DirecTV R10 to Verizon FiOS with TiVo HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by JediTim, May 1, 2008.

  1. May 1, 2008 #1 of 18
    JediTim

    JediTim New Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Long...

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    I finally decided to get rid of My DirecTV DVR and replace it with Verizon FiOS and a TiVo HD unit. I would have kept DirecTV:
    • if they offered a TiVo HD unit :)
    • I wasn't siding my house and didn't need to drill holes for the satellite pole :cool:

    I decided to order the FiOS after receiving an email about a "Blue Moon" special for lifetime service on a TiVo HD unit...I decided to buy two new units. I called Verizon for four CableCards and was told the first appointment was two weeks later...figured I needed time to install the new DVR's anyway.

    Current Status
    • I ran new lines from a Structure Media Center into each room for a cable from the incoming line to the rooms with TiVo and one FiOS set top box,
    • Ran a line of Cat5e for each box as well to avoid using the Wireless G USB connection,
    • Activated the two TiVo boxes two nights ago
    • Performed the guided setup and forced a download of the new software from 8.1 to 9.3a which I hope doesn't cause any issues with picture freeze :rolleyes:
    • I have an appointment with FiOS on Tuesday, May 5th

    Plan of Action:
    I believe at this point I am ready for the CableCards. My understanding from what I have read is that I need to be patient. I need to ensure the installer follows the instructions from TiVo for installing the CableCards. They need to install one card at a time, wait for the CableCard Decoder screen, activate (initialize) it, Test Channels and then check the encrypted channels. After this works they need to install the other CableCard.

    Now the questions::confused:
    • Did I miss anything?
    • Should the installer install card 1 in one TiVo and then card 1 in the other TiVo before the second card is installed to save time?

    After the guided setup I didn't receive any information that the Coax was providing a signal...probably because the ONT isn't activated for TV. How can I check my current Coax line to know that I have a signal?

    Thanks for your input...I am really looking forward to a great picture and a new TiVo...I will probably leave my current DirecTiVo unit connected for the current programs and just discontinue my DirecTV service.

    Tim
     
  2. May 1, 2008 #2 of 18
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    4,833
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    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    You won't save any time by installing cards in both Tivos simultaneously because they all have to be activated one at a time. Based on what you indicated it looks like you're all set. I think you're really going to enjoy FIOS. I've had FIOS with two S3 Tivos for about 14 months now and I'm loving it. The internet alone is worth the price of admission, but the TV picture quality is what keeps me going.

    I made the switch because I had to decide whether to stick with DirecTV and give up my Tivos or get FIOS and enjoy the new S3 Tivo as well as far better picture quality. At the time it was unknown when the new mpeg4 channels would be available with DirecTV and I didn't want to get stuck in a 2-year commitment when I had no idea if the mpeg4 picture quality was going to make it worth my while. FIOS TV had a far superior image than DirecTV's mpeg2 HD channels so it seemed like a no-brainer for me. If rumors hold true then FIOS will begin adding more HD channels to their lineup in the next couple of months and may actually surpass DirecTV's lineup by year's end.
     
  3. May 1, 2008 #3 of 18
    Jamisohn

    Jamisohn New Member

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Wall, New...
    Let us know how the install goes. I will be getting my CableCARDS installed in my new Tivo HD sometime later this month. I have had Fios TV & Internet since last June, and I love it! (former Cablevision customer).

    BTW, check your appointment because May 5th is Monday, not Tuesday.
     
  4. May 1, 2008 #4 of 18
    JediTim

    JediTim New Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Long...
    I will review what happens on Tueday, May 6th. Hopefully the install is relatively problem free. I already have FiOS Internet and phone so the installation should be a little quicker.
     
  5. May 1, 2008 #5 of 18
    acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Carrollton,...

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    Like any other service, the install will depend on the installer.

    My own, about 14 months ago, was flawless. Others have reported a pretty ham-fisted process.

    Good luck! Easy or not, I think you will enjoy the results. I thought it was an enormous improvement over DTV HD lite and you get all of the additional Tivo service not available with DTV.

    Al
     
  6. May 6, 2008 #6 of 18
    solsurfer

    solsurfer Member

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    Mar 17, 2003
    LA, CA
    I am considering making the exact same switch. Were you able to find any easy comparison of the channels in each? I've seen some posts claiming that FIOS has fewer channels and fewer HD channels, but I haven't seen an easy comparison (the charts on their sites don't lend themselves to comparison).

    Also, how did the costs measure up for you? How much is Verizon charging for the 4 cable cards, etc. I have FIOS internet already, so adding TV (and canceling DTV) should be cheaper, but not sure by how much.

    Would love to hear what you think of the quality, and any other trade-offs you think I'd be making. I heard a few reports of the Verizon signal going out intermittently, but have not been able to confirm.

    Thanks!

    Rod
     
  7. May 6, 2008 #7 of 18
    JediTim

    JediTim New Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Long...
    Rod,
    I will let you know how the install goes later today. I received a call yesterday stating that the installed would be here between 8AM and 5PM even though I said I needed an afternoon appointment...they called again stating it would be after 10AM.

    As for channel comparison...it does look to be a little lighter than what I was recieving on DirecTV but I didn't watch every channel anyway.

    As for cost...that was probably the bigger driver for me...my current charges prior to FiOS are:
    • $60.00 - Home Phone
    • $50.00 - Internet Access (Optonline / Cablevision)
    • $95.00 - DirecTV
    For a grand total of approximately $205 per month.

    With FiOS I am getting the triple play for $99 per month for two years...the one year contract was $94 per month...I figured I would hedge my bets as to the price increase after one year. I believe the CableCards are $3.99 per month each which equals another $16 per month and then taxes. I should still end up paying less than using the prior hookups but won't know for sure until after I receive the bills.

    As for quality...I have seen FiOS at a friends home and it looked really good...they have not had any issues but are using a DVR from FiOS and don't really use it all that much. They have not had any problems with connectivity in the two months they have it.

    I can't complaint at all about the quality of DirecTV or the signal...I probably had DirecTV for ten years and lost signal due to the weather a dozen times at the most and it rarely ever happened at a bad time. If the service from FiOS is as good I will be happy...I would have stayed with DirecTV if they offered a TiVo unit for HD and I wasn't siding my home...don't want to screw any pipes into the siding or roof...just me I guess.

    Installation should start in a couple of hours...I will keep a log of what happened and will report back.
    Tim
     
  8. May 6, 2008 #8 of 18
    holee

    holee Uncertain

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    Dec 12, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Good luck. I made the change from DTV to FiOS lately too, mostly due to the new location not being able to get satellite service.

    The channels selection is weaker, but the quality is great. Just pray nothing goes wrong and you don't have to work with Verizon support.
     
  9. May 6, 2008 #9 of 18
    JediTim

    JediTim New Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Long...
    Well the install is already completed...here is a summary.

    The FiOS installer (Nick) arrived around 9:05AM for an afternoon appointment...I was still at work when my wife called me.:eek: He said that he had a repair job he could go to first...I was able to come home before he arrived.

    He came back at 10:20 and stated he had never done a CableCARD install previously...this was his first but he spoke with some other people and could call someone if he needed help. I explained to him that I knew from reading the forums how to get through the install and he was pleased.

    He first went to the ONT that had been previously installed for the internet / phone and connected it along with a new ground wire. He then went checked where the line came into my home...determined that the original installer had utilized a splitter in my basement with the with the -3Db line going into the router. The -7Db line then went into another splitter in a Leviton Structured Media Center where I had installed a 1x4 2 GHz Passive Video splitter. He wasn't sure if he would need to switch the lines for the video distribution but decided to check the lines first to see what the signal was at the end of the run. He checked each line and determined that the strength of the signal was within the range required for each of my lines.:)

    His first install was for their set top box which installed in less than five minutes. he then went to my LG HD LCD TV...I gave him the instructions for the CableCARD installer...he didn't realize that he needed to install one card at a time...he installed the first card and followed the on screen instructions...the fault 161-4 appeared and I let him know that this is normal and should only occur once per car...within three minutes the CableCARD screen appeared and he needed to contact his office...the first card was activated within five minutes and the second card was completed after about thirty minutes. He was then off to the other TV in the family room...I re-ran the guided setup while he was on the second TV.

    The second TV, currently a Sony tube TV, took about the same amount of time...he appeared to be a little more at ease and stayed on the line with the home office throughout the activation process. After he completed this I re-ran the guided setup on this HD unit as well.

    Observations
    I must say the process went a lot smoother than I expected since he had no experience. He has worked for Verizon since he graduated High School and is there for twenty years...he said that they were initially very busy at the beginning installing FiOS w9ith the free TV offer...he doesn't believe they expected the overwhelming response early on...this is why not everyone had received their TV. He also indicated that they were circulating around the "garage" the new HD channels and other channels that would be available by what he believed would be mid to late July...he also said that the entire network would be digital before the end of the year.

    The whole process took about two hours for two TiVo HD units and a Verizon set top box. I am currently running version 9.3a and in this short time (1.5 hours) have not had any issues with the software: cool: This installation was a replacement for me from DirecTV; I didn't want Cablevision and live in Plainview, New York (Long Island).

    As a side note...I have been using FiOS Internet for four months and have experienced on average 45Mbs upload / 4.5Mbs download for a 20/5 service...even though I am not getting a great upload speed I can live with considering the excellent download speeds I have experienced.

    Tim
     
  10. Jamisohn

    Jamisohn New Member

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Wall, New...
    Thanks for letting us know, Tim. It's great that your install went so smoothly. I hope my CableCARD install goes as well on Friday!
     
  11. majortom

    majortom New Member

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    Apr 16, 2002
    San...
    Having just switched my parents to RCN with 5 TiVo HD receivers from their old DirecTv with 2 HD and 3 SD DirecTiVo receivers, I was happy to read about your experience with FiOS. I just got a new place in Redondo Beach and was trying to decide between FiOS and DirecTv with my parents old DirecTiVo units. Based on this post and conversations with a few other TiVo HD FiOS users, I have decided to do that myself.

    I used to really like DirecTv and would gladly have stayed with them had they offered an HD TiVo receiver (even as an extra cost option). In my parents case, they saved quite a bit of money over DirecTv as additional cable cards are $1.50 (vs. DirecTv's $5) and their overall bundle (20/2Mb/s internet and all channels except HBO, but including CineMax, Showtime, etc.) cost about as much as my internet only package before the upgrade (right around $100 a month (about what the premier package costs).

    /carmi
     
  12. solsurfer

    solsurfer Member

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    Mar 17, 2003
    LA, CA
    Tim,

    Thanks for the great info. How's life with the new service after living with it for a few days?

    I know some services aren't available with the TivoHD that are with the Verizon box (like ppv). Have you had the chance to see if you can still use the Pay Per View if you order online? Any other big things missing?

    Thanks,

    Rod
     
  13. JediTim

    JediTim New Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Long...
    So far I have only minor complaints...the move between menu items seems a little slow in comparison to my old DirecTV R10 TiVo unit. Other than that the system runs great, the picture is super and I have not missed an episode. For the price I am paying I am saving a lot with a better picture.
    Tim
     
  14. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    Are you up to 9.3a? The menus are substantially faster with 9.3a. Also, give it a couple days after the 9.3a upgrade to "settle in".
     
  15. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2004
    Carrollton,...
    I agree with AbMagFab. Once you are at the current version and the database has completely indexed, I think you will see improvement.

    I made the same move, and my Series 3 is faster than the R10 I had before. The TivoHD should do the same thing.

    Al
     
  16. JediTim

    JediTim New Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Long...
    Yes,
    I forced the 9.3a download prior to having the CableCARDS installed. What I mean is when I switch channels it takes a couple of seconds for the channel to appear...not that I channel surf but it would slow this down.

    I think it has to do with the setting of fixed 1080i versus Hybrid...i am still testing but when it was initially set from the factory to 480i it moved quicker...
    Tim
     
  17. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

    2,484
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    Jan 17, 2004
    Carrollton,...
    It could be.

    Depending on the TV, it could take a few moments for the TV to detect the resolution and act accordingly. Others have talked about this and some have set the Tivo to fixed resolution to avoid the detection time on the TV. Some TVs are very quick and others very slow (several seconds).

    If this is the case, the delay is not really at the Tivo, but somewhere else (TV) in the setup.

    I use "native", which should produce the maximum number of resolution changes, but I have an external scaler that sends a fixed 720P resolution to the (Samsung DLP) TV. In this setup, the channel changes are very quick.

    Depending on your TV, hybrid could produce the best picture, however, the scaler on the Tivo does a better job than I would have expected. You may just want to try a fixed resolution, matching your TVs native resolution, for a while. You might be satisfied with the results. I've tried a number of combinations letting the Tivo do the scaling, letting the TV do the scaling and using an external scaler. I don't have a "golden eye", but I am a hobbyist and I was able to see a difference, but it was subtle. For most non-hobbyist, even on a large TV, I'm not sure the difference would make a difference.

    Al
     
  18. JediTim

    JediTim New Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Long...
    Al,
    Thanks for your response...I have a felling that is exactly the case. I haven't had a chance to really sit down and try differnt combinations...I will probably keep some sort of log and try differnt combitations for the best result.
    Tim
    P.S. - I have a LG LCD HD with 1080p.
     

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