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Directv vs fios?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by cwpomeroy, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. cwpomeroy

    cwpomeroy AllStar

    Aug 7, 2007
    Curious if anyone has an updated comparison of the two? I've been with Directv since the first directivo (about 12 years) and generally like it but the costs are high vs some of the bundle options Fios offers. I currently have the top package with three Hddvr's, deca with MRV. Don't do Sunday ticket or any real ppv. I have a 3d tv. I do have external HD on two of the receivers and like having the extra storage. Two of the receivers I use the comp out to additional tv's (to avoid paying additional monthly fees for more receivers). I don't have the latest stb but have a couple of the older ones.

    If I had any wish list items it would be an iPad app to manage season pass settings. Ability to manage them across the three devices. Ability to 'download' content to an iPad for traveling. Better Guide UI. More 3d content. Save money by bundling my TV, phone and Internet monthly expenses. Ability to have basic channels on other seldom used tv's in the house without paying another monthly fee (I have an antenna feeding them today).

    Boiled down it's managing the recording and saving a few bucks from a bundle that have me looking. Anyone in the same situation made a switch lately?
  2. golf4dj

    golf4dj Cool Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    I switched from DTV to FIOS about a year ago (NoVA as well). I had been with DTV for several years as well and was looking forward to the savings aforded by bundling as I had been a subcriber to FIOS Internet since day one it was offered in my neighborhood.

    From a services perspective, FIOS internet is excellent, phone service is what you would expect and the FIOS TV picture quality in both HD and SD was excellent. The DVR was decent, however, in my opinion was not quite as good as DTV's DVR. Hardrive space was smaller and while FIOS has been promising external HD support, it was not yet available. On Demand is also excellent and was much better than DTV. As most know, they charge much more for the set top boxes with the Multi room DVR running about $20, DVR at about $17 and HD Box at about $13 and the fees on the phone service also add to the price. Real world, I was expecting to pay about $150 a month.

    Know, for my real experience. I switched to take advantage of the bundling option. For 9 months I fought with their Verizon CSRs because they could never get my accounts merged (I had FIOS internet before wishing to bundle). Every other month I would call and spend at least an hour on the phone and they would make multiple adjustments to my billings while promising to get it right for the next billing cycle. Some months I had to make at least two calls. Since they could never get my accounts merged, I was being charged full price for each of the services which made my bundling cost to over $250 a month. I am pretty confident that in the end I ended up paying quite a bit more than I should.

    Fortunately, I moved a few weeks ago and said good buy to Verizon. For the actual TV, Internet, and phone service, I would do it again as I do think they all in all they would be cheaper and the service seems very reliable and don't have to deal with rainfade which is an issue in Northern Virginia. If you have billing issues with Verizon, run as it seems as if my experience is not unique. FIOS is not an option in SoCal where I am moving to so I will be happilly coming back to DTV.

    Hope this helps.
  3. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Rain fade is an issue in nova? I live in Maryland and get fade only on the oncoming of a hell of a storm for a couple of minutes.

    Didn't realize nova was in the tropics as it is only 20 minutes away (an hour by beltway (wink)).
  4. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    I know I'm going to get crap from some on this forum about reflexively responding about a FiOS post, but some of this information isn't right. First, the stand-alone boxes are $10/month, not $13. While that's still high, realize that Verizon now offers hardware bundling discounts if you get the multi-room DVR. If you have the multi-room DVR, the first HD box (aside from the digital adapter, Verizon no longer offers an SD box) is $8/month. The second is $6/month... as is every one beyond that.

    Verizon is also rolling out its' latest guide s/w, which includes lots of nice enhancements over what you've seen. Not only do they now have an HD guide (coming out with that new guide s/w), but the external expansion that you mentioned is included as well. And from what I understand, there's no theoretical upper limit on the expansion drive - the drive just needs to be able to meet a specific data transfer rate to work - some are claiming that they're able to run with 3 TB external drives.

    Finally, the latest slate of DVRs that Verizon is putting out there all have 500 GB internal harddrives. Granted, there are still some customers getting the slightly older Motorola 7216 HD DVR (with the 160GB harddrive), but their standard now is to put out either the Cisco DVR (forget the model number) or the Motorola 7232 - both of which have a 500 GB internal drive. Even new customers getting the 7216 have been able to successfully swap out for the newer hardware on request, from what I've read.

    Finally, finally - on the cost of the phone. You're talking about taxes/FCC fees being added on. Verizon also now offers Digital Voice - their VoIP service, which doesn't get hit with those fees. On top of that, because of how their system is configured, the big problem with VoIP (loss of service with loss of power) is eliminated - their battery backup unit works the same whether you get their standard phone service, or VoIP. Digital Voice gives you more features as well - call quality is comparable. About the only difference is that Digital Voice requires 10-digit dialing (which in many parts of the country, including this one, already have on standard service anyway).
  5. UTVLamented

    UTVLamented Legend

    Oct 18, 2006
    As someone who has both tv services (Directv for 14 years, FIOS for 2+). I can answer your question.

    If you get the sports packages, no contest, it's Directv hands down. FIOS only has one or two HD channels for sports.

    If you don't get the sports packages, go with the FIOS triple play bundle. The new dvr's have equal or slightly greater capacity than Directv and work well. The channel changing is lightning quick. HD quality is about the same, FIOS SD quality blows away Directv. FIOS has 10 more premium channels in HD plus EPIX is available. They also have AMC HD if you like their original programming. I'm in the Philly area and they carry Comcast Sportsnet Philly here. FIOS has also started offering new PPV releases in HD for as low as 2.99.

    I have been thinking of dropping Directv as the sports packages have gotten too pricey. They treated me so well over the years my loyalty is stopping me but I am seriously considering it for the first time.
  6. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    On the number of HD feeds for premium sports packages, the difference comes from the fact that Verizon gets their feeds from In Demand, which only carries 1 to 2 HD feeds per slot. In Demand came out and said they're upping their number of HD feeds, and Verizon will carry those additional channels (as to when that will happen... speculation is that it'll happen this fall, but who knows?).

    Oh, and since you're in the Philly region, and since you mentioned Epix - check out channel 896. They just added Epix 2 HD - turned on in our market today.
  7. UTVLamented

    UTVLamented Legend

    Oct 18, 2006
    Thanks jpl. I just added Epix 2 to my guide favorites.
  8. lordexter

    lordexter Mentor

    Aug 6, 2007
    I would not recommend FIOS TV to anyone. I have had FIOS Internet and telephone since it was first offered three years ago. In March I fell for the triple play offer of only $40.00 more. The total should have been 134.99 + taxes. The first bill was $254. They credited $169. The following month they charged $279. Charged a pass due of $55. + late charge. They gave me credits for $55.,$59,$55.,$19.99. Following month they got the charges correct, but still charged me $55. Plus late charge. They would not credit the $55. Or late charge even though their previous CR had credited the amounts. I paid exactly what their Web site said I owed, but their CR's could not see the same credits I saw. I sent them a Fax showing all of the credits, but the never answered the fax. They are not worse the hassle. It took an hour on the phone to put everything back to before FIOS TV. But I am back to full DTV.
  9. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I just had an interesting opportunity. I hooked up one of my tv's to FIOS and compared. In short, HD was about the same, it seemed a little grainier. SD quality on a local channel was far worse. There was a very blotchy look and areas with very little detail seemed to be moving in slow motion. I know other people have had different experiences but that was mine.
  10. flabingo

    flabingo Mentor

    Jan 9, 2008
    My experience with Verizon is as follows. I had two cell phones, and had reception problems. Called and CANCELLED my service. They decided that I had SUSPENDED my service and for the next 14 months they charged my credit card, $10.00 per month for 14 months. When I told them about the problem, they turned my account of $400.00 over to collection. I tried repeatedly to send an email, to explain my problem. Which I could not do? I offered repeatedly to pay the difference. I could not get anybody in authority to help. I filed a small claim, and two days later, I received a call, telling me that if I would withdraw my complaint, they would give me a full credit of $400.00 not the $140.00 I had requested. I would not deal with them again, based on my experience
  11. fireponcoal

    fireponcoal Icon

    Sep 26, 2009
    fios/verizon will feck up your bill and then you'll get to deal with some of the worst customer service in the industry. like it has already been posted above this may happen for many months after you thought it fixed. ugh.

    internet is top notch and tv is not bad either. the addition of csn philly is verizon's biggest plus to me. picture quality is about the same as D* for the most part except for the superior SD. Fios has a nice pop in the color department but it's really slight..

    D* has better equipment and better guide options. Fios new guide+other new additions have not made their way to my area yet but those additions will be welcome. i still believe i will end up liking the D* equipment slightly more even with the expanded Fios options in place.
  12. Hutchinshouse

    Hutchinshouse Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2006
    To me "grainier" sounds like a good thing. Was the detail so sharp you could see the film's grain?

    As for SD, that is weird. I've seen tons of posts stating FiOS SD was very good.
  13. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    This wasn't film, this was ESPN. It's possible it came from the source but it looked like film grain, or low-light graininess (despite being shot live, digitally, on a sunny day.)

    Tons of posts are probably right but I can tell you this, in my hometown there is evidence to the contrary. I'd been seeing poor-quality SD through Verizon FIOS TV for about a year at this particular location and I had an opportunity to put one of my TVs there. I had thought that maybe the problem was a low-quality TV but it really wasn't.

    I'm having this same discussion with other people and it's leading me to the conclusion that, at least for SD, my local verizon office must be overcompressing or bitstarving the signal. I know, that's not what the media says, that's not what other blog posts say, that's not even the experience of other verizon users I know in other locations. But it is the case for me, with my own eyes.

    Also worth mentioning that this same verizon office has seriously, seriously messed up billing for several people I know.
  14. Stevies3

    Stevies3 Legend

    Jul 22, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    Here's my .02 The fees FIOS charges are not uniform around the country. If you live in the NYC metro area you wont get MSG in HD on FIOS. Also, You will find that DirecTV's channel listing is uniform throught the country except for locals of course. FIOS will vary by location
  15. ciurca

    ciurca Godfather

    Apr 14, 2009
    Every Verizon telco bundle I've ever had has been jumbled and wrong. I pay more for Comcast phone and internet just for the ease of billing.
  16. dcowboy7

    dcowboy7 Hall Of Fame

    May 22, 2008
    Pequannock, NJ
    What does that mean....like what channels ?
  17. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    Largely the fees are the same - NYC/Northern NJ are different. They get a better deal on hardware and programming packages than the rest of us - but that's because they're trying to make in-roads against the competition in that region. But they are the same everywhere else.

    As for the channel listing... what? At one point, VERY early on, that was true. I got FiOS TV over 4 years ago, and ever since I've been a customer they've had a single national channel line-up. Fox News is channel 618 for me... for my brother in nothern NJ... for customers in CA... etc. The only channels that are different between markets are local channels, RSNs, and local access channels. And even those will be in the same channel ranges from market to market.

    One final point - going to a different post - about the picture quality. I never had HD with DirecTV so I can't comment on that comparison, but on the SD quality, my experience has been just the opposite of what the one poster put out here. The SD picture quality wasn't even close - it was orders of magnitude better on FiOS than DirecTV for most channels. Some channels are bit-starved at the source (Chiller sucks no matter who the provider is), but for those that aren't, like I said, it's not even close. Verizon's picture is sharper, more detailed, and had far fewer compression artifacts than what I ever had on DirecTV.

    Probably the two biggest deficiencies for FiOS, from my perspective, have nothing to do with the service itself. Verizon's billing is legendary for being messed up. It's gotten better, but it's still marginal. Still, I've personally had very few billing issues, and those that I have had were cleared up right away with a phone call. The other is their on-line ordering system, which sucks badly. I've been able to successfully do minor things on there, like ordering a new STB. But for placing an initial order? My reco is always the same for folks looking to order - order on line to get the specail deals they'll give you for ordering on line, and then immediately call them to confirm the order. And after installation, make sure they didn't give you add-ons that you never asked for. Oh, and when I moved, I TRIED using their website to place the move order. I got so frustrated that I just called them.
  18. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
    They may have treated you well but loyalty has limits when it starts costing serious money it becomes time to rethink things.

    I had cable since HBO was one part time channel. Satellite came to my attention when the local cable company started running adverts knocking Satellite TV. I looked into it, DirecTV was cheaper with more channels. I went to a long gone discounter, bought Two RCA receivers and installation.

    Once I was sure DirecTV was working I cut cable back to basic only as a backup, Still have it to this day. It gets me locals in HD via Clear QAM as well as all the subchannels on the locals.

    Cable got to expensive and out it went.

    I did try their digital service when it was available in testing, watching the picture slowly appear in little blocks when you changed channels became old quick, The STB crashing all the time, nah.

    Any loyalty I felt to DirecTV went out the window with the Fiasco when they bought USSB.
  19. Reaper

    Reaper Godfather

    Jul 30, 2008
    That's incorrect. FiOS has a national channel lineup with only local channels varying, just like DIRECTV.
    Just the facts please
  20. Reaper

    Reaper Godfather

    Jul 30, 2008
    I've had FiOS for a few years and Dish Network for a couple before that. I had DIRECTV in parallel or standalone for about 10 years, until about a year ago.

    For my money, FiOS TV is the best hands down. They're the only provider that doesn't add additional compression to their HD feeds. The VOD is great. The DVR is better than DIRECTV's across the board - colorful interface, lightning fast. The latest model has a sufficient hard drive and supports an external drive (with the software update that they're currently rolling out).

    While DIRECTV decreases the resolution of their SD channels, FiOS SD is near DVD quality (it's about the same quality as upscaled SD content on DIRECTV HD channels). Unlike with DIRECTV, I don't mind watching SD channels on FiOS - which is great because I enjoy watching some classic TV shows.

    FiOS has more of the national HD channels that I care about than DIRECTV.

    What's the downside? Their billing sucks and that's no lie.

    What do I miss about DIRECTV? NFLST, but that's all. The NFL RedZone channel is a fair replacement IMHO.

    What do I miss about Dish Network? PIP. Also, they now have more of the national HD channels that I care about than FiOS: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1058081

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