The most popular post on this blog — by far — is this year-old entry outlining my experiences in switching from Cox digital cable to Verizon FiOS. Now that a year has gone by, I thought I’d revisit my decision.
I chose FiOS for a simple reason: I thought the quality of the digital feed would be better than Cox. It was, and I assume that with the technical limitations faced by digital cable, it remains so. That hasn’t made FiOS a complete picnic, though — I formally declared the FiOS DVR a POS back in January. Although I am now ready to lift its POS status because of software/functionality improvements, the DVR has yet to match the overall reliability and usefulness of my year-ago Cox DVR (which presumably is even better now).
So, using the original post as a template, let’s outline my experiences after a year.
PICTURE/SOUND QUALITY: I have been very, very happy with this aspect of FiOS. I had occasional problems with signal dropouts in my first few months, but these seem to have gone away. The HD channels remain of exceptionally high quality; they are significantly better than my Cox pictures and sound — although, again, Cox may have improved things in the last year.
DVR/PROGRAM GUIDE: I have outlined my woes with this throughout the comment section of my original post. FiOS finally — FINALLY — has gone to a 16:9 format for the program guide, and the searchability functions are quite nice. This has improved; it still could be better. Video on Demand has been a sporadic problem, especially movie rentals; although the quality is high, a rental will occasionally “dump out” back to a menu screen for no apparent reason. You can quickly resume the viewing of the video, but this shouldn’t happen and I wonder if Verizon occasionally has capacity issues with handling high-demand video.
INTERNET QUALITY: Never a problem with Cox; never a problem with FiOS; has been completely bulletproof. Hasn’t gone down once in a year. FiOS is capable of considerably higher speeds than Cox, but it is unlikely you will notice a difference because there are so many mitigating factors in the speed of a connection between, say, two websites.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: I have no idea how Verizon rates on this front. I have not had one reason to call Verizon for service in a year — which, when you stop and think about it, is a good thing. Cox had the best customer service of any utility company I’ve ever used, anywhere; my initial experiences with Verizon were very negative.
So there you have it. One year has gone by and I have been, oh, 80 to 90 percent satisfied with my FiOS service. My biggest issues revolved around the DVR/cable box but — for now, at least — almost all of those issues are gone. I haven’t had to use Verizon’s customer service at all and my service has been completely reliable through a very, very rough winter. Thus, I am going to remain a Verizon customer.