Verizon Adds HD Channels for D.C. Area Subs

If you live in the nation's capital you're still out of luck, but for Verizon FiOS subs in the nearby suburbs (and exurbs) of Washington, D.C., the telco-turned-TV firm has added 55 channels—and all but a couple of them are HD.

In the name game that cable and satellite like to play by offering the greatest number of "HD channels" (DBS) or "HD choices" (cable), Verizon's fiber-optic TV service seems like it's using both measures. Its Maryland and Northern Virginia customers now have "more than 800 HD choices" available at any time, with "access to 105 HD channels," the company said in a statement. (In other words, besides the 100-plus HD channels, it also provides about 700 HD VOD titles, as well.)

For the moment at least, passing the century mark in "HD channels" (not VOD choices) puts Verizon FiOS on par with DBS services, and ahead of such major cablers as Comcast, Cox and Time Warner.

In its marketing, Verizon strives to distinguish its fiber optics technology as different from, and superior to, both cable and satellite.

While the D.C. market is only the ninth-largest DMA in the nation, it's often seen as a crucially important one, mostly for one big reason: It's where the powers-that-be at the FCC and Congress reside for most of the year.