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Old 12-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
headless chicken
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Arrow Fios phone tech says HBO not possible with S3

After spending 2 hours trying to get my new HBO subscription with Verizon FiOS to work on my OLED Series3, the tech spoke to some other department who told him its just not possible for me to get the channels to work on this model. He said its not a matter of encryption, but the fact that HBO channels are the only ones to use the MPEG4 format or something. Is this BS? I got HBO without a problem with Cablevision, and with FiOS I get Showtime with no issues (as well as Starz, Cinemax, etc. whenever they have free previews).

He advised me to call TiVo, but I don't see what they can do. Help?
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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I thought you needed a Series4 box to tune MPEG4 channels.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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I thought you needed a Series4 box to tune MPEG4 channels.
Not sure. All I do know is this tech can't entirely be right. I mean, these 2 M-cable cards work perfectly well with other premium channels.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Yes, it's BS. All the HBO/Cinemax channels are currently transcoded to MPEG-2 by Verizon, even when they receive them as MPEG-4. The only issue with getting them on an S3 is getting the cards paired, which they have to be (and which Verizon did not used to do with their CableCards), because of the non-zero CCI flags.

I have an old S3 with old single-stream cards that I haven't yet bothered to try and get paired in the time since they turned the flags on, since I already had two Premieres with paired multi-stream cards that can tune HBO. So I can't personally vouch for the fact that they can be made to work. (I think others here have done it, but I'm not sure.) But if they can't, it will be because Verizon can't get the cards paired, not because of MPEG-4, which they're not using for HBO, and I can vouch for that.

Verizon does use MPEG-4 for a few channels, and it's true that the Series 3 can't tune that, either, with its current software (and TiVo seems determined not to update that, sadly). But these channels are in obscure foreign-language and sports packages, not HBO. Most of Verizon's own deployed STBs can't handle MPEG-4, either, so they're not ready to use it for the more popular channels.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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If FIOS has converted HBO to mpeg4, then no the S3 won't work with it. ANY channels that get converted won't work. So yes, the tech is right, if this is what has happened.

But if HBO is still being broadcast the old way, then there is another issue.

Edit: I hate it when someone posts better info while I'm typing
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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Fios has not converted HBO to MPEG-4. You can verify this for yourself on a Premiere, even if you aren't subscribed, by tuning to an appropriate channel, and then going into the DVR Diagnostics menu. There you will see the video codec displayed, as either MPEG-2 or H.264 (MPEG-4).

Just recently, at HBO's demand, Fios started using the CCI flag on the HBO and Cinemax channels. This is the flag that tells the TiVo "No, you can't do network transfers with these shows." Previously, Fios had set it to zero on all channels, except (ironically) for the "barker" channel that tells you about Fios equipment, etc. Although its purpose is to control copying, as a side effect, the flag prevents tuning a channel unless the CableCard is "paired" to the tuning device. Since nobody (especially TiVo owners) ever watches the barker channel, this usually went unnoticed. Anyway, it used to be that Verizon did not "pair" their CableCards with the devices they were put into, because it wasn't really necessary if the channels had a zero CCI. They changed that policy a while back, well before the change to HBO. But those of us who signed up in the early days still had unpaired cards.

Note that this is totally unrelated to the issue of encryption! Nor is it related to conditional access. All of Verizon's channels are encrypted, except the locals and PEGs. Verizon can turn your access on and off for any set of encrypted channels, even if the CCI is zero -- which is (for now?) still the case with Showtime and Starz on Fios.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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My issue was finally resolved after calling TiVo and speaking with a knowledgable tech support rep. Apparently the cable cards had not been paired after the deactivation/reactivation nonsense Fios did. To check, go to TiVo Central and select
Messages & Settings > Account & System Information > CableCARD Decoders > Configure CableCARD 1 (or 2) > CableCARD menu > Conditional Access.

The Conditional Access screen must display Val: V (Mine was showing Val: ?)

I called Fios again (this time I did not dial the activation number displayed on the gray/black screen of behalf of the cable provider but rather dialed Verizon directly and selected tech support, and told them my cards were not paired to the device.

Fios tech: 0, TiVo: 1
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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I paired mune back when I got the letter from Verizon, but noticed today that they were showing the activation screen on channel 131 again. I reactivated one through the automated system, but had to get a tech on the line to reactivate the second one. The Cablecard ID and Host ID stayed the same, but at some point with the tech on the line the Data number changed. He entered that number and everything's good again. I did power down and pull the card before getting him on the line, so that may have caused that data number to eventually change.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headless chicken View Post
My issue was finally resolved after calling TiVo and speaking with a knowledgable tech support rep. Apparently the cable cards had not been paired after the deactivation/reactivation nonsense Fios did. To check, go to TiVo Central and select
Messages & Settings > Account & System Information > CableCARD Decoders > Configure CableCARD 1 (or 2) > CableCARD menu > Conditional Access.

The Conditional Access screen must display Val: V (Mine was showing Val: ?)

I called Fios again (this time I did not dial the activation number displayed on the gray/black screen of behalf of the cable provider but rather dialed Verizon directly and selected tech support, and told them my cards were not paired to the device.

Fios tech: 0, TiVo: 1
Is there a magic phrase for getting a knowledgeable tech support person on the phone? I resubscribed to HBO just this past weekend, and had Verizon send out two M-Cards which I installed today. Still no luck pairing them (I have val: ?) They keep "refreshing" the cards and saying that they "show no errors". Trying to tell them that they need to be paired hasn't worked so far. Any other tips?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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Trying to tell them that they need to be paired hasn't worked so far. Any other tips?
Did you call the 888 number that the TV screen displayed for card activation? The people you get there aren't as knowledgable as calling Verizon directly and pressing the option for technical support. Then you just need to get a rep who understands how to pair the card to your device. If they don't, hang up and call back until you get someone who does.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:49 PM   #11
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I had to call the 1-800 Verizon number and ask for tech support to get my last card paired in my Premiere. I tried the automated 1-888 number and the VZ in- home agent app but the card would not pair correctly.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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Verizon does have this home agent software you can download from the site. I was able to pair my cablecards using that software after repeated attempts to get the verizon tech to try and do it... becareful.. they can do something on their end that bricks the cablecard.. then it's a truck roll or a card swap at the store
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #13
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I had to call the 1-800 Verizon number and ask for tech support to get my last card paired in my Premiere. I tried the automated 1-888 number and the VZ in- home agent app but the card would not pair correctly.
I was on the phone with the 1-800-verizon tech support while posting, and while it didn't look like it was going to work, this tech was finally able to get it to work! Swapping out for m-cards and re-pairing through the 800-verizon number worked for me.

Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:23 AM   #14
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I noticed last night that when I went to check the TiVo for grins that mine shows a "?" also, but also I don't have any premium channels. What I found interesting is that when I followed the instructions whenever it was that the FiOS letters were sent out I was able to see the channel in question thus I didn't worry about pairing. Guess I still don't need to but I'm curious as to why I was able to see the specified channel earlier in the year?
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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I noticed last night that when I went to check the TiVo for grins that mine shows a "?" also, but also I don't have any premium channels. What I found interesting is that when I followed the instructions whenever it was that the FiOS letters were sent out I was able to see the channel in question thus I didn't worry about pairing. Guess I still don't need to but I'm curious as to why I was able to see the specified channel earlier in the year?
teasip,

The TiVo Premiere boxes are TiVo(s) only offering to be compatible with MPEG-4 or H.264 programming. MPEG-4 is by far superior, but due to a hardware limitation the older legacy TiVo(s) do not have the needed decoding chip for h.264 channels.

You will not receive premium programming if the VAL value doesn't show V, short for "Validated". Since the pairing value (and any value, for that matter) can change at Verizon's whim, they may have changed something on the card that's causing the channel to disappear and re-appear periodically. According to information provided to us from Motorola, the values must fall within the expected threshold for programming to come through.

I'm hoping that I was able to clarify something for you, or someone else on this thread.

Thank you for your time with TiVo. If you have any concerns or questions regarding this or any other issues, please feel free to contact us here or give us a call.

Thank you!
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:27 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
Yes, it's BS. All the HBO/Cinemax channels are currently transcoded to MPEG-2 by Verizon, even when they receive them as MPEG-4. The only issue with getting them on an S3 is getting the cards paired, which they have to be (and which Verizon did not used to do with their CableCards), because of the non-zero CCI flags.
Is this correct? To my understanding HBO East and West are sent out as mpeg-2 as well. I've noticed the other HBO channels don't look as sharp either which would make sense.

I'm not sure if this dated but if it's still current then it would seem to confirm this:

http://www.homeboxoffice.com/to/Rece...B_20080916.pdf
Quote:
The MPEG-4 HD feeds are incremental to HBO’s MPEG-2 offering. HBO currently plans to continue to provide
the MPEG-2 HD feeds of HBO (East and West) and Cinemax (East and West), and we also plan to continue to
provide all 26 SD feeds in MPEG-2.
..
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tivosupport_jacob View Post
MPEG-4 is by far superior, but due to a hardware limitation the older legacy TiVo(s) do not have the needed decoding chip for h.264 channels.
This is incorrect, unless by "older legacy TiVos", you mean Series 1 and 2. Series 3 models do have the hardware capability for h.264, as can be seen when we play MP4 files on them, via streaming or TiVoCast (push) delivery. What's more, in New Zealand, the TiVo HD is actually recording h.264 cable channels right now. TTBOMK, the only difference between the NZ and US models is the software.

Now, all MP4s aren't alike, and the Premiere is a little better at playing them than the TiVo HD, which in turn is a little better at it (I think) than the OLED S3. So, if you had said something like "TiVo Inc. has decided that the level of h.264 support available on the Series 3 would not provide for a good customer experience with h.264 cable TV channels, so we think we're better off just not enabling it at all," I might buy that, although I still wouldn't agree with the decision. But if your bosses are telling you, "The Series 3 can't play h.264," they're misinforming you. (And, I'm pretty sure the real reason that the Series 3 hasn't been updated for h.264 support is "Those models are end-of-life, and we can't be bothered.")
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #18
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Does the Premiere currently do MP4/h.264, or is that scheduled to be added in a future software update release?
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:29 PM   #19
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The various Premiere models already support h.264.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:30 PM   #20
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Does the Premiere currently do MP4/h.264, or is that scheduled to be added in a future software update release?
It's there now.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:40 PM   #21
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S3 and Premiere with Verizon

I had the same problem with both my Tivo boxes. THe S3 has been working perfectly with FiOS for several years. When I installed the Premiere last week, neither HBO nor Cinemax would work on it, and it killed them on the S3 as well.

After a 90 minute call to Verizon (clueless rep), then a 2.5 hour call to Verizon (made the first one look brilliant), I finally called again and got a tech who knew exactly what he was doing. 10 minutes later both boxes were working perfectly. My recommendation to anyone who gets a tech who can't fix the issue quickly is to hang up and call again.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #22
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I had the same problem with both my Tivo boxes. THe S3 has been working perfectly with FiOS for several years. When I installed the Premiere last week, neither HBO nor Cinemax would work on it, and it killed them on the S3 as well.

After a 90 minute call to Verizon (clueless rep), then a 2.5 hour call to Verizon (made the first one look brilliant), I finally called again and got a tech who knew exactly what he was doing. 10 minutes later both boxes were working perfectly. My recommendation to anyone who gets a tech who can't fix the issue quickly is to hang up and call again.
And exactly what did this tech who knew exactly what he was doing do?

I'm curious as to how an S4 can disable an S3.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #23
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I bet the first CSR screwed up all the cards on the account, simply by being incompetent. There's no other way that trying to activate a new CableCard could break another TiVo's CableCard on the same account.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #24
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I have a problem with my usb ceton device losing pairing somehow - I lose access to the cinemax channels. My TivoHD never has this problem, however changing channels on the Tivo is slower since the change, maybe that is just my perception.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:24 AM   #25
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HBO not working on S3 OLED with S cable cards - RESLOVED with M cards

Hi, this is a re-post of mine from another thread and do apologize for doing it but since I was able to successfullt get past the HBO CCI flag (blank screen with cc info telling me to pair the cable cards to get HBO) perhaps this will help someone with the sameissue:

Quote:
So, called in around noon on Saturday and armed with all the helpful posts here and in other threads I had the Tech Support guy speak to the CableCard group, do a "manual validation", (gave him all the S cablecard info needed) but after waiting 30 min. nada.

I just bit the bullet, drove 10min. to the VZ shop, got 2 M cards, and swapped out the S cards, called to 1) activate (automatic phone service), waited 60min. then 2) called back to speak to Tech Support to do a "manual validation", gave all the M card info and was told the process could take a couple of hours (it is 7pm by now). Went out to dinner and forgot to check that evening.

The next morning I promptly checked ch 131 and all the HBOs (900s and 400s) and all working perfectly!

Thanks all, hope every S3 OLED owner like myself can be successful like myself with M cards.

Note: my Data # did not change during the process as reported by some.

Also a shout out to Chrisentia, aka "Lady Boss", who overseas all the North NJ VZ stores and Carlos "da man who knows it all" in the rte 17 N. VZ store for once again making my visit to VZ a nice and short one.

Gman

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Old 06-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #26
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So the manual validation is all that's required?
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #27
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So the manual validation is all that's required?
once my S3 OLED had the M-cards, yes.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #28
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So the manual validation is all that's required?
Had to post a big thanks to this thread, one other thread here and Twitter Verizon Support. https://twitter.com/VerizonSupport

I sent them 2 tweets:
1 - Hoping you could help with a TIVO no HBO prob. Looks like my CC needs "manual validation" I was unsuccesful in getting that

2 - Could I get that if I send my CC ID HostID and Data#

I received a reply in less than 5 minutes asking to start a DM with them - I sent them the 3 #'s and they asked for the Serial Number. 5 minutes later they asked me to check and WOOT!!! I now have HBO!!!

Numerous phone calls over the last 2 months, many techs, 2 different cards sent back and forth and it took the Twitter tech less than 5 minutes.

Thanks everyone here for the info.
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