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Old 02-18-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
nycityuser
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How is FIOS with TiVo?

Verizon FIOS has finally come to my building in New York. I am now one of the lucky ones with lots of choices - Time Warner, RCN or Verizon FIOS.

I currently have RCN and it works well with my TiVo Series 2 and my two TiVo HD machines. And the cablecards are only $1.50/month.

I'm considering switching to FIOS, particularly for their super-fast Internet speeds. How well does TiVo work with FIOS? Will I need an attenuator? Will the Series 2 work well with a standard receiver from FIOS (at $5.99/month)?
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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My parents have Tivo and Fios and only had a problem with 2 channels out of like 1000 that would have required an attenuator but decided it was a big enough issue to do so. They also have an S2 with a Fios box and don't have any problems.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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I currently have Comcast in the greater Boston area. I've noticed that when I watch movies such as the Lord of the Rings on TNT-HD, there is some noticeable pixelization during the action scenes. FIOS is running a promotion in my area and I'm wondering if the picture quality is better than Comcast.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:50 PM   #4
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I have the exact setup and am very happy with fios. They should have m-cards, which are 3.99 a month. These are not actually paired, just activated which means I can change them between boxes (or upgrade) without a truck roll. It also means they don't have copy protection (cci byte) enabled allowing me to make full use of MRV including HBO and other premiums.
The standard def box works pretty good and is able to be controlled by serial cable. Only problems I have had is if the power goes out, the box stays off and i will very occasionally get in some weird channel changing loop where the tivo requests a channel change and the box misses something and then then the channel changes like 10 times and i miss the recording. It is only recording kids shows so I haven't investigated.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:01 PM   #5
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I have FIOS in Pittsburgh. I have 2 Series 2, a TiVo-DT and a TiVo-HD. All work fine with no attenuators. The HD uses cable cards and the other three each use one of what they call "Basic Digital Adapter" Model DCT7000. They receive all the channels but of course they don't have video on demand or other features provided by the Regular cable boxes. I started out using the regular cable boxes but I had a couple major problems with them. One is that they have screen savers that kick in and then your recorded programs are just the Verizon logo floating around the screen. I looked through the manual, looked at every setting on the remote and called customer service to find out how to disable the screen saver. They said there was no way to disable it. Another problem with the regular cable boxes is that they would shut off randomly for some unknown reason (firmware/software updates/power failures?). I'd start to watch programs only to find a blank screen was recorded. Again, customer service said there was no way to stop it. So I replaced the the regular boxes with the "Basic Digital Adapters" and have had no problems since. No screen saver & when the power goes out, when it comes back on so does the cable box. Sorry I don't remember the model numbers for the big and small cable boxes, but the regular ones are $5.99 and the DCT7000s are $3.99.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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I have fios in Brooklyn with two tivos (Tivo HD and Tivo HDXL). I have no issues and love my setup. Because I didn't know how much I would miss On Demand, when I got fios installed 6 weeks ago I had them split one of the lines and I put the tivo box on one line and the fios box on the other. Now if I want to watch On Demand, I just switch the TV input to the fios box. To be honest, between all the HD shows recorded on Tivo, the million of live choices on Tivo, and was tons of choices on Netflix I've only used On Demand once or twice. I'll probably return the box soon and save the ~$7 per month rental fee.

FIOS + Tivo
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:36 PM   #7
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I also have an HD and HDXL on FiOS in Maryland. Very pleased with my investment and choice!
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:43 PM   #8
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Likewise HD and HDXL on FiOS in Southern California. Both units have a single M-Card and work perfectly. I never plan to order Pay-Per-View, so am not missing anything.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by smgeisler View Post
Sorry I don't remember the model numbers for the big and small cable boxes, but the big ones are $5.99 and the mall ones are $2.99 (At least when I got mine).
What is the difference between the "big" box and the "small" one? Is one an HD box and the other one not? What they are offering me is a standard box (non-HD) or an HD box, either one for $5.99/month. These are their non-DVR boxes. For DVR boxes (which I won't need) they offer a multi-room box for $19.99 or a single room box for $15.99.

Obviously any box with a screensaver is useless for a Series 2.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

I've had FIOS for a few weeks here in Montgomery County, MD.

Two TivoHDs with M cards, one w/lifetime
Tivo Series 2 w/lifetime
Tivo Series 1 w/lifetime
One Home Media DVR
four FIOS HD boxes
two projectors
7 HD drops total

Everything works great except the Series 1 hasn't completed guided setup yet. The Series 2 records any channel, including HD ones, in SD. The TivoHDs both have M cards. I had RCN and while I was generally happy with it FIOS blows it away. I have HD on five TVs and two projectors for what I was paying for one DVR and two M cards with RCN. I have 25/15 internet and it regularly exceeds those speeds on tests. The picture quality is excellent, noticeably better than what I had, which was nice. I also have far more channels than I had. The Home Media DVR can be viewed on the other FIOS cable box setups and of course, not on the Tivos. I watch Netflix on the TivoHDs and that service has improved greatly.

So...
four extra HD drops (everything is now HD).
25/15 internet
Home Media DVR viewable in other rooms
100's of channels including way more HD content than I could need.
For what I was paying RCN before for far less. It took some negotiating to get the pricing I ended up with at RCN, it took some negotiating to do the same at Verizon. Funny how many discounts they can find when you tell them no.

I'm satisfied... in fact far more than satified. I'm surprised at how well all of this works. The cable card installs took more time than I cared for but that wasn't surprising. I was told they had no cable cards a couple of times before I talked to someone who actually knew anything about them. I had at least three managers tell me they had not cable cards and didn't work with Tivo... and I should get their DVRs and scrap my Tivos. Funny stuff.

I like the FIOS guide so far, lots of info easily available. The Home Media DVR is easy to use on the other TVs, no complaints there but I haven't really tried using it on multiple TVs simultaneously. They charge $4/month for M cards and HD boxes. More than RCN for the cards, way less for the boxes. So far I only get the screen saver when I turn the box off.

I haven't called Tivo about the issue with the Series 1, the last time this happened it tooks months to remedy and there was quite a runaround about the actual problem. Frankly I expect the same this time. I had season passes setup for The Daily Show and the Colbert Report (among other things) on this Tivo that's installed in a home theater setup in my kitchen (hidden components, in-wall speaker with sub, Yamaha components, 22" LCD display, DVD and VHS ). The upside is that Comedy Central is now in HD (it isn't with RCN) so we watch these shows on the Tivo HD on the Samsung 61" in the family room. We have one more Series 1 with lifetime that I might install on one of the other HD boxes if this ever gets sorted out.

The internet is great. Not much to say about that. I use N type wireless adapters with the FIOS router and the speed is sweet. I thought I'd need to install my N router but so far so good.

Service has operated without a hitch since we got it. Glad we did this.

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Old 02-18-2010, 10:48 PM   #11
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Hey Brad516, thanks for all the info. Do you live in a school or something? I mean, you have so many televisions.

I actually do not own HD televisions yet and one reason is that I am a nightly viewer of Jon Stewart (as you are) and Keith Olbermann. It was silly to get HDTVs and watch them in blurry SD. But, as you say, FIOS offers both in HD now. So switching to FIOS would give me a reason to buy an HDTV.

I'm surprised that so few Verizon folks knew about cablecards. I talked to two salespeople on the phone today and both knew about cablecards. They quoted me pretty firm pricing for the various packages. How did you go about negotiating them down?
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:51 AM   #12
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I've had FIOS with two S3 Tivos for three years now and everything has worked out great. I migrated from DirecTV and never looked back.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:03 AM   #13
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Use it with my HDTivo and could not be happier. I use a multi-channel cable-card which works great. The only annoyance is that I cannot do on-demand stuff but it is not a huge problem for me.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:24 PM   #14
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What is the difference between the "big" box and the "small" one? Is one an HD box and the other one not? What they are offering me is a standard box (non-HD) or an HD box, either one for $5.99/month. These are their non-DVR boxes. For DVR boxes (which I won't need) they offer a multi-room box for $19.99 or a single room box for $15.99.

Obviously any box with a screensaver is useless for a Series 2.
The "Big" box is a just the regular Motorola cable box. The "small" box is basically just a channel changer with an "On light" about 5" wide, 6" deep and sloping from 1" to 1.5" high. If it's plugged in and the power is on, it's on. It has no buttons, switches or display. It uses the same remote as the regular cable box. Neither are HD, but the HD TiVos use cable cards anyway. They do have HD cable boxes of course but you probably wouldn't want to use one with a Series 1 or 2 TiVo. The model number for the "small" box is DCT7000 (Now that I'm home and can look at it). So these DCT7000s are what you would want to use with Series 1 and Series 2 TiVos. As I said above, the regular cable boxes are not any good to use with TiVos unless they have made changes to their firmware to disable the screen saver and turn themselves back on after a power failure. And you'll have to ask for the DCT7000s. They don't really advertise their existence. The installer told me about them.

OK. I went online and looked up the DCT7000 (I called it the "small" box). Here's how they describe it:

Basic Digital Adapter
• Watch standard definition programming
• Does not support Video on Demand, the TV listings guide, or any additional interactive TV features
• Not compatible with High Definition Home Media DVR

They are currently $3.99 per month.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:03 AM   #15
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Brad516 wrote:

Quote:
The TivoHDs both have M cards. I had RCN and while I was generally happy with it FIOS blows it away.
Brad, thanks for the feedback on picture quality. Anyone in the Boston area switch and have feedback about Comcast versus FIOS quality? Does the Boston area have m-cards?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:25 PM   #16
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@smgeisler - The description mentions that the device does not support the TV Listings guide. Is this referring to the FIOS TV Listing? I assume that this doesn't affect the onboard Tivo listing, correct? When you had the 'Big Box' did it support the FIOS TV listing?

Thanks for your info.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:05 PM   #17
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The "big" box supports the FIOS TV Listings. The "small" box does not. If you are using the small box as the channel changer with a Series 2 (or prior) version, you will get the TiVo listings via the TiVo as you would expect. The Series 3 (and above) don't use a cable box of any sort. They use cable cards and replace entirely any "box" from FIOS.

I had used the small box on with my old Series 1 (since retired) and I have one in my kitchen.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:57 PM   #18
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I have had FiOS for years and it works flawlessly with my TiVO HD and my Premiere, the picture quality of FiOS blows away both Comcast and RCN and DirecTv (I have used all three). The only thing you will miss is the FiOS On Demand by not using the FiOS DVR. The downfall to FiOS is their DVR sucks and the guide data is a joke. Thats the reason i went back to TiVo, but with an expanded HDD in or attached to your TiVo you can record anything you can imagine and have no need for Demand other than PPV and TiVo has several offerings to get PPV movies.
I have read RCN offers a TiVo with their service that gets On Demand but RCN was always so pricey and the picture quality was so bad i would go OTA before i went back to them. Comcasts PQ compared to FiOS is terrible as well. If you can get it, IMO, FiOS is a no brainer.
If by signing up for FiOS they give you a free DVR i would take it but also use TiVo. I have a FiOS Moto 7232-2 with a 500 gig HDD that works rather well but it still aint no TiVo!
I am told on new installs the only boxes FiOS is installing are the new 7232-2's which will also allow for an external HDD but doesnt as of now. If you are offered a 6416 series or a 71XX series (DVR) box from FiOS you should pass and just take the MCard(s) for your TiVo(s) The Moto 7100 non DVR STB from FiOS seems to work fine.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:47 PM   #19
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The only thing you will miss is the FiOS On Demand by not using the FiOS DVR.
You can't use on Demand without the FiOS DVR?
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:11 PM   #20
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You can't use on Demand without the FiOS DVR?
No, you can't use on Demand without a FIOS cable box. It does not have to be a DVR.

I rent an HD box from Verizon for $5.99/month. It gives me all on Demand access as well as most else of what FIOS offers. I have it connected to a Series 2 TiVo and so can record anything sent out of the box, including on Demand content.

I use that combination in addition to two TiVo HD boxes with cablecards. Everything works perfectly and I can partake of everything that FIOS offers.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #21
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Good to hear. I'm scheduled to get the FiOS triple play on Thursday.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:06 PM   #22
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Good to hear. I'm scheduled to get the FiOS triple play on Thursday.
Hopefully you're serviced by Verizon and not Frontier.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:13 PM   #23
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I'm in NJ.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:15 AM   #24
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I'm in NJ.
Wow, an advantage to living in NJ over OR!

I'm originally from NYC; that means I'm allowed to share Roseanne Roseannadanna's general opinion of life in NJ.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:37 AM   #25
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Wow, an advantage to living in NJ over OR!

I'm originally from NYC; that means I'm allowed to share Roseanne Roseannadanna's general opinion of life in NJ.

Well, is Hartford, CT, close enough. I was born there and have been a Migrant Electronics Worker ever since...even spent time in Cherry Hill, NJ!
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #26
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Newbie Version, Please!

Is anyone feeling patient?

I'm new to Fios, and never had TIVO. And a newbie just in general, too. And I'd really really appreciate some basic advice on this, with no jargon.

I just installed FIOS on my HDTV, but with no DVR (though, strangely, FIOS does let me record a little bit...I guess there's a dab of DVR space provided for free or something, idunno).

I can order FIOS DVR, or go with TIVO. I hear TIVO is great, so I'm leaning toward that. But I like being able to control everything with my iphone (FIOS has apps to control both the cable and the DVR). I don't care about on demand. And I don't know about boxes and attenuators and cards - all the stuff discussed above.

Can someone help me (patiently, and in beginner's terms) understand what I need to do to add TIVO to this setup? And will I lose my ability to control everything via iPhone?

Should I just get a FIOS DVR and use tivo over that somehow? (again, I'm really dumb on this stuff).
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:43 PM   #27
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I just installed FIOS on my HDTV, but with no DVR (though, strangely, FIOS does let me record a little bit...I guess there's a dab of DVR space provided for free or something, idunno)..
Not knowing which FiOS set top box you have i can say this. Verizon Set top boxes (STB's) are either DVR's or are NOT DVR's. They do not record "a little bit". If they record anything it is a DVR.
For a stone cold beginner to DVR's staying with a FiOS DVR might be your best bet to start off with. There are a few advantages of using the FiOS DVR for a newb.
1) FiOS will support it, meaning help you with it if you have problems and or replacing it if it goes bad at no charge to you. Getting hooked up with a FiOS DVR is easy, the guy comes over, hooks everything up, gives you a quick tour of how to play with it and tunrs you lose with it and you not knowing any better enjoy it.
2) FiOS has On Demand which has a lot of free content, you might not think you care about On Demand, but once you get used to it itís nice to have.
3) If you are new to FiOS you probably got a DVR for some period of time at no charge, 3 months, 6 months, a year or maybe more. Depends on what deal you made. Be aware at some point that honeymoon ends and your bill will reflect an increase for the DVR sooner or later.
4) FiOS DVR's can be buggy and have problems. FiOS guide data just plain and simple sucks. It is often wrong or incomplete.

If you are dead set on getting a TiVo, TiVo has a lot of things going for it.
1) The TiVo interface is cool, user friendly and looks pretty nice. The High Definition interface in the Premieres are very nice and even the standard def version is better than FiOS.
2)TiVo has a few On Demand type options but do not confuse them with On Demand like FiOS, RCN or the other cable companies. The cable companies have a distinct advantage in ON Demand over TiVo. The argument can be made that with all the recording space available with a TiVo you really do not need many of the On Demand options cable companies offer, this may be true but On Demand is still nice to have.
3) At current FiOS does not offer external storage to increase how much content you can store to watch when you get around to it. FiOS says it will have this option in the near future but "coming soon" to both FiOS and TiVo means maybe one day, donít call me Iíll call you, checks in the mail.
4) TiVo through Tribune has wicked good guide data and TiVo search and wish lists are a great addition to any couch potato's entertainment resume.
5) Nothing is free with TiVo...nothing, true you can get OTA, (over the air broadcast) using a TiVo but youíre talking FiOS so it doesnít look like your looking to use the OTA option. You are going to have the cost of the TiVo which can vary greatly. The cost of TiVo service, (YOU MUST HAVE TiVo service) which includes your guide and upgrades to your TiVo. You will also need a cable card for your TiVo, without one it will not work with FiOS. $3.99 a month for the cable card, you will need 1 M-Card. You may also have to pay for FiOS to roll a truck and tech to your house to install the M-Card. That can cost an additional $79. There are ways around that but Iím not going in to them here.
TiVo service can be your largest costs. As much as 19.99 month and go way down from there. You will have to research that and decide whatís best for you.
Regardless of what you might read in this forum TiVo's are very reliable, like everything there are lemons and bugs but for the most part TiVoís do what they are supposed to do, they are Top Notch DVR's, ok at the little internet stuff they do including Netflix and Amazon and Blockbuster PPV movie rentals. TiVo Premiereís and HD's get Pandora, very nice. They are advertised with HULU "coming soon" donít hold your breath. They also get ďYou TubeĒ vidoes, not a deal maker or a deal breaker for me.
Best way to go is get a FiOS DVR for free anyway you can, that will offset the cost of TiVo. The new FiOS DVR's have 500 gig hard drives in them, thatís a lot of record space. TiVoís can have 2 terabytes of record space, thatís a butt load more than FiOS, if you can do both you can pretty much record anything you ever wanted to and watch when you feel like it and skip through anything you donít want to watch.
Hope some of that helps.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:55 PM   #28
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Here's my own experience. I posted on this thread at about this same time last year and was looking for feedback. I am very glad that I have made the switch to FIOS. It costs less, the picture quality is better and the network performance is more consistent.

I have a TiVo and a FIOS DVR. Of the two, I prefer the TiVo. I have a Series3 TiVo and the interface is easy to use. The family has tried both solutions and they think TiVo is easier when you take into account everything (UI, remote control, amount of recording space).

FIOS is supposed to be coming out with a new DVR with an improved interface and more recording space. Apparently its being tested in the NJ market. We'll have to see how that compares when it's available but for now TiVo is still my favorite!

There is no dedicated iPhone app to control the Tivo but there is an amazing iPad app. There is a tivo mobile web site that you can pull up on the iphone and remotely schedule shows. I have to look for the URL.

If you would like to add TiVo, you will need to do the following.
Buy a Tivo (Premier or a used Series 3). Some folks have reservations about the Premier but others are happy with it.
Call FIOS and schedule a cable card install. If you buy a new TiVO, request they send a single "m-card". If you get the older series 3 (the one with the cool OLED display), you will need to request two "s-cards". Each of these options will allow you to record two programs on once.

Activate your tivo before fios installer shows up by going to http://www.tivo.com/activate

Plan to connect your Tivo to your home network. Ideally connect with a ethernet cable to your router. If not, you can buy a tivo wireless adapter. Last resort, you will need to connect to a phone line.

The installer will show up and will install the cablecard in your tivo. You will no longer need a cable box for that TV.

Enjoy your Tivo and your freedom!
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:00 PM   #29
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Mobile tivo website

The Tivo mobile web site can be accessed here:
http://m.tivo.com/
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:13 PM   #30
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You may also have to pay for FiOS to roll a truck and tech to your house to install the M-Card. That can cost an additional $79. There are ways around that but Iím not going in to them here.
If you just got FIOS installed, they are usually willing to waive the fee.
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