Tivo with Fios TV

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by unicorngoddess, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Dec 5, 2005 #1 of 166
    unicorngoddess

    unicorngoddess Wooooonicorngodess

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    This week Verizon is launching Fios TV in my area. We intend on getting it...it's cheaper and more reliable (no more searching for signal) <----DishNetwork User.

    I know they've been testing it in Keller and the whole state of Texas just recently got the okay from the FCC or whoever is in charge of the licenses Verizon had to get. I guess it had a very limited test audience because I can't find reviews about it anywhere.

    Anyway, my point is, I don't know how the Fios TV is connected and if it will be compatable with my Tivo. I was just curious to know if anyone's heard anything about it. Because after years of having Tivo on my wishlist, I JUST NOW got one like a month ago. But if it turns out not to be compatable, at least Verizon is offering some kind of DVR...they don't say what kind though. It's a dual tuner and that's about all I know. We figure if the Tivo isn't compatable then someone on our christmas list is most likely getting a like-new Tivo with a lifetime subscription. I'm hoping that it will be compatable though because I don't want to have to pay extra for something that I've already paid for.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2005 #2 of 166
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    The video inputs will compatible with FIOS. Fios can carry Analog Video***, though I don't know if they are doing that [Edit- they are. See subsequent notes]. Since the Fios box is a motorolla box that is used by the cable companies, I wouldn't be surprized if Tivo can already control it. Tribune has FIOS data (see FIOS listings for Keller texas here), so the guide data is available. Just don't know if it has been massaged into Tivo's database yet. Maybe someone like TivoOpsMgr could comment on whether this support is currently there. I see no mention on the Tivo site. Stephen?

    Regarding FIOS, there are a bunch of articles and reviews that dispel a great deal of the mystery.. Here is one from October. As far as any consumer will see, Fios video looks nothing different from plain old cable technology. At your Fios box will be a regular F Connector** that you run coax from to a Motorolla set top box.
    [​IMG]
    note coax running from Fios outlets on wall

    [​IMG]
    back of Fios Motrolla box- you would connect tivo input lines from svideo and rca audio connectors on the left​

    So as far as Tivo is concerned, it is any old Cablebox, no sweat. My only doubt is whether Tivo has guide listings and set top box IR command codes set up for FIOS [edit- they have the guide listings, and can control the basic set top box, though there has been no confirmation [as of 12/7/05] that there are no glitches. See later notes].

    Verizon's filing with the FCC indicated they are compatible with Cablecard, so quite possibly the HD cablecard Tivo will work with FIOS. I don't know if the FCC requires (or is talking about requiring) them to comply with the cablecard standard. Maybe Bob Pony would like to jump in here and let it drop that Tivo has been working with Verizon for the last 3 years, or that CC Tivo is will definately be compatible with FIOS. Seems that has been the pace of Tivo announcements lately. Who knows.

    The above mentioned filing I illustrates the architecture of the FIOS system on Page 6. Basically they just bundle up the entire Cable signal, transmit it via fiber to the Fios box, then reproduce it for the last coax run to the STB. Only thing was that it doesn't want to propagate the CableCo's proprietary network for interactive services, since IP works pretty darn well. So all interactive stuff uses IP, not the Cableco's way of doing two way (upstream RF).

    This article mentioned that Microsoft was doing the Motorolla box software, which is really weird, but maybe it is Hybrid IPTV- all interactive stuff will be IP, so that makes sense.

    ***see page 5 of FCC filing, bottom of page.
    **also see page 7 of Fcc filing for mention of standard Coax 'F' connector

    Edits: 12/4 fixed busted link
    12/5 inserted forward notes to updated information
     
  3. Dec 5, 2005 #3 of 166
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.
    What I'm wondering is what their price is for having multiple drops in the same residence.

    They give a huge number of channels for $35 a month, but don't say what the charge is if you want more than one box, or if the box and remote are an extra charge each month beyond the $35.

    It's also incredibly shortsighted of Verizon to not have any way for potential customers to contact them with questions, except to just "sign up" for when and if FIOS comes to "your" area.

    I'd wanted to ask them about the additional drops and about any box and remote rental, and they don't even have a way to e-mail them about FIOS. Phone and internet, sure, but not about their newest service.

    I hate "subject specific" e-mail options. They never give you the option you need.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2005 #4 of 166
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Oh...

    As for TiVo use, I think the FIOS box IS actually a DVR, and it has two tuners.

    Only thing you'd need might be a way to record to disc from it. (Seems to have two sets of yellow/red/white RCA lines, but it looks like one actually says "IN" and the other "OUT"...why a FIOS box would need a set of RCA inputs is beyond me. Anyway, it looks like it has only one set of RCA outputs, so you'd have to use an RCA A/V splitter amp to be able to feed a TV and a DVD recorder or VCR.)
     
  5. Dec 5, 2005 #5 of 166
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    If you look at the Texas Fios listing, you will see it isn't a huge number of channels. Some on avsforum have commented that their current satellite carrier has more, but the PQ on FIOS is awesome. Difference is the SD and HD channels are not compressed much (don't have to, they are running on glass and have gonzo bandwidth to burn.)

    The fcc document mentions a 120 hour DVR. AvsForum notes have mentioned expensive charges for the DVR, but I didn't see specific numbers. Personally, if I had the FIOS option, would get an SA Tivo and when the CC Tivo came out, sell the SA's on ebay and move over to CC Tivo boxes.

    That's basically what I am doing now- Dish has an HD DVR, but I am sticking with my SA's to drive my HDTVs. When CC comes out, I go to them, and with it, I drop Dish (since they don't support cablecard devices- bad choice on their part).
     
  6. Dec 5, 2005 #6 of 166
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.
  7. Dec 5, 2005 #7 of 166
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.
  8. Dec 5, 2005 #8 of 166
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Thanks. The fios site has good info. This states that only Extended basic requires a set top box, so analog Cable is there, and folks can just hook the coax up to the back of their Cable ready TV, or via Tivo's Coax connector. That means no IR code problems if the 49 Basic cable channels is all folks want.

    Also this mentions the DVR if 85 hours, not 120.

    Their "180 channels" sounds neat, except that includes 50 music only "channels",

    But the HDTV is a little skimpy. Dish has all those as well as the VOOM channels.

    Dish also has a huge number of ethnic channels- Tagalog, Russian, Hindi, you name it. Looks like Fios has focused on Spanish, which is good, but there is a great deal more language diversity than that in the US.

    I have some doubts whether FIOS's FCC filing sayst they are cablecard 1.0 compatible, but it seems like they would want to work closely with Tivo to make sure they worked with the CC Tivo, at least for one way.
     
  9. Dec 5, 2005 #9 of 166
    unicorngoddess

    unicorngoddess Wooooonicorngodess

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    I just got off the phone with someone from Verizon. It IS available in Lewisville, but not on my side of town apparently. He said possibly by next weekend though as they are sending their techs out on Saturdays to set things up I guess.

    Here's some info that I got from him though. He said Tivo wouldn't be compatable with it...although I think they may just say that to sell...excuse me, RENT, me their DVR. He said something about the speed of the Fios signal, which to me sounded like the problem people had when trying to use Tivo with VoIP...and if I remember correctly, there was a fix for that.

    Their DVR is $12.95/month for the HD box. I have an HD-ready tv but we never got an HD reciever because we didn't want to pay extra money to subscribe to a handful of HD channels on DISH. The guy said that with the HD-DVR you don't have to buy a seperate HD reciever, it's kinda an all in one thing. Dual tuner, so you can record two things at the same time. The regular cable box is only $3.95/room.

    Right now the Dallas area has 183 channels to offer for the Expanded Basic. Your first three months are free...that's just for the service though, you still have to pay for your boxes from what I understand. You get to preview HBO free for a month as well. I believe the HD channels were included in the Expanded Basic also.

    That's all I could think of asking at the time...I should have made a list of questions BEFORE calling, but as I think of more I'm gonna write them down and give them a call back to see if I can find out anything else.
     
  10. Dec 5, 2005 #10 of 166
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Thanks for reporting that, but try the following:
    1) Go to Tivo's page that reports carriers by your zip code
    2) Punch in a zip from Lewisville TX, eg 75057
    3) Note that Tivo lists's FIOS for your area.

    Conclusion? As has been noted many times in the past here- Consumer Service Representatives are some of the most underpaid and undervalued folks you can run across. Oftentimes they only have scripts and they get measured by the shortness of their call, and whether they generated more subscriptions and services from the call.

    So you can pretty much flip a coin to predict whether the CSR's info on Tivo is correct or not. I have a hard time believing that Tivo wouldn't work with at least Basic FIOS, since there are no possible control issues if you just connect Tivo via Tivo's Cable ready connector.

    Of course, you can get really bad information in forums too, from self appointed experts, such as crackpots like me. :rolleyes: You won't go far wrong if you have a healthy skepticism about everything you hear, unless it comes from an official source- like the FIOS or Tivo website (even those are sometimes incorrect).

    The pricing looks like typical Comcast sort of set up (virtually free DVR box). What is startling to Comcast execs is that so many people say no thanks and choose Tivo's box. Dish Network tried to entice me with a similar set of supposed of advantages with their DVR- and I passed. Current Tivos simply deliver a substantially better Television experience today.

    You don't hear legions of folks raving about their Dish or Comcast DVR. But you do about TiVo's. Ask yourself why that is. When you find the answer, you will know what all the other generic DVR users are missing.
     
  11. Dec 5, 2005 #11 of 166
    unicorngoddess

    unicorngoddess Wooooonicorngodess

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    No argument here. That's my current position. I work for a telephone manufacturer and the main goal of the CSRs at Telcos seems to be get this person off my phone asap! A customer will call for help with their voicemail service and they tell them they have to talk to the people that make the phone, give them our number, they call us and when we tell them voice mail isn't a feature in the phone it's a feature from your phone company...well, you can just imagine how the customer feels having to bounce back and forth like that. Telcos have some of the worst CSRs I've ever come across.

    But being a CSR myself, I could tell he definately wasn't reading from a script. I'm just pretty sure he didn't know what he was talking about when it came to the Tivo question as his answer seemed kinda vague and to me it sounded like a problem that could be fixed.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2005 #12 of 166
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Sorry- our messages crossed while I was editing my response.

    Tivo does recognise FIOS as a provider in your area. Reread the first part of the note where I added the steps where you can prove it for yourself.
     
  13. Dec 5, 2005 #13 of 166
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Depends on whether they remap channels ... I notice there's no "Verizon Analog" or "Verizon Cable-Ready" or whatever they'd call it type of option. So if Verizon remaps any channels between the 'actual' cable channel and what displays on their box ... there's no accurate Tivo lineup for that.

    Easily fixed (by Tivo or Tribune) ... but something that (may) be required (if you're going to hook a Tivo straight to the coax).
     
  14. Dec 5, 2005 #14 of 166
    unicorngoddess

    unicorngoddess Wooooonicorngodess

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    Yeah, but I'm on the north side of Lewisville. My zip is 75077. He did say it was available in some parts of Lewisville, Carrollton and Irving. The most frustrating part is that there's a Verizon CO litterally right behind my house...it's the street right behind mine. Now he did say that they're sometimes slow about updating the computer system with the availablity, so he recommended calling back at the end of the week to see for sure.
     
  15. Dec 5, 2005 #15 of 166
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Whenever FIOS gets to your street, it seems likely to me that Tivo will work with FIOS will work in at least one way of hooking it up (via the cable ready connection).

    Good point. I didn't even think about remapping. Good thing someone here knows something about cable. It seems to me that with the infrastructure all laid out, if this was all the obstacle was to saying Tivo is FIOS compatible, you'd see the listings updated in a heartbeat if remapping is in fact an issue. All iof this is Dallas area so it doesn't seem much more than a single new numeric list enterred into the database.

    I am curious about whether the IR blaster controls work with the FIOS $4 reciever box. It seems to me that the 7.2 setup software should not have any trouble with it, but I am only guessing.

    Does anyone have a Tivo hooked up to FIOS video? Coax or STB? What is model number of your motorolla box?
     
  16. Dec 5, 2005 #16 of 166
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    The problem TiVo has with VoIP involves trying to use that type of phone line to communicate over.

    It has nothing to do with TV reception or "understanding" A/V lines.

    If the FIOS box can send its signal thru A/V lines into a TV set, it can do the same with a TiVo.

    TiVo's ARE television sets, just as VCRs are. In both cases, there's a TV tuner inside, and the capacity to take A/V signals as well. What DVRs and VCRs lack is their own display screen and audio (amp and speakers).

    If the FIOS box can work with your TV it can work with your TiVo.

    As described by JT, the TiVo apparently also knows the channel lineup for FIOS in your area.

    He also says it likely will be able to control the FIOS box as well.

    "Since the Fios box is a motorolla box that is used by the cable companies, I wouldn't be surprized if Tivo can already control it."
     
  17. Dec 5, 2005 #17 of 166
    rsnaider

    rsnaider Active Member

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    One other thing to consider is Verizons FIOS is not VOIP but POTS over fiber. There are no special settings required for modem's or fax machines.

    Once FIOS TV is availble in my area it should be as simple as re-running GS and choosing the correct line-up. As long as the Motoroal box has IR settings everything else should work fine.

    CC is another aspect that hopefully FIOS TV will support.
     
  18. Dec 5, 2005 #18 of 166
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    If I haven't emphasized it enough, I say again, I could be wrong.

    If TivoOpsMgr, TivoJerry or TivoPony wants to jump in here and confirm/deny/ say they don't yet have confirmation if Tivos work both with Fios direct Coax connection (for fios basic) as well as with the FIOS STB (for fios extended), that would put an end to the speculation.
     
  19. Dec 5, 2005 #19 of 166
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.
    So we're agreed that FIOS is good, but some FIOS reps are evil fiends who secretly plot the overthrow of all that's good and wholesome?

    No...

    Wait...

    Maybe I'm confusing them with the counter help at Dairy Queen? :confused:
     
  20. Dec 5, 2005 #20 of 166
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.

    If you're wrong, will we find out just in time?
     

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