Verizon Fios TV Review
|Plan||Price||TV channel count||Details|
|Custom TV||$64.99/mo.||Varies||View Plan|
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.
- Fiber-optic network
- No annual contract
- More than 425+ channels
- Custom TV package options
- High fees
- Limited availability
- Slightly fewer HD channels than competitors
Verizon Fios TV pricing
|Custom TV||$64.99/mo.*||View Plan|
*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.
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.
Verizon Fios TV Packages
Hundreds of channels, no annual contract, but higher-than-average pricing.
|Plan||TV channel count||Details|
|Custom TV||Varies||View Plan|
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
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.
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.
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.
|DVR||Recording capacity||Price||Simultaneous recording|
|Enhanced||Up to 100 HD||$22/mo.||Up to 6 channels|
|Premium||Up 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).
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.
When we reached out to Verizon to sign up for Fios TV, all of the representatives were more than helpful. Each representative we spoke to took the time to answer our questions and didn’t try to upsell us other Verizon products.
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.
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 annual 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.