Series 3 Verizon FIOS HD compat?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mchad, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. May 21, 2007 #381 of 2231

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area


    You can save recordings from the locals to a PC for viewing (you can't copy them back to the Tivo). It's somewhat complicated.

    You connect the FiOS Motorola DVR to a PC via Firewire then use a program like CAP DVHS to capture the recording in realtime while it plays. Once again, this only works on local channels.
  2. Jun 4, 2007 #382 of 2231

    cipsi New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    Hey everyone,

    I actually WAS considering switching from the Motto DVR to the S3 but have decided to pass after reading all this. I have had FIOS for over 6 months now and to get the Motto DVR to work at my place I had 7 different service guys at the house and they installed 2 different fiber lines, and 3 different DVR's to the house. The signal quality is still not where it should be, but I am getting all the channels with little problems. I really am afraid that the cablecard/S3 interaction would get me NO HD channels and I don't want to take another week off of work as Verizon tries to suss it all out! My wife hates FIOS TV and wishes I would have never switched from DTV. We had DTV for over 12 years with 3 modded S2 tivos( anyone interested in buying them?) I am just not really willing to invest a bunch of time and $ for the off chance the S3 will work for us. And furthermore, I don't really want another Verizon Tech in my house! I am going to wait until all this settles down before I make any changes. Who knows, maybe Verizon will strike a deal with Tivo like DTV and they will make a special unit just for them.

    Just for everyone’s information, here is what I like and dislike about the Motto DVR.

    Motto Likes:

    Wigets are cool, although not quite useful yet.
    Cost ($600 for the s3 + monthly $9 = $26/month verses $16/month motto)


    -The DVR functionality sucks (TIVO is 10000x better)
    -You cant use the DVR(play a recorded show) if the Fios service is down!
    -Stop/jump/fast forward/rewind stop working occasionally.
    -The frickin 30 jump cues up, so if the dvr does not respond and you hit the button repeatedly the darn thing catches up fast forwarding beyond where you want to be.
    -Misses shows my Tivo used to catch, like a season pass to Survivor will also record the last reunion show, the Motto did not!
    -Conflict resolution does not work right if you have 2 shows recording.
    -You can’t record 2 shows and watch VOD - this should work like a recorded show.
  3. Jun 4, 2007 #383 of 2231
    Joe Q

    Joe Q New Member

    Apr 21, 2004
    I have been with Fios for only 2 weeks now but I am home recovering from surgery so I have a lot of time on my hands to mess wih this.

    Since the Verizon FIOS signal is so much LESS compressed than what I was used to with Directv and my HDTIVO, that 160 Gbyte disk fills up really fast so I needed a way to offload and delete stuff for later viewing.

    I have been doing extensive testing on the Motorola 6416 archiving capabilities.

    The statement about locals is not true. It all has to do with whether the 5C flag is set and is dependent upon the area that you are in,apparantly.
    More on that later in this post.

    So far, I have found 3 ways to archive material from the Motorola 6416.
    The first 2 are activley being used by me and the third will be later this week after my JVC from Ebay shows up.

    A) DVD Recorder which will record ANYTHING coming out the S-VIDEO connection on the Moto 6416. That includes High Def stuff but that sort of defeats the purpose of high def. No copy protection issues to deal with.

    B) CapDVHS from the Motorola 6416 box to a PC over firewire. Channels that have the 5C flag set will get recorded BUT they are encrypted.
    There are many ways of playing back TS (transport Stream files) that Capdvhs makes.

    C) A 5C compliant D-VHS deck like the Mits 2000/JVC 30K/JVC 40K or the JVC DH5U.
    This will let you record and playback anything coming out of the Firewire connectoin on the Moto 6416.
    IN theory, you could use a 5C compliant HDTV OTA tuner like the Samsung T165 but I have chosen not to pursue that

    Further details:

    1) Think of a really simple to use VHS recorder.
    I bought a Sony RDRGX355 Upconverting DVD recorder which has an HDMI output.
    It is designed to be used with Cable and Satellite STB's as it has an IR Blaster to control Cable and Satellite STB's.

    You can setup timer recordings/instant record or Synchro recordings

    I use the IR Blaster to have the DVD recorder tune the Verizon FIOS Motorola DVR to the channe/duration you want recorded or merely to start recording at a time when the DVR is scheduled to record.

    Synchro recording is supposed to start recording when a signal apears on it's inputs and stop when it disparears. Perfect for using with the DVR but so far, I have not been able to get that to work with the Motorola/Sony combo . I will:)

    I use the reusable DVD+RW disks for the daily 'soaps' that my wife likes and I will offload the Standard Definition programming to one of the many DVD formats that it supports.
    You can of course record HD programming but that kind of defeats the purpose.

    To record something in the DVR list (‘The now showing list’) ,You start a movie playback from the Motorola's DVR menu and hit record on the DVD recorder. 2 button presses if the movie is an hour, etc.

    When the recording is done, you can delete the DVR recording at your leisure to free up disk space and then use the DVD Recoirder to watch the 1080i upconverted DVD.

    On SD material, the DVD recordings,even on the SP (2 hour mode) setting, look to me as good as the original. I assume it looks so good is because the Motorola only upconverts SD to 480P yet the DVD recorder upconverts to 720P/1080i

    2) Recording via Capdvhs over Firewire
    The method lets you record either what you have playing in the DVR list or whatever is showing on the Box at the time.
    This is where the 5C business comes in.
    If you go to d11 INTERFACE STATUS from the front panel on the DVR you will see both tuners listed. The 5C flag is the CCI flag. If it is NON zero, then this is a copy protected show and the recording you make to the PC will be encrypted data.
    If it is 0 then you can play back a perfectly good recording.

    I have been compiling a list of 5C encrypted channels in my area and here is the list so far as to what I have done. I have started with my Favorites list and will continue to fill out the spreadsheet.
    Pick the abbreviated version.

    Notice that such channels as National Geographic Channel HD s NOT encrypted

    3) If you have a 5C compliant Device such as the JVC 30K D-VHS deck and it has an mpeg2 decoder in it, you can forget about this 5C business and record your shows onto D-VHS.
    Depending upon the 5C setting, you may not be able to make copies of the tape which is perfect for us because all we want to do is to unload from the DVR to free up space.
  4. Jun 7, 2007 #384 of 2231

    Gerhard Member

    Sep 29, 2002

    I just had my FIOS TV installed.

    I got 2 cablecards and two set-top-boxes.

    They've been having trouble with the initalization of the equipment on the Verizon TV network here. So it's been slow for the commands to traverse the network...

    It appears that they must first send a initalization command to the CC's and the STBs.

    Then they need to send another command to all of the units to enable them to recieve the digital channels. "This is called authorization."

    The cable guy had no clue what to do with cable cards, but even with the delayed initalization and authorization... one of the two cable cards was working when he left.

    Normally I'd be annoyed, but the folks at Verizon seem to be substantially better then ComCast... who they are replacing.

    Not to mention that I get more channels, another set-top-box, and it's $40.00 per month cheaper!
  5. Jun 8, 2007 #385 of 2231

    Gerhard Member

    Sep 29, 2002


    I can say that after 24 hours I have noticed that the 800 series HD channels do have a fair amount of pixelation.

  6. Jun 8, 2007 #386 of 2231

    bielen New Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Westfield, NJ
    This past March I switched from DirecTV with Tivo to Verizon FIOS with their networked DVR. For the most part, everything works, however, I really loved the ease of use of the Tivo interface.

    I haven't switched to HDTV, but plan to do so before the end of the year.

    I have a few general questions:

    1) I've been reading about compatibility issues especially in regard to pixelation with programming. Is this a frequent occurance?

    2) Are there usually issues getting the CableCards configured through Verizon?

    3) With DirecTV, there was a coax output so I could run the signal to a second televison and use an RF remote to control the TV from a different room? Is there any way to do this with the Series3? I don't see a coax out on the back of the unit.

  7. Jun 8, 2007 #387 of 2231

    Gregor Wear Your Mask! TCF Club

    Feb 18, 2002
    1. I think you'll find pixelation on any system reported here. It's certainly not specific to Verizon.
    2. Don't know
    3. No coax out on the S3. Component, composite, s-video and HMDI.
  8. Jun 9, 2007 #388 of 2231

    Jasper New Member

    Sep 4, 2001
    Herndon, VA USA
    I have had FIOS for about 6 mo now and I got my series 3 a week after the FIOS TV was installed. My experience here in VA has been :
    1) No pixelation on HD channels, I do have an ocassional hiccup now and again but that goes with any broadcast service. I do think the picture quality is much better than Directv.
    2) I had no problems with the cablecard install. I did not tell the phone rep why I wanted the c.c. 's, as at the time no one had heard of a Series 3 Tivo.... The installer had also never seen a Series 3 Tivo but I walked him through it with the info at the beginning of this thread. It took about 15 minutes to install the c.c.'s and everything has worked flawlessly since. YMMV
    3) no coax out...
  9. Jun 9, 2007 #389 of 2231

    pauldy New Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    We never had a problem with pixelation until we had a problem with a cable card and had to fight with TiVo to get them to fix it. Once we got the unit back we now have a few channels that are really bad about it. My best guess is some units have the issue some don't and its luck of the draw and probably not provider related.

    I think the biggest issue with getting the cable cards setup has just been ignorance on the part of the installers. This should be a relative non-issue now as the cards have been out for a while and the installers should have at least a little experience with them vs non months back.

    You can pipe it to a second display using the component output but not rf. I don't know why they don't support digital rf out because unlike analogue rf the minimal signal loss does not directly equate to a loss in picture quality.
  10. Jun 9, 2007 #390 of 2231

    eggpro New Member

    May 22, 2007
    Chino, CA.
    I live in socal.. i just fios tv on thursday.. moving from direct tv after 10 years MUCH better picture.. I haven't received any pixelation problems.. (yet) the tivo series 3 works without any problems although when I was loading the guide off the tivo server my tivo crashed.. I tryed it again, and it worked like a charm. I have the Component feed my hd tv and I have the S video feed and second audio feed going to my sling box. the only thing i've notice if you have a 2nd tv, sling etc. hooked up the output format for set 16x9 or 4:3 is global setting meaning if you have a 16x9 tv you want to want HD it is set for 16x9 and your second tv 4:3 everything is going to be anmorphic. thats kind of a bummer.. luckily my sling box can receive a 16:9 signal and center cut it (pilarbox)
    I hope that helps.
  11. Jun 13, 2007 #391 of 2231

    litkaj Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Exton, PA
    Just thought I'd toss in here here that I had an installer come out on Monday to "install" the CableCARDs in my new S3. Aside from some confusion about that 161-4 error, everything went smoothly and the guy was done in about 45 minutes.

    I've checked out all of the channels and it doesn't look like I have any of the PQ issues that some of you described. All of my channels are registering on the TiVo with 97% signal strength or higher with about 85% of them pegged at 100%.

    One thing worth mention is that about 4 hours after the installer left, my new S3 took a dump and refused to turn back on. I exchanged it for a new one, fully expecting to need to call Verizon to have them reactivate my cards, but I was simply able to swap them from the busted TiVo into the new one and they worked as expected. It looks like Verizon may not be pairing the cards to a specific device during the activation process.
  12. Jun 15, 2007 #392 of 2231

    JustAllie Number crunchin' TCF Club

    Jan 4, 2002
    Arlington, VA
    I searched this thread and didn't find anything, so I thought I'd just ask:

    Has anyone else with Verizon FiOS run into an error that says "CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation"?

    I got this error using two different CableCARDs when the Verizon tech came over yesterday to do my install. (Up until now I've just been using the Series3 for analog stations, and I finally got around to requesting the CableCARDs.)

    The Verizon tech called whoever it is that they call with technical questions, and that person had no answer. So I called TiVo tech support and they thought it was probably the CableCARD slot(s), and they're sending me a replacement TiVo.

    I convinced the Verizon tech to leave the CableCARDS behind so that I can try them myself when the new TiVo arrives, rather than trying to schedule another Verizon visit. Apparently there is an 800 number I can call to activate them. If they don't work, I can call to schedule a visit to get two new cards to try.

    While I await the arrival of the replacement TiVo to see if this one works with the CableCARDs, I just wondered if anyone else had this issue.

    By the way, I also had the screen about error code 161-4 popping up, but I couldn't ignore it and go ahead with the activation because instead of getting the screen with the Host ID and so on, we got a screen that just said "CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation." :(
  13. Jun 15, 2007 #393 of 2231

    pfortin New Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    Yes...when Verizon installed the CableCards we had a few of them come up with this issue...we have 2 Series 3s and it took about 8 CableCards to get 4 good ones. The card would look OK on insertion - but when the activation was sent - the card would not activate properly and then go into this mode which would cause a repeated error to pop up every couple advice would be to pull out the card and try another.
  14. Jun 15, 2007 #394 of 2231

    JustAllie Number crunchin' TCF Club

    Jan 4, 2002
    Arlington, VA
    Well, we tried two, and the Verizon guys only seem to carry around the number that they actually need that day. In fact, the tech said that they often don't have CableCARDs at all even if you've set up the appointment specifically for a CableCARD install, and then a supervisor needs to bring one out, or they end up having to schedule a second truck roll. The Verizon tech seemed to indicate that it was a regular issue for them, since he said the techs only find out what is needed for a given appointment after they arrive at the appointment, and they're not allowed to cart around a bunch of spare CableCARDs. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, we tried both of the ones the guy brought with him, so it's certainly possible that they're both faulty, but maybe it was the TiVo. I guess we'll find out!
  15. Jun 21, 2007 #395 of 2231

    JustAllie Number crunchin' TCF Club

    Jan 4, 2002
    Arlington, VA
    Follow-up: The replacement TiVo exhibits the exact same symptoms with these CableCARDs.

    The Verizon tech support guy I just talked to on the phone is trying to find someone who can figure out what's wrong, to see if replacement cards are needed or if these just need to be activated. I don't see how they can be activated if I can't even get the CableCARD menu to display the HostID. It just says "CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation."

  16. Jun 26, 2007 #396 of 2231

    JustAllie Number crunchin' TCF Club

    Jan 4, 2002
    Arlington, VA
    OK, we finally got two CableCARDs that work. We had to try 7 different cards in total.

    For future reference, this part of TiVo's online support documentation was kind of helpful:

    All of the non-working CableCARDs we tried gave the 161-4 error dozens of times, not just once.

    I wonder if the other CableCARDs were damaged when someone yanked them during a firmware update.
  17. Jun 26, 2007 #397 of 2231

    Flojomojo Handsome Devil

    Dec 30, 2001
    My Cable Card installation required 2 technician visits -- the first tech didn't activate the premium channels on one card. The hardware was fine, but neither installer, nor the people on the other end of the phone, had any clue about what they were doing. I had to walk them through the process, and they didn't seem particularly interested in learning something new. Disappointing, but they did arrive on time and were reasonably polite about the whole thing.

    That said, now that everything is in place and working as expected, this setup is much better than anything else -- picture quality is superb and the dual tuners work seamlessly. I don't miss the junk of On Demand at all, which is a bit of a surprise.
  18. Jun 26, 2007 #398 of 2231

    JustAllie Number crunchin' TCF Club

    Jan 4, 2002
    Arlington, VA
    By the way, the tech couldn't answer this question, and now I'm really curious -- why do I get two copies of some channels? I'm not talking about a standard and an HD version, or an analog and a digital version -- they seem to be identical.

    For example, channel 160 is the SciFi Channel, and so is channel 560. (This is in the Northern VA FiOS lineup.) These are both in the digital category, but not in the HD category (which is up in the 800s). :confused:
  19. Jun 26, 2007 #399 of 2231

    TexasAg New Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Fios has a Spanish-language package, which includes the channels in the 500s. I think these are duplicates that are to be replaced at a later date.
  20. Jun 26, 2007 #400 of 2231

    JustAllie Number crunchin' TCF Club

    Jan 4, 2002
    Arlington, VA
    So I guess I should tell my TiVo to ignore the channels in the 500s or risk finding that all my recordings of Stargate Atlantis are in Spanish next season? ;)

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