A STB (What is a STB? ), is required if you want to view any channel above about 50 (depends on the market). You CAN plug the coax cable directly into the back of the TV and you will usually get basic broadcast channels (the networks), and public, education, and governement channels. To check out what channels are available, go to this link and check the channel lineup for your area: http://www22.verizon.com/content/fiostv/channel+lineup/channel+lineup.htm
Unlike Cable or Satellite, FIOS-TV broadcasts channels on a needed basis which allows for the ability to increase picture quality due to the extra bandwidth available. Cable and Satellite broadcasts' all available channels but have limitations just like fiber-optics. These limits require them to compress each channel down so they all can fit across the medium it's transmitted on. On FiOS-TV, the analog channels are all transmitted at once thus no requirement for a STB. The digital channels require a STB to request and receive the channels you wish to watch.
[**]Since one channel is being sent directly to your location, it has far more bandwidth available to it and thus have better picture quality.
Written by FiosFAQ
Last updated on 09.13.06