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Archer75, when did you last check FiOS?

I'm in Oregon too, and just got off the phone with Frontier. He asked for my address (Hillsboro), then told me that FiOS service IS available, and quoted me monthly prices for Extreme HD package, Multi-room DVD, etc. He said the install cost would be [under $50] and no long-term contract is required.

I said how pleasantly surprised I was given reports of Frontier wanting to exit the TV business, fighting with Oregon regulators, charging $500 for new customers, etc. He said the company HAD been negative on the TV business for several months, but that recently employees were notified that things are back in a positive direction. The Frontier Web site still pushes DirecTV, but he said that should be updated soon.

Like the original poster, I'm looking to switch from Dish, though my reasons are less financial and more that my new plasma TV really exposes the limitations of Dish's "HD lite" picture quality. Everywhere I've searched the consensus seems to be that FiOS picture quality is best. Also, if I do a "triple play" the price will indeed be right.

So, I'm tempted to jump in on the FiOS, but a little hesitant about doing a deal with a company that apparently hasn't been doing good business in our area.
 

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I have looked into DirecTV, and their deals for new subscribers seem comparable to my Dish costs, even after the first few years. However, I've seen varied opinions on Dish vs DirecTV picture quality, with many seeming to think they're a wash. FiOS on the other hand seems to be widely agreed to have top picture quality, which is why I was looking into the Frontier/FiOS option.

Of course I'd love to hear other views from those who have seen FiOS (or DirecTV) on a really good HDTV setup. To me most of Dish's HD channels have the classic bitrate-starved compression look: great picture when everything's still, then back to artifact city when action resumes. On a big plasma set, it's hard to go back to after watching a pristine Blu-ray.
 

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Thanks archer. I think the issue with Dish (and it sounds like DirecTV) HD isn't so much resolution but bitrate. A 720p or 1080i picture can be made to look great given enough data, such as the amount delivered on a Blu-ray disc. However when service providers cram so many channels on a transponder they have to lower the data rate for each channel to a point where the compression algorithm has to make serious compromises, especially during high-action scenes, hence the noticeably fuzzy/blocky/high-artifact look sometimes referred to as "HD lite".

What I've HEARD is that FiOS is more liberal with bitrate per channel, meaning they should be able to deliver cleaner HD quality, whether at 720p, 1080i or whatever. Perhaps others with experience can confirm that (ssmark, trying to steer back to your FiOS topic, don't mean to hijack).
 

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For FiOS DVR, I understand their 1.9 firmware enables use of an external eSATA drive. Also, their model QIP 7232 DVR comes with a larger internal drive to start with. So, either Verizon's site needs updating, or maybe they intend "at least 80 hours SD" to just cover the worst case (older DVR model, AND you don't add an eSATA drive).
 
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