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Series 3 Verizon FIOS HD compat?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mchad, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Thanks for continuing to post your VZ/FIOS experiences here (and on the AVS Forum)...it gives me hope that if/when we switch from Comcast that things will go okay. :up:

    Some of the horror stories you hear/read such as kurtster's make me wonder if switching is a good move as we haven't had any issues with any of our TiVo's for a couple of years now.

    I really (really!) want FIOS non-compressed HD PQ as well as the big broadband pipe, but I really (REALLY! :mad:) hate dealing with technical issues that only someone else can resolve...particularly if they have a pre-conceived notion about things they know little about.

    I'm just glad to hear that things can and do go well, probably most of the time as most people that are enjoying their FIOS fed TiVo's aren't likely to show up here. Thanks again! :)
     
  2. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    +1 :up: :up:
     
  3. slocko

    slocko New Member

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Old Bridge, NJ
    my tech had never installed cable cards in a Tivo and he still managed to get the job done with no problems. he was a really nice guy and even expressed interest in getting his own tivos. lol
     
  4. kurtster

    kurtster New Member

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    Jan 29, 2007
    Okay it's done but not as expected. He had to run off to another call while the TiVo said it would need 30 min to download program data.

    I get all local channels both SD and HD but NO cable channels, HD or otherwise. Is there anything I can do on my end to make them show up? It sees the channels are there and has program data for them but no image appears for any cable channels.

    The Verizon DVR gets everything the way it should, but man the menus are ridiculous on that thing. It's like navigating a Windows file structure and there's seemingly no way to edit whether "subscriptions" (their equivalent to Season Pass) record First run only or all. I guess it's just going to grab all of them. Blah. i have to get this S3 working.
     
  5. SeanC

    SeanC ECT

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Someplace
    It sounds like your cards aren't authorized (not sure if that is the exact terminology). By default CCs on FIOS will receive all the locals, including HD. When I had my install one card worked right, the second card only did locals, they had to come back and swap it out.
     
  6. webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    It's entirely possible that you can finish the install yourself by calling the Fiber Solutions Center at 1-888-553-1555.

    Edited to change "FiOS Services Center" to "Fiber Solutions Center". Also, I hate acronyms.
     
  7. rocko

    rocko Cuckoo for TiVo

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    Oct 29, 2002
    Northeast...
    Just to add my $.02 - On both of my CableCARD installs the tech had to call in to get the cards properly activated - even though the activation process on their laptops reported success.

    I agree that a call to the FSC should get you squared away.
     
  8. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

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    Feb 18, 2002
    That was my experience as well. Once the phone call was made, the cards started receiving all channels.
     
  9. kurtster

    kurtster New Member

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    Jan 29, 2007
    Bingo. you guys are dead right. I called the support number and within minutes all channels appeared. After using DTV for 15 years I have to say, SD channels have NEVER looked better. Holy cow there was a noticeable increase in quality on SD channels.

    Now, for the first time, I have way more than a handful of HD channels, I've got gobs of them. CNNHD is stunning. So is Sci-Fi HD (Here comes the BSG finale in HD! Woo hoo!). I wish I could get MSNBC and an MLB package in HD but I'm sure those are coming in the future. Here's a summary of the results:

    PROS:
    • Reasonably quick installation
    • Finally! TiVo and plentiful HD channels have arrived.
    • No glitches (as some early adopters reported) noticed in the first few hours at all.
    • Amazing picture quality. Noticeable upgrade from the HR10-250. I had expected them to be close to OTA HD broadcasts, but I didn't expect it to rival terrestrial quality and they do.
    • Motorola DVR can do cool stuff with VOD and PPV.
    • Single cable runs can provide dual-tuner (DTV w/HR10-250 required two cables to each location)
    • More channels than DTV for about the same cost. Includes Outdoor channel (my brother is on the show Off Road Adventures - Tune in!)

    CONS:
    • $6/month CableCard fees despite having a lifetime TiVo subscription
    • Waaaay too many channels. Dozens of channels are duplicated, making the process of going through the hundreds of channels and removing duplicates in the high number range (1500-1800) takes a lot of time. Also lots of Premium International channels that needed to be removed from the Channel List.

    • Installer was either ignorant of TiVo advantages, towing the company line, or just plain stupid. NOTE TO VERIZON EMPLOYEES: When a new customer tells you they've chosen FIOS because after 15 years of loyal service, DirecTV forced them to choose between TiVo and DTV, and the customer wants TiVo, try not to tell the new customer how uninteresting TiVo is and how the they are going to go away eventually anyway.

    • Motorola DVR is really bad. Too much going on when the guide button is pressed, even in the alternate view. The third view doesn't give enough info. The folder view is so mechanical and non-human in its design that I want to throw my remote at the TV when i see lists of folders like that. The USB ports are turned off (WTF?). This port disabling crap is one of the things that makes TiVo so cool. There's a community built around enabling dead ports, or buying new boxes that have them enabled like the S3. Motorola and other like them just don't get it. It's a bit of a tangent I know, but when I see this box I'm reminded of why for more than 20 years phone companies like Motorola ignored the importance of user interface, opting to focus on utilitarianism and function over style and smoothness. It wasn't until Apple introduced the iPhone that the phone providers woke up out of their user interface coma. This DVR's menus are scarily similar to that of Motorola phones, which is bad IMO.

    • No MLB package at any price

    Sorry to bag so long on their DVR. Probably not appropriate here, but I thought i'd help anyone thinking about the jump to know what to expect. There was no option to order FIOS TV without a set top box or DVR and still get the bundle deal price. At least the DVR is free for a year.
     
  10. kurtster

    kurtster New Member

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    Jan 29, 2007
    I've noticed some anomalies in aspect ratio on some material. For example, I downloaded the first episode of Til Death free from the Amazon service ability on this S3. The show appears to be squished vertically to force a letterboxed look from 16:9 source material. The show isn't HD but is the full width of a 16x9 image. If I stretch the screen vertically (as I would for a 2.35:1 presentation) it properly fills the 16x9 frame.

    That could be explained as an Amazon problem but I also noticed on TBSHD the show Sex and the City (noticed in passing...I wouldn't watch that if you paid me) was stretched horizontally. it appears to be a 4 x 3 image being stretched at the source to fill the 16x9 screen. Using the Aspect button on the TiVo remote has no effect. Settings are for 16x9 TV and Letterbox/Pillarbox option. These are the only source material i've noticed this with. All other channels appear normal.
     
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Several channels do that crap with 4:3 content.
     
  12. nemein

    nemein New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008
    Just did the switch to FIOS from Cox myself yesterday. Overall it went fairly smoothly, the tech did have to call twice to get the pairing to work properly, but when he left everything was working fine (and unlike w/ Cox I mean everything/all the channels). I haven't had much time to play around w/ it yet so I'm not sure about the quality/pixilation issues but I'll keep an eye out for it. It does seem like changing the channels take a little longer but it's not too bad.

    One thing I did notice (not sure anyone has mentioned this) if you swap the top two items on your season pass list it'll re-sequence all of them and change the channels to what they should be/what the new one are.
     
  13. Ziggy86

    Ziggy86 Member

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    Jun 22, 2004
    Keep us posted as to your picture quality and pixelation issues, hope you have none.
     
  14. sender_name

    sender_name I remember XM 202!

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    Feb 11, 2005
    Northboro Ma
    TNTHD, HGHD both do that...so it gives it a fish bowl effect...everyone on the edges is 10ft tall...I was watching an Angel rr on TNTHD the other day and it was just too much to take. After getting use to real hd that stretch crap is horrible. I would rather expand the SD letterbox via tivo aspect
     
  15. 3morgans

    3morgans New Member

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    Aug 14, 2007
    I have a Series 3 (original) and am in the Northern Virginia area. I have a new install of FIOS scheduled for Friday. I have called Verizon twice to ensure the tech is going to bring two cable cards, but when I call, they say they can't see the installer notes. They also say that since cable cards aren't serialized they don't sign them out, the installer would just have them on the truck. I highly doubt that is true.

    Any suggestions to ensure that this install appointment isn't a waste of my time? I don't want to have to schedule another appointment just to get my TiVo up and running.

    Eric
     
  16. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

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    Feb 18, 2002
    Escalate the call to a supervisor. I got the same answer and I finally told them "I don't want to hear that your computer won't let you do something".

    I had to be persistent :)
     
  17. nemein

    nemein New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008
    It also seems to matter when you order. I initially responded to one of those MANY MANY fliers they would send in the mail but it was after hours so I got passed on to some sort of call service center. The guy I talked too and setup the initial order w/ told me I could add the S cards on later. I called back during normal hours to verify the order and the person I talked to that time said orders couldn't be changed like that so I had to cancel that one and create a whole new order that specifically stated S cards were needed.
     
  18. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,184
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    You might not have a choice but to have a second appointment, especially if there are any problems with the cable cards. One of my cards crapped out on me several hours after the install. But at least they were accommodating with the return appointment.
     
  19. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Thanks for the updates and glad to hear things are working well. :up: So no low-pass filters, attenuators or anything? Just a line in to TiVo? Good news.

    As aaronwt mentioned, a number of channels try to pass off 4:3 content as HD by modifying the picture when it was never HD to start with. Reminds me of Ted Turner trying to colorize old movies. :thumbsdown: Amazon has the same issue although you should be able to use the aspect ratio to fill the screen. There are several threads about it elsewhere. Hopefully one day they'll go with true HD.

    So enjoy! :)
     
  20. nemein

    nemein New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008
    One other thing I've noticed already is the file sizes on the shows are larger. I'll go back and double check that the recording settings haven't changed but for example previously a typical Myth Busters eps would be around 1.2G, now it's about 2.2G. Does that sound right? I guess it means the quality is a little better but it's going to throw off my DVD burning ;)
     

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