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Pros and Cons of FIOS service

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Old 09-26-2008, 08:55 AM   #1
What is HD?
 

Join Date: Sep 2008
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Default Pros and Cons of FIOS service

I have had FIOS now for 3 months.

They are poorly trained and not technical people that they hired to man tech support and manage the sales teams there @ Verizon. I even had a manager (older lady over 55, no tech experience) call me back (after 4 diff tech support had no answers) and she couldn't answer my question about the the difference between a digital adapter and a digital converter. FIOS needs a converter for every TV but they market it as a digital adapter. An adapter would let you use all your old VCR and DVD recorder hardware and there box does not! The FIOS box converts the (encrypted) digital signal into a single analog stream, no longer does that coaxle cable carry multiple channels. Once it hits the converter your TV must be on CH 3 and all channel changes go through the box.

Pros:
1. HD is great. Better Picture, better DVR and guide than comcast!
2. DVR does not need time to start up like Comcast box(hated that), this also means that when you turn on a show 5 min late and the FIOS DVR box was already on the chanel you wanted you could rewind and watch it.(not on Scientific Atlanta: Comcast box(Howard County))
2. Much faster internet speeds

Bads:
1. No analog channels at all! Tech who installed said we would have till Feb when nation changes over. THAT WAS A LIE! No analog channels in Howard County, MD with FIOS.
-THIS MEANS: All TVs without a HD box, Std cable box or digital converter box will not work! This includes TV tuner cards in your PC. (the verizon tech didn't even know what a PC TV tuner card was).
**If anyone knows of a tuner card that is FIOS compatible please post a reply**
I asked prior to install about my non digtial TVs and ones without boxes. They said they would be ok til Feb 09'. When they installed mine I was left with 3 unusable TVs and 3 unusable TV tuners in my PCs.-The TV issues were fixed with the digital converter boxes you have to get from FIOS (other brands or models won't work) They said they would give 3 @ no charge but surprise if they ship from Verizon then they charge you $3.99/ea if you ask for the Go Digital Office (ph#888-505-3512) and they send up to 3 for free! FIGURE THAT ONE OUT! The digital converter boxes arrived quick in 3 days at my door from the time I called so shipping was fast. IR blaster from TIVO does work to change the digital converter box just had to mess with the TIVO channel change settings.

2. No longer can you just plug the coaxle cable into the back of your TV and it works.

3. No longer can you set your VCR or DVD recorder to record your shows! This is because the VCR or DVD burner can no longer change the channel because the signal has to pas through a converter box. There is no IR blaster output on digital converter boxes or an input on a VCR or DVD burner for it like on a TIVO!

Running: In media room only
1 Dual Tuner FIOS HD DVR
1 Stnd def FIOS Box attached to HUMAX TIVO with built in DVD burner
1 Digital Adapter (hooked to Vista PC TV card)-works if you change chanel with included remote and TV card is on CH 3
1 Toshiba HD DVD player
Onkyo 5.1 reciever
Wii
PS2
Vista Gateway PC
XP Dell PC
on a Toshiba 40'' 1080P HD TV with 4 port monitor splitter running to 2 PC monitors

I am considering getting rid of 2 of my Stnd def FIOS boxes to save money and just using my other 2 TIVOs in bedroom and office to get menus and DVR funtionallity. Only prob is I can't seem to get premium chanels on my digital converter boxes, so I am stil paying for reg boxes on my TIVO's.

They also put a real big ugly tan box on the front of my house to house the new equipment.

Hope this helps someone out.
Verizon is just as frustrating to deal with as Comcast. They are technically inept and poorly trained.

Conclusion: Better than Comcast! Still frustrating to deal with non-technical people working in a technical environment. Wasted over 12hrs on phone the first month alone with people trying to get bills and service straight, # of boxes correct, etc.

Last edited by HDTechGuy77; 09-26-2008 at 09:05 AM. Reason: wanted to add picture
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTechGuy77 View Post
...
Bads:
1. No analog channels at all! Tech who installed said we would have till Feb when nation changes over. THAT WAS A LIE! No analog channels in Howard County, MD with FIOS. Reply: The February 2008 change over is for over-the-air channels and has nothing to do with cable services. FiOS is going all digital for its cable system, including your area, to increase digital capacity for HD channels.
-THIS MEANS: All TVs without a HD box, Std cable box or digital converter box will not work! This includes TV tuner cards in your PC. (the verizon tech didn't even know what a PC TV tuner card was).
**If anyone knows of a tuner card that is FIOS compatible please post a reply** Reply: ATI has a card that accepts a cable card, which is required if you want to get ALL of the channels. If you just want your locals (channels 2-49), the local HD channels, and the music services (which are not encrypted), then any tuner card that can tune to QAM channels will work.
I asked prior to install about my non digtial TVs and ones without boxes. They said they would be ok til Feb 09'. When they installed mine I was left with 3 unusable TVs and 3 unusable TV tuners in my PCs.-The TV issues were fixed with the digital converter boxes you have to get from FIOS (other brands or models won't work) They said they would give 3 @ no charge but surprise if they ship from Verizon then they charge you $3.99/ea if you ask for the Go Digital Office (ph#888-505-3512) and they send up to 3 for free! FIGURE THAT ONE OUT! Reply: That is the established process for free boxes. I'm missing your concern. The digital converter boxes arrived quick in 3 days at my door from the time I called so shipping was fast. IR blaster from TIVO does work to change the digital converter box just had to mess with the TIVO channel change settings.

2. No longer can you just plug the coaxle cable into the back of your TV and it works.Reply: You can if your TV can tune QAM channels. See reply above.

3. No longer can you set your VCR or DVD recorder to record your shows! This is because the VCR or DVD burner can no longer change the channel because the signal has to pas through a converter box. There is no IR blaster output on digital converter boxes or an input on a VCR or DVD burner for it like on a TIVO!Welcome to the future. This is how all systems are beginning to operate, including DirecTV and DISH. You can, however, get a TIVO with a cable card from Verizon and do what you are suggesting.

...
They also put a real big ugly tan box on the front of my house to house the new equipment.

Hope this helps someone out.
Verizon is just as frustrating to deal with as Comcast. They are technically inept and poorly trained.Reply: Sorry about your experience -- mine was the exact opposite. I gues it depends on where you live or the luck of the draw on the technician you get.

Conclusion: Better than Comcast! Still frustrating to deal with non-technical people working in a technical environment. Wasted over 12hrs on phone the first month alone with people trying to get bills and service straight, # of boxes correct, etc.
Please see some comments above.
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:32 AM   #3
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This was a bit comical to read. Maybe you shouldve done research BEFORE ordering the service???

You just got a DVR that can possibly play back in every single room, and youre concerned about recording from a VHS player?? On top of that, you can STILL record with those obsolete devices anyway ! lol

If you opted for standard STB's rather than digital convertors , you could watch all your DVR recording on any TV. Making your dinosaur of a VHS player even more obsolete.

With digital convertors, you dont get your Multi-room DVR, no widgets, no TV guide, no show information, and most of all, no ON-DEMAND. You wonder why they dont push those useless convertors??

The "real big ugly tan box" isnt all that bad. If its done right, it looks ok. If you have a real problem with it, the "real big ugly tan box" AKA an ONT, can be installed inside your house.. usually in a basement or garage. IMO, it looks 10 times better than a " real big ugly satellite dish" on a roof.


Hope this helps someone out.
__________________
60" plasma- Pioneer PDP-6010FD
55" LCD Vizio E550VL
42" plasma Panasonic TH-42PX77U
~1500 DVD's , 180 BD's, 115 HD-DVD's , yes originally chose the wrong format , , Toshiba HD DVD Player (HD-XA2)
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Verizon FiOS, its the best HD !


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Old 09-27-2008, 05:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITALIAN926 View Post
This was a bit comical to read. Maybe you shouldve done research BEFORE ordering the service???

You just got a DVR that can possibly play back in every single room, and youre concerned about recording from a VHS player?? On top of that, you can STILL record with those obsolete devices anyway ! lol

If you opted for standard STB's rather than digital convertors , you could watch all your DVR recording on any TV. Making your dinosaur of a VHS player even more obsolete.

With digital convertors, you dont get your Multi-room DVR, no widgets, no TV guide, no show information, and most of all, no ON-DEMAND. You wonder why they dont push those useless convertors??

The "real big ugly tan box" isnt all that bad. If its done right, it looks ok. If you have a real problem with it, the "real big ugly tan box" AKA an ONT, can be installed inside your house.. usually in a basement or garage. IMO, it looks 10 times better than a " real big ugly satellite dish" on a roof.


Hope this helps someone out.
I called the go digital number to receive the adapter, and activate it. I was still charged the $3.95. Took two months to fix that. I would order the standard box for two dollars more, if I was going to pay. The adapter does not use parental controls since it does not receive the guide via QAM. It seems to me that this would be unlawfull to not support parental controls based on programming. My adapter was for the kids room where I had no desire to get all subscribed channels. The adaptor does support parental controls based on locking out channels which I have done. Even new TVs support controls based on rateings as required by law. How does VZ get away with this?

The big ugly box. Well I had my ONT installed in the basement back in 2005, on 24x24 3/4 AC plywood. The cable has a large head that requires huge conduit. I had installed 3/4 PVC conduit to the spot I wanted the ONT to be installed. Nice techs cut the head and spliced cable really well. My next door neighbor's was installed six months later, and they refused. He was told it had to be outside for service. So it's a toss up.

Enough said. FIOS is still great!
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:40 AM   #5
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High Definition is the definition of life.
 

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I agree... this was comical. I don't understand what the big deal is about getting the set top box especially when everything is going digital in a couple of months anyway. Also, do these people not realize that digital has far superior quality over analog stations and that what most people want are HD stations anyway, and in order to do this analog must be omitted to free up space. All I can say is we are in 2008 not 1985... I swear that some people are living in the dark ages. Let's all build one room straw huts and bring are goats in to sleep with us at night. We might as well...
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:44 AM   #6
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High Definition is the definition of life.
 

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BTW: I CAN'T BELIEVE that original message was posted by a guy named HDTECHGUY... Are you kidding me? If you want to go by this handle then why on earth are you concerned about ANALOG stations??
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:52 AM   #7
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High Definition is the definition of life.
 

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I'll just add one comment to go along with some that others have posted, regarding the no analog channels. As PJL2 said if you have a QAM tuner you can get all your locals and digital music channels without a box. Second, that's the way things are going. Even Comcast announced the elimination of all non-local analog channels by 2010 (by the end of this year in 20% of their markets). It's just born out of necessity. Analog takes up alot of room. Sounds like you got some bad info from the sales rep about being able to watch analogs until Feb. While all companies have their share of bone-head CSRs, I really find that surprising mainly because Verizon has advertized the living hell out of the elimination of their analogs to their customers (granted, you came along AFTER the elimination, but still their CSRs should be up on that). By my count, Verizon told us in so many ways that I lost count:

- letter in the mail
- at least one recorded phone call
- e-mail
- information on their website
- information posted on their bill
- information on the scroll on the bottom of channel 49
- information sent directly to their STBs
- a VOD offering that talked about the analog elimination

And if that still wasn't enough, they started their transition with the dreaded 'red screens of death'. That is, after they stopped the analog feeds, they used the analog channels to send out a final notification to analog customers, basically saying 'if you're reading this, you need to call us for a free adapter NOW!' Those RSODs stayed up for over a week in this market.

They weren't exactly coy about it .

BTW, I have to agree with what some other posters said (or implied) - getting worked up over the difference between a 'converter' and 'adapter' seems a tad petty, to be honest.
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