Today is the day that I returned the FIOS DVRs and set up my HD Tivo. The continual problems I’ve had with the DVR and the realization that the cost was almost identical over three years pushed me over the edge. The single biggest issue was that the Fios DVR would flat out fail to record programs.
I had hoped to cover the workings of the Motorola 6416 HD DVR as my next installment, but since it has taken me a while to get back to it, Verizon has released the new interactive media guide. It appears that it replaced the software for not only the guide, but the DVR itself. The guide itself is much improved, but alas the DVR has gotten substantially worse.
In my opinion, the biggest difference that a DVR makes in your viewing habits is that it allows you to ignore when a particular show airs and instead just indicate the shows you want to watch. This is often called time-shifting in the industry, shifting the time that you watch a particular program, but I’d argue it’s more than that. This article discusses the Verizon interactive program guide that is key to a DVRs ability to operate.
For the last three years, I’ve been getting my TV service from DirecTV. It’s easy and convenient. They have a lot of different programming packages. I tend to stick to the enhanced, but non-premium packages. So for $60/month I had their plus package with a DirecTivo. While that worked well enough, I couldn’t see paying another $10/month for HDTV, and replacing my Tivo particularly with how bad DirecTV compresses their HD. DirecTV is adverting that they will have more than 100 HD channels by the end of the year. The problem is that there aren’t that many HD channels out there even if you assume several new ones pop up this year. So how are they going to do it? The only way they can do it is by counting all the sports channels (their Direct Ticket packages) in their 100 channels. Those are channels I don’t care about. So I decided to give FIOS TV a try.