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Old 03-07-2008, 10:59 AM   #1
AbMagFab
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Fios TV and MCards - anyone get one yet?

So it's been 6 months since we last talked about this... Anyone seen a FiosTV MCard in the wild yet?

This is getting rediculous, especially with their 7-unit limit (that you can work around, but it's still a pain).
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:18 PM   #2
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Anyone? Buhler?
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:19 PM   #3
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I called last week to have my internet bumped (30/15, woohoo!) and asked about M-Cards. The CSR actually knew what I was talking about and transferred me to an advanced engineering tech who knew what he was talking about. He said in the DC area they still aren't deploying M-Cards but are testing. He said he *thought* they would be deployed this year but had no solid date information.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by edrock200 View Post
I called last week to have my internet bumped (30/15, woohoo!) and asked about M-Cards. The CSR actually knew what I was talking about and transferred me to an advanced engineering tech who knew what he was talking about. He said in the DC area they still aren't deploying M-Cards but are testing. He said he *thought* they would be deployed this year but had no solid date information.

How much did they charge you for the 30/15 tier? I'm currently on the 30/5 tier for $55 until my first year is up in September.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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How much did they charge you for the 30/15 tier? I'm currently on the 30/5 tier for $55 until my first year is up in September.
I made a bunch of changes at once such as disabling premium channels, added cell phones, etc so I'm not sure but I think it was $15 more/month. Also, they claimed to be brining 50/?? speeds soon.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:44 PM   #6
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Hi, I don't post here much (probably my first post, actually), but I just got an m-card yesterday. I'm in the Seattle area.

I placed my order Tuesday and specifically asked the sales rep whether they had multi stream cards. She said she wasn't positive, but was pretty sure that they didn't have them anywhere, since they're "a new technology and they're still working things out." At least she seemed to know what I was talking about.

Anyway, they had a slot open the very next afternoon, so I took it. I already had FiOS internet (w/TV supplied by Comcast), so all they were doing was adding TV service. Interestingly, it appears that from Verizon's standpoint, they set up cablecards as IP devices; the system they use to activate them is completely automated. The installer ran some coax to the Verizon-supplied router (I was using a regular ethernet connection from the ONT to my own router, not using theirs at all), hooked up a laptop to my LAN, and ran some system that tried to initialize the cablecards as though they were a set top box. Since the RF connection to the TivoHD is obviously only one-way, that didn't work, so she had to call in and read off the card IDs so they could initialize things, just like Comcast had originally done when they set it up.

Backing up a little bit, the installers--apparently it's slow at the moment, so they had two people there, so they could learn how to do cablecard installs--plopped two cards down by the THD and said, "here you go; you know how the Tivo works, so go for it." I looked at them, and surprise, surprise, two Motorola M-Cards! I said, "wow, they said they didn't have m-cards! Great; I only need the one." They looked unsure and asked if I knew that for a fact; I said sure, of course, that's the whole point of a multi-stream card--I can run multiple tuners off of a single card.

So, we installed it, got the numbers written down, and now we're back to the activation call. The tech on the other end of the phone says, "no, he needs both of the cards to get both tuners working." She looked at me for confirmation, I shook my head, and she said something like, "well, this customer knows what he's talking about--he knows more about this stuff than I do, and he says he'll only need one." The tech on the other end talked to 4-5 people around him at the office, and none of them knew one way or another, so they decided to trust me.

The tech at the office initialized the card himself and said it could take up to 10 minutes before channels started appearing. It took almost exactly 10 for the THD's DVR Diagnostics screen to indicate that the tuners were both working. To prove to the installers that I only needed the one card, I started recording two shows at once, and they were convinced. So I get to save $3.99/mo now.

I didn't check enough channels before letting them leave; it turned out that I was only getting local stuff. So after dinner, I called the FiOS support and waited for a tech. I explained the issue, and he said the first thing to try would be to reinitialize the card, which he did. After about 10 seconds, I was able to see everything, thanked him for the help, and ended the call.

Overall, it was a good experience. It might have been these particular installers, or it might be indicative of how Verizon's training them, but they were very open to my suggestions on how the process would work (you know, they had standard questions like, "are you sure you can't put both cards in and initialize them at the same time?")--very different from my past experiences with Comcast, who always seemed to act like they knew better than I, resisted my input, etc...

Anyway, I didn't mean to write a whole essay. The point is, they had two brand new M-Cards waiting for me, and apparently they're so newly deployed that almost nobody knows about it. Even the one installer that did know they had them didn't know what the difference was between that and a "regular" card.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for your report. Verizon FiOS now has M-CARDs available in:

Delaware
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC area (Maryland / N. Virginia)

If anyone outside those markets has received a M-CARD from Verizon, please post and/or send me a private message.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:38 PM   #8
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I asked about M cards in Boston.

Was told Motorola has stopped making S-cards.

But since they don't have M-cards at Fios yet, the guy gave me a $96 credit

12 months of 2 cards $8*12 months!!!!

And took down my order number and when M-cards come out, I was told 6-9 months, he will cancel the truck roll charge to change them out!!!!!


I LOVE FIOS!!!!

Last edited by philhu : 11-20-2008 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #9
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I'm in the DC area. I just got a 2nd TivoHD and they brought an M-card for it. I asked if the tech had another one handy and he swapped that one out for the two S-cards in my other TivoHD. Worked out great. Haven't checked billing yet (I don't have the time to sit on the damn phone for two hours trying to get THAT figured out).
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:04 PM   #10
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I'm in Portland, Or (Hillsboro actually) and just got a Cablecard installed in my TiVo HD today, it was Multistream, just needed the one card.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AkWally1 View Post
I'm in Portland, Or (Hillsboro actually) and just got a Cablecard installed in my TiVo HD today, it was Multistream, just needed the one card.
Thanks for posting, good to know.

To summarize, Verizon FiOS now has M-CARDs available in:

Delaware
Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC area (Maryland / N. Virginia)
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:09 PM   #12
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AbMagFab: We should edit the first post to keep an updated list of areas that currently have M-Cards so people wont have to search through the thread and ask repetitive questions.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:52 AM   #13
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The cable cards are my only complaint with FIOS. I pay $24 a month to FIOS for my 8 cablecards. When I had six with comcast it cost me nothing extra.

And it's not worth it to try messing around with the one TiVoHD I have one FIOS just to save $2 a month by switching to a multistream card.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:53 PM   #14
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Got an M-card from VZ Fios today, in Reston, Virginia. Unfortunately, today was the day my 11 month old Tivo HD decided to kick the bucket!

Anyone ever seen a problem with the HD where the RJ-45 port has the link and activity lights always on, regardless of whether you have the network cable plugged in or not? Tivo support says it's a bad unit... I searched the forums and the web to no avail, will start a new post if needed, but since there's a few tivo veterans on this thread, thought I'd add to the discussion and hijack just a tad!
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:03 PM   #15
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Anyone ever seen a problem with the HD where the RJ-45 port has the link and activity lights always on, regardless of whether you have the network cable plugged in or not? Tivo support says it's a bad unit... I searched the forums and the web to no avail, will start a new post if needed, but since there's a few tivo veterans on this thread, thought I'd add to the discussion and hijack just a tad!
Haven't heard of that.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:43 PM   #16
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I finally had my FIOS Cablecard install this morning, Torrance California. a week and a half ago when I scheduled my appointment, the tech on the phone assured me they had M-Cards in stock... then when the tech arrived this morning, he said he didn't know of anyone getting M-Cards yet. He installed the 4 S-Cards instead of the 2 M-Cards. It definitely looks like a regional thing.

On a side note, I called billing to see if I could get charged for only two S-cards because they were out of stock on the M-Cards, and the billing rep said my account doesn't have record of ANY cards! We'll see when the bill comes.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:32 AM   #17
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Had 4 S-Cards installed today for FIOS in my two TiVo HD boxes. I'm in Malibu, CA and the tech said no M-Cards in this region yet.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:47 AM   #18
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Richmond, VA - M cards

I am having my FIOS install next week. I spoke with the CSR about cable cards and played very dumb, expecting them not to know what they were talking about. Much to my surprise, he said:

"Sure, we'll be bringing multi-stream cards. That's all we're giving out here now in Richmond. You'll need one of those for each of your Tivo boxes."

So, I'll know for sure Wednesday - but it sounds like M Cards are available and in use in the Richmond, VA area.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:27 PM   #19
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FIOS and MCards

Available in Pittsburgh, PA. I had two single tuner cards installed in my TiVo HD. They're working as advertised. Verizon in Pittsburgh claims they do not have a single multiple tuner card.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:32 PM   #20
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Available in Pittsburgh, PA. I had two single tuner cards installed in my TiVo HD. They're working as advertised. Verizon in Pittsburgh claims they do not have a single multiple tuner card.
Only one MCARD is required to support both tuners on the TivoHD. MCARDs are clearly labeled as such.

You only need two CableCards for the TivoHD if they are of the single-stream variety (i.e. not a MCARD).
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:38 AM   #21
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MCard in Anne Arundel County, MD

Got FiOS installed on Friday. Installer showed up with 2 multi-stream cards. Here is how I went about it:

Before the install, called Verizon tech support and asked them to bring multistream cards. They said they didn't know they had them yet, and there is nowhere on the order to put them. I asked them to put it in the notes section of the order. They did this but said they couldn't guarantee anything. The guy showed up and brought two cards exactly as I specified. Setup took about 1 hour to get both Tivos working. Apparently I was lucky because the installer said he had spent 5 hours trying to get the same setup working earlier in the week (and ultimately was unable to). It sounded like the other guy had a Series 3, which is known to have problems with multi-stream cards.

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Old 12-15-2008, 11:49 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by chihuahua31 View Post
Got FiOS installed on Friday. Installer showed up with 2 multi-stream cards. Here is how I went about it:

Before the install, called Verizon tech support and asked them to bring multistream cards. They said they didn't know they had them yet, and there is nowhere on the order to put them. I asked them to put it in the notes section of the order. They did this but said they couldn't guarantee anything. The guy showed up and brought two cards exactly as I specified. Setup took about 1 hour to get both Tivos working. Apparently I was lucky because the installer said he had spent 5 hours trying to get the same setup working earlier in the week (and ultimately was unable to). It sounded like the other guy had a Series 3, which is known to have problems with multi-stream cards.
Note the older Tivo Series3 model (which the TivoHD replaced) always requires two CableCards to support both tuners. It's not able to support both tuners with a single MCARD like the TivoHD.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:05 PM   #23
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I just got two m cards installed in Plainview NY today without a hitch. I don't know if it's me but the picture quality looks better then it did before.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:43 AM   #24
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Note the older Tivo Series3 model (which the TivoHD replaced) always requires two CableCards to support both tuners. It's not able to support both tuners with a single MCARD like the TivoHD.
Yes. The series 3 has no problems with multistream cards. You just need two of them.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:35 PM   #25
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Has anyone had success in having Verizon swap out multiple S-cards for M-cards? If I have to pay for a truck roll then the savings will be wiped out. I've got 3 TiVoHDs (one of which only has one S-card because I hit the 7 device limit.) If I can swap out my S-cards for M-cards I can save some money and have dual tuners on all 3 Tivos.

I asked for M-cards when I first switched it to FIOS but the techs didn't know what I was talking about.

I'm in the Northern VA area.

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Old 12-26-2008, 03:45 PM   #26
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andrew,

Others have done it, but if you aren't having problems with your existing cards, there's a good chance you'll get hit with the fee for the truck roll.

Just to update the previous post, MCARDs are now widely available from FiOS in:

Delaware
Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Long Island, NY
Washington Metro (N. VA / Maryland)
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:16 PM   #27
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Has anyone had success in having Verizon swap out multiple S-cards for M-cards? If I have to pay for a truck roll then the savings will be wiped out. I've got 3 TiVoHDs (one of which only has one S-card because I hit the 7 device limit.) If I can swap out my S-cards for M-cards I can save some money and have dual tuners on all 3 Tivos.
I got a new TivoHD and when they came out to set it up I asked the tech to swap out the other 2 S-cards from my other TivoHD.

If you've got that many devices you should speak to customer service about having them waive the fees. You're already spending a fair chunk of change, use that as leverage so you'll "stay a happy customer".
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:09 AM   #28
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I'm in the Dallas area, and just subscribed to FIOS. When I called, the rep on the phone said they would give me two S-Cards. Not ideal, but the bundle deal was pretty good, so I didn't complain. I was pleasantly surprised today, though, when the installer came and had an M-card. I asked him about it and he said they had them because it's an FCC requirement, so maybe there's a push to get them out there?

Also, I should say, I've heard a lot of horror stories about Verizon installs, but mine went smoothly, and the service looks great.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:53 PM   #29
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Dave, Plano area? I've been waiting to bite the bullet until I knew that the local offices had them.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:55 PM   #30
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I just signed up for FiOS TV in the Buffalo, NY area. They only had S-cards. I need to call up and get it notated on my account that they give me 1 M-Card in the future, or at least a year's worth of credit (worth a try).

Install was very smooth. Having read the FAQs ahead of time helped save some heartaches, I'm sure...
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