Verizon launched a new TV service Tuesday that allows Tampa Bay customers to record up to 12 shows at once and store up to 200 hours of HD programming.
It pushes Verizon above most competitors offering those features and is in response to more customers recording and saving entire seasons of their favorite shows and "binge watching.''
"People are so busy these days, they want to watch TV on their own schedule," said Verizon spokesman Bob Elek. "It's been a long-standing pain point of existing customers that the current storage capacity on boxes was not sufficient."
FiOS Quantum TV — launched in parts of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties — comes in premium and enhanced DVR services. The premium service, which allows users to record up to 12 shows at a time, costs new customers $32 a month, plus taxes, on top of the regular TV service package. The enhanced service, which allows up to six recordings at a time and up to 100 hours of HD programming storage, costs $22 a month, plus taxes.
Existing customers who have multiroom DVR service would pay $20 more a month for the premium service or $10 more for the enhanced.
Both tiers allow customers to pause and rewind live TV on any TV in the house. For example, viewers could start watching in one room, pause, move to another room and continue watching where they left off.
Bright House Networks allows two shows to be recorded simultaneously and up to 200 hours of digital record time, said Bright House spokesman Joe Durkin. Users could record more channels at once if they connect multiple DVRs, but at an additional cost. Bright House has no immediate plans to increase the number of simultaneous recordings, he said, but offers customers the ability to program their DVR remotely via cellphone or mobile device.
The Hopper from DISH comes about the closest to Verizon's new Quantum TV service. It can record up to eight live channels at once and save 2 terabytes of content, the same as FiOS Quantum.
The Tampa Bay area is Verizon's fourth market to offer the service, which will be rolled out in phases nationwide in other areas with FiOS TV. The other markets are in north Texas, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Penn.
Launched in 2005 in the bay area, Verizon's FiOS TV is available to nearly 1.3 million households and businesses in the region, Elek said.
Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.