Tag Archives: Verizon

Are There Too Many Streaming Services?

By Tracey Dowdy

With Disney’s recent announcement of a November launch date for Disney Plus, have we hit peak streaming service or, at the very least, are we at risk of streaming service overload?

For years, we dreamed of an a la carte approach to programming – a great “unbundling” of movies and TV shows – but with the Disney juggernaut entering an increasingly crowded field of streaming services, the cost of accessing all your favorite programming is creeping steadily closer to being at par with the cable services so many of us have dropped.

To be fair, Disney Plus – at least for now – is just $6.99 a month, or for a discounted annual fee of $69.99. The service will offer programming and original content from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, and will include content from Fox, including all 30 seasons of fan favorite, The Simpsons.

Once upon a time, cord cutters had two choices – Hulu or Netflix. Today, when deciding what subscription service best meets their needs, consumers have to wade through content libraries on Sling TV, Amazon Video, HBO Now, PlayStation VueFubo TV, Apple’s recent addition to the list, Apple TV+, and countless more. Once you’ve drilled down past what content is available, you’ll need to determine if they offer live TV, how long after airing on network or cable TV is content added to the streaming service, is there quality original content, and if they allow extra third-party streaming content. It’s enough to make your head spin, and your wallet groan.

My family currently subscribes to Hulu ($12 a month), Netflix (just jumped to $15.99 a month), and Amazon Video ($10 a month as part of my Prime Membership), and HBO Now ($15 a month). Adding it all up, even without the cost of Sling TV (another $25) which we’ll need to watch hockey and football, we’re up to $78 a month – tell me again how cutting the cord is saving me so much money?

The issue is exclusivity – where we once paid a cable or satellite provider like Verizon, Comcast, or Direct TV one price to access all our favorite shows across networks and movie studios, with the rise in streaming services, content has been restricted to specific providers. For example, Disney has pulled all its movies from Netflix, as well as content from Marvel and Nat Geo/National Geographic Channel.

Who knew so many streaming options would have us longing for the halcyon days of cable TV?

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

 

Tuesday, December 8: The Benefits of FiOS

THE BENEFITS OF FiOS

#FiOSPhilly

When: TODAY, Tuesday, December 8, 2015
8:00 – 9:00 pm ET
5:00 – 6:00 pm PT
Join @TinaSeitzinger and the #FiOSPhilly team at 8 pm ET TODAY as we discover what a reliable Internet, fast connection speeds and great TV programming can do for you and your family!
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win a Motorola Power Pack portable battery charger or a Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet!

(Click here  to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: FiOSPhilly) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: http://ow.ly/V4c9x
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#FiOSPhilly) today between 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

(The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon.)

Thursday, October 8: TV Anywhere

TV ANYWHERE

#FiOSPhilly

When:  TODAY, Thursday, October 8, 2015
9:00 – 10:00 pm ET
6:00 – 9:00 pm PT
The idea of watching our favorite TV shows wherever and whenever we want is no longer a pipe dream. Better mobile devices, faster networks and smarter apps are getting us off the couch and allowing us to set our own entertainment schedules.
Join host @SeeMomClick and the #FiOSPhilly team on Twitter at 9 pm ET TODAY as we explore how we can become part of this exciting TV Anywhere revolution!
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD 8!

(Click here  to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: FiOSPhilly) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: http://ow.ly/T5TyM    
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#FiOSPhilly) today between 9:00 – 10:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

(The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon.)

Verizon Introduces go90 Streaming App for Mobile Devices

The video choices available to mobile users just got a big boost this month with the launch of Verizon’s go90 app for iOS and Android devices. Go90, which is ad-supported but subscription free, is aimed at younger users who spend more time watching video on their smartphones and tablets than watching traditional TV. The go90 name comes from the way users flip their phones 90 degrees to watch videos.

Rather than fighting the trend away from the traditional cable TV subscription model, Verizon has instead embraced the movement, first offering CustomTV packages and now over-the-top content strictly for mobile devices.

Go90 is launching with 8,000 titles and over 35 original series, which will grow rapidly in the coming months. The lineup includes networks like Comedy Central, The Food Network, ESPN, Discovery Channel, MTV, VH1, Spike and HGTV. Going forward, go90 will also add live sporting events and concerts. Although the service is available to everyone, no matter which wireless carrier you use, there is also some exclusive content just for Verizon customers.

Once you download the app, there is a simple sign-in screen where you set up a username and password. You are then asked to tap on a few favorite content categories, which include comedy, entertainment, and news and sports. There is also a “geek” category. The app then presents you with your custom feed of suggested shows and videos, similar to Facebook or YouTube. For now, go90 users seeking news will get a heavy diet of HuffPost Live but, as mentioned above, the app is expected to bring on additional content at a rapid pace.

You can also search out specific channels, shows, people or “crews” to follow. For example, if you search for Jennifer Lawrence, you are presented with a stream of video clips, including trailers for The Hunger Games movies, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. By following particular shows or people, you will further customize your go90 feed.

Crews represents the social media element of go90. You can either start a crew yourself or join a crew that already exists. Movie Lovers, Urban Dads, honest talk, and NFL Fantasy Players are just four of the dozens of crews that have already been set up. Conversation in these crews doesn’t appear to be moderated, although there is a button to report inappropriate content.

Go90 looks to be a strong addition to the world of streaming media for mobile devices and has obvious appeal to a younger audience. A promotional offer of an extra 1GB of data per month for 3 months gives Verizon customers an added incentive to jump on board!

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional campaign for Verizon.

Thursday, September 17: Health and Fitness

HEALTH AND FITNESS

#FiOSPhilly

When: TODAY, Thursday, September 17, 2015
8:00 – 9:00 pm ET
5:00 – 6:00 pm PT
Join the #FiOSPhilly team at 8 pm ET TODAY as we explore how we can turn our home TV and Internet service into a personal wellness partner and finally put those health and fitness goals within reach!
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX tablet or a Fitbit activity tracker!

(Click here  to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: FiOSPhilly) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: http://ow.ly/SbY0d   
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#FiOSPhilly) otoday between 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

(The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon.)

Monday, September 14: Looking Forward to Fall

LOOKING FORWARD TO FALL

#LifeOnFiOS

When: TODAY, Monday, September 14, 2015
8:00 – 9:00 pm ET
5:00 – 6:00 pm PT
Summer is almost over and that means cooler temperatures, shorter days and helping out with the homework. But it’s not all bad news – the end of summer also means cozy sweaters, football games and the start of the Fall TV schedule!
Join the LifeOnFiOS team at 8 pm ET TODAY as we share what we love about the Fall season, including the return of our favorite TV shows and the highly-anticipated start of brand new series!  
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win one of TWO JAWBONE UP3 Activity Trackers!

(Click here  to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: LifeOnFiOS) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: http://ow.ly/S3uh0  
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#LifeOnFiOS) today etween 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

(The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon.)

Back-to-School with FiOS

I always loved back-to-school shopping when I was a child and I probably love it even more as a parent. There is something uniquely satisfying about filling a shopping basket with glue sticks, pens, rulers and Post-it Notes, and that’s before we start putting together the first-day-of-school outfits!

However, back-to-school shopping has changed over the last few years. Now, it’s less about notebooks and binders and more about laptops and tablets. While we may have some regrets that penmanship has given way to typing and swiping, there is no denying our kids’ need to be proficient with computers. Whether it’s participating in an after-school chat group or researching a history topic, the Internet is the new go-to resource and the ever-present homework helper.

And in the same way that smartphones and tablets have created an always-engaged work environment for parents, digital devices are rapidly blurring the boundaries between school and home for students. No longer is it possible to just rely on the computer lab and the school network to complete those projects and assignments. A fast and reliable home Internet connection is now an almost essential prerequisite for academic success.

This past Spring was a perfect example of how the home Internet plays such an important role in the life of a high schooler. As my daughter completed her sophomore year, there were countless hours of home-based test-prep, most of it done online and often with the aid of a FaceTime study group. In addition, we frequently hosted the high school debate team, with up to 15 debaters all logged on to the home network as they feverishly prepped for end-of-year tournaments.

How do you know whether your home network is up to the challenge of a new school year? One way to find out is by taking the Verizon Speed Test. If your home network isn’t delivering upload/download speeds of at least 50/50 Mbps then it may be time for an upgrade. (Yes – with all those chat groups and shared assignments, upload speeds do matter!)

So have fun with those late-August trips to the mall. Those pens and Post-it Notes are still going to come in handy. Just remember to add a fast and reliable Internet to the list – your back-to-school shopping won’t be complete without it!

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional campaigns for Verizon.  

A New Age of Flexible TV

I still remember the time I was trying to clear some space on my old DVR and accidentally wiped out the first four seasons of Modern Family. I wouldn’t say my family gave me the cold shoulder but there was definitely a chill in the air!

Sadly, that old cable DVR just wasn’t built for the way families now watch TV. Gone are the days when everyone would huddle together on the couch to watch the latest episode of a must-see drama series or sitcom. We now have our own favorite shows and our own timetable for watching them. If that means recording five episodes of a favorite show and then binge-watching them in a popcorn-fueled TV marathon, then who are we to judge!

Accommodating the various TV-watching habits of every household member is not easy, but that’s where FiOS Quantum TV comes in. With FiOS Quantum TV, you can store up to 200 hours of HD content, record up to 12 shows simultaneously, and control live TV (pause, play and rewind) on up to 10 different TVs. That’s a lot of flexibility and a lot of different ways to catch your favorite shows.

Of course, an increasing number of people don’t want to be tied to the TV at all but want to watch their favorite programs on their smartphones and tablets instead. FiOS TV takes care of that as well through partner apps and the FiOS Mobile app. You can also subscribe to premium packages so you can stream movies as well as TV shows.

TV is no longer the one dimensional medium that we remember from our childhoods. In many ways, TV has succeeded in adapting to the demands of the digital age far better than other more traditional media platforms. With more programming, anytime viewing, and the option to watch your favorite shows on-the-go, we are entering a new golden age of small screen (and even smaller screen) entertainment.

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon.

It’s Time for an Internet Upgrade

It always surprises me how many people still complain about their home Internet speeds. In an age where most of us enjoy high-speed 4G cellular connections for our smartphones and tablets when we are out and about, it’s strange that we would accept second best in the one place we use our devices the most. What I expect is happening is that a lot of people are eschewing their home Internet connection in favor of their wireless service – a potentially expensive proposition, especially when it comes to data overages.

If you’re unsure just how fast your home Internet is, you can take the Verizon speed test here. The speed test works by sending bursts of random data for 30 seconds. It calculates the upload and download speeds of your connection by measuring how many “bits” of data were transferred during that 30 second timeframe.

Note that the test measures upload speeds as well as download. Upload speeds are becoming increasingly important as individuals and small business share more and more data with the cloud. In fact, Verizon estimates that the level of upload activity on their FiOS network will double by late 2016 and continue to grow. (If you’re still not sure about the importance of upload speeds, ask your kids about “lag” and video game response times.)

If your Internet connection is less than 25/25 Mbps (that’s 25 megabits per second upload and download), then maybe it’s time for an upgrade. At 25/25, you’ll be able to surf the Web, check e-mail, shop online, and watch all those cute cat videos on Facebook without interruption. But if you are going to upgrade, why stop at 25/25? FiOS offers plans all the way up to 500/500 and, while you might not need that kind of speed, there are levels to suit every kind of household or small business.

And if you are a small business, now’s the time to act. Until June 27, Verizon is offering small businesses a free FiOS Internet upgrade. For example, a small-business owner who orders a new FiOS Internet and voice bundle with 50/50 Mbps will pay the price of a 25/25 service for a two-year term agreement.

Today’s smartphones and tablets are built for speed. It’s time to make sure your home Internet can keep up!

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon.