Verizon FiOS Fail

Verizon, what are you thinking?

Like so much involving modern technological communications, Verizon just couldn’t leave well-enough alone.

They’ve redesigned the “On Demand” section of their TV service.

Before it was a rudimentary, simple but intuitive effort. It had a few quirks, the nonpremium movie listings, e.g. FXM, IFC, could be inconsistent depending on what menu tree you were following was my biggest bugaboo.

But now it’s been “rebooted” as the kids say. No doubt it has been designed for the mobile/smartphone user rather than home theater/big HD screen user.

So now when you go in you run into a bunch of icons (not text). Once you figure out what the icons are you can try to navigate to find things. Some trees are semi-intuitive, others are a mish-mash of text and icon program and movie covers (which must be impossible to interpret on a phone screen).

The worst thing I’ve found, so far, is that the nonpremium movie listings don’t seem to exist any useful form anymore. The old, reliable text-based “Network” branch of the tree doesn’t seem to exist any longer. A simple “Free” tab is a shadow of the old one. Even worse it appears as a two-horizontal column offering that you scroll along trying to figure out what the little icons are. Attempting to get info on them is a dicey prospect and if you aren’t careful you could find yourself backing too far away and having to start the lengthy two-column trail all over again.

I know that between all the various networks that used to list their movies — TNT, FXM, IFC, TBS, etc., there are more than the 80 that are listed now.

I see much of this tail wagging the dog design these days as so many websites try to chase the smartphone user. Who uses their phone for their TV viewing? Other than desperation at an airport or trying to sneak something in when you are away from home or attention deficit disorder kids who can’t spend two minutes without looking at their phone? It’s a tiny screen, defeating the purpose of HDTV and our giant modern screens that a fiber-optic/high bandwidth system like FiOS is designed for. Now the loyal viewers find themselves kicked to the curb.

I say all this as a big fan of the Verizon FiOS service. I’ve recommended it to numerous people but this is a negative.

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