A Few Months with FiOS

As I posted a while back, I ended up switching from Cox High Speed Internet to Verizon FiOS. There were many reason for that switch, but here’s my thoughts on FiOS so far.

First, I’ll start with my bandwidth. I have more bandwidth available to me than I would have with Cox. It’s a tough judgement here because it’s noticeably faster, but part of that is because it should be. I have 20 mbps downstream and 5 mbps upstream. It’s quite convenient, but difficult to compare to my Cox connection because it wasn’t supposed to be as fast. However, I will say that my connection has been more reliable with FiOS than it ever was with Cox. With Cox, I had been through 3 cable modems (granted I’ve only had FiOS for a few months now) and always had a problem with dropped connections. I suppose it could’ve been my router (which I plan on trying to use with FiOS as I’ve heard there’s a way). Now their router, while it works well and does what I need to (and even seems to give off a stronger wireless signal than my Linksys that had 2 antennae) has a really crappy interface (warnings everytime you go into an “advanced” setting, even after you’ve confirmed a change in an advanced setting). The advanced settings shouldn’t be called advanced. People should be able to set their wireless encryption to WPA or WPA2 without having to go into an advanced area (that scares them away). I can’t change the DNS server (I used OpenDNS on my old router) and if you mistype an address, you go to Verizon’s error page/search engine (a little shady if you ask me, I’d rather get a “page cannot be displayed” message). However, I need to use their router because it grabs the on demand and guide for the set top box.

The TV service is also good. I like having HD service, though I’ve noticed that I can only get 1080i (my TV does 1080p). I don’t know if I have something configured wrong, if I have a crappy HDMI cable (came from Verizon and Gizmodo says it doesn’t matter), or if HD cable service only goes as high as 1080i. It really shouldn’t matter because based on the size of my TV and the distance it is from where we sit, I shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between 1080p and 720p. However, I can’t really compare it to my Cox service as I didn’t have HD with them. From time to time, I do notice some digital pixelation, but that can happen with any digital cable service.

The DVR, however, sucks ass. It had to be said. There are 2 reasons I’m using their DVR. The first is because I can’t afford a Tivo HD. The second is because even if I could afford a Tivo HD, I wouldn’t have the Verizon guide and I wouldn’t be able to use any of the on demand features (I may even lose out on the music channels, but I’m not sure on that). That being said, Tivo’s interface blows away the Verizon DVR. I’d also get a whole lot more storage from a Tivo and better multimedia capabilities without having to pay an extra fee (as with what I’d have to do do get those from my Verizon DVR).

So it’s not all roses over here in FiOS land, but it’s better than my experience with Cox. Cox’s support system was a whole lot better. They have phone numbers listed for easy access on their webpage. They had realistic hours (Verizon stops answering their phone at 6 pm). But the extra bandwidth and reliable service make FiOS better for me.

Update: Apparently, after doing a little research, the set top box is only capable of 1080i.

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