Switching cable company triple plays in search of perfection, Fios vs Optimum

Here are our early observations on switching from Fios to Optimum/Altice One.

Verizon Fios will send you a bill for the partial month, due immediately, then turn you over to a collection agency within 10 days.

First Optimum bill, with free installation, will be much higher than you expect because of partial month billing, yada, yada, yada have you signed up for paperless billing?

With triple play, we noticed in our browser window Optimum pop up ads. Coincidence? Maybe.

Our first impression is that the TV picture is much improved with Optimum. It seems clearer. For some reason (VOIP?), when we change channels up or down, there's a three-second black screen that takes over, just enough time to be noticed and be annoying. You can't hold the Channel-up or Channel-down button to scroll quickly... because of that black screen.

We do like the multi-room DVR and recording takes more than one step to actually record (press red button to record, then on show, press record button again.) If you’re watching a show and you press record, it only records from that time forward, not what you’ve already watched [Point to Fios.]

We had some issues with DVR playback. Pictures freeze. Drop-outs. Closed-caption (though available on live recording) not available on playback. [Called chat and a boost fixed it. Until next time when we decided it’s not worth the bother to chat to fix it. Optimum Chat is semi-useless and very difficult to get through. Equal to FiOS chat.]

The Optimum remote is much, much smaller than the Fios remote. Not only is it smaller but it’s much easier to hit the wrong buttons with big, clumsy, arthritic hands, and then try to figure out what happened. Punch in a three digit channel and do it too slow, you get a surprise channel. Someone suggested we keep a stylus handy to change the channels.

The new remote lights up. That’s a big plus when the room is lit only by the TV.

If you like Netflix, there’s a big white button in the center you can use. I don’t have Netflix, so this button is a mistake each time we hit it. The online tutorials were less than helpful. The manual with our password was less helpful.

The onscreen channel display is too small. You can see a number but there’s no way ANYONE can read which network is on because the type is so tiny.

The program guide is useful. There’s a button at the top to press. It gives you all the options and you have to click right to choose Guide. Maybe there’s a direct button to Guide, but I haven’t found it yet.

When we switched from Cablevision to Verizon in 2007, the remotes were extremely similar.

Some of us would rather not scroll through hundreds of irrelevant programs to find shows of interest. We’d rather skip over foreign languages, sports, shopping, DIY, and other shows, so we set the Favorites to our favorites. The default setting when you power up is ALL CHANNELS, and the default start up channel is News12. You must click into your preferences and choose FAVORITES ONLY with each new power up.

For convenience sake, the first button on Favorites choice is Clear All Favorites. Hit this and you have to start all over again. This choice should at least come with an ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO CLEAR ALL FAVORITES?

When you decide to Edit Favorites, you choose All Channels and click on the networks you want. These networks are in no particular order, to my mind, anyway. The shopping channels are scattered, the CSpan channels, too. The cowboy channels must be lassoed. There are three or four Hallmark channels with OTHER channels in between them.

But the toughest part about setting your favorites is reading the tiny names of the networks in the options field Optimum provides. Maybe if you had a 100-inch screen these words would be readable.

There are plenty of music channels. If you want to choose your favorite genres, good luck. The choices (which I’d tell you more about but my remote won’t let me in to choose Favorites or All Channels right now – we’re debating whether it’s worth a call or not – they’ll probably blame the storm; One good thing is that it’s stuck in Favorites,) for all the music channels say simply Music. So you’ll have to guess at the genres. It was simpler to remove them all from Favorites.

Read the full article here© 2019 by Anthony Buccino

#Fios #AlticeOne #Optimum

No comments: