FiOS vs Brighthouse Cable

FiOS TV service and Brighthouse cable match up in several markets in Florida.  If you live in an area served by these two large communication companies, you might be wondering which one gives you more bang for the buck.  In this article, we will take a look at the services and pricing offered by these two companies, and hopefully guide you to a smart decision.

Verizon FiOS vs Brighthouse cable

Tampa and Orlando are two areas where these companies match up head to head.  The nice thing is that they are both triple play providers, offering a Comparing Video Providersbundle of services on one bill.  So once you make your decision, you only have to deal with one company for your TV, high speed internet, and home phone line.  Lets see what they have to offer when it comes to package pricing for new customers.

You can get a FiOS triple play with no contract, or to save some money a two-year agreement.  Obviously you will want to think long and hard before committing for 24 months, as there is an early termination charge if you can hold up your end of the deal.  On the plus side, you will get a bigger discount by agreeing to a contract.

Here are a few prices with a FiOS bundle.  An entry level package with the FiOS TV Prime HD packge (210 channels), 50/25 internet, and digital voice phone line will cost you $89.99 a month for two years with a contract.   The same package is available at the same price for one year without a contract.  The downside comes into play in month 13, when the regular price kicks in.  Exact pricing can vary depending on your area, but count on it being somewhere between 40-50% higher compared with the promotional offer.  You also can customize your FiOS triple play package with several different internet speeds and TV options, this one was selected for ease of comparison with Bright House network offers.

If you need more content, the FiOS TV Extreme HD package includes all of the above, but increases the number of TV channels to about 290.  Quite a few of these are 24 hour music channels, and you still won’t get premium networks like HBO.  But you won’t pay too much more, the pricing is $104.99 a month, again locked for two years with the contract or good for one year without a contract.

So how does Brighthouse compare to FiOS when it comes to a triple play package for new customers.  Here is what they offer new subscribers…

The Brighthouse triple play package in Tampa is currently priced at $107.00 a month for one year.  No contract is required, and the price does go up after that year is over.   With this offer, you will get Brighthouse digital cable including 250 channels, high speed internet (30 Mbps downloads and 2 Mbps uploads), and a home phone with unlimited local and long distance calling.

So a quick comparison of the two reveals the following.  FiOS beats Brighthouse on pricing, whether you go with the contract or not, you will come out ahead going with the Verizon TV plan.  FiOS internet also beats Brighthouse when comparing speeds for the money.  You will get 20 Mbps more on downloads, and a whopping 23 Mbps improvement on uploads, an easy choice if you need this for telecommuting you uploading big video files.  Phone services are going to be about the same either way, as both providers give you unlimited long distance and a basket of calling features like voice mail and Caller ID.

Brighthouse does offer a “Lightning High Speed Internet” plan, which will cost you an additional $15 a month.  But that is their top internet speed at this time.   The next option with FiOS Quantum is a 75/35 plan, which is an extra $5 a month.  Ultra high speed Quantum service from Verizon is also available with a 150/65 Mbps plan and a 300/65 Mbps offer as well.  These are extremely expensive though, running an extra $50 to $150 a month at this time.  But if breakneck speeds are needed for a home business then FiOS is going to be the way to go.

Nickel and dime charges are also something to consider when doing a comparison of Brighthouse or FiOS services.  Things like taxes, fees, and equipment charges are going to increase your bill, so that promotional price you see advertised is never going to be a reality.   Both providers include high definition channels in their packages, so there aren’t extra charges there.   You won’t find a significant difference in the number of HD channels either, as the latest AVS HD comparison chart shows.   Both companies have deployed almost 150 HD channels into most areas, though you won’t get that many unless you pay for premiums like Starz and Showtime.

Digital video recorders are a must have these days, and cable companies are recognizing they can become a significant source of revenue.  Verizon’s Multi-Room DVR is $19.99 a month, but you can get a one year credit if you sign up for the two year term.  Again, the best FiOS deals are offered to those willing to commit for the two year term.  Additional boxes will run from $5.99 to $11.99 a month depending on the features required by your TV sets.

Brighthouse also charges hefty monthly rates for their DVR devices.    Their Whole House DVR is currently $24 a month, while additional boxes run brighthouselogofrom $8.00 for a standard converter to $11.95 for a HD DVR that is compatible with a single high definition TV.   With either provider, you are going to pay quite a bit to get fully connected.

Both providers also include video on demand, or VOD as part of their base packages.   FiOS now claims to have 50,000 monthly titles in their library, while Brighthouse also boast a large number of on demand titles.  Either way, you probably won’t ever run out of things to watch.   To access content from HBO, Starz, and the like you will have to subscribe to those premium channels first.

When it comes to sports programming, both providers can get you just about anything you want to watch.  Brighthouse finally added the NFL Network and the NFL Redzone channel, something that was missing for years.  You can also order all of the major sports packages like NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice for around $200 per season.  Unfortunately both providers do not yet have access to the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which will remain a DIRECTV exclusive for at least the next two seasons.

A final consideration is the satisfaction ratings of current customers.  A new Consumer Reports survey is out, rating dozens of internet and TV providers across the country.  Verizon’s FiOS service scored near the top, only losing out to cable provider WOW.   But Brighthouse had a respectable finish as well, finishing fourth overall among providers offering bundles and beating out fellow cable operators like Cox, Comcast, and Time Warner cable.  With either company, you should be in good hands according to these numbers.

 

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