10.05.2009Personal Tech

Move Over Cable TV! Verizon FiOS TV Makes Its Central New York Debut

The age of TV competition has arrived in central New York.

On Monday (Oct. 5), Verizon begins offering FiOS TV service in parts of eight communities in the region, bringing consumers there an all-fiber-optic connection that provides more channels, more HD, more video on demand and faster Internet speeds than old-fashioned cable TV.

With the introduction in central New York, Verizon is offering its revolutionary FiOS triple play of TV, Internet and voice services to some 50,000 homes in parts of Clay, East Syracuse, North Syracuse, Cicero, DeWitt, Salina, Camillus and Fleming.

At the end of October, the company plans to expand availability to approximately 12,000 more homes.  By the end of the year, if additional franchise agreements are secured and approved, the company hopes to have the service available to almost 100,000 homes in the region.

Verizon delivers FiOS TV over the nation's largest digital, all-fiber network, offering more than 600 total channels in New York - including 121 high-definition (HD) channels in central New York, more HD channels than the region's current monopoly cable provider, Time Warner, offers.

"Consumers in these communities at long last have a better choice for TV," said Christopher Creager, Verizon president and general manager for the Northeast region.  "We've had great success in many other parts of the state.  Now it's time to bring FiOS TV to central New York and provide consumers in the region a choice that is truly different from the cable TV company.

"Our advanced 100-percent fiber-optic network was built for HD, and right out of the box we're making more HD channels available than Time Warner has provided after decades in the business.  With all-fiber connections running straight to their homes, viewers get both high-definition and standard TV that is eye-popping."

(Note:  In a downloadable video podcast, Elaina Mango, Verizon marketing director for New York, discusses the benefits of FiOS TV in central New York.  It is available at http://verizon.mediaseed.tv/Story.aspx?story=37044.)

Where FiOS TV is available, consumers now have the option to bundle FiOS TV service, FiOS Internet Service and the Verizon Freedom Essentials unlimited calling plan, for as little as $79.99 a month for the first six months.

Customers interested in FiOS TV can visit www.verizon.com/fiostv or call 1-888-GET FiOS (888-438-3467) for more information.

FiOS is also available to small and medium-sized businesses.  Business customers can learn more about business-grade FiOS services at www.verizon.com/bizfiostv, or by calling 877-FiOS BIZ (877-346-7249).

FiOS, Fiber Benefits Region

Said Andrés Irlando, Verizon president for the New York region, "There are significant economic development and consumer benefits in Verizon's rollout of FiOS TV to these central New York communities.  Verizon has spent nearly $1 billion dollars in wireline network infrastructure in upstate areas of New York over the past two years.  This kind of investment and community involvement is in our DNA.  We know that to be at the top of our industry - and we are - we need to invest in our network and in our customers and communities.

"Verizon's FiOS initiative, on top of a fully deployed fiber backbone network in the state, gives New York an advanced telecommunications network that enables widespread economic development, and leads to further job creation in industries benefiting from state-of-the-art broadband technology," he said.

FiOS TV Service Highlights:

  • More than 600 all-digital channels in New York grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, marketplace, music, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.
  • A total of 121 HD channels available for CNY customers, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.
  • An industry-leading library of more than 16,000 video-on-demand (VOD) titles each month, 70 percent of which are free. In addition, the VOD library includes more than 1,700 HD titles per month.
  • An innovative interactive media guide (IMG) that provides next-generation, personalized interactive services, along with content from TV listings, VOD catalogs and the digital video recorder (DVR), as well as personal music, videos and photos from a home network.  Among the features of the IMG are:
  • Multi-Room DVR - Use one DVR to record HD and SD programs to up to six other TV sets throughout the home.  This includes the ability to watch three separately recorded shows on three TV sets at the same time, plus pause recorded programming in one room and continue watching in another.
  • Media Manager - This feature lets FiOS DVR customers access personal photos, videos, music and slide shows from their home computers and play them on their TVs.  Subscribers also can search for and enjoy online videos from blip.tv, Dailymotion and Veoh on their TV screens.
  • Remote DVR management - Subscribers can remotely control their DVRs online, and via any cell phone with a data plan.  Customers can use the service to remotely review, change or add recording requests; delete recorded programs; browse and search TV and VOD listings; set parental controls; and more.
  • Widgets - Customers have one-touch, on-demand access to personalized information such as local weather and traffic reports, daily local and national news headlines, fantasy sports, daily national sports headlines, and daily horoscopes, as well as interactive social TV applications from Twitter and Facebook, all while still enjoying their TV programming.  Additional widgets include:
  • KODAK Widget - This widget gives registered KODAK Gallery users instant on-screen access to photos and slideshows that they have stored on Kodak's online digital photo service.
  • RedZone Widget - One-stop access to NFL stats and the NFL RedZone channel, giving customers who subscribe to the channel the ability to set on-screen alerts for whenever a team is moving inside its opponent's 20-yard line.  The alerts, once set up, pop up at the bottom of the TV screen while subscribers are watching any channel.
  • ESPN Fantasy Football - FiOS TV customers who are registered users of ESPN Fantasy Football will have instant on-screen access to personalized NFL statistics, including rosters, box scores, scoring leaders and player information.
  • Free casual games - With the remote control and an HD set-top box, customers can access chess, solitaire, sudoku and wordplay.
  • What's Hot on FiOS TV - Features information on the most-popular programs currently being broadcast in the region and the most popular VOD titles.
  • Dual Pause and Play - Allows customers to pause live programming, change channels, and then return to the paused program and pick up where they left off.
  • Channel sorting options - Customers can create two separate lists of favorite channels for family members.  Customers also can filter channels in the guide by genre, for instances where a customer may only want to see HD content, international channels or kids programming, among others.

Programming choices for Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Russian and other multicultural audiences are available, making FiOS TV an outlet for emerging and independent networks to showcase their diverse programming.

FiOS TV is delivered over Verizon's all-fiber-optic network, which brings the power and capacity of fiber optics directly into people's homes and has industry-leading quality and reliability.  Fiber delivers amazingly sharp pictures and sound, and has the capacity to transmit a wide array of high-definition programming that is so clear and intense it seems to leap from the TV screen.  This network also offers FiOS Internet Service, which delivers downstream speeds of up to 50 Mbps (megabits per second) and upstream speeds of up to 20 Mbps, as well as high-quality voice services.

Free Verizon Wi-Fi access at thousands of locations across the U.S. is available for FiOS Internet customers with up-to-20 Mbps or faster packages.  Free Wi-Fi hot spot locations include hotels, airports, restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and other public locations across the U.S.  For a list of hot spot locations, visit www.verizon.com/hotspots.

The value of FiOS TV extends to installation and customer support. Specially trained Verizon technicians will install the service for up to three existing TV outlets and acquaint subscribers with FiOS TV features and services.  Verizon provides 24 x 7 technical assistance by phone from its Fiber Solutions Centers.

Verizon FiOS customers also have access to the Verizon In-Home Agent, a free application that gives them valuable tools to set up services, configure Wi-Fi links, set up and manage voice mail, auto-fix video problems, trouble-shoot and correct Internet issues - all with the simple click of a mouse.