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FIOS Cable card or buy online?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by David D, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    I used to have FIOS tv and switched to OTA about a year and a half ago. Bought my first TiVo (Premier) at the same time to replace the FIOS dvr. I've had a lot of problems with the TiVo locking up, so I'm going to try the local only FIOS channel package in an effort to rule out OTA being the problem.

    From what I've read, you can't use TiVo on FIOS without a cable card. My question is, can I buy the proper cable card online, or must I rent the card from Verizon? I'd rather buy the card for $15 than pay $4/month for ever and ever amen.

    David
     
  2. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    You cannot buy a CableCARD online, It will not work. Each CableCARD has a unique serial number and FiOS will not activate a CableCARD they did not issue to your account.
     
  3. NotNowChief

    NotNowChief Addicted to TiVo

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    New York...
    I have been mindblown as to the simplicity of cablecards with FiOS. You can activate and pair them online, or call in with your Host ID and Data ID and the activation takes all of 5 minutes.

    Compared to TWC which took a MINIMUM of 4 truck rolls over no less than one month to get them working.
     
  4. Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

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    Torrance,Cal...
    I self installed a cable card and tuning adapter through Time Warner's cable card hot line, a couple days ago; took less than 15 minutes.

    I would switch to FIOS if it was available...
     
  5. WVZR1

    WVZR1 Member

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    The WV...
    I've seen you post problems earlier BUT you never mention your location and what you've got for OTA - antenna or equipment. Subscribing to cable sounds like a "backasswards" way to go about attempting a fix.

    I'm not sure how FIOS approaches basic cable service but the first cable card might be a "NO CHARGE"
     
  6. NotNowChief

    NotNowChief Addicted to TiVo

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    Mar 29, 2012
    New York...
    I already have FiOS. TWC requires truck rolls in my area for all cablecard issues. Yet no one knows how they work. You make appointments, wait a week, they show up, spend hours calling dispatchers, tech support, "sending hits", trying dozens of cards, just a total and complete disaster.

    The absolute best I have ever gotten was 4 visits over a month to get my living room box to work. There are no words to describe the sheer incompetence I experienced.
     
  7. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    I know, but I'm ready to cry "uncle" since I'm on my 4th TiVo Premier inside a year and a half, and no one at TiVo has been able to offer me a solution for my problem. The best I can determine is that the Premier is very susceptible to OTA multipath distortion and less than optimum signal to noise ratio (or "sound to noise ratio" as one TiVo tech called it :rolleyes:). I've been pretty pleased with my antenna setup, except for the TiVo failures.
     
  8. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    ... Oh, the cable card is $3.99/month. Not a huge deal, but again, like the idea of paying $15 once instead if it will work.
     
  9. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    Also, forgot to mention, I'm in the Richmond, VA area and have an antenna in the attic. I receive all the local channels fine on all TV's in the house, with the only exception being the occasional pixelization of a couple channels due to our close proximity to the airport. What's additionally frustrating is that the pixelization is much worse on the TiVo than any of the TV tuners.
     
  10. cmshep222

    cmshep222 Member

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    Feb 18, 2005
    I have Fios in Richmond, VA. It's 3.99 per cable-card. None are free. No truck roll for Fios Richmond. They can mail cards to you, and you can activate online. But beware of a $19.99 "shipping and handling" fee on your bill. I complained after the fact, and they credited me the $19.99 back. Glad I read the bill closely.

    Last note, there is a Fios store in Richmond, VA and you can pick up the cards there! NO shipping and handling fee!!
     
  11. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    Well, I talked to FIOS tech support and they said that I could activate a cable card of my own purchase, so I ordered a Motorola M-Card off eBay. We'll see what happens as soon as it arrives...
     
  12. duanew

    duanew New Member

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    Feb 1, 2007
    Interesting:D I am curious how this works out. I would be interested in doing this as well.
     
  13. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

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    Mar 21, 2004
    Won't work. We all would have bought our own cablecards over the last 6 years if it were possible and worked. :)
     
  14. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    From a very reputable source: Eric Kotz - Quality Assurance Manager @ Ceton Corporation

    Technically Possible w/ Motorola CCs not so much w/ SA/Cisco

    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1336614/latest-ceton-infinitv-4-info-thread/3600#post_22446027
    Question:
    Answer:
     
  15. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    FWIW, FIOS uses Motorola M-Cards, which is what I ordered. Like I said, we'll see. It's $12 gamble I'm willing to take.

    With regards to being persistent, I wouldn't still be dealing with TiVo if I wasn't persistent. I am an electronics technician and it pains me to deal with a product that apparently has design flaws. I have spent HOURS talking with TiVo tech support, and the gist that I'm getting is that the TiVo Premier does NOT like OTA. I specifically purchased TiVo because I was going OTA and needed a good DVR solution. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased with my TiVo most of the time, and their staff is very courteous. The fact that it frequently locks up (several times a week) renders it unreliable and not as useful as it's supposed to be. I cannot comfortably leave home knowing that it will do what I bought it to do. It doesn't help that I also have to pay a monthly fee for a service that is unreliable.

    To get back off my soap box, I hope that the cable solution will prove reliable, even though I would be happier if I could use my antenna setup as I originally set out to do. Like I said, we'll see...
     
  16. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Active Member

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    Omaha,NE
    Have you checked maybe the OTA tuner quit?
     
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    $12 seems awfully cheap for a cable card. I thought a brand new cable card used to be very expensive?

    No idea why you think the Premiere doesn't like OTA. I've been using Premieres with OTA since the March 2010 launch(at one point I had six or seven receiving OTA). I've never had any issues from my dual antenna setup that combines all frequencies of both the antennas. The Premieres have picked up everything my S3 boxes did without issue. And do a better job receiving OTA than any of my TVs do.
     
  18. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    It's a used cable card purchased on eBay.

    I have had the opposite experience with regards to OTA on TiVo. I live in close proximity to an airport. Planes take off and land between my house and where most of the local TV stations are located. This causes interruptions in signal strength and multipath distortion. My TV's all handle this with nary a problem, however, I cannot say the same for my TiVo. The TiVo will pixelate on several channels whenever a plane takes off or lands, while the TV's almost never exhibit any interference. All devices are connected to the same splitter, with relatively short lengths of quality RG6 cable connecting all equipment.

    I have spoken with several TiVo tech support operators that have told me that the antenna tuner in the TiVo is very susceptible to less than ideal signal strength and signal to noise ratio and can cause the TiVo to lock up as a result. I've had techs tell me to put the TiVo on a UPS, replace all the cabling, try different power outlets, run kick start 54, etc., all done without any improvement.
     
  19. WVZR1

    WVZR1 Member

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    Jul 30, 2008
    The WV...
    I believe if I wanted OTA I'd consider a roof-top antenna. Have you considered this? I've even seen it recommended that when signal was severely interrupted that a stack of two directional antenna be considered. If your situation was maybe just one direction a roof-top for those in that direction only.

    Good luck with the wBay card. That will be an interesting endeavor.
     
  20. David D

    David D New Member

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    May 28, 2012
    Thanks. I hope the eBay card works. I'll let y'all know. Not sure about how to improve the antenna rig. We live close enough that signal level isn't the problem, but the planes interrupting the signal is. I don't know if a higher gain antenna would help or hinder. Perhaps a more directional setup might?
     

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