I've been reading a lot of posts with people referring to 6200/6416 boxes versus 7100/7216 boxes. I just got FIOS TV and received the 6xxx series boxes. Are the 7xxx series available and being used by customers? Are they just giving out all of the 6xxx series until they are gone and then switching?
Of course, I would like to have the newest technology available. As a brand new customer would it be possible to request the newer equipment???
The QIP7xxx is basically a QIP6416 with more memory and a newer CPU that supports the MPEG-4 and VC-1 formats (for future use). The CPU itself runs at the same speed and offers comparable performance.
Verizon is only buying 7xxx HD boxes now, but they still have plenty of 6200 and 6416 boxes in inventory that they want to distribute. Eventually, Verizon will probably switch out the 6416s so they can add new / future channels in MPEG-4, but I wouldn't expect that to happen for another 18-24 months. And even then, they may only do the swap out for those that buy a newer, more expensive tier of programming which contains MPEG-4 channels (not supported by 6416).
Verizon is also ordering all of their QIP7216 DVRs with a eSATA connection so they can support eSATA [external] drive expansion next year. Less than 40% of Verizon's QIP6416 DVRs have a eSATA port, and it's not clear whether they will ever enable the port on that model.
I don't think you can request newer equipment at this time. To Verizon, it is all the same (for now).
Is there any discernible difference in performance between the two models?
Actually there is one that has to do with the most recent IMG version (1.6.0). It has been reported that the 7xxx series does not suffer from SD PQ degradation (soft / blurry picture) that has affected the 6xxx series boxes. That issues should be resolved when V1.6.1 is released - NO RELEASE DATE AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.
I'm not sure if this is from 1.6 or not, but I noticed that there is an option to view SD channels in 480i or 480p. Which is the proper setting? On my stb the default appears to be 480i.
Not a new option, just a new access method (through the main menu). My answer would be whichever looks best to you. There is also the option to set it to "off" which outputs the SD converted to 1080i. 480i allows the SD signal to be passed to your TV at the incoming resolution and have your TV do the up-converting, 480p is an intermediate up-convert (some TVs don't accept 480i input). Again, the correct setting is what looks best to you.