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Verizon Adds 56 HD Channels In Philly Area

Verizon Communications nearly tripled its high-definition lineup in the Philadelphia area, adding 56 HD channels to offer a total of 86 to FiOS TV customers in Comcast's backyard.

The telco on Monday launched 76 new channels -- including the 56 high-def channels, which are mostly premium services -- for customers in parts of southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Verizon noted that its HD offerings, which include more than 500 HD video-on-demand titles per month, are more than either Comcast or RCN. Verizon has said it is aiming to offer 150 linear HD channels by the end of 2008. 

FiOS TV's HD additions in the Philadelphia region include: Animal Planet, TLC, Science Channel, Smithsonian Channel, CNN, CNBC, Lifetime, Bravo, TBS, History Channel, Weather Channel, USA and Sci Fi Channel. 

Verizon also launched six new HD sports channels in the Philly area: Big Ten Network, Tennis Channel, Versus/Golf, Outdoor Channel 2, World Fishing Network and Mav TV.

Premium HD channels now available include 11 from Cinemax, 13 from HBO and 13 high-def channels from The Movie Channel, Starz Entertainment and Showtime.

Until Oct. 4, Verizon is offering new FiOS TV customers one year free use of either an HD DVR or an HD Home Media DVR, which can play back recordings on up to six other TV sets in the home as well as access photos and music from their personal computers and play them on their TV.