Originally Posted by Savatage316
I might get more action in here so if you guys could, help me out a bit. Basically im happy with Dish Network, i think the PQ is really good and ive enjoyed it for a handful of years now. But since Fios is finally here for me, im thinking of switching out. Now the internet for me is pretty much a no brainer, but i need to know what are the pros and cons to fios that maybe you guys have run into.
I've had Dish Network for almost 15 years now, and I've always been very happy. Dish probably considered me to be a perfect customer, because I subscribed to almost every premium channel they offer and required very little tech support. But this year, they hiked my price up about $6/month, which put my total over $150/month. That pushed me past the breaking point to where I could no longer ignore the big cost savings of adding FiOS TV (Ultimate HD) to my existing FiOS double-play bundle, and I made the switch.
The answer to your "pros and cons" question will depend a lot on your own situation, what Dish equipment you currently have, etc. You've already had great advice in terms of carefully comparing the channel charts for Dish vs. FiOS. For me, it was basically a wash: I lost a few channels that only Dish carried (like the SuperStations package, Glenn Beck's BlazeTV, and the free Blockbuster on-demand content), and gained a few that only FiOS carried (like the Big 10 Network, because Dish apparently thinks that Big 10 alumni never move outside of the Midwest). I think I had a few more HD stations on Dish, but they were pretty similar for what I usually watch.
The one place where Dish really shines vs. FiOS is equipment. If you've had one of the newer triple-tuner Dish DVRs (never mind the 6-tuner Hopper/Joey combo, which is even better), you'll probably be disappointed with the FiOS gear. In my area, VZW uses only the newest Cisco boxes, and there's just no comparison. Dish DVRs and receivers have always been great, and I'm really going to miss them. Just a few examples: Both the Cisco multi-room DVR and the HD set-top boxes are much more sluggish across the board, including bringing up menus or the guide, skipping +30 or -10 sec during playback, etc. These were all instantaneous on my old Dish 622, but are noticeably laggy on the Cisco boxes - perhaps they have slower processors? I also really miss the simple ability to choose the channel ordering: FiOS has lower numbers at the top of the guide, which increase as you scroll down. Ditto with simply scanning channels with the remote, where the 'down' arrow makes the channel go UP, and vice versa. This is proving very hard to get used to, after 15 years of having it the other way which just seems much more intuitive to me. From the very beginning, Dish boxes have let the user choose between these two approaches; the FiOS gear doesn't.
And the one that's driving me nuts more than anything else is the way stations that have both SD and HD versions are handled. FiOS puts any HD duplicates of SD stations into the 500 range. So for an SD channel at 50, the high-def version (if one exists) will be found way up at 550. This completely messes up channel ordering in favorite lists, the guide, or even just surfing through channels. A great example is the set of Showtime channels. You'll find all the SD versions neatly grouped together, but high-def versions aren't offered for every Showtime channel - and for those that are, they're not in the same area of the lineup. If you create a Favorites list that contains only the high-def versions (whenever both SD and HD are available), you'll end up with sequences of the Showtime channels in different places vs. being all grouped together. (For those that have never used Dish, they simply 'map' all of the HD channels onto the identical channel numbers as the SD versions. When browsing "all channels", you'll find '105 - USA Network' and right above it will be '105 - USA Network (HD)'. So a favorites list that simply removes those SD versions keeps everything together, and just where you'd also find it on an SD box.) I find the FiOS approach really confusing by comparison, even for techies like me... my wife already hates it and wants me to bring back the Dish boxes. So if anyone knows something I'm missing that will improve this with FiOS, I'd sure love to hear it!
Finally, this may not be an issue for you, but I had a setup where the RF outputs of all my Dish receivers (Outputs 1 and 2 from the DVR, as well as the single outputs from two other HD receivers) were combined with an OTA antenna feed, amplified, and then distributed to all the other TVs in the house. That way, older and seldom-used SD sets without ATSC tuners could still view any of the four "house channels", while newer sets could view all of the off-air locals in addition to the four house channels. Since the Dish DVR remotes are UHF (not IR), I just have several extra remotes that can be placed near any of these secondary TVs as needed. There's no extra cost for boxes; any set can watch any channel (HD or SD); and can even view DVR recordings if desired. I'm having a lot of trouble duplicating this with FiOS without paying a fortune for extra set-top boxes. I can add RF to the remotes fairly cheaply, but all of them are on the same frequency so would change all of the boxes at once (Dish remotes and boxes have user-selectable frequencies). Also, I used diplexers to feed the Dish satellite signal to
the set top boxes and also to carry the RF output back
to a central hub using a single coax cable. That scheme won't work with FiOS receivers because FiOS TV and OTA frequencies overlap, and there's no reasonable way to get another coax line into those rooms.
Overall, though, the FiOS picture quality is superb - every bit as good as Dish if not better. And for a savings of almost $100/month (!) I can either learn to live with the few disappointments or find some way to work around them.
Hope this helps...