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tew1165

join:2008-01-03
Chalfont, PA

Comcast vs. Verizon FIOS

I'm a former Comcast customer from the Philly area. I've been on Verizon FIOS the past year or so. I'm having serious reservations about FIOS video service long-term and am trying to decide if I should switch back to Comcast. After a year of promises FIOS has less HD programing than Comcast, although they don't compress their HD and Comcast does. Are most Comcast HD people satisfied with their picture quality? I never had HD when I was a Comcast subscriber in the past. Seeing Verizon constantly push back their expansion, and not add MLB EI or Big 10 network has me just about done with them. I'm also tired of watching hockey on Versus and baseball on TBS in standard-def only while Comcast has the HD version. All opinions welcome.


tr1pp1n87

join:2008-06-02
Jacksonville, FL

well going by avsforum, comcast putting 3 hd streams per qam does result in lower quality until comcast phases out analog next year / moves to mpeg-4 avc compression... i have comcast hd and have been extremely satisfied with the picture quality in my market... on both my 1080p 46inch sammy and my 1080p 32inch sharp aquos the picture quality has been great... i have relatives in cherry hill nj (philly suburb) who i spent a few months with last year and their hd looked great... i loved watching those phillies games in high def...



sansri88
digital is here
Premium
join:2005-12-17
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to tew1165

Verizon is starting their HD expansion, if you've checked out the FIOS TV forum here.

On my system Comcast is LAST when it comes to HD channels. Dead last.



CRP2
Comcast of Ocean County

join:2005-12-26
Brick, NJ
reply to tew1165

I'd give them a try. I've actually kind of had a change of heart towards Comcast over the past year and a half. They have really begun to step it up in my area when it comes to both internet and cable and I honestly think that they have an offering that is competitive in the ever-changing marketplace.

One of the things that makes me a bit apprehensive about FIOS TV besides some of the picture quality and billing issues is the lack of basic networks such as MSNBC. Now I know that is due to an exclusive agreement that MSNBC signed with Cablevision, but it is one of only a handful of networks that I check out daily. I'd miss my cup of "Morning Joe" and some of the other personalities/anchors (Chris Jansing) on that network.

YMMV of course.


bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA

Figure that Verizon will treat folks very well as long as their the new guy on the block; if you have it available, I'd take advantage of how inexpensive FiOS is while you can. It won't last.


reelbigfish

join:2002-06-06
Boston, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to tew1165

It all really depends on the area. In Boston we get 40 HD channels with Comcast whereas Fios has around 20 according to the online guide. That sounds off, but still, all the HD Fios has, Comcast has except Lifetime HD, HD Net, HD Net Movies and Wealth TV HD. Those channels aren't making me want to switch.

The fact that I live in Boston prevents me from getting Fios, but my co-worker who lives just outside the city has Fios and constantly complains about the lack of TBS HD, USA HD, Versus HD and other HDs he is missing. At this point I would rather have 3 HD channels per QAM to get more HD channels than have higher quality HD channels and less of them. I can barely tell the difference and enjoy the variety of programming. Even if I move to a place with Fios at this point, I don't think the switch is worth it. The Internet Comcast has is reliable and fast enough for me and the TV is great. If you're not under contract, you could always switch, keep it until your Comcast promo runs out and then decide to go back or stay. At that point both will have more programming so you will be able to make a better decision.


Hound7

join:2006-03-08
Princeton, NJ
reply to tew1165

I have both Comcast and Verizon Fios now and Fios is far
superior. I also have Directv and Dish Network, so I have
not been waiting for HD, but Fios is eventually going to
get the HD this year. Of the four services, I would have to
rate Comcast in last place. Easily the worse PQ. HD or SD.
I watch TV on two plasma TVs side by side and I can do a real comparison of PQ and Comcast just does not measure up. Also Fios pricing is much better than Comcast and there
is no comparison with Internet. I would never ever consider
Comcast Internet. Fios Internet is extemely reliable. Has
never gone down in 18 months. I have the 20/5 speed and it is unbelievable. 50/20 Fios is available in NJ, but the 20/5 is so good, I do not need 50/20.


tew1165

join:2008-01-03
Chalfont, PA
reply to tew1165

Thanks Hound for your input. I agree about the data. I would never go back to cable modem service. I was only considering a switch of the TV service. You've given me something to think about. Never met anyone with two landline and two satellite plans. That's hard-core! My biggest problem with FIOS isn't quality, it's qantity, as in a lack of HD quantity. I have less HD with FIOS than currently offered by Comcast or any dish provider. I also have major problems with their guide data. It's really bad. Lots of blank program descriptions and missing information. Verizon went really cheap with their guide data.


Hound7

join:2006-03-08
Princeton, NJ

Tew, I feel for you. Not having TBS HD or VS HD is bad. That is why I got Dish Network. Here in central NJ,
not having MSG HD or MSG+ HD is bad. So I got Directv.

However, Comcast not providing NBA TV HD, NHL Network HD,
MLB EI HD, NHL CI HD or NBA LP HD is really bad.

Verizon just posted the new HD lineups for Pittsburgh,
Northern NJ and New York on its web site today. The HD is
coming.


bushleaguer

join:2007-01-22
Gillette, NJ
reply to tew1165

In my area the local cable company (Patriot Media) sold to Comcast and they recently took over.

I've noticed that when I had Patriot that the HD channels came in on the full screen of our 2 widescreen HD TVs. After a brief dealing with DirecTV (no line of sight after the leaves on the trees came in), we went back to cable, which is now Comcast and I noticed that most of the HD channels are either letterboxed or smaller squares than the screen. Is this what is meant when people say that Comcast's HD channels are more "compressed?"
Or does this have to do with the lack of an HDMI output on the back of Comcast's receiver?



celeritypc
For Lucky Best Wash, Use Mr. Sparkle
Premium
join:2004-05-15
Caldwell, NJ

said by bushleaguer:

In my area the local cable company (Patriot Media) sold to Comcast and they recently took over.

I've noticed that when I had Patriot that the HD channels came in on the full screen of our 2 widescreen HD TVs. After a brief dealing with DirecTV (no line of sight after the leaves on the trees came in), we went back to cable, which is now Comcast and I noticed that most of the HD channels are either letterboxed or smaller squares than the screen. Is this what is meant when people say that Comcast's HD channels are more "compressed?"
Or does this have to do with the lack of an HDMI output on the back of Comcast's receiver?
You don't have the box set properly. Turn the box and TV on then turn just the box off. Immediately hit the menu button. You will see the settings menu appear. Change your tv type to 16:9 and set the output to 1080I (or 720p if your tv does not support 1080i). Press menu again, then power.

bushleaguer

join:2007-01-22
Gillette, NJ

1 edit

said by celeritypc:

said by bushleaguer:

In my area the local cable company (Patriot Media) sold to Comcast and they recently took over.

I've noticed that when I had Patriot that the HD channels came in on the full screen of our 2 widescreen HD TVs. After a brief dealing with DirecTV (no line of sight after the leaves on the trees came in), we went back to cable, which is now Comcast and I noticed that most of the HD channels are either letterboxed or smaller squares than the screen. Is this what is meant when people say that Comcast's HD channels are more "compressed?"
Or does this have to do with the lack of an HDMI output on the back of Comcast's receiver?
You don't have the box set properly. Turn the box and TV on then turn just the box off. Immediately hit the menu button. You will see the settings menu appear. Change your tv type to 16:9 and set the output to 1080I (or 720p if your tv does not support 1080i). Press menu again, then power.
Thanks for the info.

I went to the menu with the box off and it was set as you indicated it should be.

Oh well.


celeritypc
For Lucky Best Wash, Use Mr. Sparkle
Premium
join:2004-05-15
Caldwell, NJ

said by bushleaguer:

Thanks for the info.

I went to the menu with the box off and it was set as you indicated it should be.

Oh well.
Well, the next question is if there is no HDMI, are you hooking up with component cables or are you using composite or rf? If you are not using component, then you will not get an HD picture.

bushleaguer

join:2007-01-22
Gillette, NJ

said by celeritypc:

said by bushleaguer:

Thanks for the info.

I went to the menu with the box off and it was set as you indicated it should be.

Oh well.
Well, the next question is if there is no HDMI, are you hooking up with component cables or are you using composite or rf? If you are not using component, then you will not get an HD picture.
I'm not fully up on the technical jargon, but I've got my receiver hooked up with the different colored connectors (red, green, and white or whatever it is).
I can tell it's HD - due to the sharpness of the picture. The problem is that it isn't full screen - it is either letterboxed or a small square. I called Comcast tech and they said my TV was defective.


cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3

HD Needs to be hooked up with either HDMI / DVI or Component video cables.

Component cables are 5 wires like this:



aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

4 edits

said by cypherstream:

HD Needs to be hooked up with either HDMI / DVI or Component video cables.

Component cables are 5 wires like this:

A Component connection is three cables, not five.


bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA

There is no sure-fire way to explain to someone who isn't technically inclined the difference between component connections and composite connections by the count of the cables, because such folks will often not be able to tell the difference between audio and video connections. I suspect that cyperstream's (very sound) thinking was that if you've got five cables, then you can be sure that you've got a component connection, whereas if you talk about three cables, someone who isn't an expert may think that you mean the red (left audio), blue (right audio), and yellow (composite video).



aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

said by bicker:

There is no sure-fire way to explain to someone who isn't technically inclined the difference between component connections and composite connections by the count of the cables, because such folks will often not be able to tell the difference between audio and video connections. I suspect that cyperstream's (very sound) thinking was that if you've got five cables, then you can be sure that you've got a component connection, whereas if you talk about three cables, someone who isn't an expert may think that you mean the red (left audio), blue (right audio), and yellow (composite video).
The picture very cleary shows the colors for the cable and the connection point on the device. Personally I haven't used any video analog connections in 3 years. It's nice to have my 20+ devices connected with one cable that carries both audio and video.

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA

HDMI is definitely sweet, but I think it'll be a while before the Average Joe will be using that connection exclusively.



cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
reply to aaronwt

bicker is right.

For the most part, if someone is having issues with their HD hookup, 9 times out of 10 they need the 5 wire hookup anyway. You don't want them posting here "Why don't I have any sound?" do you? I don't think they use an A/V receiver or route digital audio to one if they think 3 cables of Red, Yellow, and White are for HD.

The 5 wire cable package I posted looks exactly like the only type of cable Comcast provides with their HD boxes in our area. And if you want HDMI, your on your own for that one (at least when I was installed).



aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

said by cypherstream:

bicker is right.

For the most part, if someone is having issues with their HD hookup, 9 times out of 10 they need the 5 wire hookup anyway. You don't want them posting here "Why don't I have any sound?" do you? I don't think they use an A/V receiver or route digital audio to one if they think 3 cables of Red, Yellow, and White are for HD.

The 5 wire cable package I posted looks exactly like the only type of cable Comcast provides with their HD boxes in our area. And if you want HDMI, your on your own for that one (at least when I was installed).
Comcast had HDMI/DVI cables here. Although I certainly didn't use it.
Even when I used the component connection, I always used the optical or coaxial output for audio. I've been using digital audio capable receivers since 1997.

bushleaguer

join:2007-01-22
Gillette, NJ
reply to cypherstream

said by cypherstream:

HD Needs to be hooked up with either HDMI / DVI or Component video cables.

Component cables are 5 wires like this:

Thanks. I'll head down to Radio Shack to pick them up.

Unfortunately the installer didn't have any cables, and I only had the HDMI cable. Funny that Comcast bought out our existing, small-fry cable company (Patriot Media) and they had HDMI-capable boxes on hand.


celeritypc
For Lucky Best Wash, Use Mr. Sparkle
Premium
join:2004-05-15
Caldwell, NJ

said by bushleaguer:

Unfortunately the installer didn't have any cables, and I only had the HDMI cable. Funny that Comcast bought out our existing, small-fry cable company (Patriot Media) and they had HDMI-capable boxes on hand.
If I'm not mistaken, Pat Media used Motorola boxes as well and when Comcast took over, they are probably using the same inventory Pat Media had. It could be that they ran out of the newer boxes.

bushleaguer

join:2007-01-22
Gillette, NJ

said by celeritypc:

said by bushleaguer:

Unfortunately the installer didn't have any cables, and I only had the HDMI cable. Funny that Comcast bought out our existing, small-fry cable company (Patriot Media) and they had HDMI-capable boxes on hand.
If I'm not mistaken, Pat Media used Motorola boxes as well and when Comcast took over, they are probably using the same inventory Pat Media had. It could be that they ran out of the newer boxes.
Yes, Patriot did use Motorola boxes, and they had HDMI connections. I don't know if they are using Patriot Media's old boxes (I don't know why they wouldn't), but the ones I got were Comcast - judging by the stamp on the front and the worn condition of it.

I called about it and they said they were aware of the issue and said every other provider was going through the same problem (I remember reading about Verizon running out of HD boxes early in 2007 but that problem has been resolved). They said there was a "waiting list" for new boxes and they would add my name to it. The way I see it, spending $$ on new hardware is not something that they are going to be anxious to do, as they can't charge more for the new box and would have to raise rates somewhere to make up for the expenditure.

ComcastTech

join:2008-05-31
reply to tew1165

well avsforum is right. the idiots at the headend put 3 hd channels per qam and tiling is the result. the machines are built to handle it, but arent. as for hd with the lineup, were not dead last. we actually have a lineup thats TRUE 1080, not 720p like satelitte, and more than fios. fios is good, but enjoy the prices while they last. running that technology with a new network thats being built... shits gonna hit the fan down the road for you folks. we have 40 some channels in hd and more coming.



sansri88
digital is here
Premium
join:2005-12-17
New York, NY
kudos:1

quote:
we actually have a lineup thats TRUE 1080, not 720p like satelitte, and more than fios
DirecTV, with their MPEG-4 channels, send them out as they receive them, 1080i or 720p. Not all channels broadcast in 1080i buddy, like the ESPNs and ABC (they're 720p).

As for FiOS, by the end of the summer most areas served by FiOS will have way more HD channels than Comcast subs can dream of right now. Example: In Northern NJ, Verizon will have 50+ HD channels by the end of the month, while Comcast has 25.
--
Sriram Satish
Comcast of NJ II sucks. Period.
25 HD channels compared to the average 32 or so.

Roche1972

join:2008-02-22

1 edit
reply to tew1165

Verizon FiOS TV will have more HD channels than Comcast has in Northern NJ starting July 30. However, if you're a basketball or hockey fan, in Northern NJ, Comcast has more sports in HD than Verizon FiOS TV does. Comcast shows MSG HD and MSG+ HD programming of the Knicks, Rangers, Devils and Islanders but they share that sports programming with a duplicate CN8 (Comcast Network) channel and with MOJO HD I believe, at least that's what it was like before I switched from Comcast to Verizon FiOS TV back in February. MSG HD, MSG+ HD and TBS HD are not currently available on Verizon FiOS TV yet but NFL Network HD, YES HD and SNY HD are plus Versus/Golf HD will be available on July 30. TBS HD will be available on Verizon FiOS TV soon, hopefully in time for the MLB playoffs in October.



PaulGo

join:2005-01-29
Gaithersburg, MD
reply to sansri88

Although I am not thrilled by Comcast HD quality (on some channels), I find their Video On Demand quality quite good. I hope when they have switched video in my area it will be at the same quality as the VOD.



BSD24
Tier 4
Premium
join:2008-04-30
Middleboro, MA

Not to mention they have more HD Video On Demand than Verizon. They have plenty of HDMI cable boxes, you just have to ask for one. Comcast is working to add more and more SDV and are migrating analog channels over to Digital in my area this month, and other areas as well. You could always wait, but that has to be your decision. I like the HD quality in VOD with Comcast. The channels are pretty good, and will only improve as they continue to move forward with upgrades.
--
BSD



sansri88
digital is here
Premium
join:2005-12-17
New York, NY
kudos:1

As I've said before, our system doesn't care about HD. Yes, HD On Demand is there, but personally I and many other customers would love to just flip through linear channels.

Where are those linear channels? We were supposed to get them in May, and something made the marketing department change their mind. Why? Won't tell me. When are those channels going to come? Won't tell me.

If we don't see USA-HD before the Olympics I'm going to make a huge stink over it. There's no reason why our system can't add channels while every single other system is.
--
Sriram Satish
Comcast of NJ II sucks. Period.
25 HD channels compared to the average 32 or so.