardware or that is just their way of fixing problems.

The router is another POS. They do not have a Wireless N router at this point and the Wireless G is pretty old.

I use them for additional channels I don't get on DirecTV (like Washington locals and a few HD channels) and for overflow and On Demand. The incremental cost to me after phone and internet is minimal, so it is worth it.

You can often get several months free of a premium (I am just finishing a three month stint with HBO/Cinemax at no cost) but finding that stuff can be painful on their webpage.

What I have heard for future expansion (as they are filled to the max) is not packing more on a QAM (on dslreports, there is a guy there who seems to have inside info and it makes me think that the avsforum report was a one-time thing...maybe to fix a temporary issue) but in going to IP and the new boxes they are testing are MPEG4 capable, which should help them quite a bit.

From the lack of out of town sports, especially HD, I could NEVER use them as my primary TV source as long as I can get DirecTV. And I don't think they will ever have enough bandwidth to compete on that front.
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#18 OFFLINE   VARTV

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:00 PM

The router is another POS. They do not have a Wireless N router at this point and the Wireless G is pretty old.

I agree... it's junk. Hooked up a multiband N router... no problems...

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With DirecTV since October 2004. My complete setup on 1/1/2013...


#19 OFFLINE   bwaldron

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:42 PM

From the lack of out of town sports, especially HD, I could NEVER use them as my primary TV source as long as I can get DirecTV.


Yep, same for me.

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#20 OFFLINE   pjsauter

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 08:20 AM

I'm confronting the same tough decision. FiOS became available for me last November, which happened to coincide with the end of my latest 2-yr commitment. I've held off so far for a few reasons - I've been pretty happy with D* for about 8 years now, Verizon's DVR just doesn't have enough capacity (though that is somewhat mitigated by not needing hard drive space for their on demand stuff), and my work pays for my Internet access - but won't pay for FiOS.

I only have one TV (HD, anyway, which is all I care to watch these days), have been priced out of Sunday Ticket for quite a while now (plus my wife seems to think I ought to be doing something other than watching football all day every Sunday; go figure), and get almost every sporting event I care (or at least have time) to watch in-market, so the sports and MRV don't really matter to me.

FiOS has more of the channels I'd like to watch in HD (including my local PBS station), and I can get better Internet than I have now (even though it's free to me at the moment; I guess it would give me a backup, at least) combined with phone and TV for not a whole lot more than I'm paying for D* alone over the course of a two-year commitment (and, interestingly enough, Verizon's commitment seems to work both ways - I commit to them for 2 years, and they commit to a price).

Plus, since upgrading to HD, my signal levels are a little on the low side, and I get rain fade fairly easily (been meaning to go out and tweak the dish, but, well, it's the old story - don't feel like fixing it when it's raining, and don't need to when it's not).

If FiOS offered a DVR that supported an external hard drive, I think I'd have jumped already.




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