Originally Posted by jhav
I thought it made sense to post my comments that were originally posted on the "Philadelphia - HDTV" thread in this section. I converted from Comcast to FiOS on 12/29.
As I previously posted, I had FiOS TV installed yesterday- here's my initial impressions:
1) INSTALL: The whole process took a while considering that I already have FiOS internet service installed in my home. The tech arrived around 10 and didn't leave until 3.
The install was going real smooth until the Multi-room HD/DVR box would not get any digital channels - The tech had to swap it with another at the local Vz office. Once he got the box working, I did not receive any of the "HD National" channels (ESPN-HD, TNT-HD, HDNet, etc) - this seemed odd as I was getting the HD Local and Premium channels ok. The install rep had me call VZ Customer Service - after getting transferred around and around, I finally got through to a CSR that was accurately able to troubleshoot/resolve the issue.
As it turned out, the rep who took my order did not 'tick the box in the system for the HD channels.' The rep that I got on the phone yesterday was able to make the change, though it took about 20 minutes for the update to propagate to my box.
The install rep was kind enough to split the FiOS cable feed to all TV's in my house - 3 where he installed the boxes, and the kitchen TV which only uses an analog tuner. Additionally, he checked and replaced/re-capped some older coax cables throughout my home where necessary - though most did not require any maintenance.
2) OFFERING/QUALITY - As others have reported previously, there is a noticeable improvement on the broadcast quality of the non-HD channels - on both my HD LCD Projection TV as well as on my standard CRT sets. The HD picture is also improved - not so much in the quality of the picture, but in the significant reduction in macro-blocking that I have become accustomed to in fast-moving sequences.
A good example/comparison of this is with the opening sequence for SportsCenter. With Comcast, I became used to the rapidly moving sequences digitizing frequently. Watching with FiOS last night, I barely noticed any blocking. From this standpoint, I'd say it was a 90% improvement over Comcast.
3) REMOTE CONTROL - The FiOS remote is cluttered an not as easy to use as the Comcast remote that it replaced. The good news is that Vz is in the process of replacing the remote with one that is very similar to the Comcast remote --- the tech gave me a brochure on the new remote and told me to call in and request replacement in mid-January as that is when they are expected to arrive.
3a) SET TOP BOX - The only thing worth mentioning here is that the Vz box is much more responsive than the Comcast box. I have not experienced any lag when scrolling through channel lists nor have I experienced any freeze-up with the controls when fast-forwarding/rewinding DVR/Live content.
4) CHANNEL OFFERING - For me as a sports fan, the most important channel offered by Vz is Comcast SportsNet (both digital and HD). IMHO, this channel alone puts Vz in a unique position of really being able to compete with Comcast as an entertainment/TV provider.
That said, one of the biggest differences here is that Vz still offers the "West" feeds of every movie channel provided - unlike Comcast which nixed most of the West feeds several months ago to save some bandwidth. Additionally, I was pleased to see that Fox-HD has been added to the channel offering - I was concerned as it was not listed on the channel guide on the VZ Website. According to the tech, it was just added in the past week and the website had not been updated with the new channel list as of yet. There is also a greater offering of HD channels as compared with Comcast - I believe the only HD channel that you lose in the switch is INHD.
Verizion's HD lineup currently includes:
NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, PBS (WHYY), PBS (WNJT), CW, WPHL, TNT, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, Comcast SportsNet, HD Net, HD Net Movies, Universal HD, Discovery HD, Wealth HD, National Geographic HD, MTV HD, HBO*, Cinemax*, Showtime*, TMC*, Starz*.
5) VOD (On-Demand) - My initial take is that Comcast offers a greater On Demand selection than Vz. One thing that is noticeably absent from Vz's VOD offering is the lack of any HD content - I am hopeful that this will be added in the near future. As for content, it seems that Comcast has some options that VZ does not - I did not see any CBS or NBC offerings - additionally, I did not notice any local content (Comcast SportsNet programming - no real surprise here, Eagles-specific content in NFL-network, Yo! Rocky - I miss this one, etc.) My 4 year old daughter was excited that Vz offers Disney On Demand - this was not available via Comcast. As I play with Vz VOD more, I will post additional info.
6) MORE INFO TO COME: For PIP purposes, I split the cable for my HDTV and ran one directly to the cable-in jack with the other to the Moto box. I did run the auto-program last night --- I believe it found ~30 analog channels with ~350 digital channels. As was previously reported, almost all digital channels are encrypted. The locals, their HD counterparts, and the music channels were the only ones that I could tune to in my initial attempts - though I did not try them all.
For the kitchen TV, the 30+ analog channels come in nicely - as most of you are aware, the analog offering does NOT include ESPN, Comcast SportsNet, CNN, etc. It does include all of the local channels plus WGN plus several others that I didn't take note of. For my family, this is sufficient for the kitchen TV.
7) COMCAST CANCELLATION - Shortly after the install was complete, I returned all 3 of my Comcast DVR boxes to their Ply Mtg location. From there, they were able to cancel my account effective yesterday, though the service will not be turned off until next Thursday. The cancellation went smoothly and the Comcast rep was even able to give me a credit for a 4th box that was incorrectly being billed to my account since early October ---- this was quite an accomplishment as I have spent many hours on the phone over the past 2+ months with various Comcast reps in attempt to resolve this issue with ZERO success and MUCHO frustration. For any of you experiencing similar challenges with Comcast, you may want to consider a drive to you local center.
All in all, so far I am very happy with my FiOS experience.
i'm in a nearby area to you and have had an opposite and bad experience plus not satisfied with teh services at all compare to comcast. i went through a lot of mess and trouble with permanent damage and inconveniences still un fixed all for what amounts to be inferior inetnet and tv service to what i had with comcast and is more expensive and requires more stbs.
heres what i wrote in another thread or two and as long as it is still leaves out some negative details.
" I'm totally aggravated from my 2 day install of fios at this point.
the first day was an all day affair with 2 guys in and out of my house up and down in all rooms on all floors and attic. sometimes they'd wear the booties over their shoes but many times not and needles to say you get a lot of dirt.
i was super tired and they were there all day and even still when wife got home.
i told the guy from teh start not to disconnect the comcast aas we still had it and would want it in some rooms for the basic adn to plug in comcast dvr boxes to watch stuff we still had on them. they said they coldn't do that so i told him well i have comcast cable modem so make sure that is left alone as it was a direct shot from outside.
again it was an all deal ordeal and real pita. i hate having guys in my house and they check everything out and ask all these questions.
long story short they got 2 hd dvr boxes installed and one non dvr hd box in and working. but not without a lot of mess and aggravation etc. etc. only for me to find what i've already read and known to expect. a slightly better std def pq but a crappy remote and worse guide and dvr funcitons etc.
the vod is even less and worse then i thought it would be as well.
not till the next day do i notice my comcast cable modem isnt' working. they disconnected it. i spent a lot of time on the phone with a cust service rep and they get the same techs back to reconnect my comcast cable modem internet, check the non stb tvs to get the local chans working cus they had nothing but snow and get the smaller tv in kitchen to do full screen for non hd chans.
they guy messes with my tv remote and the box and couldnt' do it. it was like that on the other 2 tvs too but i didnt' mind as much on my big one and my one plasma has an auto stretch feature.
anyway they come back and they try to get the cable modem working again and can't only for the guy to realize that he took the amp comcast had on their off and threw it out and basically saying they dont have one and so i can't get comcast cable modem back on unless i prob would have had ot have comcast back out which would be who knows when and it wasn't their fault so they would have to charge someone probably me and theni would have to take up with verizon.
i needed internet back asap so thats how i was forced into getting verion fios internet, which supposedly is a clearer winner over comcast internet because its faster and doesnt' fluctuate due to trafic. meanwhile i'm not convinced of all that and i was getting fasters speeds with comcast then i am on fios with the 5/2 option. i think i just had a great comcast connection
so it was a whole ordearl to get that working and when i called earlier in the day they said they'd throw in another box but its prob just free for a year as part of the promotion and just a std def box so not a big favor they did.
they guy tried connected the hd box in kitchen with component thinking that would make it full screen and i dont know wha t he was thinking as i told him it would be same. i forgot what else he tired but we decided on just putting a std def box there. as the only way and at first he was going to connect it with coax till i told him thast the worst picture so then he brought rca and i looked at the std box and saw the best video it had was svideo so he got that for me.
it was now full screen but later i realize on other tv with hd box that all you have ot do is go into the menu of the box with box off and change the override from off to 480p or stretch. I can't believe how little these guys know and yet how they act its really annoying.
so now i'm pissed i tooka std def box over hd just to get full screen cus the stupid techs didn't know how to hit one button. then when i call verizon to see how to do it if its diff then comcast moto box i get this foreign guy who explained the simplest thing in most messed up way and isissted you had to do it on the box when you dont. bottom line was my box wasn't working to get hte menu up when off and i had to unplug it a few times and whatever else get signal sent and finally it was owrking like it should like comcast motos have by using remote to hit menu with power off.
What is better override choice though? 480p or stretch. i thought 480p as you dont just want to stretch the 4:3 image as it would look as much and rather set the res lower to fill screen but actually the benefit of stretch is that your tv doens't do the slow transisition between sd and hd and i think it looks about the same as 480p so stretch might be good.
so they got router in and inet working and got tv in same room as inet working which i moved the hd box up to though at first the guy acted like he wouldn't be able to do that that night until he realized he could with no problem.
the phone support person though i should have locals on another tv with no stb but he said he would have to run a line to even though there is already a coax there and it was a lot of trouble and pain just for locals so basically making me have to accept snow.
i just didn't get if they were supposed to reconnect the comcast cable modem if he hadn't stupidly discarded their amp then i could have also hd comcast connection on other room to use my comcast dvrs for now and then possibly keep comcast for basic cable chans on a couple tvs that might even still work after i canceled comcast which would be ideal and good for fios cus i would keep them and still have my comcast basicas on a couple tv without stb.
then with the crappy large actiontec router i called up and the guy said yes when i asked if it was a/b/g and sure enough its just b/g. also i get a weaker signal form it on xbox 360 then i did with a cheap netgear b/g router.
and the fios actiontec router has a bad NAT that wont allow xbox live. i called up tech support and was on with a guy for awhile who did all types of crap by logging onto my comptuer which i hate. its scary letting them control your computer andwatch them move your mosue around and do crap. i'm not helpless i dont know why they cna't just tell you what to do for an educated tech savy custoemr like myself.
the guy couldn't get the nat better for the actiontec nad he couldn't connect the netgear router ot the actiontec after spending a ton of time on my pc and then on my laptop .
first day they set some stuff like external boxes in garage and had to use an extension cord of mine until i can have an electrician add an extra outlet box there instead of just putting everything by the one. then 2nd day they broke the access panel to my attic.
what a mess and ordeal. now i wonder whats entailed in at least getting comcast tv back. i figured i would be better off for the new wiring in plance but actually i think comcast will have to come out and re do everything and re add amps etc. because all verizon did is mess all that up.
in the end totally aggravated , far from satisfied, wasted lots of time and had my house turned upside down only for an inferior service to comcast and ot have to switch back anyway. sucks.
also as another annoyance, since there were other fios installs in my neighborhood, guys kept coming to my door and asking for the guys working on my house. they didnt' need to help or be there for any reason they just wanted to be nosy and come in and check my house out and all my tvs. you couldn't really say no and be an ahole but i ended up feeling more pissed that i let them in. this was one of many minor and major annoyances for an install all for a service that ends up being inferior to what i had."