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FIOS first impressions

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by hornerjo, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. harrisek

    harrisek A work in progress

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    The Verizon tech showed up at 9:30 to install the cable card. The installation took an hour, about half of which was spent waiting for the TiVo to download and organize all the channel line-up and guide data. (I had forgotten how slow TiVo's are at that.)

    The tech did a bunch of stuff with his laptop, presumably activating the cable card. At first he could only get local channels in HD. With a little more keyboarding the tech got all the channels to show up.

    Having watched most of this process, I have reverse what I said earlier. The installation process does require a tech, mainly because the cable cards aren't pre-activated.
     
  2. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    still sounds horribly inefficient to me =) they should be configured before they are mailed to you and you should be able to just plug and go. Can tivo access their on-demand stuff with those cards or is it one-way only?
     
  3. harrisek

    harrisek A work in progress

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    No on-demand access, they are one-way. BTW, all the phone reps I talked to were wrong, the cards were not shipped to me. The tech brought them with him.
     
  4. Twriter

    Twriter Get a Mac!

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    My wireless network has been slow lately and in my troubleshooting I did a survey of channel usage. I used to be the only network on channel 1 in my neighborhood, now there's an additional five networks on channel 1 and they all have names that are exactly five characters long and are a random mixture of letters and numbers. I'm guessing these are FiOS networks?

    If you get FiOS and use their wireless router can you change the network name and channel or is everyone stuck on channel 1? I'm moving my network to a quieter channel.

    --- John B
     
  5. Ozgood

    Ozgood Not a space alien

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    hmm we have also experienced a slow down on our FIOS network, but ours is not wireless. I wonder if "wired" networks can have a simuliar problem (more users trying to use the same "pipe"?
     
  6. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    It's not a pipe - it's a series of tubes. Duh. :p
     
  7. Ozgood

    Ozgood Not a space alien

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    Doh, I am not savvy on the Internets :confused:

    Maybe I should use The Google?
     
  8. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    Umm, it's the Googler, and make sure you use the right number to get it.
     
  9. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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  10. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    Okay, I only halfway followed this thread originally because FIOS wasn't available for us yet. Now it is and so I just read all the posts in this thread.

    We've been comparing the costs versus our current setup (Comcast internet, DirecTV, Verizon phone, two Verizon cell phones) and we seem to save some money switching to FiOS. Hubby is interested in upgrading to HD, which we currently do not have, so that decreases the savings a bit. We're happy with the services we have at each of our current providers so there is no immediate need to change. The only reason for considering it is that many people think it's better and the price is a bit lower overall. Plus being able to record on one DVR and watch on another TV would be cool.

    How many of you went with the basic internet speed package and is it comparable to whatever you had before? It seems like our current speed is better than the basic FiOS one, which is up to 10Mb. Is their number realistic or do you get pretty fast speeds with the basic? Upgrading to the next level costs a little more but if we don't really need it in reality that would save some bucks.

    Potential dumb question: Does the FiOS deal affect cell phone deals in any way in terms of price?

    Is switching to all three service packages the best option or is it just as good and economical to switch only internet and/or TV? I know the package prices vary but I'm not sure if having all three is the cheapest overall.

    So I guess my big question is: If we are happy with the services we have, is it worth switching to FiOS to save a few bucks (maybe saving more in the long run)? Thanks for any advice from those of you who have been using it for a while.
     
  11. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    If you are happy why change? Every service has their pluses and minuses. Now if you were angry with comcast then that would be a different story :)

    TBH, I've not owned fios, Openband user here, but I have known many people who have and I have played with their system. If you are at all experienced with tivo you will not be happy with their DVR. It, like openbands, is a POS. Honestly I don't think there is anything out there better than tivo right now for set top boxes. Would love to find one. I would not consider the change because of their DVR IMHO.

    I use, primarily, my cell phone for phone calls these days so local phone means nothing to me. I know it's part of the deal just like it is with openband but it's pointless now.

    The internet connection is the big one. No service is without their problems and fios is not exempt.
     
  12. harrisek

    harrisek A work in progress

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    I have FiOS and I hate their DVR, so I sent it back. Instead I use a TiVo HD with a cable card. I think the picture quality is actually a little better with the TiVo.

    I like the FiOS TV service, the only real complaint I have is Verizon customer service. They are simply bad and their billing people are worse.

    I choose to drop the FiOS phone service. Even in their bundles, it's more expensive than Vonage for the feature set I want.
     
  13. Tech Head

    Tech Head New Member

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    We are very happy with our switch to FiOS. The DVR is not the greatest - it's on-par with Comcast's. I haven't switched it out for a Tivo box because we would lose the VOD (which we use a lot).
     
  14. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    Well, we made the choice to try FiOS. Last Tuesday I went online and ordered it. Our installation date is this Friday.

    Last Friday a utility company came out and marked where their lines were buried. On Sunday another utility company came and did something. Today the Verizon contractor came and buried the line from the source to our house. It's nice to see that things are moving along in a timely manner!
     
  15. Twriter

    Twriter Get a Mac!

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    I was very impressed with the installer, Raphael. He was very meticulous with the equipment. We have 4 TVs, two with TiVo boxes (IR blasters). He disconnected the Comcast boxes and wrapped up the power cables and stacked them up. He connected the FiOS set-top boxes using HDMI cables they supplied (where possible), and hooked up the TiVo IR blasters for me.

    When all the connections were done, he walked me through setting up their cable modem and then how to use their TV service. He was thorough, answered all my questions patiently, and left everything clean and uncluttered.

    He only forgot one thing, and that was to tell me my new Verizon e-mail account name and password. I called customer service and after bouncing around in their infernal phone tree I finally got a live person who took care of it quickly.

    I suggest that before the installer arrives, use a WiFi analyzer (such as iStumbler) to see what channels the other wireless networks are using. Verizon sets theirs to channel 1, and I now have about 6 networks in my neighborhood all on channel 1. Find an unused channel and set your wireless router to that.

    I also noticed that during the first week the internet connection had problems. It would randomly pause for 90-120 seconds (causing my e-mail app to time out), then it would resume. Now that we're past the first week this hasn't recurred. I never called them on it because it never lasted longer than two minutes.
     
  16. Pluto

    Pluto New Member

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    Can we use Tivo instead of FIOS DVR? I hate the Verizon DVR too.....

    Will I be able to record more than one channel at a time using Tivo? I have never used Tivo.

    Thx.
     
  17. Twriter

    Twriter Get a Mac!

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    Depends on the model of TiVo you get and the type of Cable Card you order. Go to the TiVo web site and look at the various models. They explain very clearly which ones can record more than one channel. When you order a cable card from FiOS, make sure to specify that you want an M card. That's the newer of the two types.

    I don't have a new TiVo that can take a cable card, so I only know what I have picked up from other posts.

    I think that by using a cable card instead of a set-top box you lose some minor features, such as the FiOS channel guide, or the ability to use their OnDemand service, or something. I'm not sure. Does anyone know the answer on this?

    --- John B.
     
  18. harrisek

    harrisek A work in progress

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    I have the FiOS cable card for my TiVo HD. TiVo HD accepts up to 2 cable cards. Verizon is using the "M" type cable cards, so I only needed one card for the TiVo HD's 2 tuners. With this setup I can record 2 channels at once (or record one and watch another).

    I am not sure what support there is for other TiVo models, but my understanding is that only the TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL support cable card at this time.

    You lose FiOS Video-On-Demand with this setup. For me, the loss of this feature is mitigated by TiVo's support for Netflix Watch Instantly online service.
     
  19. Pluto

    Pluto New Member

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    My FIOS installer was also very good. He did a pretty good job and was friendly. When I gave him a $20 tip, he refused to take it politely and told me that he's paid well and he is not supposed to take tips from customers.

    I was surprised....

    Anyway, I have a question.

    How do we find out which channel our router is using? I feel my verizon router is very slow....If I hard wire, i get a very good speed, whereas if I use wireless, its dead slow.....

    When I run the speed test, I can see a big difference....

    My verizon internet speed is "New FiOS Internet Speed: 20M_5M".
     
  20. Pluto

    Pluto New Member

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    How much do Verizon charge for Cable card?

    This thread is so useful.......

    Thanks for all the answers....
     

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