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DirecTV or FIOS

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by itguy05, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. itguy05

    itguy05 Legend

    Oct 24, 2007
    Been with DTV for almost 2 years now and have had decent service. A few glitches here and there, but overall we've been relatively happy.

    However, we have Internet with FIOS and their new offer is $150 to make the switch and we'd be saving about $5 a month if we go with FIOS.

    I know this is a loaded question but I'm sure many on this site have thought about this as well....

    Excluding the small-ish DVRs, any downsides to going FIOS over DTV?
  2. ATARI

    ATARI Hall Of Fame

    May 10, 2007
    You could always suspend your D* account for a few months if you want to go see if the grass is greener with FIOS.
  3. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Sep 16, 2003
    I have been considering the move to FiOS, but unless I come into some real money and can afford 3 TiVos with expanded hard drives, I've heard horror stories about their DVRs. I won't make the move until they have a better (not just larger--but better) DVR offering.
  4. cariera

    cariera Icon

    Oct 27, 2006
    If the issue is cost, why not call Directv and see what they can do. They are obviously willing to deal based on the bizillion threads on discounts and freebies in this forum.:)
  5. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    The other thread hits the major points, but to encapsulate, here's my take on the pros/cons of each - this is from my perspective, based on what's important to me... and based on my time as a DirecTV subscriber - 5 years, SD only, and now a FiOS TV subscriber - going on 2 1/2 SD and HD.

    Pros of FiOS over DirecTV:

    1) Local stuff - if you want local subchannels, and all your HD locals, plus weather on the 8's, and WeatherScan Local, FiOS is the better place for it.

    2) Number of channels - now this is somewhat subjective. I was never a Sports Pack subscriber with DirecTV, and beyond my own RSN, I really don't care about having all those RSNs. Nor did I care about specialty sports packs (e.g. NFL ST). But in terms of just overall SD and HD channels, FiOS has more. And they have more of the channels that I care about (you can do what I did - do a side-by-side comparison of both channel lists, and see if Verizon has the channels you care about.

    3) PQ - Now, like I've said, I've never had HD with DirecTV, so I really can't speak to their HD PQ, but the HD PQ on FiOS really is nice - from all that I've read in comparisons of the two, it sounds like they're on par, with maybe a tiny edge going to FiOS. But for SD, which I still watch alot, the difference is pretty dramatic.

    4) No rain fade.

    5) Single-wire solution - since FiOS is essentially cable, and all their linear channels are QAM. Why DirecTV has been so slow to roll out such a solution is beyond me. I know they have one... but it's far from wide-spread.

    6) Multi-room viewing - this may or may not be a biggie - I really like it. Yeah the multi-room DVR has some nits, but overall it works great.

    7) VOD - While Verizon still isn't on par with say Comcast on this front, they're quickly making up ground. They've been aggressively increasing their VOD offerings - recently putting out a press release saying that they'll be more than doubling the number of HD VOD premium channel feeds, e.g. I've already seen the growth of their VOD library result from that (they just turned on Epix VOD, e.g., and we now have 99 movies, both in SD and HD... the number of movies on Starz continues to grow... that kind of thing).

    8) Premium movie channels - not only does Verizon have every premium out there (with one stupid exception - they don't have Starz West HD - why they exclude that ONE channel, I have no idea), but price-wise you can't beat it. I have their movie pack which gives me: Showtime, Starz, TMC, Encore, Flix, IFC, Sundance (47 SD channels in all), plus all their HD counterparts (except for Starz HD West, like I said), and all the VOD for those channels for $13/month. The movie pack price has gone up to $15 or $16/month (I'm grandfathered in), but even so, it's a hell of a deal.

    Pros of DirecTV over FiOS:

    1) If you're a sports nut, and you have to have the specialty sports channels, there's no other choice but DirecTV. Even with the sports packs that Verizon does offer (e.g. MLB EI), they only offer up one HD game at a time.

    2) Out of market RSNs. No... I don't care about this, but I could see why someone would like that. Verizon can't offer this... DirecTV can, and does.

    3) Recording capacity on their DVRs - as others have said, the recording capacity on the Motorola DVR is limited. There are some other differences which, in some ways, give the DirecTV hardware a bit of an edge, but this is probably one of the most subjective items that everyone quotes. I personally love Verizon's guide s/w. It's fast as hell, extremely intuitive, and is surprisingly bug-free (yeah, there are some minor bugs, but nothing like the show-stoppers I used to see on my R15s), but it's missing some much-needed functionality.

    Other differences:

    This is an area where it's hard to say who has the advantage, because it really depends on your preference. But these are differences that are worth noting:

    1) Pricing - Which is cheaper? Well, that depends. With FiOS you can get their triple play, and save alot on their service. You can renew your contract and get the latest deal (I just did that - I now have 25/15 internet service, with their Extreme HD TV service, with their price locked in for 2 years). But on the other hand, their hardware is more expensive than directv, month to month. They're just different business models. I don't pay for my equipment up-front, and getting new equipment doesn't lock me into any contracts, but I pay more per month for each box. But I pay alot less on the service side. So if you have alot of STBs/DVRs, then DirecTV will undoubtedly be cheaper in the long run. If you have a couple, then FiOS will likely be cheaper.

    For me, I did an apples to apples comparison - I looked at my DirecTV setup, and said 'ok, to get the equivalent of what I have now, how much will it cost me?'

    2) No programming tiers - this one, again, is subjective. Verizon doesn't really have programming tiers. They have 2 basic packages - Essentials (pretty much their SD only package - although you get locals in HD), and Extreme (pretty much their everything-but-the-premiums package). Extreme also includes (in markets outside NY/NJ) all their former sports pack channels. So, in short, for my price, I get everything. The only extras are the premiums - sports packs, movie channels, internationals. That's it - I get everything else. Isn't that a good thing? Well, yes... unless you want a slightly cheaper option. If I wanted to pare back my bill by going to a lower tier, I really can't do that with FiOS. If I want HD, I HAVE to get their Extreme package.

    I think that covers it.
  6. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    The only other thing I would mention is the D* exclusives such as the Mix Channels, Interactive Weather Channel, the 101 and special sports event channels like the US Open, etc.
  7. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
    I have fooled around with Fios and like it alot. If i had it here i probably would switch. The interface is also very nice. I would do a compare for a couple of months but i would say minus HD space right now Fios has an edge IMO
  8. cariera

    cariera Icon

    Oct 27, 2006
    jpl, good solid post and comparison.:)
  9. itguy05

    itguy05 Legend

    Oct 24, 2007
    Thanks guys. I'm thinking of the double play - very happy with our VoIP service (Viatalk, $200 for 2 years unlimited). I'm salivating at the thought of 25/15 internet :)

    Could care less about sports so that is not applicable.

    Right now, I pay Directv $81.25 a month (Choice + HD + DVR + 1 extra) and Verizon $54.99 for 15/5 internet. $136.24 Total.

    With our 2 DVR's on Verizon, HD Extreme, and 25/15 Internet, I'm looking at $126.97 a month or a $9.27 savings. And then there's that $150 carrot that they are dangling. For a net cost of $114.47 per month (or a free month and a half).

    The only thing that's bugging me is the less DVR capacity on FIOS. The positive is that if they get the higher capacity or enable eSATA it will be better.

    Oh Well, I have until December 30 to make up my mind.
  10. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2008
    fios also makes you par $10 per hd box and $15-$20 per HD dvr. HD dvr $15 Home Media DVR $20 for 20h HD
  11. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    Each person has different interests and that's why providers use different ways to market their offerings. D* uses the "Sports Leader" approach and thats what I'm interested in. So for me they have the edge.

    JPL did an excellent job of recapping D* & FiOS advantages/disadvantages. I made the post about the US Open coverage, etc, because I believe those are a few advantages D* has that he should have included. If someone is making a decision to switch, its something they will lose that they might not think about.
  12. Brennok

    Brennok Legend

    Dec 23, 2005
    Also one thing to consider as far as a pro for Fios at least for me is the ability to use your own DVR. I don't just mean Tivo/Moxi but now with Windows 7 dropping the requirements for cable card tuners you will be able to build a 4 tuner DVR with as much space as you want with the ability to record any channel using only one cable card at 3.99 a month.
  13. Hutchinshouse

    Hutchinshouse Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2006
    I've seen many people state that FiOS SD blows away DIRECTV SD.

    Why is this?

    DIRECTV compressing the “H” out of it?
  14. whitey2755

    whitey2755 AllStar

    Oct 8, 2006

    Best post I have seen yet on this matter. Thanks!

  15. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
    Yah pretty much
  16. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    Of course another con against FiOS is the fact that unlike DirecTV it is not available everywhere and subject to federal and state right-of-way taxes. Here for instance in South L.A. our ILEC is AT&T , which therefore prohibits the intrusion of another LEC such as Verizon into their service area. So we cannot get FiOS.

    Another problem I see is that since FiOS TV simply conveys a conventional ~870 MHz RF CATV signal spectrum over a 1550 nm analog modulated laser beam to the individual subscriber's "Optical Network Terminal" (or "ONT") which in turn reverts it back to a conventional coaxial cable RF band, I frankly see no advantage in FiOS' fiber-to-the-home system over a HFC digital cable system in this respect.

    I know that Verizon's ultimate goal is to eventually convert to a full "Switched Digital Video" ("SDV") system for the delivery of their TV services as with their present on-demand PPVs, but for the time being I only see the speed of their internet and the on-demand downloads as the only real benefits of the FTTH system used by the FiOS service right now.
  17. captain_video

    captain_video Icon

    Nov 21, 2005
    I had DirecTV for over 10 years and FIOS for about 2-1/2 years. I've never regretted making the switch to FIOS. If for no other reason, get it for their wideband internet. I used to have Comcast wideband and they charged me almost twice as much for inferior service.

    One of the best features with Verizon is that I have landline phone service, internet, and TV service in a single package and get just one bill for all of them. I also have Verizon wireless phone service and that's rolled into the monthly bill as well. I get a slight discount on my TV service by having the other two (phone and internet). My phone service includes unlimited long distance for what I used to pay for just local service.

    TV channel packages are competitive with other providers, including DirecTV. Fios offers several channels that DirecTV doesn't (HBO Comedy comes to mind and I'm sure there are others). DirecTV offers a whopping four HD local channels in my area whereas I get about a dozen with FIOS from two different markets (Baltimore and DC).

    Someone mentioned the restrictions on CableCARDs being lifted. I currently have an HTPC with six ATSC tuners for picking up all of my local HD channels via OTA antenna. I also have two S3 Tivos with four CableCARDS for recording from FIOS channels. When the new CableCARD tuners become available at the end of this year from Hauppauge (the 4-tuner model from Ceton will be avilable in the 1st quarter of 2010), I'll be adding four more tuners to my HTPC and dumping my Tivos when my 3-year prepaid plan expires early next year. The CableCARD tuners only require a single M-card so I'll not only be reducing my CableCARD renal from 4 to 1 card, I'll also be eliminating my service fees with Tivo. The reduction in monthly fees will more than pay for the tuners and I'll probably come out slightly ahead when I sell the Tivos.

    Did I mention that there's no commitment when you sign up for FIOS service? The number of negative posts about DirecTV's customer service has escalated over the past couple of years, making me even more elated that I made the switch. I've always done my own dish and cable installations so I never had to deal with any of the contract installers or DirecTV techs. The one instance where I had a DirecTV installer come out to my house was not a good experience. I purchased a HDTivo from DirecTV and they would not ship it to me directly. They had to have one of their installers come out and hook it up for me, which just made the experience more inconvenient than necessary. The installer turned out to be a complete moron and managed to mishandle the HDTivo during installation such that it died exactly 93 days following installation. Since I could only get a new HDTivo as a replacement if it died within 90 days, I had to settle for a refurbed unit.

    Since the OP already has DirecTV, there's a good chance Verizon can use your existing wiring. The Verizon techs that came to my house were very professional and knew exactly what they were doing. I had internet problems that turned out to be an issue with a bittorrent client I was running on my PC but Verizon responded quickly to every one of my service requests and never charged me a dime. I called them one time and they said they'd be there that afternoon. I went out to run some errands for about 45 minutes and found a note on my front door when I returned that the techs had been there and I wasn't home. I called them back to reschedule and they were there within 30 minutes. How long do you think it would have taken DirecTV to respond to a service request?
  18. bruceko

    bruceko Mentor

    Dec 14, 2006
    The biggest negative for fios is customer service.
    If you think you have dealt with dumb Directv csr's just wait until you deal with Verizon.
  19. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    That is great service, hope it doesn't change as they get more customers. If there was a possibility that they would offer FiOS in my area, I would switch from AT&T DSL. Although I would keep D* for TV because of NFL ST and the rest of the sports programming. Although if Verizon bought D* and was able to offer NFL ST on FiOS, then we would be talkin'.

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