The Associated Press finally got wise to big cables practice of squeezing three HD channels into one QAM
channel -- something we've known for years -- but the real winner in the article was Verizon, who's FiOS service came out looking like the next savior. The author completely missed the fact that the real reason why FiOS doesn't squeeze as many channels in as Comcast, is because it has the worst national HD line-up
of any major HD provider in the country. The closest the article gets to not giving FiOS a free pass, is when it mentions that "The FiOS system didn't offer Sci Fi HD, which Fowler's testing showed at 12.59 Mbps on Comcast." The author really buys into Verizon's marketing by saying that it doesn't compress because it has so much bandwidth, but we know better
. In fact the reason why FiOS customers have to wait almost a year for a new HD channel is because Verizon is in the middle of infrastructure upgrades, and the sunsetting of analog channels, that will allow it to live up to it's promise of 150 HD channels by the end of 2008
. Don't get us wrong, we agree with Verizon's decision to offer quality over quantity, we're just annoyed that we have to wait until the end of 2008 to watch Sci Fi HD or History HD.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.