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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

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    TiVo Series3's require two cable cards, either "S" or "M". TiVo HD/HDXL's can use a single "M", multi-stream or two "S", single-stream cable cards. Initially VZ and other cableco's only offered "S" cable cards. Many posts are now indicating that VZ is starting to deliver "M" cable cards depending on the geographical area.

    "M" cards can decode up to six channels simultaneously. Of course TiVo is only capable of processing two. "S" cards only decode one video stream. The setup process takes a little longer with "S" cards because they both have to be activated/paired separately (slot 0 first, then slot 1). That said AFAIK there's no technical advantage to having an "M" card other than removing one failure point. (But if there is I'd also like to know what it might be).

    As you mentioned, the only advantage to using one "M" over two "S" cable cards that I'm aware of is the possible reduction in cost to the final user. Some companies charge per card. Sometimes the first card is free, then from as little as $1.50 to $7.00 for each additional card.
     
  2. webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...

    Rich outlined the important stuff. From your post, it sounds like you are wondering if you should swap your 2x S-Cards for 1x M-Card.. while you would save $3.99 per month, Verizon will most likely charge you $80 for a "truck roll" to come out and install the M-Card, so if you currently have S-Cards, it'd take 20 months to see any financial benefit from the single M-Card.
     
  3. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

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    Feb 18, 2002
    The other reason I don't do it is because it's working right and I don't want to go through install hell again. :)
     
  4. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Probably the best reason of all! :up:
     
  5. TeamW

    TeamW New Member

    7
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    Mar 9, 2009
    I ordered a multi-stream card and the guy showed up with a single stream card. I eventually made them come back and install a multi-stream card at their expense, but not without taking a lot of flack from their tech. support. I heard various excuses like:

    "We don't have those right now."

    "Those are the old ones and they are out of stock."

    and a few other things of similar credibility.

    I pushed back on that nonsense. Finally I got through to a supervisor who let me know this: in the Verizon equipment inventory system - they have one SKU - for "CableCard" they don't have a separate entry for multi-stream cards vs. single stream cards. This is why my original order was screwed up and why you may still have trouble getting them to install a M-Card.

    The supervisor put in all kinds of notes in capital letters on my work order to tell the technician he needed to bring out a M-Card rather than an S-Card. That did work.

    So don't take any B.S. - they do indeed support and stock multi-stream cable cards, they just don't have any way to enter a request for an M-Card into their system for you.

    So ask for what you need and make them give it to you. While I completely understand the desire to not mess with a 2 card system if it is working right - for new installs you should make them give you an M-Card, as it is stupid to pay them for two cards when you only need one.

    I am in the Wash. DC metro area and got an M-Card three weeks ago. Don't let them jerk you around!
     
  6. cnsteph

    cnsteph New Member

    1
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    Mar 16, 2009
    Okay, I read through the first 8 pages of this thread then my adhd kicked in. So whats the verdict: can Verizon FiOS and Tivo HD work well together?
    Which Tivo should I get?
    What equipment do I need (saw a few posts about the Multi cable card)?
    Can someone do a summary for me, please?
     
  7. sinanju

    sinanju Member

    654
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Usually.

    Whichever suits your requirements and budget. The question is unrelated to FiOS -- assuming we're talking about the TiVo HD vs HD XL... that is the forum we're in. A Series 2 Dual Tuner would be a different story.


    A TiVo HD will require one multistream CableCARD or two single stream cards. Since Verizon charges $3.99 each for them, you'll want to try to get the former.
     
  8. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

    8,950
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    Aug 25, 2001
    Florida
    I have a quick question. My friend is looking to switch to Fios from Directv and as a result got me looking into it. One thing that confused me is when I looked on the Verizon site for price options I noticed they mentioned Tuning Adaptors for 4.99 but no option for cable cards only.

    Is Fios now requiring tuning adaptors to get all the channels similar to how it appears other companies are requiring it? Or is this just for analog equipment?
     
  9. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,368
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    Aug 2, 2003
    Verizon does not have tuning adaptors. What you're seeing is the "digital adaptor", which is simply a low-end cable box, with no guide or VOD. (The only on-screen displays are the channel number and the debugging menus.) They call it an adaptor because it provides analog-equivalent functionality, I guess, and they were handing them out for free to customers who signed up back when Fios offered analog service.

    And no, they don't have CableCards on their site. You can only order them by phone. It sucks. I might even call it sleazy. But I wouldn't let it deter me from signing up. :)
     
  10. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

    8,950
    3
    Aug 25, 2001
    Florida
    Of course in this case it costs you $60 dollars since you lose the discount for ordering online.
     
  11. sinanju

    sinanju Member

    654
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    Jan 3, 2005
    You can negotiate that back. In fact, you can negotiate the price of the cards, too. Since any "deal closer" agreements can only be posted to your bill in $10 increments, they're actually paying me to take the cards.
     
  12. sweez

    sweez New Member

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    Jul 22, 2004
    I'm thinking of jumping in with a Tivo HD and FIOS. I live in NYC/Manhattan and FIOS just came to my area. Any successful and hassle-free installations with Mcards in the NYC area?

    I can wait for the installation kinks to be worked out. I dont want to deal with clueless technicians and long customer support calls to order Mcards.
     
  13. NYHeel

    NYHeel Active Member

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    Oct 7, 2003
    What I did was order online with set top boxes and then called to change the order to cable cards. The order is currently showing cablecards. I'll let you know how it goes after next Friday when I have my installation. I already have Fios internet. I didn't try to negotiate anything extra but I did get a $30 first month statement credit which was part of the deal. Could be only for current Fios internet customers.
     
  14. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

    8,950
    3
    Aug 25, 2001
    Florida
    yeah I see the 150 cash back and $30 off along with the $5 a month deal when I check my bundle options. Ugh this decision is driving me nuts. Its funny I went through this same thing when I switched to DTV. I found the 100 hour DTivos at the time for clearance at Sound Advice. I bought them and jumped from cable with series 2 to DTV. Of course it was a bigger jump 80 hours to 100 and single tuner to dual tuners. Now the jump isn't so big.

    - Decrease in space since all of my Dtivos have 500gb drives and I only record SD. Obviously I could upgrade the drives but I would void warranty versus DTV where I had the protection plan for the two times I couldn't repair the units.
    -Tivo fees will result in either no change in what I pay now or actually cost more since I pay 85 and 150 versus 175 or so plus Tivo subscriptions.
    -Spoiled by having 4 boxes I can't imagine dropping to less.
    -Need to build a server or buy one, which I need to do anyway for backups, to store Tivo shows freeing up space without needing to upgrade.
    -initial cost of Tivos when I may get an even better deal through DTV when the new Tivos come out, of course many of the same issues apply since no details yet on the new box. Also I wouldn't have to upgrade all at once.
    -the biggest probably I don't even have a HD set.
     
  15. mae

    mae member

    245
    1
    Dec 10, 2001
    USA
    I had my install yesterday, and it went very well.

    Installation window was 8-12, and tech called about 8:45 and said he would be out at about 9:30. Arrived on that schedule, did a walk through of the job (phone switch from copper, CableCard for TiVo, one HD box, 1 SD box, 2 digital adapters, and their router). The tech had 11 years with VZ, and has been doing FIOS installs since the rollout. He had an M-Card and said that is all he has seen for the past few months. He installed the ONT, provisioned it, and connected it to the phone NID and the existing COAX coming from the Comcast grounding block. The main feed went to a 2 GHz 4-way splitter which he left in place. He had an automated field strength meter that he used to test all 4 runs and found them in spec, even the 28 year old RG59 run to the bedroom. He connected up the router and STBs, attached his laptop to the router and activated the boxes and CableCard. The CableCard activation screen gave him a countdown of about 15 minutes and at the end, we checked the TiVo and all channels (SD, HD, Premium) were coming in fine. The wireless adapter found the new router, I re-ran guided set up and after another 45 minutes or so everything was set, including changes to the Season Passes.

    So far, no pixelation, and signal strengths on the TiVo range from 87 to 100 percent, with SNRs running from 35 to 37 db. The lower signal strengths can be attributed to the 4-way split in the basement and the 2-way at the TV. The ONT was newer model, an Alcatel (a little smaller than others I've seen), which the tech said was using a newer fiber protocol (for greater future bandwidth). This may also have had some effect on the overload issue. My variable attenuator is still in the package.

    One final note on the router. It is an Actiontec, rev D which was flashed with the newest firmware by the installer. In some parts of the country, they are using either the Rev E or a Westell. Despite all of the issues I read about online, it seems fine and gives as good a signal around the house as my Linksys with a gain antenna. So at least for now, I'm using it for wireless. I have a NIM 100 from E-Bay, and at some point I'll try replacing the TiVo's wireless adapter.

    So the fears about OCD installers wanting to rewire everything, the Actiontech router and pixelation were (so far at least) unfounded. I'll wait a few more days to be sure everything is stable, and head over to "Comcast Town" to turn in my equipment and tell them I'm moving out.

    OK Rich, you're next!:D
     
  16. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

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    Jan 6, 2000
    New York
    Does this ONT also have an Ethernet jack if you didn't want to use MoCA for the internet?

    Thanks!
     
  17. dresden69

    dresden69 New Member

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Yes... the ONT has an Ethernet port on it, you have to ask the tech to run Ethernet cable and not use Coax... a lot of techs are using Coax because it eases their install times... and when you are given 4 or 5 jobs a day... any 'shortcuts' are taken... So if you want Ethernet... make sure you ask for it...

    Or you could take your Actiontec (Or Westtell in the West) and bridge it... there is an awesome document on how to do it on another website called dslreports.com under the FIOS section. This way you could use any router you wanted, just passing the ip address through the actiontec or westtell...
     
  18. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

    2,119
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    Jan 6, 2000
    New York

    I already have the Ethernet in place ;) I'm just waiting for Verizon to light up the building. Do you have the same ONT as mae?

    Edit: My main concern is that they don't remove the Ethernet port form the newer ONTs. If mae would confirm this for me, I would appreciate it.
     
  19. dresden69

    dresden69 New Member

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    Mar 20, 2009
    I have heard nothing about redesigning the ONT... I think that Verizon has finally gotten a stable ONT, that redesigning it now, would be a bad move... and I believe I have a 612 on the side of my house...

    P.S - The tech is going to love that you have the Ethernet in place... :)
     
  20. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    D'oh! The pressure! :eek: :D
     

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