Verizon Fios TV Review

Verizon Fios might be the best no annual contract TV service, but extra fees and higher-than-average pricing are sticking points.

Verizon Fios might be the best no annual contract TV service, but extra fees and higher-than-average pricing are sticking points.
Overall Rating3.5 out of 5
Pricing:
$64.99–$89.99/mo. plus taxes, equip. charges, and other fees
Channels:
155+ –425+
Contract terms:
None required

The bottom line: Verizon Fios has several TV packages, ranging from custom channel selections to packages with 425+ channels, and its fiber-optic network delivers a more reliable picture quality during inclement weather than cable and satellite. The Multi-Room DVR Premium Service can hold up to 200 hours in HD and record up to 12 shows at once, but the DVR comes with a large monthly fee. Fios is one of only a few TV providers to offer no annual contract TV, but in exchange for that, you’ll have to pay above-average package prices and put up with additional fees.

PROS

  • Fiber-optic network
  • No annual contract
  • More than 425+ channels
  • Custom TV package

CONS

  • High fees
  • Limited availability
  • Fewer HD channels than competitors

Verizon Fios TV Pricing

PackagesPricing*Details
Custom TV$64.99/mo.View Plans
Preferred HD$74.99/mo.View Plans
Extreme HD$79.99/mo.View Plans
Ultimate HD$89.99/mo.View Plans

*Plus taxes, equipment charges and other fees

What’s the real price?

Compared to other TV providers, Fios’ prices are higher than average. Its Custom TV package starts at $64.99 a month for the first year, and it has a similar amount of channels as DIRECTV’s Select package, which starts at $29.99 a month for the standard package($55.99 a month for the second year). Fios’ higher prices might have to do with it being a no annual contract TV service, which is great for those who don’t want to enter a contract.

Additional fees

All of Verizon’s TV packages are subject to a range of fees, both monthly and one-time. For example, there is the $4.49 per month Broadcast Fee, a $7.89 monthly Regional Sports Network fee (assuming you get a TV package that includes sports channels), and a $10 per month router charge. That’s $22.38 in monthly fees right off the top, and that doesn’t even include the one-time $99 setup charge.

Like other TV services, if you want to connect more than one TV, you’ll have to pay for receivers—one for each additional TV. Verizon calls a receiver a “set-top box,” and the charge is $12 a month. It’s the highest price we’ve seen yet.

Verizon Fios TV Packages

Hundreds of channels, no annual contract, but higher-than-average pricing.

PackagesChannelsContractDetails
Custom TV155+NoneView Plans
Preferred HD280+NoneView Plans
Extreme HD355+NoneView Plans
Ultimate HD425+NoneView Plans

Custom TV package

Verizon Fios’ Custom TV package lets you put together a channel lineup that caters to your interests. Here’s how it works: You choose from a variety of themed “Channel Packs,” and pay accordingly. Verizon offers seven Channel Packs to choose from—Action & Entertainment; Sports & News; Kids & Pop; News & Variety; Infotainment & Drama; Lifestyle & Reality; and Home & Family—each of which is a cluster of related channels.

Preferred HD package

With more than 280+ channels, Verizon’s Fios Preferred HD package delivers plenty of programming. It includes channels like ESPN, TNT, Comedy Central, and more. You also get full access to the Fios TV On Demand library, which contains more than 140,000 titles. However, we think you should get just a little more for $74.99 a month.

Notable channels: Comedy Central, CNN, MTV, TNT

Extreme HD package

The Extreme HD package delivers more than 355+ channels, including several like BBC America, Sundance TV, and FX that aren’t available with Preferred HD. Though it’s just $5 a month more than the Preferred HD package, there’s only a handful of additional channels worth watching (the ones we mentioned). Also, like Preferred HD, the Extreme HD package gives you access to the Fios TV On Demand library.

Notable channels: FX, GSN, BBC America, the Oprah Winfrey Network

Ultimate HD package

The Fios Ultimate HD package includes more than 425+ channels, of which more than 150 are available in HD. The Ultimate HD monthly cost includes access to a long list of sports channels, including ESPN and ESPN 2, several Fox College Sports networks, and ESPN Deportes, as well as the Showtime, Cinemax and Movie Channel packages.

Naturally, access to the Fios On Demand library of over 140,000 titles is included with the subscription price.

Notable channels: Showtime, Cinemax, Revolt, Fusion

Is Verizon Fios TV available near you?

Verizon Fios channel offerings

You’ll find the channels you want, but only some are in HD.

Verizon Fios TV service offers a full range of premium movie channels—HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Epix, Starz, and Encore—which can all be bundled in various ways at a number of different price points ($15–$40 a month). Fios also has the popular cable channels (AMC, Comedy Central, ESPN, etc.) that you can find anywhere else, but what channels you get depends on the package.

Sports subscriptions

Fios offers most live sports subscriptions (e.g., NBA League Pass). You can get out-of-market games all season long for baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer. Fios, however, does still offer the NFL Network, which is dedicated to all things NFL, you just won’t see every out-of-market game.

What’s in HD?

All of Verizon’s Fios packages deliver between a quarter and a third of their channels in HD. But even for the Ultimate HD package, that’s about 150 HD channels (it may vary depending on your area).

Verizon Fios Equipment and features

Verizon DVRs offer variety, but recording capacity is lower than we’d like.

Verizon Fios DVR

About the Verizon Fios DVR

Verizon Fios’ Multi-Room DVR service lets you record up to 200 hours of HD programming. You can record one show while watching another, or you can record two shows at once while watching a third, previously recorded program.

DVRRecording capacityPriceSimultaneous recording
EnhancedUp to 100 HD$22/mo.Up to 6 channels
PremiumUp to 200 HD$32/mo.Up to 12 channels

With Fios TV, there are two levels of service: Enhanced and Premium. The Enhanced service includes a DVR that can record up to 100 hours in HD, simultaneously record up to six shows at once, and costs $22 a month. The Premium service of Fios TV includes a DVR that can store up to 200 hours of HD programming, record up to 12 shows at once, and control live TV on up to 10 different televisions simultaneously; however, it costs $32 a month and requires two or more TVs (plus the set-top-box charge for each TV).

Mobile TV

Verizon delivers thousands of titles through their On Demand service, many of which can be streamed to iOS, Android, or Amazon devices via the Fios TV app. You can also use the Fios TV app to watch live TV. You can also download your shows ahead of time if you know you won’t have internet connection, like traveling or train commutes.

Customer service

Rated the best, or near it, and so far we’re inclined to agree.

TV providers aren’t known for stellar customer service, but Fios TV consistently places at or near the top of customer satisfaction ratings. In 2018, Verizon Fios TV placed second (68 out of 100) in the American Customer Satisfaction Index®(ACSI) for TV subscription service, just two points behind AT&T U-verse (70).

Our experience

When we reached out to Verizon to sign up for Fios TV, all of the representatives were more than helpful. Sure, there were times when they were a little stiff, but each representative took the time to answer our questions and didn’t try to upsell us other Verizon products. Our experience confirmed what ACSI already concluded: Fios has great customer service.

Verizon Fios TV Review Summary

There’s enough to recommend, but availability is the deciding factor.

Even though it’s not perfect, Verizon Fios may be the best no-contract TV service. Its package prices are higher than we’d like, and the additional fees and charges add up quickly. But if you’re looking to avoid entering into a contract, it might be worth it.

Our recommendation

If we were to go with Fios, we’d give the Custom TV package a try. It’s not available anywhere else, and we like the idea of being more in control of what we watch. And if it turns out we don’t like Fios, we can cancel it because there’s no contract—something you can’t do if you sign up with contract TV providers (e.g., DISH, DIRECTV, etc.).

If you want to know more and decide for yourself, here’s an overview of Verizon Fios packages.

Don't want Verizon TV? Find other providers near you.

  • Reid

    I have never interacted with a company this infuriating and frustrating to deal with. Between employees outright lying to you, promising to call back and never calling, saying they will do something then not doing it I cannot think of a company less appealing to deal with. I have had better experiences with the DMV and IRS.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io/ Reviews.org

      I’m sorry to hear that, Reid. TV service providers typically have a poor reputation with their customer service, so these concerns are understandable. Hopefully they’ve resolved these issues that you encountered. Have you switched your service to another TV provider? If so, have you experienced better customer support?

      Verizon typically ranks well in independent, 3rd-party surveys (e.g., JD Power, ACSI, Consumer Reports), so maybe you were among the unlucky few. If you want to try out another provider, DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse, and DISH are usually among the top performers with customer service. We recommend taking a look at our reviews and their websites for more information.

      Another option is Comcast XFINITY. They’ve recently made some great strides to improve their negative reputation. Comcast has a call-back feature where you select a window of time to have their customer service call you back instead of waiting on hold for ~20 minutes. I’ve personally used it twice but I’ve seen mixed success; it completely failed (hung up on me) the first time, but worked as advertised the second attempt. They’ve also partnered with Amazon to create the Amazon Cable Store, so you’ll get to interact with Amazon’s historically better customer service.

      Anyway, I hope this helps. Thanks for the response!

      • susan schroeder

        bs. verizon always has horrible customer service. A wait of 47 minutes is good? Then you get disconnected? Not sure who creates these surveys but it’s got to be skewed.

  • Howard K Feiwus

    Nothing said about extra fees to watch programs on demand that should be free since we are already paying for the service. I watched the first of hbo series “genius” and the following week I need to pay 2.99 per episode for the rest. Verizon nickel and dimes its customers

  • perilun

    Our HOA entered a 10 year agreement to make FIOS Ultimate + Premium Movies, Internet and Voice something we pay $120/m as a homeowner for (use it or not). So … good to see the positives … but I worry about hidden gotchas. The upside is that we paid only $3000 per home for installation!

  • Leogona

    I kinda wish that I had not chosen FiOS. I paid approximately $200 per month for the Ultimate HD custom package.
    I was told by the seller that I could remove the sports package, that contains NFL Network (only available on Sundays during the Regular season), after the season ended and save a couple of dollars.
    Wellll…that wasn’t true. I apparently was told the wrong thing. And since I had the service starting week 16 of the past NFL season, I am stuck with this sports package that is not even available now even after the Super Bowl XLII just completed.
    Then, I wanted to have a STB that “woke” the TV when a certain program was scheduled. Having had FiOS in the past (I never had DVR), with that feature, I was somewhat disappointed when this new “HD, DVR, Ultimate” package couldn’t “wake up” when a program was scheduled.

    After two separate calls, and several complaints from visiting children who overslept because there was no way the TV woke them up, I did have opportunity to switch to two NON-DVR boxes (which were “…being phased out…” according to the very polite CSR on the phone). I had to go to a brick-and-mortar location to return my six week old equipment for two boxes that did “wake up” the TV when programmed.

    The phased out boxes DO indeed wake up the TV.
    -no more oversleeping
    -no more missing the start of a show when you are in another room
    BUT—I also
    **Do not have DVR (I previously didn’t care, but NoW I do…explanation to come)
    **Can not watch OnDemand programming of current season shows on History, VH1, or any other NON PREMIUM channel that I subscribe to (I have every channel) without paying for the previous or previous two week’s episodes. At $1.99 a pop
    **DO NOT know what time it is as these “phased out” boxes do not have a front display

    I do however pay the exact same amount per month as I had previously paid.

    All this….and I have only had FiOS for around 8 weeks (just paid second bill…early)

    I feel that I am paying already for things I cannot use or are not now available to me (unavailable channels, no time on STB, no DVR) but I don’t understand why I am paying the same $200 per month and have so much less.

    perhaps now I can take out that sports package?

    I’ll be calling on Monday…will update post after that to say what transpired.

  • historyshowsus

    As of Mar 2018 a lot of the speculation on the high costs being related to “no contracts” is untrue. All but one of the Verizon FIOS bundles require a two year contract and auto pay. The only package that doesnt require a contract is their least expensive package with their “Custom” TV selection.
    I am in the process of shopping now. Frankly the best deal is DTV for TV with pretty much any choice for Internet and VOIP but I have too many trees between me and the satellites so I’m screwed.

  • Vicki Williams

    FiOS is now slower than Comcast .New FiOS customers for FiOS get high speed internet but existing customers are stuck St 50)50 MPS and FiOS wants more money to raise up the speed for loyal customers.

  • God

    Its a shame that the writer of this article didn’t do their proper research, as their information about Fios plans are obviously false when it pertains to what channels are in what packages. They need to do more research before publishing their articles… #PraiseMe .. Btw, its also a shame that this site cant handle the truth when it is told to them, so they refuse to publish Comments telling them they are wrong! People working at this site probably still wear diapers…..

    • Maria Millett

      Hi there- as you can see by our articles, we want input and want to provide a place for people to comment. We clearly publish comments that disagree with our reviews and with the products we review. We didn’t avoid your comment, I have been on vacation and haven’t been here to approve comments. Also, I am happily potty trained, thank you very much.

  • Melissa Matthews

    i think the Multi-room DVR pricing is slightly out of date. I have the Multi-Room Enhanced service and it is $22/month.

  • Silverado

    Poor custom service. They take away channels and you call in to see what happened. All they can tell you is “it is what it is”. I thought the real saying was “you get what you paid for” but my bill stays the same. Very shady company………