FiOS TV is the company's latest development in the TV market and promises to offer a better picture quality and a whole new viewing experience to those who can get the service. The problem is that many people can't get it because it's a fiber optic system that goes right into your home, unlike other providers that use fiber optics for the network backbone and copper or coax cable for the rest. As a result of this, the whole network has to be developed and this does take time because the company has to negotiate franchise agreements in each new location. The system is particularly well-established in the New York area but, as of 2009, only 12.7 million homes have FiOS availability and only 2.04 million of them take the TV service.
If you can't get Verizons FiOS, there is DIRECTV, the company's satellite service. This promises 99.9% signal reliability and local channels. Depending on the package you buy, you can access HD channels, movies, sports networks and Spanish channels. You can also bundle your TV service with internet access and a phone service. The DIRECTV DVR Scheduler, which requires internet access and a set top box, lets you record programs up to two weeks in advance.
When Verzion FiOS is available, you'll also be able to get bundled TV, broadband and telephone down the fiber optic cable. On the TV front, the service promises an outstanding picture quality and more than 500 digital channels that include 118 HD channels. There's also a multi-room DVR you can program remotely via the internet and over 16,000 video on demand titles available every month.
From September 2009, hundreds of 'how to' videos have been made available through the video on demand service by Howcast. These are launched at the onset of fall and deal with seasonal subjects. Topics include avoiding flu and other ailments, basic camping tasks such as building a camp fire, assembling a tent, roasting marshmallows and dealing with problems that include snake bites and poisonous plants.
Sports fans can subscribe to NFL Redzone, an NFL Network channel that goes around the league every Sunday afternoon during the season and gives live coverage of critical plays when a team gets into the opposition's 20-yard line. Subscribers get a widget that enables them to see NFL stats and the Redzone channel, and to get alerts whenever a team moves beyond the 20-yard line so they can switch to that game. A 'free view' of the service was provided on 4th October 2009 so customers could see what is on offer.
The NFL widget is one of many applications that are available in the Widget Bazaar. These are provided by approved developers and have various functions such as showing news headlines, weather forecasts and postings on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The aim is to grow the number of available widgets so that viewers can, among other things, view online videos and play games, with many being provided for free and others, particularly games, being a chargeable service.
All this might sound fun and, though the website is quite clear once you get to it, there is some confusion over the web address apparently. Not least because of the phonetic issues with the branding, with verizion, verizone and verzon popping up frequently in the search results. Luckily, there are not too many companies with a similar sounding name so all searches generally bring up the right results. However, they seem to be trying to mess you up by having www22.verizon.com in the browser bar whenever you try to go directly to www.verizon.com - why? No idea! Also, they don't seem to have taken care of business before branding their service as www.fios.com appears to be a totally different company, though www.fios.net and www.fiostv.com do redirect you to the right place. And lastly: no, unlike most UK/US mixes such as specialise/specialize, customise/customize or mesmerise/mesmerize, the UK version is not Verison people! ;)
Heading straight for www.verizon.com/tv or www.verizon.com/fios will let you check out availability, potential speeds and get you to the information on their television and internet service packages - and we suggest that you bookmark the page if you plan on returning later.
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