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Old 10-08-2006, 03:33 PM   #91
Beetlejuice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv
Channel numbers <50 on FiOS are analog and the quality is not particularly good.

You will want to remove all channel numbers <50 from the guide and use the digital versions of the locals in the 800s.
This is true... but there are a couple of annoyances that can occur when it comes to that solution. That's not really a fix, but merely a work-around. Hopefully a temporary one.

1. In the event that a local channel broadcasts a program in letterboxed 780p 4x3, the picture on my nice 48" plasma shows up as a little bity picture with letterbox and side panels. My monitor has no adjustment for this when vewing 780p. This is annoying. With a clear SD signal, my TV can go into Widescreen mode and chop the letterbox and side panels, allowing the full 48" screen to be used. Maybe if I had a later model TV this wouldn't be a problem, but that ain't happenin' for some time.

2. Also, If I want to record a 780p program with side panels onto a VCR or standard DVD, the picture is downconverted ok and will record, but.... when this is played back on a standard TV the picture, with side panels, is squeezed into a 4x3 ratio making everything look tall and thin. The SD channel doesn't have this problem.

3. And last but not least, I don't enjoy paying money for something that doesn't work the way it is supposed to. I have faith that this will be rectified and in the meantime will use my S1 Tivo to record things that I might potentially want to record or view as a full-screen.

But thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:30 PM   #92
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1. In the event that a local channel broadcasts a program in letterboxed 780p 4x3, the picture on my nice 48" plasma shows up as a little bity picture with letterbox and side panels. My monitor has no adjustment for this when vewing 780p. This is annoying. With a clear SD signal, my TV can go into Widescreen mode and chop the letterbox and side panels, allowing the full 48" screen to be used. Maybe if I had a later model TV this wouldn't be a problem, but that ain't happenin' for some time.
Tivo really needs to provide the option to crop off the side bars and zoom letterbox content broadcast on the HD channels. The SA8300HD already does that, so I'm not sure why Tivo didn't include that capability.
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Old 10-08-2006, 05:23 PM   #93
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That would be nice. But I think ideally, if replacing the ONT doesn't fix the local SD interference(or other) problem, the Tivo engineers should get with the Verizon engineers and find out what's going on. From what I've seen here, this doesn't seem like an isolated incident. I hope Verizon will change the ONT as recommended. If they do, I will certainly let you guys know.

And just for record, I used the Tivo cable input signal level check to make sure that it wasn't just due to a low level signal. It's running at 98%. It doesn't get much stronger than that.

And also for the record, so far Verizon has been very willing to help and has not passed the buck or pointed any fingers. The installer that came to the house was very thorough as well as patient waiting for me to install the cable cards and go through the guided setup.

I wish I had a cable card TV to see if the same local SD problem happens on the TV and not just on the Tivo. Hmmmm!
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:41 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv
Tivo really needs to provide the option to crop off the side bars and zoom letterbox content broadcast on the HD channels. The SA8300HD already does that, so I'm not sure why Tivo didn't include that capability.

Doesn't the Tivo Aspect -> zoom do this?

I don't have an S3, but the manual sounds like this is the correct function.


Al
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:41 PM   #95
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Doesn't the Tivo Aspect -> zoom do this?

I don't have an S3, but the manual sounds like this is the correct function.
The S3's aspect modes only work on SD channels. The aspect modes will zoom letterboxed SD content to fill the screen, but not the [relatively rare] letterboxed SD content that is upconverted to HD.
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:25 PM   #96
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A hi-def set top box that doesn't do hi-def aspect ratio?

Is this assumed to be a permanent restriction?

Al
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:39 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beetlejuice
The recepeption on all of the verizon provided local SD channels on cable are crap. When the channel is changed to the local SC cable channel, it looks great for about 5 seconds and then starts pixelating and dropping audio really bad. This is on every local cable channel. The only "locals" that come in clear are channel 6 which is WGN and any cable only provided local access info channels with no OTA transmission. Of course WGN does not have an OTA channel in Texas either. This is very odd because EVERY verizon cable channel above 30 comes in crystal clear with no interference whatsoever. I think the cable cards are working fine. If they were "bad", then I really think I would be having problems on other cable only channels. But this only happens on the S3 with CCs. The Vz STB going into a S1 Tivo does not have this problem.
You have my sympathy. I have around 15 channels that are crap. Just so happens that two of them have shows my wife watches on a regular basis.

If you have a case number from your call with Verizon, could you please PM it to me so my tech appointment on Tuesday could reference it if replacing my CableCards doesn't fix my problem?

I also have one of the old ONTs. I've had Fios Internet since March 2005.
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:54 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by musicforme
If you have a case number from your call with Verizon, could you please PM it to me so my tech appointment on Tuesday could reference it if replacing my CableCards doesn't fix my problem?
No, unfortunately I don't have a case number. I didn't call it in. Well, not yet anyway. This was all a verbal transaction between me and the installer who had the 2nd level support on the phone. He said he was going to submit that order based on the recommendation. He was already above and beyond the call of duty. It was 7PM and he was on his own time and not getting paid. A real trooper.. I'm going to call in and report this officially tomorrow or Tuesday and report what happened... just to make sure that there is a paper trail. Well, a virtual paper trail anyway. :-)

I promise to keep you updated. Let us know if the CC replacements do anything. I don't think it's the cards but , hey, you never know.

Last edited by Beetlejuice : 10-08-2006 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 10-08-2006, 11:14 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Beetlejuice
I promise to keep you updated. Let us know if the CC replacements do anything. I don't think it's the cards but , hey, you never know.
I doubt it is the cards too. One of them worked just fine in my tv and the crap channels worked just fine. We tried using that "good" one in the Tivo and the crap channels were still crap.

I'll definately post here on Tuesday with the results of the tech's visit.
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:28 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv
The S3's aspect modes only work on SD channels. The aspect modes will zoom letterboxed SD content to fill the screen, but not the [relatively rare] letterboxed SD content that is upconverted to HD.
Actually, if you set the TV type to 4:3, then the aspect stretch modes will work during HD broadcasts.

Since several of the local OTA channels here broadcast 4:3 content with sidebars, I keep my Tivo set to 4:3 all the time so that I can cycle throught the stretch modes when necessary. On my set during true 16:9 HD broadcasts there is so very little difference between what the TIVO puts out in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, that it is not worth switching it all the time.

The Samsung SIR-T151 that the Tivo replaced does the exact same thing, only will stretch when in 4:3 mode.
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Old 10-09-2006, 10:15 AM   #101
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Does that really accomplish the same thing?

Is there a descrete code for 16:9 to 4:3 swap?

So, this sounds like the hardware is capable, but the software restricts zoom on HD in 16:9 mode.

Is there anyone with contacts within Tivo that could ask if they are planning on removing this restriction in a future software release?

Al
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:28 PM   #102
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If anyone was waiting to hear the results of my tech appointment today, I had to reschedule it to this Friday. I had some stuff come up at work and today wasn't a good day for me to be out of the office.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:04 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by snathanb
Actually, if you set the TV type to 4:3, then the aspect stretch modes will work during HD broadcasts.

Since several of the local OTA channels here broadcast 4:3 content with sidebars, I keep my Tivo set to 4:3 all the time so that I can cycle throught the stretch modes when necessary. On my set during true 16:9 HD broadcasts there is so very little difference between what the TIVO puts out in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, that it is not worth switching it all the time.
I tried that. EXCELLENT!! Using the 4x3 setting for a nice wide screen TV defies all logic, but it works. I compared the difference while watching the live Today show this morning which is now in 1080i HD. I couldn't tell one single bit of difference in the quality. And, like you say, the aspect ration button works with this setup. But when you think about it, the quality really shouldn't be any different. The setting is only for the aspect ratio, not the resolution. So, I'm sold. Thanks for the tip.

Tivo... this should be in the user manual. The AR button is talked about in general but this scenario should be included.
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Old 10-12-2006, 06:05 PM   #104
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So how did your installation go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evlg
Just ordered FIOS TV to go with my new Series 3 that I picked up today at the Fry's in Plano, TX

The order on the phone went very smooth. I told the CSR that I wanted 2 Cablecards and 1 STB for the other room and she was very helpful. She did give the speech about VOD and Guide Data, but didn't try to pressure me or anything.

Scheduled for install next Wednesday, can't wait!

For now I have the TiVo hooked up to an antenna for OTA recording, but the reception here isn't very good for all the locals. Getting all the channels in HD will be really excellent.
Is no news, good news? I am sure that you did not get the same tech as I did because he acted like he never wanted to do it again, but I told him that now he knew how to do it and it wouldn't take him as long.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:50 PM   #105
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Well, the short story is that I'm still getting crap on the same signals.

The tech from Verizon had zero experience with CableCards which didn't surprise me. He took a new coax cable plugged it into the outlet behind my tv and into his tester. The signal tested out fine, so one possible cause was eliminated.

He then proceeded to run that same coax cable to my tv and tried out both CableCards in it. All the channels that were crap on the Tivo were clear as could be.

At this point he said that everything that Verizon had to provide was functional, but he was willing to hang around while I called Tivo tech support. The lady on the phone was adament that if it were a Tivo problem that if one channel didn't work, then none of them would. We explained to her that we verified that both CCs worked in my Tv. She asked to check the signal level and it bounced from the mid-80s to the low 90s.

We then proceeded to try a different HDMI cable and try a component cable to remove those as possibilities. No change, still crap on the same channels. At this point the Verizon guy said that he thought it was the Tivo and that he needed to leave. I didn't disagree with him and was thinking the same thing.

Once he left, the tech at Tivo asked me to reboot my S3. I pulled the power cable per her instructions and got the screen that the system was being updated, so that added some time to the reboot.

Once it came back up we checked the crap channels, and they were still crap. At this point she asked if it were possible to run a coax directly from the side of my house to the Tivo to be sure it wasn't a signal issue. I informed her that I have Fios and it wasn't going to get any clearer and what she was asking for wasn't possible.

She then started to state that the Tivo uses a small part of the signal which lowers it when you're using the live tv. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it sounds like a bunch of bunk to me. I've always been under the impression when watching live tv, you're watching it from a buffer on the hard drive.

Now that we had exhausted the things to try, the line got pretty quiet. She started to ask when I bought it and where. I told her I bought it at Frys and was pretty sure I was beyond my window to return it, plus I wasn't sure where my receipt it located. After outlining for her everything we had tried, she agreed to exchange my S3.

After sitting on hold for a while for level 2, I finally got a RMA and an ETA of receiving an "advanced exchange" in approx 7 to 10 business days. Once I get the new S3, I'll revisit this thread and let y'all know if those channels work or not.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:25 AM   #106
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Anybody noticing their S3 breaking up slightly on HD channels? When I watch some shows (usually channels 801-810), they sometimes will pixelate/macroblock somewhat, then settle down, then do it again. This can last entire shows. It's never the entire picture, just parts of it. Sometimes it actually loses audio when it's doing this.

I've never noticed it on channels 811+, and I don't think it's happened on any SD channels. It also doesn't do it all the time.

I've swapped tuners during a show where it was happening and it continued. My signal strength was usually 100, so I tried putting a 9db attenuator (a 3db and a 6db) before the Tivo. That dropped the signal strength to around 96 or 97, but it still did it.

I'm wondering if others have seen this or if it's a problem with my TV line or my S3.

Last edited by TexasAg : 10-17-2006 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:56 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasAg
Anybody noticing their S3 breaking up slightly on HD channels? When I watch some shows (usually channels 801-810), they sometimes will pixelate/macroblock somewhat, then settle down, then do it again. This can last entire shows. It's never the entire picture, just parts of it. Sometimes it actually loses audio when it's doing this.

I've never noticed it on channels 811+, and I don't think it's happened on any SD channels. It also doesn't do it all the time.

I've swapped tuners during a show where it was happening and it continued. My signal strength was usually 100, so I tried putting a 9db attenuator (a 3db and a 6db) before the Tivo. That dropped the signal strength to around 96 or 97, but it still did it.

I'm wondering if others have seen this or if it's a problem with my TV line or my S3.

I saw this periodically on a couple of the football games over the weekend. I'm in Plano. I don't have the S3 yet and have a Moto CableCard in my Mitsu TV.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:25 PM   #108
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I saw it on the Cowboys game on Sunday. I've also seen it on Law & Order (NBC) and Without a Trace (TNT). Glad to know it might not be the S3 or CableCards.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:40 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasAg
I saw it on the Cowboys game on Sunday. I've also seen it on Law & Order (NBC) and Without a Trace (TNT). Glad to know it might not be the S3 or CableCards.
I had the same problem from time to time prior to owning my S3 or CableCards. Welcome to part of the fun of digital transmissions.
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:57 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by musicforme
She then started to state that the Tivo uses a small part of the signal which lowers it when you're using the live tv. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it sounds like a bunch of bunk to me. I've always been under the impression when watching live tv, you're watching it from a buffer on the hard drive.

After sitting on hold for a while for level 2, I finally got a RMA and an ETA of receiving an "advanced exchange" in approx 7 to 10 business days. Once I get the new S3, I'll revisit this thread and let y'all know if those channels work or not.
You are correct. Live TV is buffered from the hard drive. If it weren't you wouldn't be able to pause "live TV".

Last week I promised to let you all know how my S3 box replacement went. To recap, the S3 was getting severe pixelation on the local only cable channels. Only the channels that have an associated OTA channel in the area. The local cable channels that are public access, and the WGN-Chicago station which appears on local cable channel 6, did not pixelate at all. This was happening on both cable card slots with both cable cards. Swapping CC did not help. So, at this point it was impossible to determine if it was the S3 or Verizon. All of the higher cable channels including the HD worked fine. The OTA HD channels also are fine.

Well, I got the replacement S3 set up, and for a short while it looked like the pixelating channels were unchanged. However, after the box warmed up a bit and I got the setup completed, there was a change. Slot 1 CC was working perfectly with no pixelation. Slot 2 still has the severe pixelation. I swapped the cable cards, one at a time of course, and the pixelation problem stayed with the slot 2. I swapped them back to be sure, and again, slot 2 is the culprit on the new box. So, I know for certain that the problem is in the S3 box, and it is not a Verizon or CC problem. Now, if I can find an S3 box where both slots are working perfectly.

Last edited by Beetlejuice : 10-18-2006 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:08 PM   #111
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Well, I got the replacement S3 set up, and for a short while it looked like the pixelating channels were unchanged. However, after the box warmed up a bit and I got the setup completed, there was a change. Slot 1 CC was working perfectly with no pixelation. Slot 2 still has the severe pixelation. I swapped the cable cards, one at a time of course, and the pixelation problem stayed with the slot 2. I swapped them back to be sure, and again, slot 2 is the culprit on the new box. So, I know for certain that the problem is in the S3 box, and it is not a Verizon or CC problem. Now, if I can find an S3 box where both slots are working perfectly.
Well, I may have been a bit premature. Slot 1 of the replacement S3 box has been working great for the last day and a half. Now it has broken down and is pixelating again just like Slot 2. I still think it's the box based on the troubleshooting I did earlier and swapping cards. At the time the problem definitely followed the slots and nothing else. But it didn't start up until a little while ago when I was trying out some fast forwarding, rewinding and changing channels. Who knows what the trouble is. I'm getting tired of this.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:12 PM   #112
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Have you checked your HD signal strength for the local/OTA-equiv channels on your cable/FIOS feed?
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:35 PM   #113
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Have you checked your HD signal strength for the local/OTA-equiv channels on your cable/FIOS feed?
Yes. 97% on cable and OTA.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:37 PM   #114
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Well, crapola.

I received my replacement S3 today. The same channels are having the same problems. I can't recall if the Golf channel was this fubar'd on the old one, but it is horrible on the new Tivo.

I'm watching the signal strength bounce around like a rubber ball on the crap channels. It goes from the mid 80s to the low 90s, sometimes losing the signal. The good channels are at 99 to 100 all the time.

I'm not a cable expert by any imagination. Is there any chance that the splitter in my attic could be my problem? I'm not well versed in this stuff, and I'm scrambling to find the problem. I'd hate to have to switch back to Comcast and lose all the high def channels. My wife is a golf NUT and not being able to watch the Golf channel is not an option in our house.

Looks like I'm in for another phone call to Verizon to ask more specific questions about the tests they can run. What kills me is that the CableCard works like a champ in my tv, but not in my Tivo.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:29 PM   #115
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Well, crapola.

Looks like I'm in for another phone call to Verizon to ask more specific questions about the tests they can run. What kills me is that the CableCard works like a champ in my tv, but not in my Tivo.
I think I will call Verizon too. Since I replaced the box, the ONT seems like the only thing left. I've got nothing to lose.... but the problem. It's strange that we are in the same North Texas area and have the same problem but on different channels.

And to answer your question... yes, a bad splitter, cable, or ground can cause all kinds of problems. If your cable is good, the ONT might be causing the erratic signal fluctuations. I don't remember if you tried this, but if you haven't already, try running an RG6 cable directly from your ONT to your S3 as a test. 50 feet of cable at Home Depot isn't going to set you back that much and may uncover your wavering signal strength.

I'm curious to know what happens.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:46 AM   #116
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Community specific information is here:

Verizon in the Community

then click on the link for your specific state. They have breaking news and press releases about their rollout, as well as propaganda for communities where they may be struggling to get franchise licenses.
And of significant note is the fact that Verizon's information is pure crap. It is nothing more than Propaganda. They completely misrepresent reality. I'm a member of our Franchise Authority and have attempted to get Verizon to talk to us for over a year. They refuse. They are banking on political contributions to our elected officials and an uneducated public to allow changes to occur which would eliminate the requirement for them to even have such agreements. The effect is nothing more than horrible for the consumer.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:51 AM   #117
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This may be true in MD and in other states, but not in Texas.

Texas passed a law earlier in the year for a state wide franchise agreement. Verizon and AT&T (formally SWB) can both offer television service as long as they honor existing franchise agreements with the individual cities.
Good luck to you in TX. That's the worst possible thing that can happen. Your consumers just lost a lot of rights - and leverage. It has nothing to do with Franchise fees, either. BTW, a few points that have not affected you yet but most certainly will.

1) They only need to honor the existing agreements until the expiration of such agreements.

2) All Cable MSOs also now get the same freedoms as do Verizon and ATT. That means that they can now decide to not provide service to any part of any community - or charge higher maintenance costs (very very high) for those "less dense" or "less affluent" communities. The provision allows them to "cherry pick".

3) Texas has absolutely no capability to monitor or manage service levels, meaning that there will be no oversight whatsoever for service now. For ANY TV service.


Your law effectively sets you back to how cable was in the 1980s, prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:54 AM   #118
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Both Gov. Corzine and the Senate have finally approved Verizon's NJ state wide franchise. I think rollout is supposed to start Nov/Dec ish. Could have been if NJ gov hadn't done its usual heel dragging. I have been enjoying my FIOS internet for a while now...looking forward to a series 3 and TV.
See my earlier posts. Verizon's great PR campaign and your politicians greed railroaded you. Not your fault, but frankly you never got accurate information about Verizon and Franchise Agreements.

You will absolutely regret that happening. Or to be more specific, your residents in general will regret it happening.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:58 AM   #119
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can you post some links to what you are referring to? i would like to get more information on the dark side of state wide franchise. thxs.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:58 AM   #120
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TiVo is selling a product/service that threaten revenue streams (VOD etc) for the cable companies. It is no surprise to me that the MSOs are reluctant to support the CableCARD. TiVo still has a right to sell product into that environment.
But frankly it is also understandable that they should not have to dedicate a high number of resources for what is certainly a small niche market. There are very few cablecard users and very little demand. Their service resources obviously will be focused on the majority of their requriements - which are not cc.

I don't like it, but certainly understand it.
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