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#1 05-15-2007 6:18:10 PM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
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Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Preparing to flip Comcast the bird and flip to FiOS.  I started working trying to find out what would be gained and what would be lost.  Then I figured I'd post it here to save others in the area a little work. Data as of today (5-15-07) using information from both company web sites.  I basically just used my programming package: No premiums other than HBO.  Best of my ability as it applies to matching channel names from the two lists.

Channels that FiOS carries here which Comcast does not (or you'd have to upgrade packages to get it):

ABC News Now
American Life TV
AZN Television
BBC World
BET Gospel
BET Jazz
Black Family Channel
Bridges TV
BYU
Church
CNBC World
CNN International
Crime and Investigation Network
Daystar
ESPN Classic
ESPNU
Family Net
Fit TV
Food Network HD
Fox Movie Channel
Fox Soccer Channel
Fuel
FUNimation
Fuse
Galavision
Gas
Gospel Music Channel
HD Net
HD Net Movies
HGTV HD
I-Life
INSP
International Music Feed
JCTV
LMN HD
Lifetime Real Women
Military History Channel
Mun2
National Geographic HD
NFL Network (Comcast is moving it to paid sports package in next 60 days)
NFL Network HD
Ovation
Pentagon Channel
SI Tv
Sleuth
Smile of a Child
Soundtrack Channel
Three Angels
Trinity
Varsity
Wealth TV
Wealth TV HD
WGN Chicago
WNJT-HD
WNJT2
WNJT Gov
Women's Entertainment

In addition to the sheer number, I'd be gaining the following HD channels that Comcast does not carry (this is from the list above, not in addition to it):
Food Network HD
HD Net
HD Net Movies
HGTV HD
LMN HD
National Geographic HD
NFL Network HD
Wealth TV HD
WNJT-HD (PBS)

Channels which Comcast carries here that FiOS does not (or you'd have to upgrade packages to get it):
CN8, Comcast Network
Current TV
Golf Channel
Independent Film Channel
Indieplex
MOJO*
MoviePlex
Nick Games & Sports
PCN (State Gov't Channel)
Philadelphia Park (Local and National Horse Racing)
Retroplex
Sundance
Tennis Channel
Versus/Golf HD*
WBPH-60 (IND)
WTVE-51 (IND)

Additionally, FiOS lineup sheet seems to indicate that all the Encore and related channels are premium, which Comcast includes with Digital packages.  Not sure if this is the same deal as Comcast or not.  Doesn't matter much to me anyway.

Figuring one DVR and Two regular STBs and upgrading to 15 MBPS Internet, I figure to save $8.01 a month (package versus package - no tax or other fees included).  Make that $13.01 a month after Comcast forces me to buy a sports package I don't want just to get NFL Network.

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#2 05-16-2007 9:47:43 AM

jganyard
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Wow... looks like quite a few compelling reasons to switch for you.

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#3 05-16-2007 10:00:05 AM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

andyross posted a while back that he'd heard the DVR (an IP version of the 6416) cannot record two HD shows at once, which would be a deal breaker for me.

I'm so on the verge of doing this that I called Verizon last night.  The guy on the phone sounded kind of...how to put this nicely...stupid, but to his credit he put me on hold briefly and asked his supervisor who let him know that you could in fact record two HD shows at once.  I know he understood that I was asking about HD because he repeated it back to me and I also told him I knew it could do two standard shows at once and was specifically asking about HD.  Still, I will be calling back today to talk to someone on "the day crew" who may be a little more fluent in the ways of FiOS to verify.

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#4 05-16-2007 10:32:47 AM

Frank
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Update: I did call to talk to the day crew.  They verified that only one HD show can be recorded at a time (no matter how many DVRs you have, as it's a limitation of the bandwidth).  This guy seemed knowledgeable.  Now I don't know if I should make a tie breaker call or not.

I'm really at an impasse.  I don't think my viewing habits are compatible with only recording one HD show at a time.

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#5 05-16-2007 11:10:47 AM

LowLight21
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From: St. Paul, MN
Registered: 02-11-2006
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

I'm assuming you can record one HD show and one SD show simultaneously.  If that's the case, I guess your decision comes down to whether or not you can sacrifice watching one of your shows in SD.  That'd be kind of fun.  Each week you would need to decide which show would be a better presentation in HD. 

Is this going to always be a limitation of FiOS, or is this something that will be "enabled" down the road when they're able to send more stuff over the fiber?

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#6 05-16-2007 11:23:25 AM

jganyard
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Yuck... that would seal the deal for me to stay away from FiOS if it were even an option for me.

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#7 05-16-2007 11:23:28 AM

Wareagle
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 02-15-2005
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Frank --
Does that also mean you can't watch an HD show while you're recording one?  Logically, it would, but you know how it goes...    neutral

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#8 05-16-2007 11:23:55 AM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Recording one HD show at a time is really not an option for us.  Other options include mixing and matching services:

DirecTV w/ DVR + Basic Cable = still giving comcast $54 a month, which I am now loathe to do.

Series3 TiVo + Basic cable = still giving Comcast $54 a month and losing non-broadcast HD channels while incurring huge cost for TiVo and losing home media options that are on my Series2.

FiOS+Rooftop antenna+Series3 TiVo = no money to Comcast (yay), no channel loss, channel gain + cheaply having all channels in rest of house via $5 STBs, incurring huge cost for TiVo and losing home media options that are on my Series2.

Is there something I'm missing?

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#9 05-16-2007 11:26:46 AM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Wareagle wrote:

Frank --
Does that also mean you can't watch an HD show while you're recording one?  Logically, it would, but you know how it goes...    neutral

If you mean a previously-recorded one, it does not.  As I said, it's a limitation of the bandwidth coming into the house, not a limitation of the DVR.  However, you can not watch a live HD show and record another HD show at the same time from what I understand.

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#10 05-16-2007 12:01:47 PM

jganyard
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

I would probably lean towards your option 3 if the darn Tivo weren't so expensive still.  Does FiOS provide cablecards to use with it or where you thinking of using it for the OTA channels only? 

I see why you picked that as an option seeing as a good majority of the HD content we all watch or record is on the broadcast networks (hence the antenna).

Have you checked your location on antennaweb.org yet?

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#11 05-16-2007 12:15:33 PM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

FiOS is not true QAM, so I don't think Cablecard is an option.  I record only very limited non-broadcast HD shows, so the TiVo would do broadcast HD channels only.

We're in a good location.  This house had a rooftop antenna when I bought it, and I tested it with my computer's HD Tuner card and was able to pick up all the broadcast channels pretty reliably.

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#12 05-16-2007 2:14:18 PM

jganyard
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

How was the OTA HD picture in comparison to Comcasts?  I've heard that OTA HD can be phenomenal but never seen it to compare. 

I'd go with the FiOS and Series 3 Tivo in your shoes.  Just get ready to convince DW why it's necessary to spend $600 for another DVR.  wink

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#13 05-16-2007 2:19:37 PM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

jganyard wrote:

How was the OTA HD picture in comparison to Comcasts?  I've heard that OTA HD can be phenomenal but never seen it to compare. 

I'd go with the FiOS and Series 3 Tivo in your shoes.  Just get ready to convince DW why it's necessary to spend $600 for another DVR.  wink

I hooked it up using my computers HD Tuner card, so it looked good on my CPU monitor but so does Comcast.  My thinking is that there would be no difference, as Comcast does not compress to my knowledge. DirecTV's looks bad in comparison.

She understands and agrees with the importance of HD recording and we were STILL just on the phone for 1/2 hour wrangling. It's not an easy decision.

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#14 05-16-2007 2:39:00 PM

jganyard
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Look at the bright side... between your FiOS DVR, Series 3 and Series 2 you probably won't ever miss a single show!  big_smile

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#15 05-16-2007 3:17:42 PM

salspalden
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From: Bucks County, Pa.
Registered: 06-17-2006
Posts: 41
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Frank...

I'm also in Lower Bucks, no FIOS yet in my neighborhood. I guess I assumed it would have the same recording capabilities as cable.

I have 2 DVR's so I am capable of recording 4 HD shows at once. You're saying that one HD show per household regardless of how many DVR's you might have?

If that's the case, then the excitement I had reading your initial post when I saw all the additional channels just went away. I simply don't watch live tv anymore. All my viewing is time shifted and there's no way I am going back to watching the clock and clearing my schedule to catch a show.

Looks like I better go out to the lawn and take down the "Comcast Can Kiss My Ass" sign.


Sals

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#16 05-16-2007 4:11:36 PM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

salspalden wrote:

Frank...

I'm also in Lower Bucks, no FIOS yet in my neighborhood. I guess I assumed it would have the same recording capabilities as cable.

I have 2 DVR's so I am capable of recording 4 HD shows at once. You're saying that one HD show per household regardless of how many DVR's you might have?

That's what the guy (who sounded like he'd been asked before and knew off the top of his head) said.  The technology can only handle sending one HD show over the wire into your house at a time.  YMMV and, by all means, the more people who call and ask the better.

If that's the case, then the excitement I had reading your initial post when I saw all the additional channels just went away.

I know the feeling.

I simply don't watch live tv anymore. All my viewing is time shifted and there's no way I am going back to watching the clock and clearing my schedule to catch a show.

Looks like I better go out to the lawn and take down the "Comcast Can Kiss My Ass" sign.


Sals

I tattooed it on my forehead! What am I supposed to do?

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#17 05-17-2007 10:21:05 AM

jganyard
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Did you decide to stay with Comcast or are you still on the fence?

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#18 05-17-2007 10:57:13 AM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Still up in the air.  I think it's a foregone conclusion that Verizon will get my Internet business away from Comcast (2.5 times the throughput for $7 a month PLUS hopefully more reliable and I've already had a much more positive CS experience).

I worked out the costs.  Assuming I can get a Series3 TiVo for $600 AND assuming that TiVo will last 3 years AND treating it as if the cost of the TiVo was paid out equally over those three years, my monthly payment over those three years will only be about $6 more than staying exactly the same as now.  That's not figuring in the inevitable rate hikes that will likely be higher for Comcast (the established market leader) than Verizon (the upstart).

Is it worth $6 a month over three years to make a point and take a stand?  To me it is.  To my wife...well she's not sure.  She's right in that we probably spend too much on TV as it is.  But who doesn't? That's where we are. Taking out the $7.05 increased Internet cost, we actually save $.88 a month on television while getting all channels on all TVs (two are currently analog only) and getting an HD TiVo AND the ability to record a third HD show at once (1 FiOS, 2 TiVo), which is a point I forgot to bring up during our discussion. 

It just burns me that some suit sat somewhere and said, "Hey. We can gouge people who want to watch every national football game and charge them $5 a month for one channel and they'll just do it because people are lazy and it's easier than doing anything else. And, even though football games are only on the channel for 3 months out of the year, they'll probably keep the channel all year because - wait for it - they're lazy and it's easier than canceling."  I so badly want that to be a miscalculation on their part.

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#19 05-17-2007 11:09:15 AM

LowLight21
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From: St. Paul, MN
Registered: 02-11-2006
Posts: 166
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Is there anything that would prevent a current Comcast customer from ordering the sports package for just three months out of the year?  That's where I'm leaning right now, since satellite isn't a viable option for us, and FiOS isn't yet available in my area (and won't for quite some time).

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#20 05-17-2007 11:12:45 AM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2881
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

LowLight21 wrote:

Is there anything that would prevent a current Comcast customer from ordering the sports package for just three months out of the year?  That's where I'm leaning right now, since satellite isn't a viable option for us, and FiOS isn't yet available in my area (and won't for quite some time).

Not that I'm aware of.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was some kind of "downgrade" fee, though.  They'd never charge you to add, but something tells me they'd wouldn't hesitate in charging you to remove it.

I don't have my printed rate increase anymore.  Can anyone verify if there's this type of account main't charge?

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#21 05-17-2007 11:59:00 AM

shj
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From: San Jose, CA
Registered: 02-24-2005
Posts: 99
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Frank wrote:

They'd never charge you to add, but something tells me they'd wouldn't hesitate in charging you to remove it.

Ahhh, but it's Comcast.    Never assume.

I added the $5/mo "Digital Sports Tier" to my service last December, and dropped it in March (college basketball season).  There was a one time $1.99 "Change of Service Charge" when I added it, but no additional charge when I dropped it.

They also pro-rate the monthly charge when you add and drop service so you only pay for the exact days you have it.

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#22 05-17-2007 12:14:59 PM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Weird.  Must follow the "people aren't too lazy to ask for something they do want (so lets charge them then), but are too lazy to get rid of something they no longer want" rule.

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#23 05-19-2007 6:49:39 PM

Wareagle
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 02-15-2005
Posts: 1073
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Frank, I just picked up this link in the Seattle AVS HD forum about a $200 TiVo S3 rebate coming May 27 --
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sh … p?t=352577

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#24 05-19-2007 9:52:09 PM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2881
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

I so saw that this morning at TiVo Community (doing research for my pending purchase), got involved with other things, and forgot to post it here.  Thanks.

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#25 05-21-2007 9:06:06 AM

jganyard
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Registered: 09-09-2005
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Re: Comcast Versus Verizon FiOS Channel Comparison: Lower Bucks County PA

Bingo-bango looks like it just made your calculation a little better!

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