Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Houston, we have FIOS

No matter how grumpy I was with Verizon I was about the complete slurry they made out of my order, I just can't stay angry while connected to the Internet with 2 Mbs of upload. (Compare to less than 400 Kbs with Comcast.) For my work we use CVS, and CVS has the design flaw^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H charming property of uploading everything and letting the server do the real work - it is thus really sluggish on asymmetric home connections, and is a lot more usable with FIOS.

We also have a new DVR, sort of. Comcast and Verizon use the same dual-tuner Motorola DVR (I think it's the 6412), but the software is different. A comparison of the two (this is with Verizon's newly revised software):
  • The layout and navigation of the Verizon DVR is a lot simpler. It's still not Tivo, but it's a lot closer.
  • The Comcast software was a bit of a mess to use - it had a way of changing channels on you surprisingly, or asking you if you wanted to change channels in ways where the right answer wasn't obvious. The Verizon DVR will be a lot less surprising.
  • On the other hand, the Comcast DVR provided access to both tuners for TV browsing...it wasn't easy to do, but you could have "history" on two shows at once. (This wasn't real useful - the Comcast DVR's tendency to drop live TV for recordings without warning means you lost your history a lot.)
  • While the Verizon DVR doesn't provide both tuners for live TV "browsing" (a feature that's confusing at both), it also seems to lose your recording history after just about any operation, which is a bit annoying.
Overall I think for anyone who's not a programming nerd, the Verizon DVR provides a better interface - it comes closer to the princple of "least astonishment."

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