It has been almost 2 months living with Verizon’s FiOS service. Two months since I kicked Comcast to the curb, and used the power of the free market to let another company offer me a better product. If you remember, I suffered many a slight from Verizon has they struggled to get my service up and running over the initial two weeks, finally resolving it on July 14th.
In the past 5 weeks or so, the service has been uninterrupted, and working well. Here are my thoughts so far, in no particular order:
- The television is so much clearer than what we were getting with Comcast. It may very likely be due to the unexplained interference coming from the Tivo DVR being in the mix (last Comcast cable tech’s assessment), but it didn’t make much sense to me. Now that we’re using the Verizon DVR, the mystery Tivo interference is moot.
- Speaking of the DVR, it is no Tivo. It’s not as intuitive to use as the Tivo interface, nor does it have all the cool capabilities like Tivo Desktop, streaming Netflix, etc. However, using the Verizon DVR service is cheaper (by $2.) The Verizon DVR isn’t terrible, but it’s “good enough” for us to get by. I like having the combined box and DVR. The less components and wires, the better we are off.
- I like all the channels, but Bruce Springsteen is right. 500 channels, and there isn’t much on. There are a lot of channels in the 20s-40’s that are just “local programming”, and unwatchable. Use the DVR to find what you want, and live with your recorded programs.
- We’re almost at the end of our 3-month free trial of HBO and Cinemax. It’s nice, but not all that necessary. I’ll miss Entourage and the occasional stupid movie playing at the moment.
- Oh, on a tv-Tivo-related-to-the-network note, since I got rid of the Tivo, I don’t need to support the accompanying 802.11b USB wireless adapter that I was using all these years. It slowed the entire wireless network down to mixed b/g, and prevented me from using a stronger encryption, such as WPA2.
- I still don’t like this Actiontec router you are forced to use. While it’s a benefit to have one less device plugged in, I still prefer the flexibility of choosing and using your own hardware. The wireless range is not as good as my old Linksys WRT54 — I used to be able to check the weather on my iPod while parked outside. Now I can’t even get decent signal strength in the backyard.
- The NAT table in the router is tiny, which fills up quickly, and requires a cold reboot of the router every few days. I’ve been doing it every 3 days or so. Not a tragedy in any sense, but argh.
- I’ve got the 10 Mbps downstream, 2 Mbps upstream service. When you browse, it’s the same perceived speed as before, but the service is noticibly faster when downloading large files or uploading photos. Most of the time, in any rate. There have been a few instances where you wonder, “Uh, where did the fast internet speeds go?”
- We get free local and long distance, including Canada. We could have used this back when I was spending my time in Canada all those weeks. The phone service is about the same, except we’re saving the most by getting the local and long distance for one low price.
- I wish there were other benefits to having the phone service over network, like the ability to get cooler, newer VOIP phones or something like Cablevision when Caller ID details flash on the tv, but I guess not.
That’s it in a nutshell.