Does Tivo REALLY work with Fios?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Ranger94, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Ranger94

    Ranger94 New Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Even though I see many of you say that their Tivo's work great with Fios I still wonder. Do you still need the Fios cable box? If I need an Attenuator can I buy it an install it myself? Fios in general is a poor substitute for satellite but I thought I would give it a try (a series of power outtages in my town last summer killed my Tivo) and my one year contract is nearly up and I need to make a decision soon about trying to adapt Tivo to Fios (which is the part of satellite I miss the most) or just switch back. Fios has too few HD channels and the Motorola HD DVR box has shut off by itself at least a half dozen times since we had it installed last August. It is also very sluggish in switching from TV to On Demand and DVR. Also the menus for DVR and On Demand are like something out of a silent movie sci fi fillm - they work like they were designed by someone who just learned his primary color table. I feel like they rolled out the system without it being ready.

    So in plain non-jargoned English (is possible!) can I go out - buy a Tivo HD DVR and plug it into Fios and get it to work without tears?

    Thanks for your help
  2. Aero 1

    Aero 1 Active Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    the tivoHD will not work with the fios cable box or any box for that matter. you have to schedule a cable card install with verizon in order to get your tivo working. you will need 2 cards in order to have 2 tuners (record one while watching another).

    verizon charges $2.99 for each card, so you will be spending $6 to verizon for one tivo. The disadvantage with the S-cards is that you will not get on demand or ppv (only ppv if you call them directly).

    i have 2 tivos with 4 cable cards with fios. works perfectly.
  3. jjberger2134

    jjberger2134 Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    There are 2 types of cable cards - S cards and M cards. You will need 2 S-cards (single stream) or 1 M-card (multi stream) to have dual tuner functionality on a TiVo HD. You need to check with your local Verizon FIOS office to see what types of cards they have.
  4. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    What -- if we're all lying? :rolleyes:


    Yes, it's trivial.
  5. Mar 2, 2008 #5 of 18

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    You should have no problem getting a Tivo HD connected with FIOS. I've got two S3 Tivos with FIOS after dumping DirecTV and couldn't be happier. I think you're a bit confused on the whole FIOS issue vs. DirecTV. DirecTV is a poor substitute for FIOS, IMHO (and I was a DirecTV devotee for over 10 years). FIOS will be adding lots more HD channels this year so don't panic and fall prey to DirecTV's hype about all of the HD channels they offer (lots of HD channels, but very little actual programming in HD). I get more OTA HD channels using my rooftop antenna (14 total) than DirecTV provides (a measly four channels) so the quantity of HD channels DTV provides that I actually watch is less than what I get without DirecTV, although I would probably watch the Sci-Fi HD channel. FIOS gives me 12 out of the 14 locals (minus the Spanish-speaking channel and one of the redundant PBS locals).

    The FIOS Motorola DVR is a POS and you should immediately replace it with a Tivo HD or S3 Tivo. All you need are two cablecards that Verizon will provide and you're box-free! The only downside (to some at least) is that you can't get any VOD programming or the "wonderful" Verizon program guide (that's one "improvement" they could have left out). You should have your DVR plugged into a UPS, regardless of the brand, and you won't end up with a dead DVR (an ounce of prevention, as they say). FYI - Verizon does not require a commitment, unless you want a bigger discount for the service. It's one of the main reasons I dropped DirecTV (they're the only service provider that not only requires a commitment for any hardware activation but also upfront fees for the privilege of leasing their hardware).
  6. Mar 3, 2008 #6 of 18

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    A TiVo Series 2 (and possibly a Series 1) should also work with FiOS if you use the FiOS box, and the TiVo's IR blaster.

    Some have even had success getting their Series 2 to control the FiOS box by way of a serial cable.
  7. Apr 9, 2008 #7 of 18

    ECSTech New Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    I can personally vouch for both the series 1 and series 2 DT as being compatable with FIOS. I have both hooked up and running.

    Series 1
    The series 1 uses the IR to change the channels on my set top box. It is a little slow to react to channel changes, but it on it's 8th season. That lifetime service looks like a bargain now.

    Series 2 DT
    1st, I had to deactivate the second tuner at setup. It cannot put the set top box on two channels simultaneously. It is connected with the serial cable and changes the channels quickly and reliably. :up:

    As for the Tivo HD... I am currently sitting here biding my time until the Verizon installer gets here (sometime between 1 and 5 - nice!). I am getting two single channel cable cards installed in my brand new Tivo HD. :up:

    I will let you know how the installation goes, but I can tell you that getting Verizon to actually provide them was every bit as frustrating as I read in other posts on this forum. It took a total of 7 phone calls over a period of 10 days to get this install date (assuming they show). I literally got a different answer from every department at Verizon.

    - The scheduling department: "we can mail them to you"
    - Fiber solutions: "you can pick them up at the local dropoff center"
    - Dropoff center: "In theory, yes... but they are backordered and we don't have any.
    - Installer: "they have never heard of picking dards up. They said they only install or mail them, but you can do it yourself and call fiber solutions to activate."
    - Fiber Solutions: you can install them yourself and call to activate them.
    - A customer service manager - "you can't pick them up, we can't mail them. They must be delivered and installed by a tech."

    As you can see. None of them know the real story. Frankly, neither do I. I just hope I get them.​
  8. Apr 9, 2008 #8 of 18

    rocko Cuckoo for TiVo

    Oct 29, 2002
    Ditto - 2 "S" cards in a S3 TiVo. Install tech brought them with him - plus 1 that had to get replaced during the install. Works great and couldn't be happier.

    Actually, I would be happier with more HD channels but the only way they can go is up. :up:
  9. Apr 9, 2008 #9 of 18

    deimos New Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    I called in to get fiostv for my 2 hd tivos. They told me I absolutely have to have the motorola box at $9.99/mo for each tivo, plus a cablecard (single stream only) at $3.99/mo.

    I've searched and read the threads, and everyone implies all I need is to order fiostv and a cable card. No one says anything about needing the HD box to get HD content from fios, plus a cable card.

    Who is correct here?

    To be clear, this is what the phone rep at VZ fiostv said,

    (fios line to house) <--> verizon High Definition HD Box <--> cable card <--> HD Tivo

    all that for each HD Tivo. What I tried to argue:

    (fios line to house) <--> cable card <--> HD Tivo

    The economics work out to:

    fios tv/net/phone bundle: $114.99/mo
    High Definition HD box (x2) :$19.98/mo
    cable card (x2): $7.98/mo
    equals $142.95/mo for hd fios tv.
    add in $19.90/mo for hd tivo service

    and I'm spending a car payment a month so the wife/daughter can watch hdtv.
  10. rocko

    rocko Cuckoo for TiVo

    Oct 29, 2002
    I am (we are). If you have a S3 (2 S or 2 M cards) or TiVo HD (2 S cards or 1 M card) you do not need a cable box or Fios DVR. TiVo HD models do not even work with cable boxes - they require CableCard(s).

    $$$ is Fios service + $2.99 x 2 for CableCards.

    I am a Fios customer so this is not heresay.
  11. deimos

    deimos New Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    Thanks. That's what I thought. When the tech shows up next week, we'll see what he says. I suspect the 2 boxes are going back with him. Also, according to the same phone rep, VZ only offers single stream cablecards. They don't have a date for the multistream cards.

    Also, 2 posts in 6 years? That can't be right.
  12. rocko

    rocko Cuckoo for TiVo

    Oct 29, 2002
    I'm pretty sure that is correct about single-stream cards. Just make sure the tech brings cards with him. He will certainly be leaving with the cable boxes (unless you have a S2 you need hooked up) and those would be SD boxes anyway.
  13. ECSTech

    ECSTech New Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    All of the responses above are correct. Tivo doesn't need a set top box if it is a HD or Series 3. The cable cards act as the set top box.

    VZ only offers single stream cards. The tech arrived at 6 PM to install them. It took an hour but that was because he had never done one on a Tivo before. We got them going and it seems to be working great. HD channels are coming through great.
  14. videoi

    videoi New Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Santa Monica CA
    I love these forums.

    I have a FiOS install scheduled for Friday.

    Speaking to Verizon today, they told me that, even with the cablecards, I can't get their HD programming on my Tivo S3. This didn't make any sense to me, and the fact that their rep doesn't know what she's talking about seems to be confirmed here.

    One question I have: is there any value in their on-demand programming (in other words, does it make any sense for me to take - in addition to the 2 cablecards for my S3 Tivo - one of their non-PVR HD boxes to have access to their on-demand programming. I've tried to find details of what's available there but can't.

    My DirecTV story:
    When I "upgraded" from my DirecTivo to DTV's new DVR, they told me "no additional commitment". Now when I talk to them, they tell me that I'm under contract until Sep 2009. Their box has gone out on me a number of times, they've "inadvertently" turned off service a number of times, so, despite their HD support, I'm aggravated enough that I'm looking to cut as much from DirecTV as possible. I currently have 2 HD DVRs, and have their top-end programming package. Instead of paying DTV $12.50*17 months, I'm considering dropping one of the boxes, and dropping my programming package to HD-DVR plus with no premiums - this will let me get my HD premiums thru Verizon, and fill in the HD gaps with DTV (and winds up still costing less than I'm paying for DTV on a monthly basis w/ Verizon bundles and discounts).
  15. David Platt

    David Platt Mouse Master TCF Club

    Dec 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I wondered this myself, so I took advantage of the promo they were running to get HBO and a HD DVR for $20/month when I signed up in December. I have watched literally one show using VOD in those four months, and I've only turned the box on a handful of times. The user interface is so painful and the VOD selection is so limited that I've found virtually no use for it.
  16. rocko

    rocko Cuckoo for TiVo

    Oct 29, 2002
    I made a brief video tour so you can decide for yourselves. Once my web server wakes up I'll post it.
  17. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Well, that requires an opinion, and those can vary a lot. I know some people who demand instant gratification in everything, and for them waiting until after the next time the oh-so-hot program rolls around just isn't acceptable. I am not one of those people. Most VOD programming is simply immediately available versions of programming which is being show throughout some period of time. If you ask me, waiting for the next time the show will be on the regular schedule to record or else just taking care to make sure it gets recorded the first time it's on is just no big deal, since you asked.
  18. rocko

    rocko Cuckoo for TiVo

    Oct 29, 2002
    This MPEG is about 120MB so don't download it if you have a slow connection. I attempted to show the overall experience along with some content choices.
    Email: t*i*v* (you know what to do)
    password: tivo
    Account: reszon0f

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