Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Fiber-Rich Diet

So, at long last, we have replaced the lamented DVR, by giving the new competition a chance and switching to Verizon's FiOS TV, Internet, and Phone package. For the same price we were paying before for phone, cable, and high-speed Internet, we now have a faster Internet, 11 HBOs (previously had none), and a brand-spanking new DVR. So, a week in, what do Tosy and Cosh think of FiOS?

  • The picture is noticeably better - and we are not springing for HD, nor do we have a HD TV - just a plain old picture tube.
  • The channel choices. I especially like the multitude of digital music channels, a list that includes a beast I have long longed for - the showtune channel!
  • Faster Internet. Not crazy noticeable, but noticeable all the same.
  • The tech who installed it all. Eager, helpful, and superbly diligent - even when Verizon corporate dropped the ball (see below).
  • The DVR. Dual tuner. Much easier to work than the old model. Series priority capabilities.
  • Widgets - with a push of a button I can get a five-day forecast on-screen, under whatever I'm watching. Neato.
  • On Demand. After much searching, I finally figured out that I could just order up, for free, that first episode of The Sopranos. Awesome.
  • On install day, some card on some pole was out, so after doing everything the tech realized that phone calls were disconnecting after 30 seconds, and that the Internet would disconnect as well. Stupid Verizon home office refused to let him put us on another card, and told him to tell us to just wait for the card to be fixed - which would mean he came into a house with working phone and Internet only to leave it with neither. He yelled at Verizon home office. He was awesome. And yet ineffectual in the end - they wouldn't budge. In the end, we made him put us back on copper for the phone. SO he had to come back this week to finish.
  • Without a box, you get only network TV and a few odd cable channels. I knew without the $5-a-month box I wouldn't get all those HBOs, but I figured, as with cable, all the basics would work - TNT, Comedy Central, ESPN, etc. Not so much. So the bedroom and basement TVs are very limited. Ugh. Still, another $5 a month galls. Will try to go without.
  • Call waiting is included. Never had it before. Me like.

So overall, while the tech gets an A, Verizon FiOS as a whole gets a B-, for screwing up the install and for the shortsighted, piggish box strategy. But on the whole? Happy.

Until Whenever

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