DirecTV vs. Verizon FIOS (1 Viewer)

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Happy Camper

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 20, 2005
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Central Texas
I have been reading with interest all of the thread discussion about leaving D* for FIOS and claimed quality differences between the two, with White Knights for both. As one of the few Forum members to actually have both services (two houses), here's my overly simplistic view for anyone interested:

Overall rule: If you are a sports fan, D* is The One-go no further. Just get D* and keep it. If you need or want good receiver boxes or DVRs, remotes or software interfaces, go no further. Stick with D*. Otherwise, read on.

1. FIOS has a better picture, transmits a higher bit rate and full resolution HD (we can only SEE this difference on our one, newest 1080p set, not on our other sets), has more HD channels (basically all of the national ones), better customer service, more competent installers, does not need multiple cable runs for dual tuners, has no incredibly onerous service commitments worth thousands of $$$$s, doesn't need anything on your house or roof, does not make you pay the capital cost for leased equipment and generally makes you SO HAPPY you switched. And, all at a price generally about thirty dollars a month less for comparable service with more channels (Premier D* package with HD and four boxes vs. ALL channels and HD from FIOS with three HD DVRs). You don't need to plug your boxes into a phone line to start it or keep it, either.

But, FIOS is available to very few and makes an incredible mess in your neighborhood and yard putting it in. FIOS also has audio dropouts, complete losses of service like Comcast did, horrible antique tuning boxes and remotes from Motorola using five year old technology, crappy interfaces, undersized DVR hard drives, and non codeable remotes incompatible with multiple box systems or multi-box programming for whole system remotes like Harmonys or other sophisticated controllers. FIOS boxes do not tune, nor integrate, OTA via your antenna.

You can diminish a lot of gripes about FIOS by buying two or three Series 3 HD TiVos and paying through the nose for boxes and monthly programming. What a great deal that is......

2. DirecTV has the best sports packages on the planet, covers most everywhere, has overall decent service, way fewer outages and dropouts, superb interfaces, better remotes, completely superior tuning boxes and DVRs, is more compatible with custom installations and multiple box systems, and DirecTV offers far more HOPE. (okay, some say via completely false, or misleading, or deceptive statements about HD and programming advances).

But, DirecTV costs more every month (way more) and delivers less, has customers essentially sign a $2500 promissory note to get a $300 box installed (two years programming), slams customers with leased stuff and service commitments even when they say otherwise, blanks out in rainstorms and requires three wires for every DVR with local OTA.

Generally, I'd say if you are a sports fan, or if you need a really good DVR, or remote, or interface menu, or software, or if you have any kind of a sophisticated system (even as simple as having two TiVos or boxes in one room or on one rack), DirecTV is an easy choice.

As is usual in most cases, you can argue either side. The grass is always greener. In general, most people in our neighborhood switched when FIOS became available here, but most switched from Comcast or Time Warnerer as Comcast's successor, so they are ALL happy. The three people I know who switched from DirecTV are mixed. They like the service, superb picture and sound, the lower cost, the great installers and customer service. But, they hate the loss of TiVo, or even the HR 20, programmable or assignable remotes, good menus, 250 gig recording capacities, and reliable transmission service.

The above is an over simplified view, but don't automatically assume the FIOS grass is all that green. I hate DirecTV, but we still have it in one house because it's the only system with hardware and software sophisticated enough to work in our whole house system. Overall, they are not all that bad, but a lot of people get irritated with someone they live with for a long time and start looking for someone better.

Just my view. Others may differ. I for one like the competition, becuase it usually results in better stuff for the consumer. What I'd like to have would be FIOS with D*s sports, hardware and software, with FIOS pricing.
 

Questioner

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 27, 2006
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I would just add that fios hd dvr is not the greatest receiver by any means, but I still find it superior to the hr20, and I have used both extensively. I would rank dish's vip hd dvrs better than both however.

Of course tivo powered units still beat them all, but those are no longer an option with directv if you want to record and view mpeg 4 hd channels.
 

mots-a

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 22, 2006
93
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Dosnt Verizon now own Directv? -

If not From what I hear from a Verizon installer is that all feeds for the FIOS is from Directv.

just wondering.
 

kdarcangelis870

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 5, 2005
173
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Dosnt Verizon now own Directv? -

If not From what I hear from a Verizon installer is that all feeds for the FIOS is from Directv.

just wondering.

You may have heard wrong or the installer doesn't know what he is talking about. The only affiliation Verizon has with Directv is a triple play bundle: Phone, DSL, and Directv. I even believe you still get a separate bill from Directv even if you have the bundle, but I may be wrong.
 

Happy Camper

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 20, 2005
264
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Central Texas
Correctomundo, Gentlemen. Verizon, strangely, does contract with D* to be included in their Triple Play package in areas where Verizon has no fiber optics, and you do get a separate bill from D*, but small breaks on the overall service costs. Otherwise, I'm also not aware of any affiliation between the companies. We stopped getting mailers from Verizon to sign up for D* when they wired our neighborhood for FIOS.

I'm guessing this strange alliance will fade away as Verizon slowly becomes an effective competitor. Fiber optics is a powerful technology, but the cost and time it takes to wire up is substantial, harder even than launching satellites on French rockets...

The debate about which service is better is endless-each has something to recommend it. You remain aware of all the flaws of the service you have, but may discover some new problems with the service you switch to.

Did I also add that FIOS internet rocks and is lightning fast upstream and down, for less than cable?
 

Kikkenit2

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 12, 2006
63
0
Thanks for the comparison HC & others. I have D* for the football like most people but Time Warner and Verizon FIOS are both new options here and are hounding me with great offers. Very tempting. My bill with premier, HD, locals and 5 HR20's is more expensive but you have convinced me that for me it is the best option.
 

Happy Camper

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 20, 2005
264
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Central Texas
Kikkenit2: If you have a season ticket to pro football, or if you are an RSN addict, there really is no comparison to D*'s service and I'd recommend you keep it. The cost of D* is certainly way less than buying season or individual tickets to the actual games, for sure!

If you do switch, Verizon FIOS is so much better than cable it's not even worse discussing the differences, and it is the lowest cost of any of them (and likely to remain so at least until Verizon becomes a big player).

Generally, if you are not a sports package person and you do not need a really sophisticated receiver box or a DVR with loads of capacity, FIOS is a really easy choice. But, Verizon had to cut corners somewhere, and they did it with their crappy and obsolete boxes. If you have five HR20s (!!!) or the Hughes HR10-250s, know that Verizon boxes cannot compete at all. (except you run way fewer coax cables around)

Did you know that Verizon boxes have ONE remote code which works ALL of them? This means that if you set up RF or IR repeaters, or if you have two boxes near each other, any remote will control every box. Eeek! Also, their boxes do not integrate or tune over the air programming, a real drawback to those of us with antennas which get ALL the digital channels available locally, including the weather radars (a benefit which really came in handy last night in Central Texas!!)

I am certainly no White Knight for D*, but they deserve credit for some things they do very well, like sports and hardware.
 
Last edited:

Kikkenit2

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 12, 2006
63
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Kikkenit2: If you have a season ticket to pro football, or if you are an RSN addict, there really is no comparison to D*'s service and I'd recommend you keep it. The cost of D* is certainly way less than buying season or individual tickets to the actual games, for sure!

If you do switch, Verizon FIOS is so much better than cable it's not even worse discussing the differences, and it is the lowest cost of any of them (and likely to remain so at least until Verizon becomes a big player).

Generally, if you are not a sports package person and you do not need a really sophisticated receiver box or a DVR with loads of capacity, FIOS is a really easy choice. But, Verizon had to cut corners somewhere, and they did it with their crappy and obsolete boxes. If you have five HR20s (!!!) or the Hughes HR10-250s, know that Verizon boxes cannot compete at all. (except you run way fewer coax cables around)

Did you know that Verizon boxes have ONE remote code which works ALL of them? This means that if you set up RF or IR repeaters, or if you have two boxes near each other, any remote will control every box. Eeek! Also, their boxes do not integrate or tune over the air programming, a real drawback to those of us with antennas which get ALL the digital channels available locally, including the weather radars (a benefit which really came in handy last night in Central Texas!!)

I am certainly no White Knight for D*, but they deserve credit for some things they do very well, like sports and hardware.
Thanks for the advice and I totally agree with you. I don't watch live tv so the performance of the dvr is critical to me. The installer is running the 9th and 10th cable to my living room right now. He freaked out when he saw my setup. That is my next project, figuring out how to get these RC34 remotes to do 5 discrete remote codes. Right now I cover up the sensors with cardboard because hitting channel up turns on the other boxes! Hopefully some day D* will match verizon's HD video quality but until then I choose HD content over quality.
 

Happy Camper

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 20, 2005
264
0
Central Texas
Kickenit:

Check this Forum and dbstalk.com for ideas about your remotes. One of the things I like about the HR10-250 and other TiVo units, now unavailable from D*, is that you can code the remotes for up to nine codes. I only use two, for side-by-side TiVos, but custom installers have long appreciated this feature.

I think that the D* remotes can be coded for two or three boxes using some combination of the AV1, AV2 and D* switches, but I'm not sure. Try this link and see if any of the info there helps you:

http://www.dbstalk.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=60&f=112
 
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