Use S3 with CableCards on FiOS TV with a SDTV?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jcostom, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. jcostom

    jcostom New Member

    Mar 6, 2002


    Greetings all..

    This feels like it's likely to be a FAQ, though I couldn't find it either asked or answered.. Apologies if I've gone blind or something.

    We're currently happy with our DirecTiVo S2, but are considering making the jump to FiOS TV (screamingly good deal through my employer). We're not about to go TiVo-less, or worse, use some crappy DVR from a cable co. All that said, we've not yet taken the plunge and gone HD, though everything else in the HT setup is prepared for that move.

    Here's my plan, please confirm, or dash my hopes as is appropriate. :)

    I'd like to get an S3 TiVo, not settled on which one, though. Likely to be the more recent model, and later take advantage of the eSATA port hack - OLED front display sounds neato and all, but not worth the extra $$ to me. I'd like to get that unit, with a pair of CableCards (or one of the new-fangled multi-stream cards), and connect it all to my good old 32" Sony Wega (SD only).

    Am I barking up the wrong tree here? I know the S3 units will still record SD programming, but is HD a requirement for using CableCards for some reason? I suspect it's not, but I wanted to be 100% sure before throwing down our cash on such a purchase.

    Many thanks for the time & patience with my inquiry..
  2. Patranus

    Patranus New Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    Well I can output an HD channel from my Tivo in 480i so I do not think that it should be a problem.
  3. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

    Mar 1, 2003
    I just got Verizon FIOS and am doing exactly what you are trying to do. I'm buying the TV later. I am borrowing a flat panel for the great room right now, but I also have one hooked up to, I kid you not, a 19" Toshiba SD television from 1988 in my bedroom. It's so old it doesn't even get closed captioning.

    So...yeah. It'll work. As the FIOS installer said, it was a bit overkill for the TV. I said, "like buying a rolls royce and having it towed by a yugo?" He laughed and agreed.

    No matter--soon there will be television grandeur.

    Oh, and by the way, we have a 32" Sony Wega KV-32FS100. It was our main HT television before we borrowed the flat panel. Overkill for the bedroom, though, or I'd put it there in advance of the HD purchase and kick the 19 incher to the curb.
  4. Guiness-Draft

    Guiness-Draft New Member

    Jul 5, 2001
    Herndon, VA
    I'm in a similar boat. Switched to FIOS over Chistmas break last year, and purchased an S3 because of the lifetime transfer deal at that time. Running on a 32" Toshiba not quite 10 years old yet.

    Still waiting for the right HDTV at the right price. Someday...

    I will say one thing though. I was flabbergasted at the quality of the image coming from FIOS compared to my old cable company, Cox Cable out of Fairfax, VA. It was like night and day difference in the clarity of FIOS. On an older S2 Tivo, we had shows recorded form our old cable company - we deleted them all within a week of switching to FIOS because we had become such clarity snobs!

    Aside from some of the issues described in this forum with S3's and FIOS, you will be VERY happy with it. I don't regret the move one bit, even with the occasional Tivo problems.

  5. JonHB

    JonHB Member

    Aug 27, 2007


    I hadn't heard that Verizon FIOS TV was participating in employee discount programs. Can you share what discount levels they are offering?
  6. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    The short answer is "Yes". I should probably add a version of this question to the CableCARD installation FAQ.
  7. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

    Mar 1, 2003
    We came from DirecTV where all the channels were digital and clear from day 1 (almost 10 years ago now). I have been surprised every time when I go over to friends' houses with Comcast and the SD quality they tolerate... I was actually a bit concerned that Verizon would end up being similar to Comcast in terms of SD picture quality, but so far it's just as good as DirecTV, plus HD with no extra equipment and tons of options.

    I'm thrilled.**

    **I'll be 100% thrilled when all my problems with pixelation go away. But because the problems are on HD channels that have SD counterparts, I consider myself to be still ahead of where I was with HD-less DirecTV. In other words, I have everything I had with DirecTV, plus MOST of my HD channels.

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