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Spliting HD signal off primary box?

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Old 06-08-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Default Spliting HD signal off primary box?

I may soon be making the jump to fios, but not to crazy about rental costs on boxes for additional TVs. If I have one box installed on my primary TV, can I split off of it to additional TVs or does this "box" also control the channel the TV is on. If yes to 1st ?, and no to 2nd ?, will this dramatically degrade the quality of the signal? I'm definitely not a techy, and not into video games and won't be getting the DVR.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:03 PM   #2
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If you do this.. you will have the same channel on all the TV's in question. If thats not an issue for you, connect to HDMI for one TV and use component cables to another. To me, this is just a silly option if youre not a single person.. not to mention the remote control complication of line of site. Splurge for the additional box for $5.99 / mo.
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Last edited by ITALIAN926; 06-09-2009 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:50 AM   #3
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I concur with Italian926.

the biggest drawback for FIOS is that unlike comcast, you must have a box in order to get the FIOS channels, rather than splicing the coaxial cable.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
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Or if you don't need all of the channels and your TV has a QAM tuner, You will get all of the OTA channels along with PEGs and music channels
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcohen23 View Post
I concur with Italian926.

the biggest drawback for FIOS is that unlike comcast, you must have a box in order to get the FIOS channels, rather than splicing the coaxial cable.
One word about this - this advantage is temporary. Many cable operators (Comcast included) are dropping all non-local analogs. So, in the near future, whether you have Comcast or FiOS, if you want non-local channels, you'll need a cable box. Comcast has already announced their intent to drop all those analog channels - it's part of their big plan to increase bandwidth.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #6
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Please let me ask some newbie questions:
1) If I want to add a 2nd TV and use the simplest (cheapest) additional box
what are my options for type of cable? I'm not intent on seeing HD on 2nd TV
if it's an easier install. (2nd TV is HD)

2) Where and what do I need to split the signal? I want to run directly up to the 2nd floor from the family room (primary box)

3) Is there a difference in choices for boxes? SD, etc??
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:30 AM   #7
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Bojack:

1) in terms of type of cable, the coxial cable will be the one spliced to the tvs; the cheapest box is the digital adapter (no hd), and only connects to your tv via coaxial cable; conversely, if you have a tv (or tivo) that can accept a cable card, the cable card is slightly cheaper. however, if you have an HD tv, you might want to spend the extra $4/month to get HD to that TV

2) split the signal at the source (where it comes into your house)

3) for FIOS, the difference is simply HD. the digital adapter is $4/month, the standard STB is $5/month, and the HD STB is $10/month (the cable card is $3/month)

in summary, if you are looking for the cheapest source to the 2nd tv and do not intend on watching HD, go with the digital adapter. however, I recommend spending at least the $1 extra per month and get the standard STB b/c the digital adapters do NOT have on-demand, channel guide, etc. and are really slow.

hope this helps.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcohen23 View Post
Bojack:

1) in terms of type of cable, the coxial cable will be the one spliced to the tvs; the cheapest box is the digital adapter (no hd), and only connects to your tv via coaxial cable; conversely, if you have a tv (or tivo) that can accept a cable card, the cable card is slightly cheaper. however, if you have an HD tv, you might want to spend the extra $4/month to get HD to that TV

2) split the signal at the source (where it comes into your house)

3) for FIOS, the difference is simply HD. the digital adapter is $4/month, the standard STB is $5/month, and the HD STB is $10/month (the cable card is $3/month)

in summary, if you are looking for the cheapest source to the 2nd tv and do not intend on watching HD, go with the digital adapter. however, I recommend spending at least the $1 extra per month and get the standard STB b/c the digital adapters do NOT have on-demand, channel guide, etc. and are really slow.

hope this helps.
OK, so it's coax from the primary box no matter which choice?

How do I find out if the TV uses a cable card?

When I talk to Verizon do I order just a "STB" box? Is that how I describe ot to them?

MUCHO gracias!!
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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actually, let me clarify a bit:
the coax delivers the signal from the box on your house to the STB. You have several options to send the signal from the STB to your tv:
Acceptible: composite (non-HD)
normal: coax (non-HD)
better: s-video (non-HD)
great: component (HD)
best: HDMI (HD)

if it is a flat panel tv, it could accept a cable card, but check the manual. I have seen them available only on Panasonic plasmas thus far (I'm sure there are others though)

when calling Verizon, ask for a Standard Set-Top Box (non-HD).

also, keep in mind that Verizon has a referral program, so if you have any friends that currently use FIOS, tell Verizon that they referred you, and your friends will get a $150 credit.

best of luck.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcohen23 View Post
actually, let me clarify a bit:
the coax delivers the signal from the box on your house to the STB. You have several options to send the signal from the STB to your tv:
Acceptible: composite (non-HD)
normal: coax (non-HD)
better: s-video (non-HD)
great: component (HD)
best: HDMI (HD)

if it is a flat panel tv, it could accept a cable card, but check the manual. I have seen them available only on Panasonic plasmas thus far (I'm sure there are others though)

when calling Verizon, ask for a Standard Set-Top Box (non-HD).

also, keep in mind that Verizon has a referral program, so if you have any friends that currently use FIOS, tell Verizon that they referred you, and your friends will get a $150 credit.

best of luck.
Thanks!! I know Verizon wants to soak me for the $150 install fee.
I ordered the box from them and it arrives in 3 days.

There is NO reason they need to physically come to the house and do anything to activate this box is there???
(I already have Fios, I'm just adding the other box. )

Also, how much better is the quality from coax to S-video? This is a 19" TV in a bedroom. Do you think it's worth it?

Last edited by Bojack; 06-09-2009 at 11:45 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcohen23 View Post
actually, let me clarify a bit:
the coax delivers the signal from the box on your house to the STB. You have several options to send the signal from the STB to your tv:
Acceptible: composite (non-HD)
normal: coax (non-HD)
better: s-video (non-HD)
great: component (HD)
best: HDMI (HD)
I would put it this way . . .

Poor: composite (non-HD)
Poor: coax (non-HD) (not available on all FIOS STBs)
Better: S-video (non-HD)
Best: Component (HD)
Best: HDMI (HD)
There is no picture quality difference between Component and HDMI.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojack View Post
Thanks!! I know Verizon wants to soak me for the $150 install fee.
I ordered the box from them and it arrives in 3 days.

There is NO reason they need to physically come to the house and do anything to activate this box is there???
(I already have Fios, I'm just adding the other box. )

Also, how much better is the quality from coax to S-video? This is a 19" TV in a bedroom. Do you think it's worth it?
The only reason to possibly have Verizon come out is if you need them to run the cable for you. If you feel ok with doing that yourself, or if you already have cable running to that room, then a self-install is fine. Just follow the instructions for activation (I did a self-install of one of their digital adapters - I activated it on line - it did take a while, though - about 20 minutes to fully activate).

As for the S-video vs. coax - it's a toss-up. Is the picture better with S-video? Yeah, it is. However, the RF (coax) output on the SD boxes are really good. I was frankly pretty surprised. I came from DirecTV, and their boxes were ok, but the RF output was just horrible - fuzzy picture, muddy sound. Going composite or S-video with those boxes was a very big step up.

When I got installed with FiOS, the installer initially installed my SD box with just coax. I asked him about using S-video instead (I had an extra S-video cable laying around). He basically said 'you really don't need it - the RF output on these boxes is really good.' I was skeptical, so after he left I hooked up the S-video. You know I have a hard time telling the difference on my TV. Totally shocked me. There have been times when I've had the TV on the tuner (RF) input, and I've watched stuff for a while before realizing that I wasn't on the S-video input channel. I would switch it, and yeah it would look better, but the RF output looks pretty darn good - that's at least true of their SD STBs (the QIP 2500).
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
3) for FIOS, the difference is simply HD. the digital adapter is $4/month, the standard STB is $5/month, and the HD STB is $10/month (the cable card is $3/month)
Not entirely true. In certain areas, HD boxes are the same price as SD. When you place an order, ask the rep if its the same price for your area.
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~1500 DVD's , 180 BD's, 115 HD-DVD's , yes originally chose the wrong format , , Toshiba HD DVD Player (HD-XA2)
Sony BDP-S380
Verizon FiOS, its the best HD !


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Old 06-10-2009, 05:40 AM   #14
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Italian926: that is probably only during promotional periods. Verizon gave me an HD box for free for the year.

but you are right, it won't hurt to ask the rep for a discount on equipment, you won't know unless you ask.

BoJack: there is no reason for Verizon to charge you $150 for any installation of a STB (just as JPL mentioned). however, if you order a standard STB, then I think they need to come out and do something. as for the digital adapters, they can mail them to you, and setup is relatively easy (as JPL mentioned as well).

Finally, given that this is a 19" TV, I strongly recommend to go with the coax. One thing that we failed to mention here is that the coax also carries sound from the box to your tv while the S-Video does not (you will have to set the audio out-put to a receiver in order to get sound).
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:06 AM   #15
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JM, where I work in NY, HD boxes have been the same price as SD for over a year now.
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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)
Sony BDP-S380
Verizon FiOS, its the best HD !


Former FiOS technician
My Family Room Pic #1

My Family Room Pic #2

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