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Old 09-26-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
David D
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Question FIOS Cable card or buy online?

I used to have FIOS tv and switched to OTA about a year and a half ago. Bought my first TiVo (Premier) at the same time to replace the FIOS dvr. I've had a lot of problems with the TiVo locking up, so I'm going to try the local only FIOS channel package in an effort to rule out OTA being the problem.

From what I've read, you can't use TiVo on FIOS without a cable card. My question is, can I buy the proper cable card online, or must I rent the card from Verizon? I'd rather buy the card for $15 than pay $4/month for ever and ever amen.

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Old 09-27-2012, 12:10 AM   #2
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You cannot buy a CableCARD online, It will not work. Each CableCARD has a unique serial number and FiOS will not activate a CableCARD they did not issue to your account.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:12 AM   #3
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I have been mindblown as to the simplicity of cablecards with FiOS. You can activate and pair them online, or call in with your Host ID and Data ID and the activation takes all of 5 minutes.

Compared to TWC which took a MINIMUM of 4 truck rolls over no less than one month to get them working.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:58 PM   #4
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Compared to TWC which took a MINIMUM of 4 truck rolls over no less than one month to get them working.
I self installed a cable card and tuning adapter through Time Warner's cable card hot line, a couple days ago; took less than 15 minutes.

I would switch to FIOS if it was available...
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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I used to have FIOS tv and switched to OTA about a year and a half ago. Bought my first TiVo (Premier) at the same time to replace the FIOS dvr. I've had a lot of problems with the TiVo locking up, so I'm going to try the local only FIOS channel package in an effort to rule out OTA being the problem.

From what I've read, you can't use TiVo on FIOS without a cable card. My question is, can I buy the proper cable card online, or must I rent the card from Verizon? I'd rather buy the card for $15 than pay $4/month for ever and ever amen.

David
I've seen you post problems earlier BUT you never mention your location and what you've got for OTA - antenna or equipment. Subscribing to cable sounds like a "backasswards" way to go about attempting a fix.

I'm not sure how FIOS approaches basic cable service but the first cable card might be a "NO CHARGE"
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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I self installed a cable card and tuning adapter through Time Warner's cable card hot line, a couple days ago; took less than 15 minutes.

I would switch to FIOS if it was available...
I already have FiOS. TWC requires truck rolls in my area for all cablecard issues. Yet no one knows how they work. You make appointments, wait a week, they show up, spend hours calling dispatchers, tech support, "sending hits", trying dozens of cards, just a total and complete disaster.

The absolute best I have ever gotten was 4 visits over a month to get my living room box to work. There are no words to describe the sheer incompetence I experienced.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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I've seen you post problems earlier BUT you never mention your location and what you've got for OTA - antenna or equipment. Subscribing to cable sounds like a "backasswards" way to go about attempting a fix.

I'm not sure how FIOS approaches basic cable service but the first cable card might be a "NO CHARGE"
I know, but I'm ready to cry "uncle" since I'm on my 4th TiVo Premier inside a year and a half, and no one at TiVo has been able to offer me a solution for my problem. The best I can determine is that the Premier is very susceptible to OTA multipath distortion and less than optimum signal to noise ratio (or "sound to noise ratio" as one TiVo tech called it ). I've been pretty pleased with my antenna setup, except for the TiVo failures.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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... Oh, the cable card is $3.99/month. Not a huge deal, but again, like the idea of paying $15 once instead if it will work.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:59 PM   #9
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Also, forgot to mention, I'm in the Richmond, VA area and have an antenna in the attic. I receive all the local channels fine on all TV's in the house, with the only exception being the occasional pixelization of a couple channels due to our close proximity to the airport. What's additionally frustrating is that the pixelization is much worse on the TiVo than any of the TV tuners.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #10
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Also, forgot to mention, I'm in the Richmond, VA area and have an antenna in the attic. I receive all the local channels fine on all TV's in the house, with the only exception being the occasional pixelization of a couple channels due to our close proximity to the airport. What's additionally frustrating is that the pixelization is much worse on the TiVo than any of the TV tuners.
I have Fios in Richmond, VA. It's 3.99 per cable-card. None are free. No truck roll for Fios Richmond. They can mail cards to you, and you can activate online. But beware of a $19.99 "shipping and handling" fee on your bill. I complained after the fact, and they credited me the $19.99 back. Glad I read the bill closely.

Last note, there is a Fios store in Richmond, VA and you can pick up the cards there! NO shipping and handling fee!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:35 PM   #11
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Well, I talked to FIOS tech support and they said that I could activate a cable card of my own purchase, so I ordered a Motorola M-Card off eBay. We'll see what happens as soon as it arrives...
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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Interesting I am curious how this works out. I would be interested in doing this as well.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:01 PM   #13
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Won't work. We all would have bought our own cablecards over the last 6 years if it were possible and worked.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #14
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From a very reputable source: Eric Kotz - Quality Assurance Manager @ Ceton Corporation

Technically Possible w/ Motorola CCs not so much w/ SA/Cisco

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1336614/la...#post_22446027
Question:
Quote:
Hey, can you buy an Mcard? The issue for me is comcast charges a rental fee for the second card, and I'm sick of paying rental fees, other wise I would just by a second card and tuner.
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Probably not, but maybe.
From a technical angle:
Cisco CableCARDs require certificates to be loaded on the DNCS (headend controller for Cisco systems) that come with new CableCARD purchases. A random CableCARD off eBay won't come with those, and even if i did, I doubt you would manage to get to the headend engineer and convince him to load them.
Motorola CableCARDs actually have the CPMS (the PC that generates the CableCARD pairing data) download them, as needed, from Motorola. The CPMS then sends the pairing blob over to the DAC (headend controller for Motorola systems) This means that from a technical aspect, purchasing a random Motorola card can work.

From a Political angle:
Most operators will not allow you to own your own STBs, even if they are compatible. However, some do, and in fact Motorola actually sold some STBs at retail about 6 years ago. On an operator using Motorola equipment, you may actually get this to work if you are persists. Cisco is almost certainly a no. Also, on really old (10 year old, pre-CableCARD) DAC software releases, Motorola instructed operators to provision the cards as a DCT2000 (really old, basic STB). Someone might be able to convince their operator to do that more easily claiming it is a customer-owned box. However, that would only activate the card (not pair it) so you would only get Copy Freely content. Pairing would need the CPMS' involvement, which wouldn't be needed for a DCT2000, so a sharp technician would notice something up.

tl;dr: Probably not, but maybe

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Old 09-29-2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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FWIW, FIOS uses Motorola M-Cards, which is what I ordered. Like I said, we'll see. It's $12 gamble I'm willing to take.

With regards to being persistent, I wouldn't still be dealing with TiVo if I wasn't persistent. I am an electronics technician and it pains me to deal with a product that apparently has design flaws. I have spent HOURS talking with TiVo tech support, and the gist that I'm getting is that the TiVo Premier does NOT like OTA. I specifically purchased TiVo because I was going OTA and needed a good DVR solution. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased with my TiVo most of the time, and their staff is very courteous. The fact that it frequently locks up (several times a week) renders it unreliable and not as useful as it's supposed to be. I cannot comfortably leave home knowing that it will do what I bought it to do. It doesn't help that I also have to pay a monthly fee for a service that is unreliable.

To get back off my soap box, I hope that the cable solution will prove reliable, even though I would be happier if I could use my antenna setup as I originally set out to do. Like I said, we'll see...
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:40 PM   #16
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Have you checked maybe the OTA tuner quit?
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:12 PM   #17
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FWIW, FIOS uses Motorola M-Cards, which is what I ordered. Like I said, we'll see. It's $12 gamble I'm willing to take.

With regards to being persistent, I wouldn't still be dealing with TiVo if I wasn't persistent. I am an electronics technician and it pains me to deal with a product that apparently has design flaws. I have spent HOURS talking with TiVo tech support, and the gist that I'm getting is that the TiVo Premier does NOT like OTA. I specifically purchased TiVo because I was going OTA and needed a good DVR solution. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased with my TiVo most of the time, and their staff is very courteous. The fact that it frequently locks up (several times a week) renders it unreliable and not as useful as it's supposed to be. I cannot comfortably leave home knowing that it will do what I bought it to do. It doesn't help that I also have to pay a monthly fee for a service that is unreliable.

To get back off my soap box, I hope that the cable solution will prove reliable, even though I would be happier if I could use my antenna setup as I originally set out to do. Like I said, we'll see...
$12 seems awfully cheap for a cable card. I thought a brand new cable card used to be very expensive?

No idea why you think the Premiere doesn't like OTA. I've been using Premieres with OTA since the March 2010 launch(at one point I had six or seven receiving OTA). I've never had any issues from my dual antenna setup that combines all frequencies of both the antennas. The Premieres have picked up everything my S3 boxes did without issue. And do a better job receiving OTA than any of my TVs do.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #18
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$12 seems awfully cheap for a cable card. I thought a brand new cable card used to be very expensive?

No idea why you think the Premiere doesn't like OTA. I've been using Premieres with OTA since the March 2010 launch(at one point I had six or seven receiving OTA). I've never had any issues from my dual antenna setup that combines all frequencies of both the antennas. The Premieres have picked up everything my S3 boxes did without issue. And do a better job receiving OTA than any of my TVs do.
It's a used cable card purchased on eBay.

I have had the opposite experience with regards to OTA on TiVo. I live in close proximity to an airport. Planes take off and land between my house and where most of the local TV stations are located. This causes interruptions in signal strength and multipath distortion. My TV's all handle this with nary a problem, however, I cannot say the same for my TiVo. The TiVo will pixelate on several channels whenever a plane takes off or lands, while the TV's almost never exhibit any interference. All devices are connected to the same splitter, with relatively short lengths of quality RG6 cable connecting all equipment.

I have spoken with several TiVo tech support operators that have told me that the antenna tuner in the TiVo is very susceptible to less than ideal signal strength and signal to noise ratio and can cause the TiVo to lock up as a result. I've had techs tell me to put the TiVo on a UPS, replace all the cabling, try different power outlets, run kick start 54, etc., all done without any improvement.

Last edited by David D : 09-30-2012 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:31 AM   #19
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Also, forgot to mention, I'm in the Richmond, VA area and have an antenna in the attic. I receive all the local channels fine on all TV's in the house, with the only exception being the occasional pixelization of a couple channels due to our close proximity to the airport. What's additionally frustrating is that the pixelization is much worse on the TiVo than any of the TV tuners.
I believe if I wanted OTA I'd consider a roof-top antenna. Have you considered this? I've even seen it recommended that when signal was severely interrupted that a stack of two directional antenna be considered. If your situation was maybe just one direction a roof-top for those in that direction only.

Good luck with the wBay card. That will be an interesting endeavor.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:32 AM   #20
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I believe if I wanted OTA I'd consider a roof-top antenna. Have you considered this? I've even seen it recommended that when signal was severely interrupted that a stack of two directional antenna be considered. If your situation was maybe just one direction a roof-top for those in that direction only.

Good luck with the wBay card. That will be an interesting endeavor.
Thanks. I hope the eBay card works. I'll let y'all know. Not sure about how to improve the antenna rig. We live close enough that signal level isn't the problem, but the planes interrupting the signal is. I don't know if a higher gain antenna would help or hinder. Perhaps a more directional setup might?
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:38 AM   #21
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Please let us know if this works out with the used cablecard purchased off of ebay.. I'll be floored if it does. However, I too wouldn't mind lowering my monthly bill by $4 a month.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:55 AM   #22
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Thanks. I hope the eBay card works. I'll let y'all know. Not sure about how to improve the antenna rig. We live close enough that signal level isn't the problem, but the planes interrupting the signal is. I don't know if a higher gain antenna would help or hinder. Perhaps a more directional setup might?
Like I mentioned, it was even mentioned to "stack" 2 antenna (similar and directional) to avoid the "flutter"! Keep your existing attic antenna and do the same or similar antenna on the roof-top theoretically I suppose so that one or the other of the antenna would be receiving the signal that isn't being deflected by the aircraft. Maybe the roof-top antenna being a more directional variety.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:55 PM   #23
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Well.... I tried. No dice. Verizon tech tried to activate my card, but since it's not in their inventory, he was not able to get it to pair. So... looks like I'm paying a visit to the FIOS store this weekend (thank you for that info cmshep222!) to get a cable card. Hopefully, this will fix my on-going lock up issues!
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:45 PM   #24
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Well.... I tried. No dice. Verizon tech tried to activate my card, but since it's not in their inventory, he was not able to get it to pair. So... looks like I'm paying a visit to the FIOS store this weekend (thank you for that info cmshep222!) to get a cable card. Hopefully, this will fix my on-going lock up issues!
I hadn't been around for quite some time and just stopped by. You can't imagine how many were waiting for your results and of course would have liked to have seen a "positive" experience. It's unfortunate that it didn't work. If you've been OTA for a good while I sure think I'd go after the fix of that. How's your FIOS experience?
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:06 PM   #25
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Been using FIOS with cable card for a week and a half. Thought I was home free until last night. Turned the tv on and the "just a few minutes more" TiVo screen was there. Grrrrr... I really need to talk with a senior tech or engineer at TiVo. I can't believe their product is that finicky. I'm this close to going back to a FIOS DVR and call it done. At least the FIOS DVR was reliable (and cheaper). I'd really like some help making my TiVo work, but I've tried everything tech support has suggested and still no joy.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #26
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My neigbors are always complaining about shows their DVR didn't record. I don't have that issue with my Elites on FiOS. Plus the FiOS DVRs are more expensive. I would have paid put a lot more over the last 5+ years if I had been using the FiOS DVRs instead of my TiVos.

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #27
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Been using FIOS with cable card for a week and a half. Thought I was home free until last night. Turned the tv on and the "just a few minutes more" TiVo screen was there. Grrrrr... I really need to talk with a senior tech or engineer at TiVo. I can't believe their product is that finicky. I'm this close to going back to a FIOS DVR and call it done. At least the FIOS DVR was reliable (and cheaper). I'd really like some help making my TiVo work, but I've tried everything tech support has suggested and still no joy.
And it was actually restarting OR it was actually "STUCK" there?
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:12 PM   #28
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When I get the "just a few minutes more" message, it does act like it is restarting. It does start up after a few minutes just like i had rebooted it. I don't know what could possibly be causing this problem. I've put the TiVo on a UPS, changed cables, changed from OTA to cable, etc. I'm at a loss.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:24 AM   #29
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I used to have FIOS tv and switched to OTA about a year and a half ago. Bought my first TiVo (Premier) at the same time to replace the FIOS dvr. I've had a lot of problems with the TiVo locking up, so I'm going to try the local only FIOS channel package in an effort to rule out OTA being the problem.

From what I've read, you can't use TiVo on FIOS without a cable card. My question is, can I buy the proper cable card online, or must I rent the card from Verizon? I'd rather buy the card for $15 than pay $4/month for ever and ever amen.

David
David, I times monthly bills like that by 12. $48 a year just to get channels in order is not cheap. I would need 4 so that would be $192.00 a year. I have FIOS internet and Comcast video. I use to live near the Airport in Highland Springs, the OTA HD signals were fair but maybe you are over in Southside?, most of the towers are over there together, 6 and 65 are on this side of town.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:19 PM   #30
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When I get the "just a few minutes more" message, it does act like it is restarting. It does start up after a few minutes just like i had rebooted it. I don't know what could possibly be causing this problem. I've put the TiVo on a UPS, changed cables, changed from OTA to cable, etc. I'm at a loss.
You can also try to boot your Tivo with no cable card installed then install later if that works....

Did you do a "clear & delete everything", sometimes old info will confuse the Tivo.

And also try the kickstart code for harddisk test....
http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php
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