Goodbye Comcast, Hello FIOS and the Kitchen Sink

August 18, 2010

I recently called Comcast to see if they would meet Verizon’s FIOS deal and the answer was no!  FIOS had recently upped the ante.  Verizon now offers their $89 a month package deal for 24 months with a contract (12 mos. without a contract).  Even with paying for their set top box after the first six months, it was still a better deal than Comcast’s $129 per month (versus the $165 I pay now).  I’m a little surprised they couldn’t offer anything better but all things being equal, FIOS is supposed to have better picture quality.  I’m looking forward to the install in early September.  Full report to follow.

Since I was able to get the FIOS DVR for free for six months, I’ve decided to sign up for it so I can compare it to TiVo side by side.  My biggest issue with the FIOS DVR to date has been it’s limited storage capacity.  Given that, I have been thinking about taking advantage of TiVo’s August deals on the Premier box. LATE BREAKING NEWS:  Verizon announced today they are soon rolling out some significant updates to their DVR including an HD guide and an easy way to add external storage.  If there’s an easy way to plug a 1 TB drive into their DVR, that’s a game changer.  In addition, all recorded shows from all DVRs in the home will be shown on one centralized list which is way superior to TiVo’s current multi-room viewing (MRV).  You can read the complete story on engadget.

Furthermore, Verizon announced a new movie rental and purchase system as well as an iPad app to view live TV (PC Mag story).  The differentiator is that you can store purchased movies in the cloud.  Unlike other services such as iTunes (at least currently), you do not need to keep a copy on a hard drive in your home, it will live on Verizon’s servers.  You can play your content on a variety of devices including your TV, mobile phone or iPad.   Amazon’s video on demand is similar in that you can redownload content to your TiVo or just stream shows to your PC that you have purchased.  If that wasn’t enough, Verizon also announced remote DVR scheduling as well as an iPad app that will let you see what channels are popular at any moment in your area (What’s Hot).
The fact that Verizon is integrating all of this together at a relatively low price is a compelling strategy. To counter, there will come a point where one could just live off an Internet connection.  Home phone can be served up today via a VoIP solution such as Vonage or Magicjack.  While we’re not where we need to be with solutions that stream shows to your TV, the day is coming where we have the variety and quality we are looking for.  Verizon and other providers are aware of that and are attempting to create a compelling package where we will pay at least $100 a month.  So, the game is afoot.  Luckily for Google, Tivo and Apple, not everyone can get FIOS.

Tags: Amazon, comcast, FIOS, TiVo, Verizon

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