If you thought Comcast would let Verizon make them look bad with those 300 Mbps FiOS Quantum speeds, you've got another thing coming, as the company has just announced Xfinity Platinum. Boasting speeds of 305 Mbps down and 65 Mbps up, the new offering will only be available to Comcast customers living in the northeast region, with no details on if it will be deployed elsewhere.
In addition, customers on the lower-speed Xfinity Blast! tier will see their speeds increased from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and Extreme tier customers get bumped from 50 Mbps to 105 Mbps with no price increase. Now, two pieces of bad news. First, the 305 Mbps service will cost $299.95 per month, which is $95 more than FiOS Quantum. Second, if you're a Comcast customer who doesn't live in Boston, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Hartford, Wilmington, Richmond, New Jersey, Baltimore, or Washington, D.C., then you don't get any speed bumps.
Read More | Comcast
Verizon has finally made those FiOS speed increases that we told you about recently a reality, and along with the new speeds comes a new name as well. Verizon FiOS Quantum offers speeds up to 300 Mbps down and 65 Mbps up, and the cost is a whopping $205 per month with a two-year contract (or $210 per month contract-free.) What can you do with those speeds? Verizon tells us:
"With a 300 Mbps speed, consumers can download a two-hour, standard-definition movie (1.5 gigabytes) in less than 40 seconds; and a two-hour, high-definition movie (5 GB) in 2.2 minutes."
If you're in a Verizon FiOS area, you can order upgrade now.
Read More | Verizon
Last week we reported that Verizon FiOS Internet users were about to receive a significant speed boost, and today it's been made official. Most impressive is that the download speed of the fastest tier has doubled to 300 Mbps, with a 65 Mbps upload speed alongside it. Here's a look at all the new speed tiers:
- 300/65 Mbps (previously 150/35)
- 150/65 Mbps (previously 50/20)
- 75/35 Mbps (previously 35/35)
- 50/25 Mbps (previously 25/25)
- 15/5 Mbps
On the fastest tier, you can download a 2-hour 1080p movie in less than 22 minutes. The new speeds take effect in June.
Read More | Verizon FiOS
Looks like Verizon FiOS is about to get a whole lot faster. According to Broadband Reports, the current broadband symmetrical 25/25 Mbps tier will soon be changed to 50/25, while users on the 35/35 symmetrical tier will have their speeds upgraded to a whopping 75/35. The new 50/25 and 75/35 tiers will be available in all Verizon FiOS markets regardless of if the area is on GPON or BPON, and the changes should appear sometime around June 18. If you're a current customer, you may need to call in to get provisioned for the higher speed tier, but it shouldn't cost you anything extra.
Read More | Broadband Reports
Verizon Wireless is ready to capitalize on all that work its been doing building out a large LTE network with the release on its new HomeFusion LTE service. The intention here is to move away from DSL, and to also broaden its home Internet service footprint after deciding to not expand FiOS areas any further. If you're in a Verizon LTE area, you can join HomeFusion now, but it won't be cheap. Plans start at $60 per month for 10 GB of data, and go up to $120 per month for 30 GB. Any overages will result in a charge of $10 per GB.
Microsoft also announced a significant number of related content partnerships, bringing most major services to the Xbox platform this week or by early 2012. On Dec. 6, Starting Dec. 6, a free Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone will let also let users find, learn more about and control content from popular entertainment services on Xbox LIVE.
Shortly after midnight on Sunday night, Microsoft said that the "Bing on Xbox" update would arrive on U.S. consoles beginning "tomorrow," and roll out to U.S. console owners over the coming weeks. Those without a Kinect peripheral will be able to search using Bing text search.
The voice search capability, first revealed in June, will work with both the Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Video, and selected content partners. On Dec. 6, presumably the date of the update, Microsoft plans to add content from new entertainment partners, including apps, from EPIX, ESPN, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and MSNBC's Today.
Microsoft's vision for the Xbox platform, including voice search via Kinect, probably was more significant six months ago before Apple's Siri began dominating headlines with its ability to naturally search and interact with the user and a variety of apps. Nevertheless, it allows users to interact with a growing sea of content as simply as possible.
Verizon has indicated that it plans a residential LTE broadband service that could roll out in the fourth quarter, a fixed antenna that would challenge AT&T, Comcast and others for a home broadband connection.
Verizon also reiterated that it plans to concentrate its FiOS investments in areas it already serves.
Verizon executives said that a national rollout of a fixed broadband LTE voice and data package could be based on the "cantenna," a fixed antenna that it has already deployed with DirecTV, according to comments made by Francis J. Shammo, Verizon's chief financial officer, during Verizon's earnings call last Friday.
While Verizon executives did not state that the company was winding down its residential fiber optic (FiOS) service, executives gave several hints that geographic expansion was not in the cards. Verizon already serves 16.27 million premises in its 12-state wireline service territory, representatives said via email, mostly on the East Coast. But Verizon also began indicating in 2010 that it was going to focus its FiOS investments on the markets it already serves, last year.
Users will sign into Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS apps on the Xbox 360 with existing account information. Redmond will also likely ink content deals with HBO, Sony's Crackle, the Bravo and SyFy channels, and Amazon's Lovefilm, Bloomberg said.
Microsoft discussed its Live TV efforts at this year's E3 gaming conference, and the feature has already kicked off overseas with Sky TV in the U.K., Canal Plus in France, and FoxTel in Australia. Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer provided more details on what US consumers can expect during a presentation at the company's BUILD conference earlier this month.
"It's quite obvious that we need to increase the amount of video and TV content that are available on the Xbox," Ballmer said. "Our goal this year is to dramatically increase the total amount of content, the total entertainment catalog available on the Xbox, particularly by working in partnership with a number of video suppliers."
TiVo is continuing their course of being one of the absolute slowest hardware companies out there between product cycles with the announcement of the TiVo Premiere Elite. What's makes the Elite different from the Premiere XL? Well, for starters, this thing has four tuners, so it can record up to four different programs at once. You can watch any of the four, or view a fifth already-recorded program, so that's pretty nice. It's also got a 2 TB hard drive in it, which can hold up to 300 hours of programming. Like the XL, it's THX-certified, which probably doesn't mean much to many people out there, but hey--it's a nice-to-have. The one thing about the Elite is that, despite the name, it actually can only record digital cable and FiOS programming. No over-the-air or analog access here.
No launch date has been set for the TiVo Premiere Elite, but we do know that when it launches, it'll cost $499. Service will be extra, and you can choose the $19.99 per month plan or the $499 lifetime plan.
Read More | Premiere Elite Product Page
If you're a Verizon FiOS TV customer, you'll be getting access to 3D movies on demand starting next month. Starting on November 16th with the premiere of Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore, you'll have eight 3D movies to watch in November:
- Chicken Little
- Meet the Robinsons
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Under the Sea
- Deep Sea
Then, December bring two more to the lineup with A Christmas Carol and Step Up 3D. Of course, in addition to having an HD set top box, you'll also need a 3D-compatible television and glasses to take part in the festivities.
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