In a lot of places, Verizon FiOS is the best way to get video and get on the Internet. But the Xbox One is hoping to make your video viewing, and Internet experience, a lot more dynamic with the new Verizon FiOS app.
Xbox, Play FiOS
First of all, the good news is that there’s absolutely no hardware required, beyond an Xbox One, of course. If you’re a Verizon FiOS subscriber, all you have to do is download the app, do the usual fiddling to prove that yes, you send Verizon a check to give you Internet every month, and then the app will stream 74 channels directly to your television. So far the channel list looks to be fairly standard; you won’t be streaming every single channel through your Xbox One, at least not via FiOS. But hey, there’s HBO!
The main problem, however, is that this strictly for Gold users only. And that’s a problem because Gold costs money. True, it’s pretty easy to reduce that cost. But there’s no getting around the fact that, although the app itself is free, you are still paying Microsoft for the right to use your Internet (which you also pay for) to access the TV channels that you pay for, on the console you dropped $500 on. And for your money, you get Kinect controls and the ability to start watching TV immediately after playing a video game.
Don’t get us wrong: If you’re already paying for Gold to access the multiplayer features, and have Verizon FiOS, this is a nice bonus to have included, and it will undeniably be handy. On the other hand, if you’re not really into multiplayer, and just like watching TV, it’s worth asking yourself if the convenience of yelling at your TV to switch channels is really worth $60 a year.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.