As I've mentioned here before, the Verizon commercials irritate me. FiOS is great, if you're still using cable TV you're practically a Luddite, yadda, yadda, yadda. But why does the FiOS guy have to be such an annoying jerk?
The cable (Comcast really, as we've now seen in the most recent ads) guy is always trying to talk to the FiOS guy about anything else and all Mr. FiOS can talk about is how great FiOS is, how much faster it is, how everyone loves it, how many J.D. Power awards it has won -- as if tech guy would have one of those in his apartment. While the Comcast guy is also trying to prove how good cable is, you get the feeling he's just trying to get by, not shove cable down everyone's throat.
Here's the latest ad. You tell me what's so irritating about it.
If I may go off on a rant here for a moment, I actually investigated getting FiOS installed in my house. Verizon didn't even have a fiber optic cable anywhere near me that they could run to my building. And I live only a few miles from Manhattan.
Despite that, by offering a set fee for both FiOS and cell phone service, Verizon is providing something that cable competitors can't duplicate. It's a smart move on the part of the company. Since I already have Verizon Wireless, I can only wish that they got off their lazy asses and laid some more fiber optic around my neighborhood.
In the meanwhile, I'm stuck with my sadly deficient cable company (satellite isn't an option due to the nature of my condominium). For those who have FiOS, how is it? Would you be excited about packaging that with your cell phone service?
Last night I watched the commercial again (for the 4000th time) and I noticed that they've changed the ending. The FIOS guy used to say "I'm going to write down your credit card number which I memorized when I was looking..." I always thought that was an odd line, pretty much insinuating that a Verizon rep would take someone's credit card number like that. But they've now taken that line out and replaced it with something else (though the new line escapes me at the moment - anyone?). I wonder if Verizon complained?
Verizon Communications is hoping to have its FiOS TV service available to customers in New York City within the next two months. This would be a tremendous boon to those who subscribe to cable, as suddenly the choice for providers will increase from solely Time Warner.
From the article: "spokesman John Bonomo said the city's Franchise and Concession Review Committee had given the green light to the video service, which is delivered along with high-speed Internet over an all-fiber network and is meant to compete with cable television."
Franky. I think FiOS has more problems than just bandwidth limitations. It also suffers from a limited market. I tried ordering the service from Verizon and discovered it didn't reach my apartment building yet. I live in a fairly populated area near New York City, so I found this surprising.
While adding more HD channels is a noble objective, I think Verizon should also work on trying to get their service out to more customers and be a better competitor to cable. Does anybody out there use Verizon FiOS? If so, what do you think of the service?
First up, Verizon is turning the FiOS TV set top boxes into media extenders. You can already access photos and music from any PC on your home network. The next generation of this technology will let you stream video. And we mean pretty much any video, including MPEG4, DiVX, Flash, and so on. Verizon's software will transcode the video to MPEG2 on the fly for playback on your TV.
Verizon also plans to improve its mobile scheduling service, which lets you set recordings on your cellphone. You can browse a program guide, set recordings, and keep track of upcoming recordings. You can also delete recordings, adjust settings, and use voice search.
The update to Verizon's FiOS TV service includes enhanced graphics, automatic updates, an improved search capability, and widgets for weather, traffic, and community information.
Zatz has some great screen shots showing the following features:
- An indicator of how much free space you have left on your hard drive
- Ability to configure the commercial skip button to fast forward 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, or 5 minutes
- Search for HD only shows
- Integrated video on demand
- Ability to record shows and view program guides from your cellphone expected this fall
Anyway, the new interactive media guide looks pretty cool. Here are some of the highlights:
- Enhanced 32-bit graphics with 16 million colors
- Ability to view all channels, favorite channels, or subscribed channels, or HDTV channels only
- New tabbed menu options
- View the program guide in full-screen, half-screen, or mini modes
- Automatic updates
- Search live TV, On-Demand video, or programs recorded on your PVR
- Enter text with a virtual keyboard, a cellphone-style multi-tap display, or using a scroll wheel
- Widgets for weather, traffic, and community info
- Market Place for ordering product,s browsing reviews, or viewing infomercials (does anyone do that on purpose?)
Unfortunately, it sounds like you will need a new phone to take advantage of this. The service uses Qualcomm's MediaFLO system to broadcast the television signal on a different spectrum than the voice or data services. The new phones will come with a program guide and subscribers will be able to channel surf using their keypads. Related to this, subscribers to Verizon's FIOS television service will be able to program their DVRs from their phones as well.
The big question, how much this will cost, isn't answered. They plan to announce pricing and availability when they get closer to the launch date. If it's within reason, it would be an interesting novelty to have, but unless you are commuting by bus or train, I'm not sure I see the usefulness of the service.
Thaaat's right, folks: according to Reuters (via our blog cousins at Engadget), the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon and YouTube are discussing an agreement where the recently-Googlified video site will provide content to Verizon via both it's VCAST mobile phone video service and to TVs via FiOS. The videos would be available on the FiOS service on an on-demand basis and likely for only a limited time.
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