As consumers, we are often slaves to our cable company by the location of our house. Aside from getting Satellite TV, there isn’t really a choice other than the cable company that’s assigned to your area. Living near the edge of Arlington County in Fairfax County, I am stuck with Cox Cable. Just a few hundred yards away in Arlington County, you can have Comcast Cable. Although many people hate Comcast cable, I’d rather have it than Cox. At least Comcast is trying to take steps forward by making a deal with TiVo to use their amazing DVR software (which is very much delayed), HBO onDemand in HD (which no one else has), as well as consistently adding HD channels like The Food Network faster than Cox Cable to their HD lineup.
The new star on the block is Verizon FiOS. I only know one person that has it, but he likes it because it’s cheaper and you get more. Soon, it looks like he’ll be getting a lot more with the rollout of the new Interactive Media Guide (IMG). It’s rare that a big company will sit back and design a product that addresses the consumer’s everyday gripes about a product rather than just pushing something out into the market just to be there. You can tell that Verizon listened to consumers, and then thought about how to make the TV experience simpler, more convenient, and enjoyable again. It also looks like they took a page out of XBOX 360’s book with navigation tabs (or blades as the 360 calls it). They’ll even be rolling out Weather, News and Stock widgets in the future. It’s a shame I’m not eligible for FiOS where I live.