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Guest Message by DevFuse

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DirecTV vs. FiOS


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46 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   funhouse69

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 02:12 AM

I recently had FIOS Internet / Phone installed in my house. I would have went with TV but my town hasn't "Approved" the offering as of yet with no expected date of this happening and since I know how my town is (we got cable almost 10 years after everyone else did) I bit the bullet and upgraded to D* HD last week. That is another story that I've posted elsewhere on this site.

I will however say that I've been involved with usability testing for Verizon over the years and some of the items I've tested were related to their FIOS offerings. In one of the tests I was comparing signal quality compared to other providers. Granted this was before FIOS was rolled out but the quality of the picture that I was seeing was insane. Their goal from day one was to offer a better picture in both SD and HD than all of their competitors as they have the bandwidth to do it. I now know several people that are happy FIOS customers and they tell me that the picture quality far surpasses Cable and the one person that had Sat said that it was even better then that.

Just for reference my Internet is 20mb down and 5mb up and it has been rock solid since day one. As previously mentioned this is a point to point connection like DSL and not shared bandwidth like cable so I expect this stability to continue. The installer I talked to said that 100mb Down is in the very near future. I've read on another site that is already being offered in parts of NY for about the same money.

Finally - When I ordered FIOS I ended up getting my Internet, Home Phone, Cell Phone and Direct TV all on one bill. For that "Bundle" they gave me a $100 gift card to Best Buy and almost $40 a month off of my stand alone pricing. So if you can't get the TV they have a deal with D* that they can take over the billing (and will NOT affect your account / contact in anyway) and save some $ which is always a good thing!

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#42 OFFLINE   captain_video

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 07:07 AM

But did you ever see what the PQ was on an HR20 compared to the old HDTivos? Weren't they all MPEG-2, where the HR20 is MPEG-4? (i'm not as advanced on all these terms as most people are around here, so excuse me if that makes no sense).

I just really want to know, bottom line, is D* HD service that bad? I've heard from a very well respected member of this board that I "will not be disappointed".

I have not had the opportunity to audition an HR20, but I almost purchased one from Beach Audio after they were first introduced. DTV only offers four of my local HD channels in mpeg4 whereas I get 14 of them via OTA antenna and also on FIOS. DTV's current HD lineup is actually worse than FIOS when you add in all of the locals I can receive. I get locals from both Baltimore and DC whereas DTV will only provide the Baltimore locals. DTV is supposed to be adding up to 100 more HD channels but I have yet to see a list of what those channels might be. I was told by the FIOS installer that they would also be adding about 50 more HD channels in the upcoming months, but I haven't heard anything more about it since.

I can't complain about DirecTV's service as I think they have about the best customer service I've dealt with. My experience with customer retention was quite enjoyable when I cancelled service. My main beefs with DTV are that they require a commitment when activating new receivers and they require an upfront fee on certain equipment. No other service providers have such requirements AFAIK. I could call up and cancel FIOS today if I wanted to with no penalities. I told the CSR that their picture quality had diminished significantly over the past 5 years or so due to overcompression of the signal. She said I was the first to tell this.

The main reason I went with FIOS is that I had heard the picture quality was topnotch, I could use an S3 Tivo with it, I could finally sever all ties with Comcast and get FIOS internet, and I could bundle my existing Verizon phone service in with the total package to get a discount. I think for most people the FIOS internet is a no-brainer compared to other services so that's really just icing on the cake.

I wasn't ready to sign up for another 2-year commitment and lose many of the added features I've incorporated into my HDTivos, such as networking and video extraction. MY feeling about all the hype regarding the new HD channels is that I'll believe it when I see it. Right now I'm only hearing a lot of promises about new channels from all camps but there's not much info on what channels those might be. The way things have been going at DTV I'd half expect to see 50 new shopping networks and 50 new religious channels added in HD and nothing most of us really care about. They'll go with whatever will bring them the most revenue and not necessarily the most viewers. They don't have 100 channels in their current lineup that I'd actually watch so there's no telling what they'll add in HD. I'd rather have just 20 more HD channels if they were something that would appeal to me.

It's all about quality vs. quantity. 100 more channels of crap in HD is still crap IMHO. To be fair, most providers have basically the same channel lineups so it's not just limited to DTV. For some reason they think that the more channels they have the more customers they'll attract. I'd be perfectly content if they reduced their current lineup to a fraction of what they have if they just provided quality programming. The problem is that everyone has varied tastes so there's no way to provide a set lineup that will appeal to everyone. What appeals to me is of no interest to the next guy and vice versa. What I'd really like is the ability to choose my channels a la carte and pay a flat fee for a set number of channels. If any provider ever did that then you'd see people flock to them in droves.

FYI - Verizon also offers DirecTV service so you can get everything included on one bill. I wasn't aware that you could get Verizon Wireless included as well because they are a completely separate division from the other Verizon services.
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#43 OFFLINE   whsbuss

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 10:50 AM

After being with DTV for almost 10 years, I will be moving to FiOS when available in my area. The new slimline dish needed to capture the new sats for HD is a total non-starter. My cousin recently upgraded to the new dish and its HUGH!! No way I will have it mounted on my house (don't do roof installations under any circumstances). The wind load on that sucker must be overwhelming.

DTV has been great but bandwidth via sats is a somewhat limiting factor, thus the compressions even at MPEG-4. What happens when even more content is needed. Do we need to get an even larger dish, or may two?

For now I'm staying pat with my HDTivo. We shall see what DTV offers in HD later this year. I'm sure cable and FiOS will follow with a similar HD offering, although I suspect FiOS will only have to make the content available on their current network. Cable still has to deal with wideband bandwidth issues.
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#44 OFFLINE   captain_video

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 11:35 AM

The AT9 dish and its variants shouldn't be all that much larger than the Phase III dish. The two new satellite locations are within the existing arc so in theory you could add the extra LNBs to a Phase III dish. The new dish probably has a slightly reduced arc to enable the positioning of the new LNBs between the existing ones, resulting in a slightly larger footprint for the dish surface. I've got one of the earlier AT9 dishes but I never got around to installing it, mainly because Verizon activated FIOS and I decided to go with them instead of switching to mpeg4 with DirecTV.
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#45 OFFLINE   garn9173

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 11:39 AM

As much as i've read about FiOS and it's competitor, AT&T's U-Verse, sadly I don't look for either service in Iowa, if at all and Iowa is a state that could greatly use the competition. Qwest and a local teleco, Iowa Telecom, has a stranglehold on providing telephone service in Iowa.

If and that's a big if Verizon and AT&T would start local phone service in Iowa, it would be a step in the right direction.

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#46 OFFLINE   JVM

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 11:52 AM

After being with DTV for almost 10 years, I will be moving to FiOS when available in my area. The new slimline dish needed to capture the new sats for HD is a total non-starter. My cousin recently upgraded to the new dish and its HUGH!! No way I will have it mounted on my house (don't do roof installations under any circumstances). The wind load on that sucker must be overwhelming.


Excellent point, and one that I never considered. Bigger and bigger is a possibility, along with concerns for my roof. Unfortunately I don't have FIOS available yet, but I am certainly looking forward to having it.
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#47 OFFLINE   Tom_S

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 01:40 PM

The new slimline dish needed to capture the new sats for HD is a total non-starter. My cousin recently upgraded to the new dish and its HUGH!! No way I will have it mounted on my house (don't do roof installations under any circumstances). The wind load on that sucker must be overwhelming.


Oh Please... get a grip. It's not that big, I had a 24" round dish on my roof for 5 years without a problem and this has about the same surface area, and it has a bigger more stable base than my old dish.
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