Ok, here we go. FIOS TV and series3.

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by blhirsch, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    All righty. Time to make the jump to HDTV and series 3, and with it, from DirecTV and the DirecTivo.

    For about four years I've been nicely chugging along with my multiple directivos, which are "altered" to take advantage of my home network and a central media server. (Note: no TOS, just the ability to save some shows for later watching, either served back to the Tivo, on my computer, or on my iPod. Apparently, you can now do all this with series2 out of the box, and on the series3, it's coming. But I digress...)

    Now, I'd like to go about this with a little more knowledge going in than I did with my original DirecTV installation, which later had me running my own cable, and also climbing up on my roof to change the LNB. Basically, I would like to be further ahead of the lernin' cerve than I was when I started out with DirecTV. By the time I found tivocommunity.com, I learned there were several things I wish I'd done right the first time.

    Current setup is as such: FIOS internet is installed, and the ONT is down in my basement, blinking its happy lights, and feeding a line to my wireless router and, by extension, the rest of my wireless network. DirecTV lines come in in the same area of hte basement, are fed to a multiswitch, and then feed two lines to my bedroom, two to my great room. The series3 is going into my greatroom. The bedroom will have a box with a friend's old series1 lifetime standalone until I get a second series3. Or maybe some other arrangement, see below.

    My questions are these:

    I presume I can take advantage of the existing coax runs once the FIOS TV goes in?

    Is there something I should put on the line ahead of time (amp? splitter? Something has to replace that multiswitch. Is there something I should supply/buy myself that would be better than what the installer might come out with?

    Anything I should know/do before the installer comes out?

    Anything I should prevent the installer from doing or taking?

    Are the multistream cards out? Or do I need two cards?

    Are there any channels I can receive without a box on the TVs that won't have a tivo? I have one TV in my basement that I'd like to receive some basic channels for the kids if I can, but I'm not about to rent a box for it.

    What about some kind of creative setup with the tivo (centrally located tivo, central server, for example?) I honestly can't think of anything I would need some kind of bizarre setup for, but I'm having a hard time thinking outside of the box on a service I've not yet used. But, like I said, I want to build as much in as I can while I'm just setting up to minimize having to redo stuff later once I figure out what my real needs are. What I'm fishing for here is that if all of you are doing something I should be doing, I'd like to know.

    Finally, is there some kind of way I should order this that might net me a better price, or some kind of promotion? Is there some ordering pitfall I should avoid? Is there some kind of answer/price I shouldn't accept when I order the cablecards?

    Thanks for any insight you guys can offer.

    For my next feat, I'll be buying an HDTV. But that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. My brain hurts trying to organize the information into a cogent plan of attack.
     
  2. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    I had a very similar situation. My whole house is wired, home run, with dual coax and cat 5 to every room (and more in some cases, like main TV areas, etc.).

    I had DirecTV with FIOS internet, and then converted to FIOS TV.

    I numbered your questions to make answering them easier:
    1) Absolutely. Even better, you only need one coax and you'll get dual tuners (since the S3/THD splits it internally, and you don't have that wacky LNB stuff to deal with).

    2) I would recommend getting the 8-way Viewsonics active cable splitter. You can get them on eBay for $40-$60, and they do magic to the signal. Even though FIOS TV is very "hot" coming into your house, it can always use a little clean up. If you find that it's too hot, you can just install a cheap -4db or -7db splitter in-line before the Viewsonics to take the signal down, but still let the Viewsonics do the signal cleaning.

    3) I would strongly recommend you get the installer to run cat5 for your network, and coax for your TV. The new routers let them do it all over coax, but if you are wired for it, I'd recommend making sure they use the cat5 for your network, and leave the coax for the TV only. Much simpler ultimately for diagnostics and other work, if you're already a home-wiring kind of guy.

    3a) Also, if you aren't going to fo VOD (you'll need one of their boxes), then don't even bother with sending coax to the router at all. They want to split the coax to send it to the router, and that's both limiting (in terms of location), and bad for the signal (in terms of -db). If they do it anyway, you can just undo it when they leave.

    4) Not that I can think of.

    5) MCards aren't in my area yet, but I think some people are reporting they can get them. Good luck!

    6) You can basically only get your locals, and some local municipal channels (whatever your county/city agreed to with Verizon to get the franchise). Anything else needs a CC or STB.

    7) Hopefully Tivo will release MRV/TTG at some point, in which case you'd just buy Tivo's for all over the house and use that for video distribution. I would recommend staying away from the (now old-school) central server video distribution model. But I'll get lots of flames from old-school installers for saying this.

    8) FIOS TV pricing is generally very good. They have a few packages, but they are generally listed on the web site. The only deals that don't seem to be listed are STB promos (like get 3 STB for $2 off). You should also try to get a monthly credit for having both Internet and TV. Otherwise, CC's are ~$3/month each, and you'll need 2 in each TivoHD/S3 for now (unless you can get an MCARD, in which case you only need one in the THD).

    Good luck!

    Oh yeah, you'll probably notice some random pixelation with FIOS TV and the Tivo. They don't seem to have totally nailed FIOS TV yet, mostly because (apparently) Verizon won't submit to CableLabs for certification, so they are probably doing a few non-standard things. But overall it's really good.

    Oh yeah again, with the TivoHD, I'd strongly recommend trying both CC's in slot 1 before doing the install. Make sure in both cases, it jumps to the CC screen and stays there, and you don't get repeated 161-4 errors or a 161-1 error. If you do, dump the card (even if it seems to work in slot 2).

    And make sure to do 1 CC at a time - completely. For FIOS, they have to do an "Initialization" first, then you'll get a (single) 161-4 error. After the error, they need to do an "Activation", and you'll get another (singler) 161-4 error. It can take 1-10 minutes for each hit to go through (usually closer to 2-3 minutes). Make sure they wait for each error to occur before going to the next step, and do one card completely before even inserting the second card (except for testing above).

    Then do the guided setup completely.

    Then reboot.

    Then test all your channels again. After a reboot, it can take 1-10 minutes to re-pair, but the Tivo should do it automatically (no hit needed from FIOS). And test them on both CC's.

    Hit "Record" on an SD channel to make sure it's going through the CC (for FIOS, this would only matter on the channels below 50). Tune to an SD channel over 50, tune to an HD local, tune to an HD network (e.g. Discovery), tune to an HD premium (e.g. HBO). And do this on both tuners.

    That's it! Enjoy!
     
  3. Scot Kight

    Scot Kight New Member

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    Nov 5, 2003
    works much better than the 6416. So slow and unfriendly compared to the tivohd.
     
  4. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Thanks!!!!

    I WISH I had the cat5 going to every room. My home is older and it was a PITA to get the coax where it needed to be, which left no room for the cat5, and the directivos don't have wireless on board, even when their networking is enabled, so it requires either installing it yourself or having individual wireless bridges at each tivo. I did the latter (usb network adapter plus apple airport express in WDS mode). i'm thinking maybe if I yank down the double coax to the great room, I'll have room to put back in a single line PLUS cat5, run then down to a network switch, and then run the single line back to my wireless router. Maybe I'll put in a network box in my basement next to the ONT.

    Then again, the non-directv tivos have wireless built-in so maybe the wireless adapter is sufficient for MRV when it comes to the series3.

    Is this the thing you're talking about when you mentioned the viewsonic splitter?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/VIEWSONICS-8-PO...ryZ39803QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  5. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Oops, see, I'm already using the wrong lingo.

    When I say "series3" I'm referring to both the more expensive Tivo That Can Record HD and the less expensive one. I'm not sure which one I want yet, but I suspect it'll be the new one, the $299 one, unless there's some compelling reason to choose one over the other.
     
  6. MikeTerryP

    MikeTerryP Member

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Is it just me or does anyone else get frustrated when people who post here assume that we are all Tivo Community geeks and instinctively know what the alphabet soup that people use to save keystrokes actually means. I read the first post in this thread and found "TOS", "ONT", and LNB" within several sentences. It may be that people who have information to give are not interested in trying to decipher that instant messaging lingo. Take another 3 seconds and spell it out please.
     
  7. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    I understand your frustration, but in another sense, it's perfectly normal for people to use industry-specific language.

    Except for TOS (theft of service) the words ONT and LNB are not forum-specific acronyms made up by geeks or instant messaging jargon, but the very words Verizon and DirecTV use in their own literature. Like FIOS. Or TV. Or HD. But very unlike the word "ZA" you use in one of your posts. I presume you meant "Zone Alarm" from previous usage in that thread, but you didn't define it--nor did you take the extra three seconds to type it out, as you ask others to do for you. Not that I even know what it is, even spelled out. This doesn't upset me. I think it's normal and natural for people to want to work convenience into their communication.

    For reference-sake, however:

    ONT (Optical Network Terminal) is the box that Verizon will install that interfaces between the incoming FIOS signal and your house. Same thing as the old standard phone box on the side of your house pre-FIOS.

    LNB (Low Noise Block Converter) is the part of a satellite dish that receives the satellite signals as they bounce off the dish. It looks like a little stalk that sticks out into and near the center of the dish.

    Hope this helps, and I encourage you to run searches (either on the forum or on google) because it's possible that people are using terms that are just unfamiliar to you, rather than some kind of elitist attempt to confuse the masses.
     
  8. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Yup. I swear by them. There's usually 6 or so on eBay at any point in time. You can just unplug from your multiswitch and plug into this (only one cable for each Tivo now, though!).

    Please note that the TivoHD seems to have some of the old S3/FIOS pixelation issues. I have no pixelation any more on my S3's, but I have some on my TivoHD. Nothing terrible, but more than I'd like. It's not signal related, it appears to be software related.

    I would expect them to fix it with a software update, like they did with the S3. Again, nothing unwatchable, just a little annoying when you want a perfect picture all the time.
     
  9. MikeTerryP

    MikeTerryP Member

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    Mar 12, 2004
    This is the last time I will post in this regard. The reason you knew it was Zone Alarm is because I had spelled it out previously in the post (took about 3 seconds).

    I would venture a guess that the terms "TV" and "HD" are a little more commonly used in the general public than "ONT" and "LNB". Nobody would expect the word "television" to have to be spelled out. My point is that many people might not be interested in participating or helping if they have to research acronyms prior to answering and why should they have to? The more lingo you use, the more you narrow your readership. If you are only interested in those that have specific knowledge of Verizon or DirecTV terminology that's fine. If you are interested in a broader base, maybe it's not the best way to achieve it.
     
  10. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Wait a second, are you arguing that I'm using arcane acronyms for things that I ought to spell out, or are you arguing that I'm talking about things that are generally unknown, and therefore ought to be left out of the discussion altogether?

    Because my point is that nobody uses "Optical Network Terminal" when they are referring to an ONT, and nobody uses "Low Noise Block Converter" when they mean to say LNB. It's not instant messaging lingo, nor is it a geek term for something generally called something else. Those ARE the commonly accepted terms.

    If I were to spell out those terms, it's not going to help anybody who isn't already familiar with the item, at which point LNB and ONT are perfectly acceptable terms in their shortened forms, just as TV and HD are.

    Thus, my point about your use of "ZA" is that it's not at all a regularly used term and de facto undermines your assertion that people ought to take the extra three seconds to spell those uncommon abbreviations out. ONT, LNB, TV, and HD are not ZA, MRV, TTG, and KWIM. Just because they're defined somewhere else on the thread does not mean everybody is going to follow. When you say "take the extra three seconds" I take you at your word, so when you don't do that and rely that the association with "Zone Alarm" upthread is sufficient to make it understandable, you are in conflict with your assertion that one ought to spell things out. You didn't say, "unless it's obvious." And if you are going to so qualify, I submit that using commonly accepted abbreviations are, by definition, obvious.

    But now in this post you seem to be saying that the problem is that I'm using terms that others don't understand, not that the forms I'm using are unknown. At which point I don't know what to say, because I doubt someone who is completely unfamiliar with the general satellite setup such that LNB is a foreign word is going to be all that familiar with helping me understand what the problems might be in my current wiring setup and going to FIOS. Or that someone who is unfamiliar with FIOS setup is going to be able to answer what I need to know about installing it. Not to mention that those weren't all of my questions. Some of them, such as pricing and cablecards, are perfectly understandable to anybody and I'd love to hear what people's experiences are because as we all know, saying the right thing or insiting on something you know you are entitled to, has a lot to do with whether or not you are ultimately successful with any cable company. If wiring and networking are not your expertise, then it's not your expertise. Goodness knows I have a lot to learn in that regard myself.

    At any rate, it seems you've taken me to task for something that is, at best, for conflicting and shifting reasons. At worst, you're chastizing me for something you yourself do. So I just don't understand or follow your particular outrage.
     
  11. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Good to know. I'll pick one up and use it.

    I'm only now reading up on the whole pixelation issue, but it seems hit or miss as to whether or not I'll encounter that problem. Obviously if you have that problem you're more likely to post, so it's hard to determine just how pervasive the issue is.

    But it's good to know going in. Maybe I'll spring for the S3.
     
  12. MikeTerryP

    MikeTerryP Member

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Impressive. Using hundreds of words in a near-novella to defend avoiding the typing of three words and fulfilling the need to construct a convoluted attack on me. Please note I never attacked you, only expressed a wish that fewer acronyms be used in these posts. I never cease to be amazed at the knee-jerk reactions of people to jump to the attack when they perceive criticism. Wouldn't it have been easier and friendlier to simply have said something like, "I can see your point, but I was addressing this to the (specific experts)." Instead your reaction was to research previous posts, dig out what you thought was some dirt on me, and attempt to discredit anything I might say. You should be in Republican politics. I hope you feel better now.
     
  13. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Knee jerk? Attack post? Me? Kettle, meet pot. The only purpose of your post on this thread was to criticize it, when you had nothing else to add at all. It wasn't friendly, it was critical.

    Surely in your role as self-imposed acronym-police you are on you way now to add posts to just about every single other discussion on this board that uses acronyms you don't understand. I'm just about the LEAST technically savvy person on this board, and far from the only one to use technological terms to describe technological things on a board about technology.
     
  14. MikeTerryP

    MikeTerryP Member

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Thank you for proving my point once again, predictable as a lawyer chasing an ambulance. You just can't seem to help yourself. I suggest you check your blood pressure.
     
  15. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Wow, you're just full of insults, aren't you? I'm not the one here who has posted multiple times with nothing but invective.

    Besides, aren't you the one who claimed that this was the last time you were going to post about the matter?
     
  16. MikeTerryP

    MikeTerryP Member

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    Mar 12, 2004
    You're not? Now that's funny.
     
  17. usnret

    usnret New Member

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    Nov 25, 2003
    NW Ohio
    By the same token MikeTerryP, please don't drag your political views into a Tivo discussion. Find another forum for it. TAN (take a nap).
     
  18. bdlucas

    bdlucas Right side up again.

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    Exurbia
    Will the kettle and the pot please take their little tiff to PM (that's Private Message) and leave the thread on topic? Thanks.
     
  19. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Fair enough. Rock on, Bruce.
     

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