Verizon tries to play catch up with 4K TV

As someone who lives in “Verizon Territory” I have to say their video product has been a disappointment. At one point they really had the lead in video, with a faster and more robust DVR and a strong fiber backbone. In the last five years, their video product has fallen behind and the areas of the country served by FiOS TV have significantly shrunk. Verizon isn’t doing any more expansion of their fiber footprint, and they’re increasingly beginning to look like an also-ran in the video wars.

That’s why I was surprised by this SlashGear article saying that Verizon is testing out 4K programming. DIRECTV is way ahead on 4K, with three live channels. DISH offers 4K Netflix through its Hopper 3 boxes, and a small but growing number of Xfinity boxes have 4K capability (although there is no programming.) Isn’t Verizon a little too late to be “testing?”

I suppose it’s not bad that they’re taking steps toward getting up to speed, it’s just that after all this time of moving in the wrong direction (or going nowhere) all of a sudden there is this press release saying they are going to think about doing 4K. I’ll grant you, there isn’t a lot of live 4K content so maybe they were hoping to wait until the market got a little more robust.

Or am I just looking down my nose at them? This article says Verizon FiOS has 4.5 million subscribers at the moment, which isn’t chicken feed. The problem is that they’ve already peaked and are on the slow road to oblivion along with most other “smaller” cable companies that simply can’t put in the infrastructure needed to keep up with today’s streaming and TV entertainment needs. A quick internet search suggests that the last time they added significant numbers of subscribers was back in 2014, and they’ve lost them pretty much every quarter since. Their once-revolutionary fiber internet has lost its shine as well, with other alternatives outpacing it in speed. They retain market share because many areas only have one choice for internet, but in areas where there is a measure of choice, they often lose out to a traditional cable provider who has put in more investment.

But hey…. more 4K is better 4K. So I wish them well in their testing and I hope that those people who do choose to stay with FiOS TV across the country begin to see some of that 4K lovin’ pretty soon.