Actual differences between FIOS and Comcast - Anyone?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by eschmith, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Sep 4, 2007 #1 of 10

    eschmith Registered User

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bellingham, MA


    So a few weeks ago I got my Tivo HD, and installed it with Cablecards with my current Comcast service. Seems to work fine, though there are of course some minor glitches with the Tivo box and Comcast's signal seems to pixelate and drop audio occasionally (not the Tivo's fault, I also see it with my Motorola DVR). I'm moving in Mid-October to an Apt complex that offers both FIOS and Comcast. Both VZ and Comcast offer $99/month bundles, internet, phone, TV. Both offer basically same internet upload\download speed for that price. Comcast - no contract, VZ wants either a 1 or 2 year agreement.

    Can anyone tell me what\if anything about FIOS is actually better than Comcast currently? I don't need the higher Tier internet service I can get with FIOS, so I'm wondering about everything else, especially the selection\quality of their HD channels..

    Any thoughts would be appreciated...
  2. Sep 4, 2007 #2 of 10

    Generic Now in Dolby Digital

    Dec 26, 2005
    Generally, what I have been reading is that Fios has better picture quality then any of the other tv services. Fios is a vast improvement in some areas while others are a minor improvement. The HD channels are a big improvement over Directv where I came from. Have you gone to the Verizon website and looked at the HD channel line-up?
  3. Sep 4, 2007 #3 of 10

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    It's a little hard to compare, since Comcast is a patchwork company, and their service varies a lot from area to area. You might want to ask in the thread for your local area over on AVS Forum or something...
  4. Sep 4, 2007 #4 of 10
  5. Sep 4, 2007 #5 of 10

    eschmith Registered User

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bellingham, MA


    Currently, VZ and CC offer basically the same HD channels (and I'll guess about the same non-HD ones as well). DirecTV is not in this equation - not only am I not considering them, I had them before, and I thought their picture quality wasn't great.

    What I'm talking about is some major difference .. for example, the actual quality \ resolution of their HD channels, or if they have plans to actually use the Fiber connection to greatly increase channel selection in the near future, etc.

    I would try the service and see for myself, but the idea of signing a contract makes me think of cellphone contracts and I start to shudder...
  6. Sep 4, 2007 #6 of 10

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    Mar 14, 2003
    The only real difference (other than price) is the total amount of bandwidth available.

    Verizon FIOS runs fiber cables to the house which gives it a lot more bandwidth than Comcast cable, which uses coax cable. In the short run this won't matter much, but in the long run Comcast will run out of bandwidth long before Verizon does. This means that in order to add more channels, Comcast will eventually either have to compress their channels like DirectTV does, meaning lower picture quality, or they will have to put a lot of channels on SDV, which currently isn't compatible with the TiVo HD.

    Also of importance is that fiber cable is a lot less likely to suffer from signal problems (interference, low signal, etc) than coax cable, so you are less likely to get pixelation and blocking caused by low signal strength or noise with FIOS than with Comcast cable. If you are in a Comcast area with good signal quality there won't really be a difference (assuming Comcast isn't compressing the channels).
  7. Sep 4, 2007 #7 of 10

    Manchot New Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    As a grad student in EE, if all other things were equal, I would definitely recommend that you go with FiOS. Compared to coaxial cable, fiber has a practically limitless theoretical bandwidth. Fiber speeds will continue to climb higher and higher, while copper speeds are already stalling. In fact, I know of one company, Infinera, which is developing a 1.6 Tb/s DWDM module. (Yes, terabits per second, as in 1,600,000 Mb/s.) That's faster than your hard drive could even write the data.
  8. Sep 4, 2007 #8 of 10

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    The fiber goes to the ONT, which then feeds traditional coax cable.
    In theory, you could get a good Ghz, possibly 2, out of that for the sort of system FIOS uses. FIOS can have a highr bandwith on the cable, becasu there is no "legacy" outside plant to deal with or maintain, plus since they are mostly digital only, they have more bandwidth there without wasting bandwidth on analog channels.
  9. Sep 4, 2007 #9 of 10

    eschmith Registered User

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bellingham, MA
    Good comments all .. so what I'm hearing (translated) is that as far as the currently offered bundles, I'm getting the same thing from both providers for $99/mo .. but VZ will be able to add more channels \ IP services without running out of bandwidth .. but of course they will also probably charge more, like they do for their higher tier internet right now. I don't think Comcast is going to run out of bandwidth on the HD channels in the next year though .. and the local comcast office fully supports Cablecards while the local FIOS rep said they *don't* officially support them but that he could get them installed for me.

    Since FIOS really does not not currently offer any more than Comcast (except for higher Internet speeds which I don't need), it seems logical to go with Comcast - with no contract - and try out VW when they actually use FIOS to offer something Comcast does not. If FIOS didn't ask for a contract I'd probably just try them right off the bat.

    Thanks again for the comments (and I'll read any more that come on this thread also)!
  10. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    Comcast has SDV in some areas on some channels so, until the "dongle" is available, there could be channels that you cannot get with some Tivos.

    Fios says they have no plans for SDV.


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