Verizon FiOS TV 2.0 Updates

I’m heading up to Verizon’s NJ headquarters tomorrow to check out the new FiOS TV features and fixes that are getting ready to roll, plus preview future functionality such as games and mobile handset DVR interaction.

I’m pre-posting my visit to solicit feedback for Verizon’s IMG Product Developer Manager… There’s been some concern (which Verizon is monitoring) from folks who feel the new FiOS TV interface needs improvement. So hit me with your questions and issues, and I’ll try to squeeze in as many as time permits.

39 thoughts on “Verizon FiOS TV 2.0 Updates”

  1. I don’t have FiOS yet, but I may be moving someplace where I can get it. My biggest concern is enabling external HDD storage with the FiOS DVR. I have a TWC Motorola 120 GB box now, which is just pathetic when it comes to space for HD recordings, and 40 extra gigs isn’t going to do a lot more good, especially since FiOS supposedly doesn’t compress their HD channels as much as cable. I can get a TiVo or a Moxi (if they ever come out), but I lose on demand and will get screwed if FiOS moves to an iptv model, not to mention the high cost of entry — so I’d rather stick with a leased box. But the HDD space is a huge concern for me — so much that I may even go with DishTV even if FiOS is available, because the vip 722 is a far superior DVR. Please try to get them to commit to something firm on expandable storage.


  3. Can you give me something a bit more specific to question them on… for example, Do you have the new IMG software, and when and how does it crash? And what’s up with the CAPS LOCK?

  4. This is a repeat of a question i asked before, but the last time Verizon answered it, they must have misunderstood what I was talking about.

    I’ve heard that one of the limitations for cable TV is that there can only be so many things available at one time. I’m not sure what this maximum is, but I’ve heard that even with switched digital services, that cable won’t ever be able to offer more then 10,000 VOD choices to their customers.

    With Verizon having access to the higher capacity broadband, I am curious as to whether there will be any on demand limitations tied to their service. In other words, would it be possible for them to offer 100,000 movies on demand (assuming that they could get licensing) or will they also face capacity constraints on their IPTV service? I’m interested in knowing if there would be any limitations in regards to the number of files, as well as if there are any limitation in regards to the amount of bandwidth that customers can consume.

    If Verizon could handle 100,000 on demand titles to choose from, would they also have enough bandwidth to offer these in HD? They’ll probably want to focus more on what they can do, but I’m interested in finding out what the maximum limitations are for their service.

  5. Dave, I know this is a bit off-topic, but you might ask Verizon about the system-wide CableCARD pixellation they’re having on specific frequency ranges (the ranges vary by market, but everybody in that market with CableCARDs sees pixellation on the same set of channels). Those of us with S3’s and TiVOHD’s and FiOS CableCARDs have been wrestling with this forever, and in most cases it’s impacts TiVos as well as CableCARD-ready TVs.

    FiOS users on report scheduling numerous truck rolls, ONT replacements, attenuation tweaks, and high level customer support escalations to no avail – CableCARD users on FiOS are still living with pixellation on specific channel ranges, all across the USA.

    Is Verizon aware of / acknowledging a system-wide CableCARD support problem? Are they working to fix it?

  6. I liked where we could set a reminder then it would actually remind us (like TiVo) and if we don’t respond then it automatically changes the channel. That’s the only difference I saw with FiOS 1.0 and FiOS 2.0.

  7. I would like additional information on how channels will be able to be added/removed from the guide.

    I know you have it bolded on the upcoming features list, but it is the single biggest flaw in the current dvr software that I have noticed.

    I would like to be able to remove international and music channels that I will never have any interest in watching/listening.

    Also in a related topic, there seems to be a limit on the number of favorites I can view in the guide, it lets me add them to the list, but I cannot see them in the guide.

    In addition, I see in the links above that they are planning games, help and video tutorials, I would hope that none of these things would sacrifice disk space, because as a comment above stated, the number of HD hours that can be recorded is inadequate

  8. Frankly, the DVR “upgrade” has been a huge step backwards in our house as well:

    1. Perhaps once or twice a week, I find that the DVR is “hung”… the remote control light is on solid and the unit has to be hard powered down to get working again. Of course this means it hasn’t been recording.
    2. I’m getting a lot of recordings of “0 second” length. This is infuriating.
    3. The system has lost the ability to look at a “season pass” and choose what upcoming episodes to record (or not). This is especially frustrating with discovery channel shows that are re-run daily. Along the same lines, we’ve lost the ability to tell a season pass only to record a given show at a specific time… yes I can just do a time / channel recording, but that’s a pain.
    4. We’ve had repeated problems on the local PBS stations with the recording being a completely different show than what it’s supposed to be. This might be a guide data issue, but it arose coincident with the upgrade.

    Frankly, this thing is now so frustrating to use that I’m seriously considering dropping FIOS TV and going to Comcast or DirecTV… we used to have a DirecTivo and switched to FIOS when we got a high def TV. We never watch live TV- we’ve had a DVR of one kind or another for 6 years, so the quality of the DVR matters to us. We were able to get by with the old FIOS DVR guide, but now that half the time what we want to watch isn’t there, or is the wrong program, it’s just not worth it.

  9. Well, here’s the updated list so far:

    CANNOT REMOVE CHANNELS!!!!! – makes “channel surfing” impossible HUGE mistake.

    No longer offers to delete after end of pgm – must go find and delete

    no slow fwd/rev, only step with intrusive banner

    Banner is ANNOYING! Shows up WAY, WAY too often.

    video and/or audio blanks out randomly – audio sometimes out of sync

    frequently powers off on pgm delete

    could not save cached video from previous pgm

    select on menu items inconsistent (sometimes right, sometimes select) Just let “right” also work as “enter.”

    unsubscribed channels should AUTOMATICALLY be hidden based on subscription.

    search should NOT include unsubscribed channels (or deleted channels if you COULD delete them)

    records same episode over and over and over and over- CLUELESS about existing recordings.

    “first run” seems meaningless

    difficult to locate series first run episodes (vs repeat showings)

    No persistent search for future shows or keywords

    cannot add second episode (at different time) if one already exists

    “ouija board” wraps top to bottom, but left or right exits

    Many menu selections are slow with no audible or visible selection confirmation.

    remote commands get buffered – slow functions result in multiple commands

    “Next Airings” – (not shown if =none?)

    Memu randomly non-responsive

    no confirmation sounds or prompts

    never a “please wait” msg on slow functions – “it just sits there”

    description often incorrect or describes series, not episode – generally very poor

    Date, names not shown in info.

    sometimes displays wrong info for recordings

    What the heck do the colors mean in the guide? Where does it say?

    FREQUENT “0 second” recordings – “[show name] is bad recording” – VERY Frustrating.

    Sometimes seems to be recording, but playlist shows 0 second recording, can’t play, can’t stop (not)recording – FRUSTRATING.

    Frequent “weekly” tests cancel recordings, but DVR “thinks” it’s still recording, cannot resume.

    randomly powers off and does not resume

    When in series manager (and elsewhere) chan up/dn should skip by page.

    Pressing “Record” while watching a recording should indicate user error.

    recording indicator not always displayed in banner

    current position indicator not always displayed

    No way to switch between tuners (needed to “watch two channels at once” without recording. “Last” is not the same, dumps buffer)

  10. So hung up on all the bugs I forgot a feature I’d LOVE to see. It would be GREAT to be able to “delete” individual shows I NEVER want to see. For example, the Sci Fi channel has some decent stuff on it so I don’t want to delete the channel, but they also have the idiotic pro “wrestling” nonsense. I’d like to be able to flag such crap on a show-by-show basis and whenever it was on, that channel would just be blank with a message like “Idiotic crap removed from view.” It would make channel surfing much more pleasant. No more police chases, caught on tape, cops, crime scenes, etc. etc.

  11. There are two issues I would like Verizon to address.

    1) Public, immediate, timely communications. Verizon hasn’t sent any messages (via the DVR) or e-mail indicating they are aware of the problems and then communicating timelines for repair. This frustrates me. It makes me think they aren’t listening or don’t care. People have complained about these problems for TWO MONTHS now. Until you go hunting on the internet, you don’t even know that other people have the same problems.

    2) DVRs that miss recordings are worthless. They ruin the TV experience. If you get into a sports team or a recurring show, and then you miss episodes, you have no recourse. I have missed recordings. These are not minor “I don’t like how it works” problems. These are major faults. These need to be addressed quickly and immediately. They also need to be accompanied by clear, consistent, honest communications.

    Verizon is going to lose me shortly. I am going to switch to TiVo & Cable Cards. They don’t miss recordings.

  12. The Onscreen Progam Guide is way harder to search than what others have. I wish we could just focus on one single channel at a time, with vertical and chronological listings, scrollable up and down so we can see what is on that channel, and that channel alone, for the next few days, at least. Clicking left or right would bring up the next or previous channels, also displayed as a single channel per page. Lynda

  13. I find the new guide difficult to navigate moreso than the 1.0 guide even though it was so ugly. 2.0 guide is pretty, but hard to read. I find myself watching less tv since I switched from dish network to fios tv because of the guide mainly. This perhaps is a goodd thing?

  14. I didn’t even know there was a version 2.0 for the PVR.. mine is the same as it’s been for the past year. After reading these comments, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

    BTW, we feel that the FIOS PVR was a big step backwards from the Dish network DVR. It’s just much more difficult to do stuff.

  15. When is the exact date NJ customers are getting the new guide. I have been waiting since they talked about it in Jan 07?

  16. I have issues with recorded programs are always at the last few minutes and the first option is to resume play. Now if i havent started watching these recorded programs why arent they going back to the begining?

  17. When is the initial IMG update coming to Long Island, NY?

    We’ve been seeing commercials for months and no new interface!

  18. After the upgrade, neither of my HD DVRs will record a live show when I hit the record button or a scheduled recording. When I hit the record button while watching a show, the record indicator comes on, but if I switch channels and return, it never actually recorded anything and simply says “processing request” when I check the scheduled recordings. This is very frustrating and like many others, I’m reconsidering my service and returning to Comcast. At least I could count on the DVR recording.

  19. Any chance these items will be updated from Verizon anytime soon?

    I would rather have the previous system since it at least worked

  20. Verizon software problems

    I work in IT and if I were to do this kind of work I would not keep my customers very long. This is not that big of a software project. With the resources of Verizon should be easy to have this fixed and running perfectly in a short time. Maybe they should take some of the people that follow their wireless users around and have them write some code!!

    Here are my issues.

    1: Can not hide programs. IE: music channels Spanish etc.
    2: Pressing favorites always starts favorites at the beginning.
    3: Only one set of favorites.
    4: No way to tell if your favorites is selected or the full list.(unless you look for something you have eliminated from your favorite list)
    5: Number of channels on favorites is limited
    6: Arrow buttons around the OK button do not function for the DVR any more
    Those were way easier to use than the buttons at the top of the remote.
    7: The guide is in the middle of the screen splitting the list of programs and this makes it difficult to look for programs when paging up and down. At least make it configurable so a user could move it to the bottom or top if they chose to.
    8: The function of the menu is way to slow. With the delays you don’t know if you pressed a key or not then it jumps several steps.
    9: On the menu sometimes you have to use the right arrow and sometimes you have to use the enter (OK)
    10: On the menu it is hard to follow the list moving when you press the up and down arrow. It would be much easier to follow if it would just move the cursor instead of the whole list. Seems like this was made this way just to be different but different is not always better.
    11: On the DVR the bar stays on way to long blocking the program from being viewed. Can this be made smaller and or transparent

    I have not had the same issues with the DVR as some others have but I have not used it to the extent they have. I am sure their comments are as valid as mine. It is very frustrating not having any communication from Verizon. I am pretty sure we all get a bill each month I am sure it is not that difficult to have a note added to the envelope. And actually I think they should have some way for feedback from customers so they can address their concerns.

    Does anyone know where to call at Verizon to check on these complaints?

    David Whitehurst

  21. My biggest three gripes:

    1) When program playback ends, the interface jumps back to the *top* of the list of recorded shows. After watching a show, 99% of the time I delete that show, and now I have to scroll through the list to find that show, then make 7 clicks to delete it.

    2) It takes 7 clicks to delete a show.

    3) There is no clear indicator of how much storage space is remaining on the Recorded Shows screen, and when you are in danger of deleting recordings.

  22. I’ve had FIOSTV for a couple of days now and I love it however there are a couple of things that I would love the guide to do in comparison to the DirecTV-Tivo Guide:

    1. There should be an easier way to tag favorite shows rather than going to the settings menu.
    2. Once I’m viewing favorites I can’t seem to jump to other channels, only scrolling is allowed :(
    3. I really miss the tuner buffering, I had a dual tuner and I could watch a show pause it and then watch another one in the other tuner and then come back to the original show. I think adding this would be HUGE!! I really miss it :(

    but overall it has been pretty good.

  23. I too have experienced considerable frustation with the “new and improved” guide. Sporky, on earlier post, outlined the problems very well. In my case the download came without notification and wiped out all the uhf channels on my set. I had to re-initialize the channels only to find they are now renumbered. Channel 21 is now 68 and so on. I have tried a number of times to get them to their correct numbers, but have not had any success. So I guess have live with the problem but what really concerns me is that Verizon apparently invaded my tv and made changes without my knowledge or consent.

  24. I see Verizon has made one update. Now the fast forward/rewind does not show the time as it used to just a week or 2 ago.

    Great verizion take away more features… about FIXING things instead of deleting things! And this time try a NON BIASED test group dont use friends and family of the programmers. It is obviously they are incompetent as well. If VErizon is really monitoring this blog can you please post something on here giving us some kind of update as to when this garbage is going to be updated? My patience is wearing thin and I have started thinking about switching.

    I realize there are a lot of programming changes adding more channels and such but it is almost intolerable to find anything through all of the channels i will never watch.

    David Whitehurst

  25. This is long, difficult to follow and not particularly rewarding to read, but it’s a good example of the crap we go through with the wonderful new DVR software.

    Selected pgm from guide to record later. Pgm started recording while I was watching another channel. Checked “recorded programs” and the pgm that was recording indicated “0 seconds” although it had been “recording” a while. Tuned to that channel. Annoying banner did not indicate recording (red dot.) Hit record, asked if I wanted to stop recording so I did. Hit record again. Got same message. It’s not REALLY recording (recorded programs” still shows “0 seconds” and cannot play “is bad recording…” OK, so there’s no way to make it stop NOT recording in order to make it REALLY record. OK, what would McGuyver do (that didn’t involve chewing gum and an old lamp?) Tuned to random channel, pressed record. Tuned to another random channel, pressed record. Now it’s asking which tuner to stop recording. Selected the one that THINKS it’s recording. Now both tuners are recording something else. Chose to record the pgm I wanted. Nope… Still only THINKS it’s recording. I unplugged the DVR and waited a bit. Nope, same thing. OK, tried same thing again only this time I deleted the “0 second” fake recording from “recorded programs.” Tried to record pgm again. Nope. There MUST be a way… Did all that again only this time after deleting the fake recording and starting both tuners recording other random channels I unplugged the DVR. Plugged it back in. Pressed power – nothing, waited a bit – pressed again, waited a bit – screen blinked then nothing – pressed power a third time and got start up screen. Waited a bit and ONE of the tuners resumed recording. tuned to pgm I’ve been trying to record (which is half way over by now) and it actually started recording! I’m CONVINCED that there are some former Microsoft programmers on the IMG “user experience” team.

  26. I would love to hear from verizon regarding any future upgrades planned for supporting the stand alone hd box to the home media package. I have 3 tvs, 2 hd and one regular. I have the hd-dvr home media package but could only access recorded content from the standard box. I can’t imagine this not being an issue, specially with the growing number of people having multiple hd tvs and wanting to take advantage of the home media package. Any updates???

  27. Sam, I’ve been informed HD streaming is planned for next year. Though I don’t think it was part of the Q1/2 update. If it happens, it would be later in the year and I wasn’t informed if it would require different hardware.

  28. Dave, thanks for the update. So does that mean that the hd stand alone box will be supported in the home media or that the HD content can be viewed in the standard box. Currently, all hd recorded content is only viewable in the hd receiver.

  29. STILL waiting for the IMG “fix!” I’m NOT impressed with Verizon’s excruciatingly slow “roll out” process.

  30. Dave
    Is there any word from Verizon as to when they will apply their update (something more specific than Q4)

    David Whitehurst

  31. FINALLY got the “Tigerlily” update in VA Beach:

    First impressions of the second attempt:

    Some improvement, but still some significant problems.

    Navigation seems more responsive. Sweeet!

    Channel selection:

    Channel up/dn can be restricted to favorites. This is a little better, but:

    A different approach to channel settings is needed. They’re only thinking “Favorites” but before that there should be a lower level of channel selection that allows you to simply choose what channels you EVER want to get. Initially, this should automatically be set to the channels included in the subscribed package. The user should then be able to remove channels from this list as desired. Guide should ONLY show these channels (ever!) Search should ONLY show results from these channels (ever!) “Favorites” should be a small subset of this list that are indeed a few “favorite” channels.

    As it is, the guide shows all channels including unsubscribed and unwanted channels unless you select “Favorites” EVERY TIME. This just does NOT make sense!

    Search returns results from unsubscribed and unwanted (not favorited) channels. Nearly useless this way! Perhaps some “suits” in the marketing department think it will encourage me to subscribe to more channels. Actually it just reminds me how much I’m NOT getting for the money I already spend.

    Selecting channels as “favorites” selects their “La Connexion” counterparts. Why would I want the same channels twice?

    Aslso should be able to remove or favorite channels while viewing channels. Displaying channels while in add/remove menu would also be helpful.


    Slow fwd is back, but no slow reverse. Something to do with encoding format and keyframes I suspect.

    Obnoxious, intrusive, unwanted, and unnecessary banner still shows up on pause and stays visible on slow/step. Cancel it and it just COMES BACK ON with each step!!! ANNOYING AS HELL!!! If it MUST show up at all, remove it immediately and LEAVE IT OFF when selecting to play, play slow or step.

    Still have to switch between “RIGHT” and “OK” on menus. Just make “RIGHT” also work as “OK” in menus.

    Still does not show delete option at end of show. Must go find and delete.

    Still offers to resume play on shows that have not yet been played.

    Still no way to switch between tuners (as far as I can tell)

    Still no NASA TV!

    Minor Stuff:

    When in “Modify Series” option names on left side of menu can be highlighted, but this serves no purpose. Also, this menu has a different “look and feel” from the rest of the interface.

    Should have “off” option for display when power is off.

    When “tagging” channels as favorites, cursor should automatically increment to next channel saving lots of down clicks.

  32. OK.. I see that pressing the “favorites” button now takes you into the guide with favorite channels selected. Beats going through the clicks the other way, but the guide should just stay how you left it instead. Changing channel selection as described previously would be better though.

  33. VZ switched over to the new Gude end of October here in Sarasot, FL. When programning favorites, and you start utilzing it, you cannot input the a numerical number to jump from one channel to another. IE. when in favorites, you want to go from Channel 51 to 340, it will not accept channel 340. You have to scroll all the way through the channels to get to 340..The issued a patch 2 weeks ago and it still does not work and the dedicated VZ guide toll free number I cannot get a soul to tell me when this problem is fixed.At this point, the favorite guide is uselss to me and so is their customer service..Awful that they would release a product with all these problmes..

  34. I’m trying to keep relevant topics grouped…

    For discussion on the Q4 maintenance update, please post here.

    I’ve been informed all existing IMG customers should receive the update (version 1.04, build 5.68) by today, other than Massachusetts and Rhode Island who will be upgraded in Januaary. Folks still on the original Motorola software (NY, NJ, PA) will most likely receive Verizon’s IMG DVR software in January.

  35. The Guide isn’t a Guide in any sense of the word, so please beat Verizon over the head with a large cast-iron frying pan and tell them to invest $250,000 in some programmers to write a web site that would show all the programs on all the channels. Aside from forward and back, channel to channel, and search, you’d only need to add in functions for login and logout, select program (or series) for viewing, and a function to send your instructions through the internet to your DVR.

Comments are closed.