LAPLATA, Md. - The future of television has arrived in Charles County as Verizon introduces FiOS TV to about 8,000 homes and businesses via the company's revolutionary all-fiber-optic network.
A unanimous vote on May 20 by the Charles County Commission authorized Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV.
"We commend the commission and its staff for their dedication and hard work throughout this process," said William R. Roberts, Verizon's regional president for Maryland and Washington, D.C. "Clearly, they recognize and support the technological advantage and competitive benefits - as well as the distinctive edge in economic development and quality of life - that fiber will bring to their community."
In Maryland, Verizon's FiOS TV and FiOS Internet services are available to dozens of communities in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, including Aberdeen, Annapolis, Bel Air, LaPlata and Rockville.
Verizon delivers FiOS TV over the nation's largest digital, all-fiber network, which has earned certification from the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes and businesses.
FiOS TV scored highest in J.D. Power's "2008 Residential Television Service Satisfaction Study for the East Region." And a leading consumer magazine gave FiOS TV the top rating in its most recent survey of television service, with top marks in all six categories it measured: channel choice, image quality, sound quality, reliability, value and support.
"Cable just can't match the high-definition channels or the innovative features and enhancements FiOS TV customers enjoy," said Roberts. "We've harnessed the vast capacity of our advanced fiber-optic network to deliver a revolutionary, new entertainment experience."
Currently, FiOS TV is available to 9.7 million homes in 14 states: California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
This spring, Verizon is offering consumers the ultimate home upgrade by making it easy and affordable to switch from old-fashioned cable to the power of Verizon's advanced all-fiber-optic network and FiOS services.
Packages of FiOS Internet, FiOS TV and Verizon Freedom unlimited local and long-distance calling services are available starting at under $100 a month. New customers who order a FiOS service bundle by June 20 can get an even sweeter deal with a current promotion that offers up to $150 back in the form of a prepaid card, a two-year price guarantee, and premium installation at no extra cost by a specially trained technician who sets up a powerful home network from start to finish. For details on FiOS services and the promotion, visit http://www.verizon.com/ultimateupgrade.
Customers also can call their local Verizon sales office or 888-GET FiOS (888-438-3467). Information on construction schedules is available at www.verizon.com/md.
Small and medium-sized businesses interested in business-grade FiOS services can visit www.verizon.com/bizfiostv or call 877-FiOS BIZ (877-346-7249) for more information.
FiOS TV service highlights include:
- More than 500 all-digital channels grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, marketplace, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.
- Approximately 117 high-definition (HD) channels in Maryland, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.
- An innovative interactive media guide (IMG) that helps customers quickly and easily find and enjoy content from TV listings, VOD catalogs and the digital video recorder (DVR), as well as personal music and photos from a home network. Among the features of the IMG are:
- Multi-Room DVR - Verizon's Home Media DVR allows customers to stream recorded HD and standard-definition (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.
- Widgets - Customers have one-touch, on-demand access to local weather and traffic reports shown on TV screens. Widgets provide local traffic and weather reports, daily local and national news headlines, daily national sports headlines, community news, and daily horoscopes.
- Free casual games - With the remote control and an HD set-top box, customers can access chess, solitaire and wordplay.
- Remote DVR Management - Verizon FiOS TV customers now have the option to remotely control their Home Media DVRs either online or through any wireless handset with a data plan. All FiOS TV DVR customers can now remotely control their DVRs online. On-the-go FiOS TV subscribers can use the service to remotely review, change or add recording requests, delete recorded programs, browse and search TV and video-on-demand listings, set parental controls, and more.
- ESPN Fantasy Sports - Personalized Fantasy Football stats displayed on customers' TV screens on any ESPN channel, for ESPN online registered participants. Customers can view rosters, box scores, scoring leaders and player information. ESPN Fantasy Sports also will be accessible via FiOS TV Widgets and Games.
- Video on Demand (VOD) - Industry-leading library with more than 14,000 titles per month, 70 percent of which are free. The VOD library includes more than 1,300 HD titles per month, more than 1,000 of which are free.
- "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.
- "Return to Paused Programming" - 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 in every market, 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.
The value of FiOS TV extends to the installation and customer support. Specially trained Verizon technicians will install the service and acquaint subscribers with FiOS TV features and services. Verizon is waiving the installation fee for up to three existing TV outlets, and there is no charge to install a needed optical network terminal at the subscriber's home. Charges for other installation services, such as additional outlets, may apply. Verizon provides 24 x 7 technical assistance by phone from its specialized Fiber Solutions Centers.
FiOS Internet Highlights
Verizon's 50/20 Mbps (megabits per second) FiOS Internet connection is the fastest available to Charles County consumers and the company's 20/20 Mbps symmetrical service is the first of its kind commercially available to U.S. consumers on a mass scale.* Pioneering a new category of broadband for the American consumer, Verizon's symmetrical FiOS provides the ultra-fast, two-way speeds crucial for such burgeoning online activities as video conferencing, social networking and super-fast uploading of electronic photo albums or home videos, as well as multi-player gaming and online work collaboration.
For the second year in a row, Verizon's FiOS Internet service was named the top pick in PC Magazine's 2008 readers' survey and also was named a winner in PC World Magazine's The 100 Best Products of 2008 - the second year in a row the broadband service made that list.
At 50 Mbps, downloading a 5 GB (gigabyte) file, such as 112-minute, high-definition movie purchased online, takes approximately 13.3 minutes, while a 50 MB (megabyte), or 60-minute, Web video takes 8 seconds, and a 5 MB MP3 music file takes less than eight-tenths of a second.
Using a 20 Mbps upstream broadband connection, a consumer could upload a 250 MB file of 200 photos in about 90 seconds, instead of the roughly 47 minutes it takes over a 768 kilobit-per-second (Kbps) upstream connection. A 3 GB file, such as a one-hour family video shot with a high-definition video camera, could be uploaded in around 20 minutes, compared with more than nine hours with 768 Kbps (kilobits per second) upstream.
* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.