Review Summary
Verizon ((844) 740-3053) was one of the first providers to offer true "Fiber to the Home" service, and their name is practically synonymous with fast Internet in major cities like NYC. They also offer strong digital Fios TV and phone service that takes advantage of their future-proof fiber network bandwidth.

Verizon Fios offers dramatically faster speeds than traditional cable and DSL providers, with anywhere between 50 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps upload and download depending on your plan. Even their low-end plans offer upload speeds around five times what you get on cable, which matters most for uploading files and two-way apps like Skype and FaceTime.

Verizon FiOS TV, one of their main services, is very popular among TV watchers due to its amazing picture quality, reliable DVRs, and diverse channels. They’ve also gained popularity with “cord cutters” since they don’t limit your use of data for streaming services such as Netflix, Roku, and etc.

Of course, choosing one of their plans is not a walk in the park. (See here for full Fios and DSL plan listings.) Here are the details that are, in my humble opinion, most important.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No contract for most TV plans
  • Custom TV plan
  • HD picture quality
  • Top-notch channel variety
  • Remotely-controlled DVRs

Cons

  • Limited Double Play offers
  • Triple Play offers require a 2-year contract
  • Low availability

Services Overview

  • Offers Service in: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, District of Columbia and Connecticut
  • Major Cities Covered: Brooklyn, NY, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, Bronx, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Staten Island, NY, Washington, DC, Richmond, VA, Virginia Beach, VA, Buffalo, NY, Newark, NJ, Silver Spring, MD, Jersey City, NJ, Trenton, NJ, Jamaica, NY, Flushing, NY, Providence, RI, Arlington, VA, Woodbridge, VA and Yonkers, NY
  • Residential Pricing: $39.99+ (See Latest Deals)
  • Setup Service: (844) 740-3053
Verizon FiOS makes use of a fiber optic network, and is able to deliver superior picture quality — especially compared to traditional cable TV. In addition to HD channels, they’ve also been experimenting with 4K video in some areas. Verizon also lets you stream their content on mobile, and they even offer apps that let you control the DVR remotely with your mobile device.

Verizon FiOS offers a lot of variety when it comes to pricing, and its plans don’t require a contract if you catch them during one of their regular no-contract promotions.

Keep in mind the pricing can vary based on your area.

Fiber Internet Explained

Piggy bank with savings tip.

Fiber often costs the same or less than cable, while delivering as much as ten times the speed and performance. If there’s fiber in your area, it’s a no-brainer unless you’re on a basic income or extremely tight budget.

Fiber Internet uses fiber optic cables all the way to your home. While “cable” and “DSL” providers use older coaxial TV networks or telephone wires to deliver data, fiber uses Internet-specific fiber cables. This allows you to get much faster upload speeds, improved bandwidth, less lag, and “gigabit” speeds around 1,000 Mbps.

Fiber is sometimes described as “10X” service since it produces ten times the 100 Mbps average cable speed.

Keep in mind that many “fiber” Internet services you see advertised are not actually “fiber to the home” like Fios, Google Fiber, and other “true fiber” companies. Some cable companies will describe their service as “fiber based” or “hybrid fiber” when the fiber only goes near your house, not all the way to the doorstep. “Hybrid fiber coaxial” can deliver good performance, but it’s still half the bandwidth you get with fiber at best.

Verizon Fios TV Plan Details

Cat watching TV.
Fios TV uses fiber cables to deliver snappy smart TV features in HD. Image via JKehoe_photo/Flickr

Basic TV Plan

FiOS TV Local is a bare-bones TV plan that will only cost you around $10/month for one year.

Cost-efficient? Yes — just don’t expect a lot from it. FiOS TV Local only offers 15+ local channels and 5+ HD channels (notable channels include Fox, PBS, and NBC). Also, this plan doesn’t include any sports channels.

Custom TV Plan

An innovative idea, Verizon’s Custom TV plan lets you pay only for the type of channels you want to watch.

All you need to do is choose one of Verizon’s custom packages:

  • Sports & News
  • Action & Entertainment
  • Infotainment & Drama
  • Home & Family
  • Lifestyle & Reality
  • Kids & Pop
  • News & Variety

Price-wise, expect to pay around $64.99/month for one year.

Standard TV Plans

  • Preferred HD – 270+ channels and 85+ HD channels. Notable channels include Comedy Central, ESPN, and Fox News. The price is roughly $74.99/month for 1 year.
  • Extreme HD – 340+ channels and 110+ HD channels. Notable channels include BBC America, Sundance TV, and FX. You’ll be paying around $79.99/month for 1 year.
  • Ultimate HD – 435+ channels and 150+ HD channels. Notable channels include SHOWTIME, REVOLT, and MGM HD. Expect to pay approximately $89.99/month for 1 year.

Spanish TV Plans

  • FiOS TV Mundo – 250+ channels and 40+ HD channels. Notable channels include ESPN Deportes, Telemundo, and Univision. The price is in the $49.99/month-range for 1 year.
  • FiOS TV Mundo Total – 255+ channels and 50+ HD channels. It includes everything in the TV Mundo plan alongside Regional Sports Network. The price is around $54.99/month for 1 year.

Bundle Deals

If you’re interested in more than just TV, Verizon FiOS offers Double and Triple Play deals as well. All plans provide up to $500 credit to help cover an early termination fee with another provider so you can switch without cost.

Verizon installation van.
Verizon Fios sometimes requires specialized installation for fiber service. Image via Mike Mozart/Flickr

Also, the standard setup fee is waived ($90 value, according to Verizon).

Oh, and keep in mind that Internet connection speeds can vary based on your area and network.

Double Play

  • Entry-Level Plan – 15+ channels and 5+ HD channels, 50Mbps download/upload speeds, and 1 premium movie channel included for 3 months (SHOWTIME, HBO, STARZ, CINEMAX). Expect to pay roughly $49.99/month for 1 year.
  • Medium-Tier Plan – Custom TV packages, and 50Mbps download/upload speeds. You’ll be paying around $69.99/month for 1 year.
  • Upper-Tier Plan – 270+ channels and 85+ HD channels, and 50Mbps download/upload speeds. The plan will cost you approximately $84.99/month for 1 year.

Triple Play

Verizon cable box.
Keep in mind that while you can use your own router for Verizon High Speed Internet DSL plans, their Fiber FIOS offerings require a specialized router that can handle the gigabit speeds. Image via Xer0derm/Wikimedia
  • Entry-Level Plan – Custom TV packages, 150Mbps download/upload speeds, and unlimited nationwide calling. You’ll be paying around $79.99/month for the first year, and $84.99/month for the second year.
  • Medium-Tier Plan – 270+ channels and 85+ HD channels, 150Mbps download/upload speeds, and unlimited nationwide calling. You’ll be paying around $94.99/month for the first year, and $99.99/month for the second year.
  • Upper-Tier Plan – 435+ channels and 150+ HD channels, 150Mbps download/upload speeds, and unlimited nationwide calling. You’ll be paying around $124.99/month for the first year, and $129.99/month for the second year.

Spanish Triple Play

  • Medium-Tier Plan – 250+ channels and 45+ HD channels, 150Mbps download/upload speeds, and unlimited nationwide calling. Expect to pay roughly $79.99/month for the first year, and $84.99/month for the second year.
  • Upper-Tier Plan – 255+ channels and 50+ HD channels, 150Mbps download/upload speeds, and unlimited nationwide calling. Expect to pay roughly $84.99/month for the first year, and $89.99/month for the second year.

Triple Play plans also offer free Multi-Room DVR Service for 2 years, and include HBO in the price for the first year ($15/month value).

However, all Triple Play plans require a 2-year contract.

Which Plan Should You Choose?

Setup Service
Looking to setup Verizon Fios service? Use this line to speak with a human in less than 60 seconds: (844) 740-3053

Cord cutters can just grab a fiber Internet-only plan. In my opinion, Fios speeds are high enough that virtually any plan is “good enough” for the average home. Gigabit is nice if it’s in your area, but the popular 50/50 plan is more than enough for most people. The strong upload speed is great for YouTube, Skype, and other upload-intensive tasks.

If you’re looking for specific, individualized channel selections and don’t want to break the bank, I wholeheartedly recommend choosing the Custom TV plan.

If money’s not an issue, you want to get the most out of what Verizon offers, and long-term commitments don’t bother you, the Upper-Tier Standard Triple Play bundle will be right up your alley. Don’t forget – most Triple Plays of that caliber offered by other TV providers are generally more expensive.

And if you’re just interested in Spanish channels, I recommend picking the FiOS TV Mundo Total. You get the variety you want, and the price difference between this plan and FiOS TV Mundo is very small.

Verizon FiOS TV vs. Frontier FiOS TV: What’s the Difference?

Apple and orange on table.
Frontier and Fios TV packages are like apples and oranges. Image via Michael Johnson/Flickr
Many people are confused about this because even though Verizon owns most of the FiOS grid, Frontier Communications acquired a part of the network from them.

While the technology and picture quality is mostly the same, the TV services differ greatly. Verizon FiOS TV offers better channel variety (both SD and HD), and features more advantageous pricing than Frontier FiOS TV.

Channel Offerings

Channels that come with Fios TV include TNT, COmedy Central, and HBO/HBO2.

I recommend using their Channel Lineup Tool (just enter your zip code) to view channel lists specific to your area.

Premium Channel Packs

Fios TV comes with five core movie channel options:

  • HBO
  • SHOWTIME
  • STARZ
  • CINEMAX
  • Epix

The pricing is as follows:

  • 1 channel – $15.00/month
  • 2 channels – $25.00/month
  • 3 channels – $30.00/month
  • All 5 channels – $40.00/month

Verizon Fios Sports Packages

NFL New Orleans Saints football team playing,
Aside from the Ski Channel, World Fishing Network, and NFL Sunday Ticket, Fios TV essentially has all the sports you could want. Image via Nikon D3s/Max Pixel

Here are the kinds of sports channels Verizon FiOS TV offers:

Fios Sports Channels

  • ESPN
  • Fox Sports 1
  • Fox Sports 2
  • CBS Sports Network
  • beIn Sports
  • Eleven Sports Network
  • Fox College Sports Atlantic/Pacific/Central
  • American Sports Network
  • AyM Sports

Fios Sports Packs

  • NHL Center Ice – Out of Season at the moment
  • NBA League Pass – Out of Season at the moment
  • MLS Direct Kick – $59.00/Half Season
  • MLB Extra Innings – $129.00/Half Season
  • Sports Pass – $14.00/month
  • Fox Soccer Plus – $14.99/month

The channel variety is definitely nice, but I’ve noticed they are missing the Ski Channel, the World Fishing Network, and the NFL Sunday Ticket (currently only available through DirecTV deals).

DVR and Equipment Options

Football game on tv screen.
Fios has several strong DVR options for an additional monthly fee. Image via William Hook/Flickr

DRV Service ($12.00/month)

  • Record up to 50 hours.
  • Record up to 2 programs simultaneously.
  • Store up to 500GB.
  • Control live TV on main TV.
  • HD and SD programs.
  • Manage DVR remotely.

Multi-Room DVR Service ($15/month)

  • Record up to 50 hours.
  • Record up to 2 programs simultaneously.
  • Store up to 500GB.
  • Control live TV on main TV.
  • HD and SD programs.
  • Manage DVR remotely.
  • Access recording capabilities and features from other rooms and set-top boxes.

Multi-Room DVR Enhanced Service ($22.00/month)

  • Record up to 100 hours.
  • Record up to 6 programs simultaneously.
  • Store up to 1TB.
  • Control live TV on up to 5 TVs.
  • HD and SD programs.
  • Manage DVR remotely.
  • Access recording capabilities and features from other rooms and set-top boxes.
  • Watch recordings online or on your smartphone.

Multi-Room DVR Premium Service ($32.00/month)

  • Record up to 200 hours.
  • Record up to 12 programs simultaneously.
  • Store up to 2TB.
  • Control live TV on up to 10 TVs.
  • HD and SD programs.
  • Manage DVR remotely.
  • Access recording capabilities and features from other rooms and set-top boxes.
  • Watch recordings online or on your smartphone.

From what I’ve seen in samples of Verizon’s plan terms, you might be charged approximately $179.99 (plus tax) if one of their technicians needs to install TV equipment in your home. According to Verizon, this fee can be billed in up to 3 monthly installments.

Depending on what equipment you need, your monthly bill might vary greatly. Keep in mind that choosing a bundle deal might discount up to $90 from the installation fee.

Availability of Verizon Fios

Verizon FiOS TV is only available in 10 states. Its coverage focuses on the West coast in areas like Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Verizon Fios Coverage

Where Verizon FiOS TV Shines: Their Custom TV Plan

Sure, Verizon FiOS TV offers amazing variety and excellent picture quality, but their Custom TV plan was what really stood out for us — and most of their clients as well.

It’s a TV plan that is unique to Verizon FiOS TV, it offers great channels (both SD and HD), and it really makes you feel as if you’re getting your money’s worth.

Problems with Verizon FiOS TV: Pricey TV Plans and Expensive Outlet Installation

Misc Equipment and Installation Fee

  • CableCARD – $4.99/month
  • Digital Adapter – $7.99/month
  • Set-Top Box – $12.00/month
  • FiOS Wireless Router – $10.00/month
  • FiOS Network Extender – $6.00/month
You’ve already seen the TV plans pricing and hardware fees, so you know Verizon FiOS won’t go easy on your wallet. Well, you should also know that Verizon features other fees such as:

  • The monthly HD fee – $11.99/month.
  • The Regional Sports Network fee – $6.39/month.
  • The Broadcast fee – $3.49/month.

Add all those expenses together, and you can see that FiOS TV isn’t always cheap — especially if you want to add multiple channel packs. To avoid such high expenses, I recommend sticking with their Custom TV plan.

Verizon reps I’ve spoken to suggest that if you’re only getting Internet service, you can handle outlet installation instead of letting Verizon take care of it. Why? Because Verizon’s tech support is really expensive, and will cost you around $69.99/outlet AND a $99.99 tech visit fee. Handy customers can sometimes handle this part of the process themselves, if it’s worth your time.

The Big Picture: Verizon FiOS TV Is Expensive, But Worth It

Verizon FiOS TV is a great option if you’re not worried about money, and are interested in huge channel variety, superior picture quality, and customizing your TV plan. If you want fast Internet speeds on the side, Verizon has got you covered with their Double and Triple Play bundles.

If you’re curious about other options with better availability, Frontier TV and X1 from Comcast Xfinity are the usual alternatives.

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