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Verizon is a large US carrier that provides consumers with TV, phone, and Internet services. They were one of the first telecommunications companies to provide US consumers with optical fiber services, and they frequently offer limited-time deals to earn new customers.

Verizon’s TV plans and bundles are quite attractive compared to traditional cable and DSL, and they clearly know how to appeal to customers who expect high Wi-Fi speeds and crystal clear HD TV. They also offer some of the best Internet-only cord-cutter plans on the east coast.

Verizon Service Installation

Verizon’s technicians will connect up to three TVs with existing coaxial outlets during a regular installation procedure. More TVs and outlets can be installed, but it will cost you extra.

The process includes set-top boxes, and the technician will also program the remote for said set-top boxes and the TV.

Pro Tip: Verizon recommends that you use their provided router with Fios service. In my opinion, it's worth paying the monthly leasing fee (usually around $10) with Fios because the router is expensive to buy outright, and the leasing fee includes servicing and upkeep.

Verizon technicians will take care of all outside work and network equipment. Depending on the area and your home, they might have to fish walls and move furniture when installing wiring.

The technician will install the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) if your building hasn't received fiber service before. They will also connect cables to your home’s coaxial splitter, and explain and demonstrate how various FiOS components work.

You will get to discuss any installation specifics you want with the technician on the day of the appointment. Be sure to do that before the work starts. At the end of the installation, you will be provided with a FiOS Welcome Kit, the FiOS Terms and Service, and reference materials.

As for how long the installation can take, that can vary depending on various factors (according to Verizon). They recommend setting aside around four hours for the appointment. In case you are having both FiOS and FiOS TV installed, you should make it six hours to be safe (in my humble opinion).

Verizon Fios DVRs and TV equipment

 

When it comes to Verizon’s DVRs, you’ll definitely like the variety. All in all, there are four options to consider:

  • DVR Service – Record up to 50 hours and two programs simultaneously, store up to 500GB (Gigabytes), manage the DVR remotely, enjoy both HD and SD programming, and control live TV on the main TV.
  • Multi-Room DVR Service – Record up to 50 hours and two programs simultaneously, store up to 500GB, manage the DVR remotely, enjoy both HD and SD programming, control live TV on the main TV, and get to access the DVR’s capabilities from other rooms and set-top boxes.
  • Multi-Room DVR Enhanced Service – Record up to 100 hours and six programs simultaneously, store up to 1TB, manage the DVR remotely, enjoy both HD and SD programming, control live TV on up to five TVs, and get to access the DVR’s capabilities from other rooms and set-top boxes.
  • Multi-Room DVR Premium Service – Record up to 200 hours and 12 programs simultaneously, store up to 2TB, manage the DVR remotely, enjoy both HD and SD programming, control live TV on up to ten TVs, access the DVR’s capabilities from other rooms and set-top boxes, and watch recordings online or on your smartphone.

Set-Top Boxes

Verizon FiOS offers three types of set-top boxes:

  • SD Set-Top Boxes – Enjoy digital audio and video quality, gain access to the FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide, 45+ digital music channels and Pay-Per-View or On-Demand shows.
  • HD Set-Top Boxes – Enjoy everything the SD set-top boxes offer, as well as HD content.
  • DVR Set-Top Boxes – Enjoy everything the HD set-top boxes offer, as well as the ability to pause/rewind live TV and record shows.

Modems and Wi-Fi Routers

Verizon provides a modem/router “gateway” unit with all their Internet or bundled internet/TV plans.

According to Verizon, their routers offer an enhanced range, fast Internet connection speeds, and better wireless signal performance than alternatives in the same price range.

Verizon usually recommends getting a FiOS Quantum Gateway, as it acts as both a modem and a router and is compatible with their top-shelf speeds.

CableCARD

With a Verizon CableCARD, you can access various encrypted HD and SD programs without needing a set-top box.

As it’s usually the case, Verizon CableCARDs only offer a one-way operation, meaning you won’t get access to features such as the FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide, On Demand content, or FiOS TV Widgets.

How to Save on Equipment

I recommend buying a Verizon-approved router instead of renting one from them. This way, you’ll get to save approximately $120 per year. You can buy from them directly or from a third-party like Amazon.

I found out that the installation fees tend to vary a lot with Verizon. Some customers I've talked to say that the Internet installation is around $80, while others say you might be charged approximately $179.99 (plus tax) in case one of their technicians has to install TV equipment in your house. Basically, it depends on your location and the current deals.

Fortunately, there are two ways to avoid dealing with installation fees. Either you perform a self-install (Verizon offers helpful materials and even a straightforward video tutorial), or you just order online since most of their TV plans and bundles feature an online exclusive perk that has the standard setup charge waived. According to Verizon, you can save up to $99,99 this way.

Are Verizon Fios Bundles Worth the Money?

Pros

  • No annual contract for Double Play bundles
  • Up to $500 credit to help you cover early termination fees
  • The standard setup fee is waived for online orders
  • Custom TV plan
  • Fast Internet connection speeds
  • Great Triple Play perks that help you save money

Cons

  • Two-year agreement for Triple Play bundles
  • Low number of HD channels
  • Most bundles are a bit pricey
  • The credit can be charged back to your bill if you cancel too early

Overall yes, I believe Fios bundles are a good investment for premium TV viewers. The only real competition in terms of HD channel variety and sports packaging comes from satellite TV providers like DirecTV and Dish.

On the flip side, their Internet-only service is extremely friendly to cord-cutters and doesn't limit your Netflix binging in any way.

You’ll be happy to know that if you purchase a Verizon bundle online, you’ll often get up to $500 credit that can help you cover early termination fees. On top of that, if you order online, you’ll generally be able to get the setup fee waived.

I also like the fact that Double Play (TV + Internet) bundles don’t feature an annual contract. Verizon’s fast Internet connection speeds in the 150–1,000Mbps (megabits per second) range are a nice perk.

Best of all — Verizon’s Triple Play bundles currently come with HBO free for one year (usually costs around $15/month), and a free Multi-Room DVR Service for two years (generally costs approximately $15/month). Their most expensive Triple Play bundle even includes SHOWTIME, EPIX, and Cinemax.

Of course, Verizon’s bundles have their drawbacks. For example, the credit I first mentioned can be charged back to your final bill if you cancel your Verizon services within 90 days of installation. (I had to thoroughly read the fine print to find this out, it's not made obvious.)

Verizon Custom TV Packages

  • Kids & Pop
  • Lifetime & Variety
  • Sports & News
  • Infotainment & Drama
  • Action & Entertainment
  • Home & Family
  • News & Variety

Considering all of the above, though, I am certain that Verizon’s bundles offer decent value if you are willing to overlook the expenses associated with them and the lack of HD variety.

Verizon’s Best Feature: The Custom TV Plan

Yes, Verizon offers plenty of top-notch perks, but this really stands out for us. You won’t really see other providers offering a TV plan as customizable as this one.

Basically, you’ll only be paying for the type of channels you want to watch. Verizon offers numerous packages:

Verizon Deals: Overall a Great Choice Despite the Low HD Variety

Fios service gotchas:

  • Triple Play bundles require a two-year agreement.
  • Verizon’s bundles don’t offer a lot of HD variety. Even the most expensive Triple Play includes only around 150+ HD channels.
  • Their bundles are not very budget-friendly.

Verizon FiOS deals and bundles are a great choice for both people who just want to watch TV and enjoy excellent picture quality and consumers who are looking to add fast Internet connections and phone services into the mix.

Their online exclusive offers, varied DVR choices, and customizable TV plan will definitely rise up to your standards. It’s just a shame about their low HD channel count.

In case you’re not fully certain Verizon FiOS TV is the right choice, you should check out Frontier and Xfinity deals too.