Not sure what part of NJ you're in, but in South Jersey the HD content for FIOS isn't even close to what Directv has to offer. When the salesman came around I asked if they had MLB EI or NHL CI and he said "no not at this time". They also only offered 19 national HD channels plus locals. Plus 15.99 for an HD DVR or 19.99 per month for a multiroom dvr.
Oh yea and I forgot to mention $9.99 per HD settop box. Since I have 3 boxes plus 2 DVR's, it would cost me approx. $60 a month just for the boxes
Not to turn this into a fios roll-out thread, but S. Jersey is fed out of Philly. And we're getting updated in early September. S NJ actually is getting it's slate of new channels before we will here in PA (they're breaking the market up into 4 sub-regions for this rollout). The only question that we have is - how many channels will we get?
See, Verizon did a multi-stage update, on a region-by-region basis:
1) Eliminate analogs and expand network.
2) Roll out first slate of ~25 new HD channels, plus a bunch of SD channels.
3) Add remaining HD channels to get their line-up to 100+ HD channels.
NY and N NJ were expedited on steps 2 and 3. The reason - NYC just awarded Verizon a video franchise and they wanted to make a big splash. As a result, NY and NNJ are already done with step 3, even though some markets haven't hit step 1 yet, and others (like mine) are waiting on step 2.
All that being said, Verizon seems to have stepped up their roll-out across the board. For example, MA and RI just completed step 2, and instead of adding some 20 - 25 HD channels (getting them up to 50 - 55 for the market), they got them up to 87 HD channels off the bat. The remaining ~15 will come later. Included with that 87 channels are all the HBO/Cinemax/Starz/Showtime/TMC HD channels that are out there.
Also from what I hear, the remaining HD channels will be in every market by October.
So, based on all the dates I've seen and all, if Verizon's schedule holds (and they've been uncharacteristically good about it this time), all markets should be up to at least 85 HD channels by October - and likely all markets will actually be at 100+ by then. So you're market should have at least 85 channels by 9/2 (I believe that's the right date), with the remaining 15 or so showing up in October some time.
Ok, back to our regularly scheduled thread
Edit - oh yeah, as for the cost of the equipment, from what I understand, Verizon is changing their pricing structure. HD STBs will be the same price as the SD STBs, and they're offering new customers a free HD DVR (or multi room HD DVR) for a year.