A Verizon FiOS TV Update

Dave Zatz —  January 16, 2008 — 65 Comments

Just a quick FYI… I’ve heard from my contact at the Verizon Policy Blog that as of today, all FiOS TV customers should be running the latest Interactive Media Guide (IMG) software. In the next month or so, I’ll journey back up to Verizon’s HQ and get the dirt on their next revision. If you haven’t already, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments – I’ll make sure they’re seen.

65 responses to A Verizon FiOS TV Update

  1. Tell them to hurry up and get availability in center city Philadelphia!!!

    Sports fans are currently stuck with cable because they can’t get Comcast Sportsnet Philly via satellite.

    But I’m sure many would leap at a chance to try something else.

  2. Ask them to give us a true dual tuner with dual buffers that work properly. I should be able to pause one tuner, switch to the 2nd tuner and then back to the 1st tuner. The 1st tuner should still be paused where I left it. Also allow for us to filter the guide to only show the stations we want to see. This is not the same as favorites. This list should carry through on searches as well.
    Thanks

  3. Brian, at my last briefing they mentioned the dual tuner functionality you’re looking for is scheduled for this year. I’ll pass along the filter/favorite suggestion.

  4. -See if it’s possible to remove the magnified view feature from the mini-guide (the guide that pops up when you press the down arrow). Also in the mini-guide, pressing page up/down only scrolls through two channels, not three as you would think.
    Thank You

  5. I live in Northern New Jersey area and has been a FiOS TV customer for a while I love the high quality picture and better content compared to my previous cable provider and today I noticed that I am upgraded to the Verizon’s new Interactive Media Guide..I was told it is also call FiOS TV 2.0, I have been playing with it all day and the new guide is pretty cool and looks high tech, the upgrade seems to be flawless as I can see my parental control PIN and recordings are intact…there is lot more information on the screen about the programs now and I certainly like the navigation experience of the new guide to access different guide features, great help videos, Search is spontanious, widgets are very responsive now. I am now looking forward for more interactive features on the new guide..

  6. Activate external HD storage please!

  7. As I stated previously:

    For me, I cannot record Sportscenter as a series. When I had Comcast, I kept the most recent one in the DVR so I always had one to watch. FiOS continues to tell me it will not record because it is a repeat, even though I selected first runs and repeats. Anyone else having this issue? The exact error message is first:
    “Sorry. There is already a series created. Pls. check the Series Manager.???

    And then:
    “Your series was successfully scheduled, however this current episode of this series cannot be recorded as it is a repeat program.???

    I can record the show as a single recording, but it will not go in as part of the series.

  8. Here’s a few to take with you:

    A) – This update Gave us the dual tuner swap, but as mentioned if you Pause 1 channel you don’t return to the Paused spot of the channel later, but rather must rewind thru spoilers of the show from the live point.. Needs a fix.

    B) – Return the frame-by-frame DVR advance feature the old IMG had .. when hitting the pause multiple times.

    C) – We MUST be able to filter the actual guide to remove channels.

    D) – Ask when & what Next HD channels they will dribble out to us, I’m hoping for at least a few soon, before their “big” push, such as SciFi, USA, CNN, TLC, Bravo. IO think they have upgraded the capacity over the last few months to at least give 2 or 4 more now …

    E) – The “Last” channel & tuner swap functiuons do Not work if you enter the channel as it’s full 4 digits, ( for instantaneous channel change), you must enter them instead as a 1 – 3 digit number & wait for the box to swith in order for “last” button to work.

    F) Ask about what they are doing to get those of us in NY/NJ areas MSNBC .. We’re missing debates & it’s election time ….

  9. Hey, can you find out why they do not offer caller ID on the TV screen to subscribers who get all three services from Verizon.I would also like to know if they plan to add more hard drive space to the DVRs with so many recording in HD you can only get about 20 hrs of TV on a DVR. And of course the big one where are all these new HD channels?

    Thanks,

    Scott

  10. Regarding FiOS TV 2.0. The system is running very slow at this point in time. It’s very uncomfortable to change channels. First, a blinding (way too large guide bar pops up). Then a blank screen comes momentarily comes into view. Next, back to station viewing — with Guide Bar. Finally, bar leaves and now I could see what I would like to watch. I would like to know if it’s possible to just turn off the bar on the bottom of the TV screen until this problem is resolved.

  11. I like the new 1.04 IMG. I can finally channel surf with my favorites. What I would like is to be able to select my channel/guide filter.

    When the favorit1es button(heart button) is pressed a menu pops up with a filter list:

    Kids List (I want favorite lists to edit)
    Dads List
    Music List
    HD channels
    All channels
    Exit

    After selecting a list I can channel surf and browse the guide with ONLY the channels I want to see. Have at least 5 filters. PLEASE

  12. I’ve just started following your blog and I think you do a great job. I’ve been hanging out on dslreports and avsforum everyday since i got FIOS also. I can vouch that:

    1. The ability to pause tuners is a big request in the forums. A dedicated swap button (perhaps C on the remote) would be good too. This facilitates the last request, which is for the LAST button NOT TO SWITCH TUNERS but to actually go to the last channel viewed on that tuner.

    2. A new bug introduced in the latest patch with the 4:3 override settings is very annoying to a lot of forum members. Whenever you change the output resolution between 1080i and 720p through the IMG menu, the 4:3 override settings are reset to 480i, requiring a user to turn off the STB and enter the service menu to set it back to their preferred setting. Kind of defeats the purpose of being able to set the resolution in the IMG menu…

    3. Do fix the 4 digit channel change bug that causes the “LAST” button to stop working.

    4. Do allow for removing channels from the guide completely, or at the least, a favorites menu that can wrap around just like the real guide does when the end of the list is reached.

    5. I haven’t heard this too much regarding the HD DVRs, but I personally would like reminders on the HD DVR boxes. Additionally, I would also like to have the option for the box to actually change to the channel when the show time is reached.

    6. Address incorrect guide data with the appropriate provider. I understand this isn’t an IMG issue, but rather a guide data provider issue. None theless, its annoying (and incorrect) to see every program on an HD channel listed as HD when they are not. They might be broadcast at 720p or 1080i, but the show is still an HD show SD quality picture and bars on the side. Also, having “NEW” plastered on episodes that aren’t new can mess up season recordings. I’m pretty sure that the reruns of L&O:SVU on TBS are not “NEW”, not even new on TBS!

  13. Yeah, tell them to test the Iowa City, IA market. :)

  14. I would like to definitley see the following:
    A. Ability to truly pause one tuner, change channel and go back and pick up the original tuner where I left off.
    B. A smaller mini guide that is more opaque
    C. Have a real favorites menu (I dont have HBO and dont care whats on that channel if I am not subscribed to it)
    D. More DVR capacity

  15. I have had fios tv since last summer. This week they installed the new giude and it SUCKs. It its too big it makes the picture small while you are looking to see what is on next. It also only lets you see 1 1.2 hours of time. You cannot delete the channels you Never watch from the guide list. It jumps 1 hours at a time thru the guide making it hard to record on the 1/2 hour marks. They seem to be promoting the channel logo more then anything. Lots of dead space on the screen. WANT OLD PROGRAMMING GUIDE BACK OR THE CHOICE if not they are as bad as comcast

  16. I have 2 big issues with the current guide. I do not use my guide as a DVR so I am using the normal HD box, but the following 2 issues bug me to NO end:
    1. The guide should have an option to be in a 16:9 format instead of only being 4:3 in the middle of the screen. If they are all about HD, then why not have a true HD widescreen version that can show more content.

    2. The HUGE issue for me is that on my Samsung DLP TV, connected via HDMI to the cable box, cuts the connection and goes to black about 3 times a day. The only way to fix is to unplug the cable box and let it reset. The other connections are not effected. ONly the HDMI connection. This is a HUGE problem, because I have to go behind my TV every day to unplug the box. Just ridiculous.

  17. I hate this new upgrade. I called and asked if I could switch back to the old and they can’t do it. Its harder to see whats on later in the day now, and the “last” button doesn’t work anymore. Poor move on verizon’s end.

  18. If they ever do get the reminder function working like it used to, where it will change the channel for you, they need to move the reminder message to the bottom of the screen and make it smaller. Actually, they should change that even if they don’t fix the rest of the reminder.

    Right now the reminder takes up a huge chunk of the picture right in the middle of the screen so that you can’t see the show that is on. What genius came up with that idea?

  19. I generally like the new IMG on my media center DVR. HOWEVER, since getting it my system has crashed half a dozen times. Generally, it occurs when I select a recorded show and press PLAY. The screen goes blank and the system won’t respond to the remote. Interestingly if it is recording a show, it will continue to record properly.

    Most of the time, unplugging and replugging will fix the problem, but I miss 10 minutes of programming in the process while it reboots and finds itself.

    Other problems include the reminder feature on the STB’s which won’t change the channel like it should. And you can’t set the skip forward/skip back time on the STB. It should be settable, or at least use the setting on the DVR. It does neither.

  20. I have a neighbor that works with the engineers and have been giving him some feedback. The guide is greatly improved from an aesthetic standpoint, but the usability has a lot of issues that need to be addressed.
    1) The large guide shows 7 channels at a time. One featured channel, and six one line bars. Two of those bars are out of safe area: When creating content for TV, there is a large border around the edge for the screen that is unviewable on all SD TV’s, and even most HD sets don’t give you the full picture area. Take a look at the guide on an HD and an SD set if you have them. The top and bottom bars are almost unviewable.
    2) The A, B, C, D buttons at the bottom of the remote should be utilized for search functions from the main guide screen, ie, search by date/title/theme.
    3) The TV picture on the main guide is way too small. You should be able to see whats on TV while you access the guide.
    4) How is MSNBC not on the channels. I have Sleuth and Chiller (both NBC Universal properties) but no MSNBC??

    I told my friend at Verizon, he should have his people examine the Time Warner guide used in New York. Its beautiful, and the usability is amazing. Jeez- you can even change the color theme of their guide!

  21. Michael MSNBC is a channel. It is 523

  22. I hate, hate, hate the new guide. It’s slow, often inaccurate (and I think it’s a programming glitch misaligning data rather than incorrect information being sent from programmers), and the absolute WORST so-called improvement is the “announce” feature. This is when you’re watching a show, you get to the end of the show (often the most climactic, important moment), you’re riveted to the screen…and because nearly all programs run right up to the hour or even over the hour by a minute or two, the set-top box thinks the next program is starting, and a HUGE box appears at the bottom of your screen to tell you what it thinks you’re now watching (i.e. the next program that’s due to start at the top of the hour). Horrible feature. And Verizon tells me there’s no option to switch it off. They further claim that intensive research told them that people actually WANTED this feature. Maybe some did, but to implement it without any ability to switch it off is just idiotic.

  23. Channel 523 is not MSNBC, its CNBC. For some reason, FIOS does not carry MSNBC.

  24. 523 is msnbc 522 is cnbc. I guess in my area it is a different channel line up for even the non local stations

  25. I know that FIOS in Bergen County and Essex county do not carry MSNBC.

  26. Just a few more peeves:

    1: The guide does not show “new” or “repeat” unless you hit the info button. This is (or should be) top page info!

    2: The DVR programs should be able to be sorted by date or by title. Also the series list. I can’t find anything in that list sorted by priority!

    3: Definately need a mode where more than one hour is displayed. My old TiVo had a mode which I loved where the channels were on the left with the current show, and the right was an amplified list for the one select channel. It showed the next 7 or 8 programs, which covered many hours.

    4: WHY doesn’t anyone allow going backward a day or two? How many times do you want to refer to yesterday’s guide and you can’t go there. This is not a Verizon specific problem, but TiVo, Zap2it, Titan TV – all of them won’t go backward.

    5: Has anyone else noticed that the voice and picture get out of sync a lot in HD? This is on the Media Center DVR. Drives me nutz!

  27. 1. The repeat button has become very buggy in the past week or so. It sometimes goes back all the way to the beginning of the recording rather than just back 30 seconds as I have it set.

    2. The channel change has also become buggy. If say I start at channel 82 and go through channel 81 to get to channel 80, sometimes the picture will stay at 82 even though the bar says channel 81 other times the screen will go black, but I’ll hear audio of channel 82. Letting it catch up doesn’t seem to be the problem as the tuner is still responsive and I can fix the problem by scrolling back up an down or punching in channel 80. This problem is not consistent.

    3. The recording of daily shows is still inconsistent. Most notably, sometimes Pardon the Interruption tapes and other times well not so much>

    4. I would really really really be happy if when you go the DVR view Schedule you could press a button to see the full description of the program.

    5. The DVR has difficulty recording shows that have had a long hiaitus. For example, even though I had Lost to tape any day of the week, the DVR could not find the premiere this week. I had to reset from scratch.

    6. And like everyone else, I want a real tuner swap with a pause.

    Thank you so much for keeping up this site. If nothing else, it is good to see I’m not the only one noticing these problems.

  28. @Jason Walker

    I’m having the same problem you are. My HDMI output just cuts out randomly. The only fix is to unplug the box and plug it back in. Did you discover a fix? I don’t want to trade it into Verizon just to get a box with the same problem and lose all my recordings and settings.

  29. Regarding Jodi’s comment about shows on hiatus: I noticed that the series which were setup during daylight savings time no longer work. It seems that the time is off by an hour. Killing the series and reissuing it seems to help. I was missing Law and Order for the past few weeks because of this problem!

    Frankly, because their data is so poor and the DVR does such a bad job figuring out which shows are a match, I check the recording every morning against Zap2It and set things up manually. For the 3 years I used a TiVo with DirectTV I don’t think I missed more than maybe 2 shows and I NEVER checked the season passes unless I had some reason to suspect the network changed the schedule at the last minute. There is lots of room for improvement here!

    By the way, was it my local station (ch 6 in Philly) or everywhere last night – during the LOST catchup show the first 20 minutes or so did not record in high def, then it suddenly snapped into high def. I don’t know if it was Verizon or ABC or a local station problem.

  30. We are dismayed that the
    ‘reminder’ doesn’t work on DVR boxes. We always like the ‘reminder’ feature on Comcast STB. Verizon online suppprt makes no mention of anything about ‘reminder’ – a keyword search yielded nothing. Is this how I get questions answered about the Verizon science project, FIOS? By going outside Verizon to google?
    We had a first-day problem, too: ‘currently unavailable’. FIOS support couldn’t tell us the root-cause of the problem. I suspect this will happen often. Anyone give me any guidance? This is the start of day-3 with our trial of the Verizon FIOS TV. Picture is great, yes. Support is dubious. Documentation sketchy. Reliability is an unknown, but first experiences in our neighborhood, Sarasota county, suggest that we should not be surprised at frequent ‘glitches’. My neighbor had a STB reboot itself spontaneously. Never happened with ye olde reliable Comcast….

    Verizon FIOS telephone tech support level I, when we asked, ‘how would you like it if you missed the last 10 minutes of something you had been watching’, simply stated “I don’t watch television”. Pretty poor. It took requesting to speak to a manager, and then HIS manager (had to wait half an hour), to get SOMEONE WHO WAS PROFESSIONAL, but still couldn’t tell us root cause of ‘currently unavailable’, but did a professional job of searching problem database…

    Something else we miss from Comcast, is the ‘star’ rating of movies. We often look for a new experience and use the
    ‘star rating’ for selection. We avoid 1 or 1 1/2 star movies, take a chance for a short time on 2 stars, and have generally been satisfied with 2 1/2 or greater stars on Comcast. But our guide doesn’t show stars on Verizon.

    Comments?

  31. @ Jeremy…

    I’ve been told that it was a bug with the new Guide. Something that they are trying to fix, but it’s just ridiculous that an older version of the guide worked just fine, but NOW I have to go unplug the cable box all the time. I just bought a new Samsung LCD and I hope I don’t experience this issue in the bedroom now.

    Let me know if you find anything else out.

  32. @Jason Walker

    I’m still experiencing the problem, but I may have found a way to fix the problem without unplugging it.

    Essentially, I turn off the power (which will allow recordings to continue) and immediately press Select and then Menu on the console. This brings up the tech settings screen that you may or may not have known about (this screen is useful for setting the output resolution among other things). Sadly, since the HDMI isn’t working when I do this, I don’t actually see the screen, but I see numbers/letters appear on the LED readout on the console (where the clock/channel usually is). After I see this I hit power to turn off the settings screen again and power again to turn the system back on. If I do this 2 or 3 times it seems to bring back the picture over HDMI without unplugging any cables. My guess is that this is somehow resetting the HDCP keys.

    I know this is sorta random. I’ve only encountered the problem twice since I stumbled across this solution, so I don’t have the process down with the shortest number of steps.

    You may want to try the power off, “select”, then “menu” trick sometime when you have the picture working fine just to see what I’m talking about. You’ll get a menu on your screen (even though the system is off) that lets you change some low-level stuff. If you change the 4:3 override to “OFF” it will put black bars for any 4:3 signals (this is nice in case your tv can’t do it).

    Hope this helps some. Painful, but it saved me from having to unplug while I had a recording going.

  33. Hey bud, I finally found what looks like a fix. I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll give it a whirl when I get home toniight. Check out this link:

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r19840408-FiOS-VOD-and-HD-Samsung-HDMI-Issue~days=10

  34. I have had the 4:3 override set to OFF every since I got the box and I still get the problem. And I’m not going to change it to 720p when I have a 1080p television.

    Moreover, I’ve had the problem occur right in the middle of watching TV (not just when I turned on the box).

    The only remedy I’ve found is hitting power off, select, menu, down (x2), right (x3). Doing this changes the output from 1080i to 480i (or 480p, I forget). Doing this causes the firmware screen to diplay and then I can just hit right one more time to put it back to 1080i.

    Let me know what you find.

  35. My issue with recording SportsCenter seems to be fixed. My guess that they changed the guide data to always be unique. The new problem is this…..

    I have the DVR set to keep one show of SportsCenter. I usually start watching the 8am show around 8:45am. The problem is that at 9am, it starts to record the 9am show, and deletes the 8am show….WHILE I’m watching it (very annoying when you’re at the highlight you want to see).

    The show should only be deleted AFTER the recording is done, not before. Technically, if the show is deleted at the start of recording a new show, the “Save 1 show” isn’t working as it should because at that moment, you have less than one show.

  36. Yes, I know the quick fix is to save two, and that is what I did.

  37. All these folks spending there time diagnosing verizons problems and sending verizon money each month. Amazing! They may be on to something here workers who pay you. I buying more verizon stock!

  38. How about asking them when MSNBC will be available in Northern New Jersey, eh?

  39. I just got out of an NBC town hall meeting. I was told from an authority that the MSNBC / Cablevision carriage deal has expired, but is being renegotiated. Of course, when this will be completed is anyone’s guess, but progress is being made. I just hope I get a few months of election coverage.

  40. Minor update from my last post. My method for getting the HDMI output to work again is the following sequence:

    - power (off)
    - select
    - menu
    - down
    - right (x2)
    - left (x2)

    Make sure to pause in between each key press for about a second or so. Doing this will bring up the tech screen (which you can’t see since the HDMI is down) and changes it from 1080i to 720p and then 480p. This Then you can switch it back to 1080p which presumably resets the HDCP and fixes the problem (temporarily).

  41. tell them to drop their crappy img software and make a deal with TiVo. I dropped the Home Media DVR after my third motorolla box crashed and I bought a TiVo HD. It works great with FIOS and i will never go back. True dual tuner, no rebooting, never misses a recording, great extras. Only thing it doesnt do is On Demand but who cares.

  42. Just switched from comcast to FiOS in MA. I have 2 SD 2708 boxes. The guide and the DVR interface is pretty cumbersome compared to comcast.

    Only 80GB drives, a little smaller than my comcast boxes.

    Signal is great, no more drop outs and tiling.

    I can’t figure out how to swap tuners yet though…

  43. This Interactive Media Guide is the absolute worst I have EVER seen. I’ve stopped watching TV now because I cannot find movies without spending 30-45 minutes to locate one. I also went from full premium channels to the most basic package I can get and then signed up for Netflix. I was personally responsible for more than 10 friends and families households converting from Comcast to Verizon and now I’m ready to leave Verizon myself. It’s just too frustrating to try to relax and deal with the POS interactive guide. Verizon made a poor choice implementing this without user input or having a trial period instead of the surprise cutover that forced everyone to use. In addition, my 15 Mb internet is also running about 8Mb during the day as tested with the site they asked me to test against. In my opinion, Verizon has gone from the best to the worst in a short time. I wish they would get their act together and spend more time getting customer input before implementing such large upgrades. This was definitely NOT an improvement.

  44. Verizon is ruining their FIOS service with the archaic, cumbersome, extremely slow, frustrating and useless upgrades. I’d like to have a word with the engineer that designed this IMG. It should have been called OMG! It takes me 30 minutes to find something to watch and by that time I need to start my search over or I’ve missed half of the show. Verizon has designed their interface so that it expects input from a 1 finger (thumb) interface to be used as a keyboard. There is WAY TOO MUCH typing expected and unnecessary paging through screen after screen on the search, not to mention the slow responses from the IMG/OMG. I have finger cramps every time I use it. WTF Verizon? The good news is that I’ve been forced to downgrade all of my Verizon services to the minimum now and have found other providers for my video entertainment. Verizon!!! You need to FIRE your designers on the IMG/OMG!!!

  45. Paul – Have you tried the “predictive” searching. It’s quite slick and a very fast way to find programs. I’ve been very happy with it vs. the “cell phone” style entry.

    Although I’ve more than my share of crashes and problems, I find the new IMG faster and generally better than the old one. They even seem to slowly be improving the guide accuracy, which was a huge problem 6 months ago. The general response (except in the On Demand section) is now pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good.

    Where I still have HUGE complaints is in the Series recordings. It skips new shows, records old shows, and generally doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. I end up having to check the programming EVERY DAY to make sure it gets what I want. At times like that I really miss my Direct TV TiVo, which almost never needed looking after.

    Finally, I still get frequent (a few times a week) crashes of the software. Yesterday, I rewound past the beginning of a program and the box reset itself – which takes several minutes!! Sometimes the system just crashes at random and I have to power toggle it. Finally, the HD audio gets out of sync with the video, which is totally unacceptable. As far as I’m concerned, they can quit adding features for a while and gain some stability and efficiency.

    About the only “new” feature I’d really like to see right now is getting the Dual Tuner to work like it should. They need separate controls for “prev channel” and “swap tuner”, and both need to be pausable while in the backgroud. I had that on my TiVo and really miss it!

    Mike F.

  46. 1. The most significant issue I’ve had with Fios over both of my QIP6416 DVRs is that, occasionally, one of the boxes will reset for no apparent reason, and will lose some of the programs that had been recently recorded, while restoring program entries in the DVR menu that were recently deleted. You get an error if you try to play one of the restored program entries.

    It’s as if the file system’s table of contents reverted to a previous state after the system came back from reset. Surely the file system is based on some kind of transaction safe file system (TFAT), and not caching changes?!

    Some other issues:

    2. Even though I have an entry in the DVR Series Manager for a program I want to record, it will not necessarily be recorded, despite having set all options correctly. I find I have to delete the entry in the Series Manager and re-add the program.

    3. Often, an entry in the Series Manager shows a ridiculous time (like 9PM to 9PM).

    4. Occasionally, I can’t rewind or pause the program I’m watching. The screen will jerk a bit when one of these buttons are pressed, but that’s it.

    5. I’d really like to be able to easily start/restart a recording from the beginning. A single button press while the show is playing (a la Tivo) would be ideal, as well as an equivalent menu option.

    6. I’d like to see a complete paragraph telling me about a program when I press the Info button, not one that’s been arbitrarily cut-off mid-sentence. I’d like to see as much info as possible. An ability to scroll longer text entries would be valuable.

    7. I’d really, really, really, like to be able to expand the storage by plugging in an external drive.

    8. Some way to off-load to a PC (a la Tivo-to-Go) in order to burn a DVD would be awesome.

    Reliability should be Verizon’s number one priority. It is the lack of this that frustrates the heck out of me and my wife, and causes us to constantly ask each other, “why haven’t we gone back to Tivo, yet?”. We haven’t, of course, because we’d like to keep the VOD. Even so, we get closer each day to throwing in the towel.

    One other comment: I’d just as soon stub my big toe as call Verizon for tech support. It takes absolutely way too long to get hold of someone, must be done during banker’s hours, and typically doesn’t result in any help.

    Mike N.

  47. Great blog, and thanks for passing these comments on.

    I’ve been a major booster for Verizon based on the internet experience. I just “upgraded” to Fios TV with the DVR (after previously using DirectTV, standard def, Tivo). I knew ith would probably be worse than my experience with Tivo, but keep in mind that the Tivo experience hadn’t been upgraded on that in years.

    On the positive –

    * Picture quality seems good.
    * Decent amount of VOD (welcome feature after DirecTV).

    Now the negatives –

    * Can’t remove channels from the Guide. E.g.: do I really need to see all of the foreign language channels? Do I really need to see all of the SD channels for which I have a corresponding HD channel?
    * The Favorites option COULD solve this, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to get it to remember the guide preference you selected. E.g.: in Guide when you choose to change the view. Come on! And if I use the “Favorites” button instead, you can’t type in the channel you want to go to.
    * Guide – I HATE HATE HATE the way it scrolls with the current selection always in the center, expanded to a different size from all other entries. All of the rows should be of a consistent size. If I’m moving around row by row, do that without scrolling the entire screen (or at least make it an option). If they used smaller fonts and they used the wide screen well, then the “half screen guide” might be usable — e.g.: 2/3 could be used for the guide and show 1 1/2 hours of guide (all rows equal height). The other 1/3 could show a small preview of the current channel, and primarily be used up with a description of the show that you’ve highlighted in the guide (e.g.: thus eliminating the need for the giant Frennel lens that they currently place in front of the current row).
    * Guide 2 – The default view, where a small PIP view of the current show is overlayed in front of the guide is idiotic. Why would you want to cover up the guide if that is what you are viewing? See suggestion above. Or make the “Overlay” guide (where there is no preview) the default mode.
    * Parental Controls. In particular, I want / need a way to limit the channels that show up in the guide etc when my kids use it. I don’t want them asking if they can watch XYZ program — I want the TV to list 5 – 10 channels that I feel are acceptable, and that is it.
    –> The Tivo had only a few views — Favorites, Channels I receive, and All Channels, and that covered what I needed — I set Favorites to be the “Kids” channels, and generally left it in that mode (note that at least the TIVO remembered the mode). Channels I receive I edited down to exclude all of the noise that I didn’t use (e.g.: foreign language, etc) and that would be what we wanched when the kids were asleep.
    * Parental Controls II. When I want to snap out of Parental controls, I should be able to do that without having to dig through a lot of menus. The way it is implemented is ALMOST correct. E.g.: if I try to navigate to a channel, it asks if I want to turn off Parental Controls. For THIS channel only. Would it kill them to ask me if I want to turn it off PERIOD as well, so that I don’t have to navigate into the menu?
    * 16:9 menus. Don’t waste the screen — show me two hours on a large screen.
    * VOD and DVR fast forwarding / rewinding — Should be able to skip ahead by larger increments (e.g.: Tivos 15 minute skips). I tried to fast forward to the middle of a 1:30 show on VOD and it was PAINFUL.
    * Fonts — should be adjustable. On a large screen they look ridiculous, and the display could show a lot more info with better fonts.

    Does anyone know if / when they are going to correct any of these issues? Just addressing the guide channel removal and remembering the last guide view you used should be low hanging fruit and would make this much more usable. Its enough to make me consider shelling out money for a Tivo that supports HD; that money is a good revenue stream for Verizon, so you’d think that they’d try to address some of these core usability features…

    Also, any news on when they might be adding streaming of video from the Media Manager app? That would be a welcome improvement in terms of being able to watch downloaded content without going through hoops / burning disks/ buying additional hardware (e.g.: its a differentiator, which helps justify why I shouldn’t consider alternatives).

    – Gregg

  48. @Gregg,

    Most of your gripes are the same ones I have. The only tidbit that may be useful is that you can set the “skip forward” button to be several intervals ranging from 10 seconds to 5 minutes. You probably know this and it’s not 15 minute skip, but I thought I’d pass it on just the same.

    Personally, I would love to have two skip forward buttons that I can program to be different amounts.

    The people who think IMG was a downgrade from the old or from Comcast are insane. The lag with every operation on the Comcast button instantly makes it worse than anything else out there. At least the IMG stuff lets you skip forward and back (my most used operations) very quickly with almost no lag. If it could just stop forgetting to record certain things and let me delete channels from the guide I would be much happier.

  49. Hi,

    Thanks for the feedback. The skip forward works with DVR recordings, but not with on demand — is that consistent with what you see?

  50. I’ve never used on-demand so I don’t really know.

  51. Hello Greg,

    You are right about the skip back with on demand. That feature doesn’t work.

  52. Skip forward and back don’t work in VOD, but FF and REW work fine, if a little unresponsive at times.

    Also, when you’re viewing a DVR program on another box (Media Center Version only) the skip forward and back don’t work properly. You can’t set the skip timing and the response it so bad that by the time it settles down you’re right where you started. The system either needs to use the skip settings from the main box when viewing on a remote, or the settings on the remote have to be enabled separately.

  53. Just to add my 2 cents…..

    1. The addition of REMINDERS for those of us with DVR boxes is a CRITICAL addition. How could they have left it out….many times I simply want a reminder about a show I have seen advertised. I do NOT want to record it.

    2. MLB Extra Innings….NOW! Or at least some real details on when we can expect it…..

    3. THere must be a way to exclude channels you do not subscribe to (or watch) from the IMG… like how come I have to scroll through 20 million radio channels when I am looking for something else to watch…..this is especially bad if you have the HD package.

  54. Now Verizon has eliminated the cast information from the IMG. When I asked about it, they told me to go to TVGuide.com and look it up. There is too much “No program information” entries on the guide. There also in no explanation of the what the ratings really mean. EX: Why is a movie rated R. Language, violence, sexual situation, etc., etc. Without that info, how can you set a filter for what you would allow kids to view.
    They have listed an episode number on some of the re-runs. If they know the episode number, they should be able to translate that to a description of what the episode is about. In my opinion FIOS TV is a Beta program that Verizon is foisting on an unsuspecting public. I constantly have audio drops, pixelation, screen freezes on both the STB and HD-STB.

  55. New Jersey has MSNBC! I just noticed it this morning when I accidentally tuned 84. Anyone else notice this?

  56. MSNBC is available in some areas of NJ because of conflicts with the MSNBC contracts.

  57. GrahamCracker June 18, 2008 at 4:51 am

    MSNBC is available in Southern NJ (Philly area feed) but not in Northern NJ. It is also not available in NYC. The problem is that MSNBC signed an exclusive carriage agreement with Cablevision years ago.

    I have read on the web that the ban will be lifted during for the Olympics, but I called Verizon and they didn’t know what I was talking about, so consider that a shaky rumor.
    I also asked Verizon when they planned on carrying MSNBC in these areas, and they said they were working on it. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  58. Don’t get it. I suspect Fox is behind exclusive between Cablevision and msnbc in an efort to repress Msnbc viewership in country’s biggest market.

  59. Graham Cracker July 11, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Roger –

    Fox has nothing to do with it. NBC decided to sign onto an exclusive carriage agreement with Cablevision – I would suspect because MSNBC was just starting out and Cablevision had leverage. When the carriage agreement expires, no one knows.
    That being said, Verizon imposes the blackout, if you will, on areas where Cablevision is not the incumbent cable provider. This is a completely different issue and can be remidied by Verizion if they chose to do so.

  60. just rid ourselves of Comcast for FIOS last week.

    read through this thread and saw everyone asking what I am – how to swap tuners. i know we can record both and do it that way but that sucks.

    any word on this yet?

  61. aud, check out the 1.6 update which is currently rolling out nationwide: http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2008-08/the-verizon-fios-tv-16-update/

  62. SNY, YES, and the MLB package have to be made available nationally before spring training in 2009. Please save the displaced NewYorkers and NewYork sports fans Verizon fios.

  63. What’s up with Fios and Samsung? I just bought a Samsung 1080p LCD TV and now I have a problem because every so often I get a row of colorful blocks that scroll from right to left in the middle of the screen. When that happens, the voice disappears. I talked to Verizn and they said that it was Samsung and of course, Samsung says that it is Verizon. At this point, I’m disgusted with both of them.

  64. I saw this old thread Re FiOS DVR and have ONE question. Please help if possible.

    I just had FiOS installed recently. I have the multi-room, HD DVR. I was recording ONE show (not 2) and was not able to see video on demand (SD or HD) I could hear it, but the screen was black. When I hit stop, I saw the video for the Beifest Second then was back to the On Demand Menu.

    Please help. Verizon support has been pretty useless. I need to know if I should get a new DVR or just scap the service altogether and go back to Cox.

    I just want to be able to watch VOD while recording another show.

    Thanks SOOO much for ANY and ALL insights!!

  65. Seems that since the upgrade to the Guide that the use of the Info button when hit twice, just enlarges the info to full screen. Hit Info button a third time you return to the Guide but at the point where you started which is what you are watching. It previously used to return you back to the guide but you remaining surfing the Guide where you hit the Info button. Therefore, one did not have to start scrolling all through the Guide from what one is currently watching. They need to return it back to how it was as it still has the option of hitting the channel down key to get the full screen option for the Info button. Therefore, the Info button being hit twice is redundant and not useful to scrolling the guide without returning to the originally watched show. If I am wrong, someone please explain to me how this works as it use to. I also wish they would enter the date of the shows production as this is interesting when watching old shows. Who cares that they are showing old shows. We know that but sometimes would like to know what year this show first came out.

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