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Series 3 Verizon FIOS HD compat?

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

  1. Jun 8, 2009 #1641 of 2214
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    When you add a new CableCard to your service, there is no charge for the installation visit, even if you have other cards swapped out at the same time. I don't know if the charge applies for those that want to swap out and remove S-CARDs.

    I have heard that the CableCard rates increase from $2.99/mo (legacy pricing) to $3.99/ea when you swap out cards.
     
  2. Jun 8, 2009 #1642 of 2214
    webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    I'm already paying $3.99 per card ($7.98 total). I got my cards about 2 weeks after the price change in March 2008. If I feel up to the hassle, I may look into this.
     
  3. Jun 9, 2009 #1643 of 2214
    tornZorak

    tornZorak New Member

    4
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    Apr 17, 2004
    Hi Folks,
    After reading tons in this thread I had Verizon over to upgrade an existing double play (with DirectTv/HDRV2) to a triple play (Tivo HD XL). Lots of good advice lead to a relatively easy installation. There were a few snags mostly due to the tech not knowing what to do. I thought I would summarize what happened so that others in the Boston area can be armed with that knowledge.

    Ordering: as mentioned by multiple folks the rep who took my order insisting and even "verified" that Verizon only has single-stream cable cards. This resulted in 4 cards being added to my order. The tech said that they only carry multi-stream cards now no matter what the order says. Interestingly the techs are not permitted to carry cable cards - the supervisor controls the stock and gives out the cards on the day of installation. This lead to the tech needing to wait for his supervisor in order to get the cards for my job.

    After a bit of wiring we were ready for activation. I was getting two Tivo HD and one cable box installed. In case anyone cares he installed one 2 line splitter to handle the Verizon MoCA router and another 4 line splitter to handle the remaining Tivo's, etc. The MoCA router was connected to my regular home router via its LAN port. This means I am NOT using the verizon router for internet access in my house (I have a Cisco business class router for that). This works just fine - the tech will be very clueless about if it will work or not. Note that the Verizon router will be invisible to your home network since it is connected as if it was connected to the internet (firewall, etc). Do not connect your Tivo's to this router.

    The tech has a tool called TechWizard that seems to auto discover the Verizon cable boxes and automatically activates them. It appears that the cable box did contain a cable card. This seems to make activation of these cable boxes really trivial for the tech. However it does not see the Tivo boxes so this confused the tech. Also note that the TechWizard tool will complain that the Verizon router appears to be behind a firewall resulting in an unsupported configuration. I was sweating a bit here because I did not want to have to reconfigure my entire network (especially DHCP/DNS) just to get their router to be supported. However the tech was okay clicking on the Ok continue anyway button. We spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get the TechWizard tool to see the Tivo's - bottom line is it doesn't. At this point the tech mentioned that their is another way to activate cable cards (why didn't you mention this earlier! :) So he finished activating the router and cable box and we moved on.

    To activate the Tivo cable cards he needed to use his laptop to VPN into Verizon and connect to a special cable card web screen that allows him to enter the information. Most of it was fairly straight forward - serial number , host id, data. However the screen was asking for "POD-ID" which he did not know what it was. However based upon the pattern of numbers it wanted (we entered zeros to see this) we realized it was the Cable Card ID. Once entered both Tivos activated quickly and we were good to go.

    It did take a further 10 minutes for the Tivo's to load data. Please note that I had run guided setup the night before on both Tivo's so that they already had guide data, etc. I'm guessing they needed data that came down the cable card channel.

    In the end it was actually pretty trivial to setup the cable cards. The only complication was the tech didn't know what to do. It probably should have taken 90 minutes to do everything but it ended up taking 3.5 hours.

    BTW - I have not had any real trouble with pixelation. Only 2 channels have had it (GSN and one other). I noted that the Tivo showed wide signal strength fluctuation on these two channels (not on other channels). One of the 4 taps on the 4-port splitter had nothing connected to it so I added a terminator. This eliminated the fluctuating signals and almost all of the pixelation. Also note that everything appears hot (rarely does a channel have under 100 for signal strength). However this does not appear to be causing any harm.

    Summary:
    - Verizon router does not need to be your primary router. It works fine as a secondary router for TV only (remember to shut off it's wireless).
    - The TechWizard application cannot be used to activate the Tivo's
    - The tech needs to use the old style cable card setup tools (web)
    - A Pod ID is the cable card Host ID

    Moving from SD DirectTv to FiOS Extreme HD is amazing. While I realized I was not watching a good quality signal I have to confess I didn't realize just how terrible it was. Once the MRV speed of the Tivo HD was fixed I was ready to move off my old HDVR2 Tivo's (which had all kinds of goodies in it that I didn't want to loose).

    Thanks for all the nuggets of information in this thread. It helped quite a bit in ensuring that I knew the right questions and could help the tech puzzle out the bits he didn't know/understand.
     
  4. Jun 9, 2009 #1644 of 2214
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Nice post with lots of good info. Thanks for that. :up:
     
  5. Jun 9, 2009 #1645 of 2214
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

    8,950
    3
    Aug 25, 2001
    Florida
    I think I may do the same thing here shortly. I think one of my big dilemmas is the Dtivos have been rock solid for me so I hate to fix what isn't broken. Not that the Tivo HD models are completely buggy but they seem to have more issues pop up at least on the forums. Of course that also comes with new software. Good to hear the install went smoothly though.

    Were you able to use your existing Directv runs or did they have to run new lines for you? I have heard some issues with older Directv lines not being up to the standard of cable Fios needs
     
  6. Jun 9, 2009 #1646 of 2214
    tornZorak

    tornZorak New Member

    4
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    Apr 17, 2004
    Oddly about a year ago I had one of the Dtivos start to have severe pixelation on one of the tuners. I swapped out everything downstream of the Dtivo and it didn't improve - that means the tuner went bad. So I bought one off Ebay and life was good.

    About three weeks ago my other Dtivo started having the same problem. Ugh. I decided I didn't want to go through yet another Ebay, get access card, etc experience. Perhaps it was time to really upgrade :)

    I really thought hard about buying the HD versus the HD XL. Huge price difference. However I couldn't have lived with the HD harddisk size so it would have been extra money to add more hard disks externally. The real decision was I was unwilling to crack open the case and do a proper upgrade because I didn't want to violate my warranty 1 day into ownership. Fortunately Amazon had/has really decent pricing on the XL so I ended up getting 2 of those.

    They immediately updated to 11.0c and they've been rock solid. Granted they've only been running 2 weeks... but still absolutely no problems. Every bit as stable as the Dtivos were. The only minor nits are there are many more options on the screens so they are more cluttered and there are a few adds that I find offensive due to the fact that I pay for service.

    However the nits are ignored due to Netflix support - brilliant! The quality is quite good and FiOS internet makes for a rock solid experience (streaming performance). Even the HD movies are perfect.

    Well I installed my previous DirectTv installation (dish, wiring, etc). As such I used RG6U-QuadShield on all wiring with home runs to a wiring panel in the basement. I believe this is what Verizon normally uses so they were able to reuse all of my wiring.

    As long as you have decent wiring (RG6) you should be okay. Not sure if you'll have problems with RG59 especially if the runs are long. What kind of wiring do you currently have (it's printed on the cable)? How long are the runs (10', 75' 150')?
     
  7. bankshot

    bankshot New Member

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    May 28, 2009
    We had FiOS installed here in southern California this past week, with a VERY similar experience to yours. Right down to Verizon insisting over the phone that they only have single-stream cards, but in reality the techs bringing multi-stream cards (yay).

    We received our TiVo HD XL from Amazon.com a few days before FiOS installation and initially set it up for OTA. I made sure I forced it to update to the latest software so everything would be ready for the FiOS. It's our first TiVo after having used (or endured) two different DVRs from Time Warner Cable. I'll try to post general impressions of that separately after another week or two of use, but so far we're pretty impressed and excited.

    In preparation for the FiOS install, I ran a Cat5e cable from my networking closet out to where the ONT would be installed. I wanted the flexibility of being able to use my own router as primary if I didn't like the one provided by Verizon. The tech was happy to connect the ONT via the Cat5e, though he did seem a little bit confused as to why I wanted it that way.

    For the most part, I tried to stay out of the tech's way as he installed everything. We had the ONT installed outside, on the side of the house where electricity and POTS come in. The battery backup went inside the house on the other side of that wall, at the back of a high shelf in the kitchen where it could be easily hidden from view.

    About 2 hours into the installation, he had the phone up and running on the fiber and was ready to move on to TV and internet. The Westell router was setup in my network closet, using the Cat5e from the ONT and the existing RG6 that was previously hooked up to my cable modem. After hooking up the router to my own network, internet was up and running.

    For the cablecard install, he had to get a second tech to bring the card(s) because he didn't have any on his truck. They were planning to install 2 cards in the TiVo because like the people I'd spoken to on the phone, both techs believed they only had S-cards. I handed them the TiVo instruction sheet for cablecards and let them do their thing. They had to plug into my home network for connectivity on their laptop because apparently the cellular signal wasn't good enough here. Good thing I had an extra port wired in the family room!

    Both techs seemed to be somewhat unfamiliar with the cablecard installation/activation process, but they eventually got it working. Both were surprised to see that the TiVo was reporting the first card as multi-stream. After initially trying to install and configure the second card, one of the techs decided to pull it out and try recording 2 channels with only the first card. That worked, confirming that they did indeed have M-cards. We're happy to save the $3.99/month on the second card.

    Overall things went pretty smoothly, though it did take the quoted 4-6 hours when all was said and done. No issues with picture quality or with receiving any channels in these first 6 days or so. We're quite happy with the service so far, and the simultaneous switch from the Time Warner DVR to the TiVo has been fantastic as well.

    On the internet side of things, I did decide to make my own router the primary router with the Westell sitting inside my network as a Cat5e-to-MOCA bridge. Works great and it saved me the hassle of applying all my custom configurations to the Westell. I will say that it seemed pretty solid from what I saw in its configuration pages, and more than likely it could have worked well as the primary router if I'd taken the time to configure it.

    I, too, want to thank everyone who's shared tidbits of information on this thread and in this forum. I've been soaking up all the information here for several weeks in preparation for this install and the switch to the TiVo.
     
  8. mae

    mae member

    243
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    Dec 10, 2001
    USA
    For those of you considering the big switch, there was an insert in the bill I received today on their next offer (starts Sunday 6/21):

    :)Good news: Free Compaq netbook ($299 value), customer pays tax and shipping

    :mad:Bad News: New rate of $119, $10 more than current offer
    A $50 activation fee
    No 2 year price guarantee

    So, to compare to the current $150 rebate, add $120 for 12 months and the activation fee of $50, it comes to $320 or $20 more for the netbook. There are rumors of an internet speed increase (not mentioned in the insert) and they might waive the $50 activation fee, since they have sometimes mentioned a $35 activation fee they didn't charge me in March. But there's still the lack of the 2 year guarantee, which could add significantly in the second year.

    I've posted the whole insert at BBR, http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22557296-Next-VZ-Offer

    Hope this helps those deciding when/if to pull the trigger. I can say that I've had no problems with Verizon service or billing in the three months since I left Comcast. (I am still trying to get a final bill from Comcast and the ~$5.00 they owe me.;))

    Mark
     
  9. flynz4

    flynz4 New Member

    55
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    Jun 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Rich,

    Since you are on the same network as me (Portland Verizon Fios), I thought I would ask a few questions directly.

    My current setup is 3 Verizon FIOS set top boxes/DVRs which I am replacing. I was too spoiled from my days using Tivo Direct TV boxes. I have been on FIOS for about 18 months, and it has been working great for internet/phone/TV. All three DVRs get their TV signal and network signal over the single coax cable.

    I have ordered, and waiting for a Tivo HD XL, and two Tivo HDs. I am not too sure when they will be arrive, but they should certainly be here by early July... and I would like to schedule an equipment change at that time.

    Here are my questions:

    1) I do not have separate internet drops to each of the 3 locations. I can wire to two of them if necessary... but the third is virtually impossible. I know that I can use the WiFi adapters from Tivo (and I will have them available). Should I use them or should I run hard wired internet connections to two of the Tivos?

    2) Related to #1, is there any way to get the internet signals off of the existing coax runs to the the FIOS DVRs? I assume that the Tivo does not have an internal tap to the internet signal.

    3) How long in advance should I call Verizon for an installation? Is the lead time long enough that I should make an appointment before my equipment arrives?

    4) I believe that you have M Cable cards. Should I request those? If so, will I need 3 or 6 for my three Tivos?

    5) If I hook up my new Tivos by myself before I have cable cards... will I be able to see anything on the FIOS netowrk?

    6) Is there any way to increase my storage of Tivo recordings onto some NAS storage array's that I have on my home network already?

    That's it for now. Thanks in advance.

    /Jim
     
  10. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

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    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    The WiFi adapter works great for letting a TiVo HD download its guide info. However, in my case my wireless signal level is marginal enough that I can't transfer HD recordings in anything approximating real time between one hard wired TiVo HD and one WiFi TiVo HD.

    Read the sticky messages above for more details about transfer speed. If fast program transfer is important to you, the WiFi might not be good enough.

    There are MoCA adapters which can get Internet over coax, provided you have things set up properly. Here is a thread discussing that. The NIM100 is now hard to get, but there are other brands available (you will have to do further research on your own; I don't personally use MoCA and don't have detailed knowledge).

    Using something like a NIM100 you don't even need a diplexer to tap the signal. The NIM100 has a coax pass thru, so all you would need to do is wire it in series between the coax wall outlet and your TiVo HD.
     
  11. flynz4

    flynz4 New Member

    55
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    Jun 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Phantom Gremlin,

    I was just coming back here to post an update after reading for many hours on this forum and saw that you have already replied. Thank you.

    I indeed came to the same conclusion that a MoCA is the best solution. I called and canceled the orders for my Tivo WiFi adapters, and ordered 3 MoCA adapters instead.

    Now my questions #1 and #2 are answered. Would still love to hear input on the rest.

    /Jim
     
  12. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    You can save a lot of money on MoCA adapters by opting to use the [more power hungry] Actiontec or Westell routers in their place. These can often be had for $20-$30/ea on ebay. I haven't gotten around to updating the FAQ with that information, but instructions are here:

    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/verizonfios/3.0_Networking#15984
     
  13. flynz4

    flynz4 New Member

    55
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    Jun 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I already have the three Motorola NIM100 units on order. I guess I spent a $100 more than necessary... but that is OK, I am still satisfied that I made a good choice over the WiFi adapters.

    BTW: It was your excellent post (TivoHD Overview) that caused me to pick the MoCA.

    /Jim
     
  14. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Sorry for the delay in my response...traveling recently with little time for my real passions. Darn work gets in the way sometimes doesn't it? ;)

    I think you already received good advice from several folks here.

    Same as above.

    I'd call them now. They are busy and IIRC it was at least three weeks before they could come out on a date that I could live with.

    All VZ has is "M" (multi-stream) cable cards now. You will need one for each unit.

    I wasn't clear about what you have now and to be honest I'm not sure but I believe that you would receive all of the basic channels and any digital that are in the clear. I think someone else posted about that?

    Depending on your computer setup you can transfer recordings using TiVo Desktop or some of the other freebie apps. I use Mac's and iTiVo does a very good job...much better than TiVo Desktop at transferring recordings. PyTiVo (or for Mac PyTiVoX) can get them back to your TiVo later. How you store them is your call of course. There's a lot more about transferring recordings, converting them, streaming, etc. on the TiVo Home Media Features and TiVo To Go Forum. The good news is that VZ does not copy protect material. :up:

    For me simply upgrading the hard drive space is easier than transferring recordings back and forth. Since you will have three you could easily make one a "storage" unit for MRV (multi-room viewing). Your TiVo HDXL and a Western Digital My DVR Expander would give you 2TB's of recording space and still keep everything under warranty.

    I have a couple of posts about my VZ FIOS install experience here and here if you want some additional details.

    Enjoy your new TiVos!
     
  15. flynz4

    flynz4 New Member

    55
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    Jun 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Rich,

    We already have Verizon Fios (for about 15 months)... but we have been using their crappy DVRs. Prior to Fios, we had Tivo Direct TV (SD), but switched to Fios once we started buying HD televisions. My wife is so fed up with Verizon DVRs that she was asking to go back to the old vacuum tube SD televisions (with bang-on-the-side intermittent picture display) just to get her Tivo back.

    My three new Tivo units (2 HD, 1 HD XL) will arrive in about a week or so. I am wondering what I will see if I plug them into my existing Fios network without cable cards. My expectation is zilch... but I am not positive. I have scheduled the three multi-stream cable card installation in 2.5 weeks based on my wife's schedule to sit home and wait for "the cable guy" to come and install the cards. I am just wondering if I can switch out the crappy Verizon boxes in advance, and still view anything on Tivo.

    Thanks in advance.

    /Jim
     
  16. warehouse

    warehouse New Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    Just bought two TIVO HDs during the Father's Day sale and I'm already having trouble with Verizon. I tried to order my cable cards on-line on Friday and some guy popped up on chat and tried to help me. Ordered what he told me to and then followed up on my local Verizon service number to ask about returning my STBs. They informed that I had ordered the wrong thing and since it was the weekend, that I would have to wait until today to call the on-line support to have them fix it. They also insisted that a service tech would have to come out to the house.

    Called on-line support today and they canceled the old order and placed a new order for the cable cards. They told me that I could either have a tech come out for $80 or they would mail me the cards. I told them to mail them to me. Now I'm a little worried that this will all work out. My specific concerns are:

    1. Will they actually mail me the cards and if so, will I be able to pair/activate them myself by calling tech support? I checked my account on line and it doesn't show any pending orders.
    2. Will they send me m-cards or s-cards? I've told each person that I want m-cards?
    3. How many more hours I will have to spend on hold with Verizon?

    Any advice from you experts would be greatly appreciated!
     
  17. sender_name

    sender_name I remember XM 202!

    227
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    Feb 11, 2005
    Northboro Ma

    Correct...zilch...It's not like cable...Fios tv requires something to decode it, like the cable cards.
     
  18. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    0
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Verizon's order system only lists CableCards. They can't specify a particular card type. But if you order a CableCard, you will get a M-CARD.

    Verizon no longer has anything but M-CARDs in any service area. Verizon hasn't offered S-Cards in any service area for months. Most service areas haven't had S-CARDs since last fall. Unfortunately, the reps on the phone are not educated as to this fact. Many still think that Verizon only offers S-CARDs which is outdated information.

    Verizon will not ship CableCards under any circumstances, nor do they allow self installs. Unfortunately, this is not clear at all in Verizon's order system; to the representative, it looks like they can place a shipment order just as they can for the Motorola STBs and DVRs. But any such shipment order for CableCards will never complete. CableCards always require a truck roll, no matter what the sales rep told you on the phone.

    The $79.99 "truck roll" charge is is meant to encourage customers to accept equipment by mail and discourage users from demanding a truck roll. As of April, the truck roll for CableCards is supposed to be free because the shipment option is not available; Verizon requires a technician to install them. Call the sales department and escalate (ask for a supervisor), then mention that fact. Reiterate that you are entirely comfortable installing the cards yourself, but that Verizon refuses to ship them to you.
     
  19. hansenc

    hansenc New Member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    I'm fighting with FiOS now about Cable Cards, called last night and ordered 4 cards and told they would ship. However I didn't receive an order number so I called back today to get that, I was then told that they are required to roll a tech out to do the install and that I would get this wonderful "fee" i told them that was crap and asked for a supervisor. She then told me that yes they can ship out the cards and they can be activated over the phone and I was even given the number to call to directly activate them. I'm not sure what to think after reading your post so I might call back later.
     
  20. hansenc

    hansenc New Member

    4
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    Jun 23, 2009
    So looks as if I do have a tech coming out on the first to do the cable cards, was told the fee is waved. Now I just hope my Tivo's come before the tech lol.
     

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