What Is FiOS TV?by Darrin Meyer
FiOS (Fiber Optic Service) TV is a digital television service provided by Verizon that uses fiber-optic cable to give the user access to hundreds of digital and high-definition channels. It uses a receiver similar to that of cable and satellite companies and can also be bundled with digital phone and high-speed Internet service.
Fiber-optic cables transmit data by sending pulses of light through a thin optical fiber. The light forms a modulated electromagnetic wave that carries the information and provides a faster, stronger signal than older copper wires. The FiOS receiver decompresses the signals and converts them to pictures and sound for the TV.
FiOS TV, like cable and satellite providers, offers more than 300 digital channels, more than 100 of those in HD and Dolby 5.1 channel surround sound. It also includes video on demand, on-screen menus, guides and settings, parental controls, games and other interactive features.
The FiOS receiver has an optional Digital Video Recorder (DVR), which records and stores up to 80 hours of standard definition (SD) programs and up to 20 hours in HD. The user can then play back the programs, as well as rewind, fast-forward and pause the playback as they choose.
Upon subscribing, a technician secures the connection outside the house and runs a fiber cable from a telephone pole, installs the TV hookups and connects the cable to the FiOS TV receiver. The system is activated and tested to make sure the equipment and features are working.
As of 2009, FiOS is only offered in limited areas. To check availability, go to a Verizon outlet or visit the company website (see link in Resources).