Moving back to TiVo from DTV (with FiOS questions)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dslunceford, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Nov 6, 2007 #1 of 23
    dslunceford

    dslunceford Well-Known Member

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    No. VA/D.C.

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    I am moving back to TiVo from having DTiVos for 4+ years and trying to get up to speed on things, as I just haven't paid full attention to the goings on in the SA world for a while (I feel like a noob reading through threads in the coffee hour and the S3 forums).

    FiOS will be the source here in NoVA. I believe I'm going for two TiVoHDs and will try to get Multistream cards for those and I understand that with correct card install, folks on FiOS aren't having any issues at this point.

    For an older TV in our bedroom, I was thinking about simply getting a Series 2 DT and using the standard FiOS box, but I have some confusion.

    First, the FiOS order taker mentioned there may be some issues with using the Series 2 and to call FiOS tech support for details. Of course, 20 minutes later and FiOS tech support can only tell me that I need to call TiVo. TiVo can tell me that it should work, but FiOS has to output analog channels for the second tuner.

    FiOS claims to be 100% digital, but they do offer LOCALS ONLY without use of any cable box. My assumption is that these channels would be analog, correct? Is there anybody out there with FiOS using a Series 2 DT and only one FiOS cable box?

    I've got so much to learn and do, including figuring out the best way to expand the HD boxes, MRV options, TiVotoGo, hooking up to my wireless network and more -- not to mention figuring out how to get a phone line into one of the rooms for a daily call!
     
  2. Nov 6, 2007 #2 of 23
    mappler

    mappler Blah

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    Steve,
    I just did what you are planning to do. I had 2 DTivos and now have 1 TivoHD. I made the switch to FIOS about 3-4 months ago. I got a Motorola DVR from FIOS and a Standard Def STB. The new Motorola software they pushed out to me in September took my working (not Tivo, but functional) DVR and have made it unusable. So, I switched to TivoHD and cablecards. I am also in NoVa. A few comments for you:

    1) I don't think FIOS is distributing any M Cards yet. I haven't seen any reports of that happening here or on other boards. I have 2 S Cards.

    2) I believe channels 1-49 on FIOS are output over the coax system as analog channels and can be tuned by any analog tuner. I haven't tried this, but that is my understanding from reading other posts. If you want me to confirm this to be true, PM me and I can try it for you. I'm not running a Series 2, but I can hook the coax direct to my TV and see what I can tune.

    3) On the new TivoHD/S3 you do not require a phone line. You can also use the Ethernet port for daily calls. Tivo sells a wireless adapter for that as well. Therefore, you can hook directly into your wireless network and avoid any rewiring (if that is desirable to you). In fact, this is the preferred mechanism for connecting if you want to schedule recordings via the web since it will "dial-in" more frequently.

    4) So far, I'm very happy with the TivoHD w/ FIOS. No problems at all. I'm planning a storage space upgrade, but other than that, I have no complaints. It's nice to be back on a Tivo.

    -Matt
     
  3. Nov 6, 2007 #3 of 23
    GDogg

    GDogg New Member

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    I did things a little differently with my FIOS install in Howard County, MD but perhaps you'll gain some insight from my experience.

    The FIOS fiber enters through the side of my house, passes through an electronics box in the basement, and is completely transitioned to the existing RF cabling that runs throughout my house and was previously used for Comcast analog cable. In my case they just unplugged the Comcast RF cable from the street and plugged in the new FIOS RF cable. The FIOS cable box (Motorola QIP6416) and the FIOS Internet Router (rebadged Actiontec) both interface to the existing household RF cable wiring.

    The FIOS RF cable provides up to 49 analog channels that can be received directly by existing TV's and analog Tivo's. In my case these channels included all major OTA networks from the Baltimore and DC (including PBS), public/gov access channels, and a local weather channel.

    Since I already had a Lifetimed Series 2 ST, I plugged the analog RF cable directly into it and use it for all Season Passes on network TV and local PBS. Then I got the FIOS DVR which I use for non-network cable channels (Sci-Fi, Discovery, etc.) and for network programming that I want to record in High Def (Heroes looks pretty good in HD).

    The Tivo interfaces to my television using S-Video+audio lines and the FIOS DVR goes into the HDMI input. I select between the two using the television input select. The Tivo user interface makes the FIOS one look pretty archaic, and I've got a 320G HD in the Tivo which provides far more recording time than the FIOS DVR.

    Not the perfect system but it meets my needs just fine.
     
  4. Nov 6, 2007 #4 of 23
    dslunceford

    dslunceford Well-Known Member

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    No. VA/D.C.
    Thanks Matt/GDogg...

    Between the two of you it seems I've verified that an S2 DT would work just fine in the bedroom (and I would need a STB from FiOS for that as my kids tape off of Noggin, Nick, etc up there).

    And I never zippered or did anything other than space upgrades on my DTiVos, so I forgot that I'm going to be able to network the new HDs, which means no need to run a phone line (but I will need to buy a couple of wireless adapters).
     
  5. Nov 6, 2007 #5 of 23
    jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

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    Just a quick one...

    Don't be rattled by the msrp of tivo's wireless adapter ($59.95). It can be had for much cheaper. Just poke around a little on the net.

    I paid $37.98 +shipping for my last one from amazon.:)

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Nov 6, 2007 #6 of 23
    dslunceford

    dslunceford Well-Known Member

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    No. VA/D.C.
    Thanks. Finding that out right now (and may be had for even cheaper at eBay if patient). It appears that with FiOS that the official TiVo wireless adapter is probably the best bet. I was poking around in the Actiontec router required for FiOS and it doesn't appear that you can set it up for mixed mode wireless (B & G), so you need to get a G adapter and there are fewer of those tested and approved on TiVo's "compatible adapters" list.
     
  7. Nov 7, 2007 #7 of 23
    mappler

    mappler Blah

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    If you already have a wireless access point, you can run that in addition to the Actiontec. I've had a few very minor issues with the Actiontec, but nothing too horrible and well within the normal experiences with wireless routers. As with most things, either it works for your setup or it does not. :) For a while I was running my old access point in addition to the Actiontec to support a legacy device that wasn't playing nicely with others.

    -Matt
     
  8. Nov 7, 2007 #8 of 23
    eldred24

    eldred24 New Member

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    Hey guys, like a couple of you I live in No. VA as well. I too had FIOS installed about 6 months ago and love the service. I had heard about all the problems and non functionality with my S3 Tivo so I took a leap and tried their HDDVR box. I have not been happy with it, a lot of botched/bad recordings. It has been a headache. I am ready to switch back to my lifetime service I have on my S3.
    Is there any reason to wait to get the cable cards installed in my S3? I have no problem waiting if things will get easier in the next couple months.
    It just seems to me after reading through threads that it is a huge hassle to get the cable cards installed and functioning.
     
  9. Nov 7, 2007 #9 of 23
    fredct

    fredct Member

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    NJ
    Wait, what's this? FIOS is coming to my area soon and while I'm not planning on moving to FIOS TV just yet, I was thinking of moving to FIOS internet pretty quickly.

    Do I take from this that the FIOS 'modem' is also a wired/wireless router? And that it doesn't supposed mixed b/g? (I have a couple devices that are only b)

    If so, is there a way to either turn off all the routing abilities of the Actiontec, or get a version that is just a modem?

    - Fred
     
  10. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Carrollton,...
    A lot of people use their own router and get a nim or just use the actiontec for the HIM support.
     
  11. fredct

    fredct Member

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    Nov 15, 2004
    NJ
    Okay, I feel I'm pretty adept at networking, but I've never heard of NIM or HIM before. Knowing what those stand for may be helpful in figuring out what you're saying :)
     
  12. NotVeryWitty

    NotVeryWitty Too Big to Fail

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    Central Mass.
    FWIW, I have the FIOS internet service with the Actiontec router, and I *am* using it with both B and G devices. My kids got a Wii for Christmas last year, and that comes with wireless B. I don't remember how I changed it (I had previously been running G only), but I know for sure it works for me.
     
  13. dslunceford

    dslunceford Well-Known Member

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    No. VA/D.C.
    If you can figure out where the setting is, it would be appreciated. I see mine listed as G only and can't find where to change it to mixed mode....
     
  14. dslunceford

    dslunceford Well-Known Member

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    No. VA/D.C.
    OK, what am I missing here. I'm looking at an S2 DT for the bedroom and trying to find the best deal.

    Amazon has the 80 hour S2 DT for $99 which includes a $100 TiVo service gift card and a $5 credit for UnBox. It then seems this would be eligible for a $150 rebate from TiVo. So I'm looking at making $156 on the deal ($51 in cash and $105 in service credits)?
     
  15. mappler

    mappler Blah

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    I had no issues with CableCards on my TivoHD with FIOS. They work flawlessly. I do not know if this is different with the S3.

    -Matt
     
  16. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Carrollton,...
    NIM (no HIM, I fat fingered that one).

    I think it stands for Network Interface Module.

    It is a device that lets requests from the Fios set top box coax signal to be transmitted back to Verizon over the Ethernet network. It's how VOD and PPV requests get back to the Verizon office.

    For the older ONT/ActionTecs, the NIM was a separate black box with a coax and RJ45 connections.

    For older ONTs/ newer ActionTec, the NIM hardware was built into the ActionTec. That's what I have.

    The newer ONTs have the NIM built into the ONT itself and the AcitionTec is a very large router with a lot of empty space in the case.

    An option would be to bring Ethernet from the ONT to your router. Have some leg of the coax going to the ActionTec or separate NIM and one Ethernet coming from you router to the actiontec or NIM, but with the WiFi on the actiontec turned off. Then your router is doing everything except the NIM functionality.

    You have to request Ethernet from the ONt and they may charge a little extra for the instal instead of network over coax. They are going to fight you on turning on the Ethernet in the ONT, but it can be done. You don't gain any speed this way, but you do get (a very small) latency improvement.

    I hope that makes sense. The configuration changes depending on the ONT they install.

    Al
     
  17. fredct

    fredct Member

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    NJ
    No, no rebates. From the Amazon page:
    But -$6 ain't bad either.
     
  18. fredct

    fredct Member

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    Nov 15, 2004
    NJ
    Al,

    It kinda makes sense :). I'm sure seeing it would help, but...

    It sounds like you're talking about FIOS TV, since you're talking about needing it for the STB to communicate back for PPV and VOD, etc.

    I'm actually only thinking of getting FIOS internet at first - so I guess this is a bit OT for this board, but I didn't bring it up ;)

    If you're just set up for FIOS internet, do you still need all that stuff, or is there some DSL/cable modem equivalent that isn't also a router that I could get?

    - Fred
     
  19. mappler

    mappler Blah

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    The Actiontec router does a few things:

    1) It makes an external connection as either 10baseT or Coax to the external FIOS box on your house.
    2) It allows "internal" network connections as 10baseT, Wireless, and Coax.

    So, yes, it serves as a wired/wireless router.

    The external FIOS box CAN be wired to use 10baseT, however the most common format FIOS uses is to run Coax to the Actiontec. If they run 10baseT from outside to inside, you can use your own router. However, your standard Linksys/Netgear/whatever router does not do Coax networking. Additionally, I think you would still also require Coax to run the video portion of the signal to your STBs. Therefore, any PPV, video on demand, etc. operations that require 2-way communications would not function.

    So, in the end, you are almost entirely tied to the Actiontec in some form if you use the TV service. However, you can choose what you want to use it for. You can turn off wireless. You can plug your own router into one of the wired ports. You can make your router the "DMZ" device, causing the Actiontec to forward all inbound traffic to it. Then, the only thing the Actiontec is doing is providing the Coax networking within your house to your STBs and forwarding packets to your regular router/WAP.

    However, all that said, the Actiontec sees to work fine for most people. It has a decent feature set. If you are just using internet, you can have them just run 10baseT inside your house and you are good to go.

    -Matt
     
  20. fredct

    fredct Member

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    Nov 15, 2004
    NJ
    Gotcha. So the Actiontec can set up a coax LAN as well. Interesting. This leads me to some FIOS TV hook-up questions, but I think I'll lay off of them until I'm considering actually getting FIOS TV :)


    Can you turn off the router functionality of the Actiontec altogether on Ethernet, so that its only acting as a bridge for the ethernet connection? That's what I've done with my DSL modem/router. Failing that, I guess turning off wireless and setting my router as the DMZ device is the closest alternate.


    It only appears to support WEP though, right? Their info also says they pre-assign a WEP key - not sure if it can be changed? Someone says it doesn't support B/G mixed, which I would need. Does it do MAC filtering? Can you turn off SSID broadcast?

    All-in-all it'd probably be easier to just turn it off as much as possible, and keep my WPAed/MAC filter list/mixed wireless setup as close to as-is as I can.
     

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