My FIOS TV first impressions

jgantert

jgantert

Thread Starter
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Apr 7, 2004
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Aberdeen, MD
Got a call around 7:40am this morning saying they were going to do my install (I thought it was scheduled for Friday).

So around 7:50 he shows up. Replaces all the spliters in the house. Runs a new wire to the bedroom TV (no charge). Installed the cat5 to CATV box (installer said On Demand and EPG info is sent via internet connection, and when it is active the bandwidth is 30 Mbps so I won't notice any slowdown in my internet speeds). By 10am, he was done and left. Quick install!

Got 2 SD boxes and 1 HD DVR. He even provided an optical digital cable for one of the SD boxes.

The boxes are pretty nice. Coming from Comcast, there are several features I immediately noticed that I didn't have before. Search the EPG, DVR supports series recordings (with new or new & rerun or all episodes), and I can navigate the EPG by TYPING a CHANNEL NUMBER! Oh, and I've already deleted the channels I don't subscribe to out of the EPG. All this was not available on the Comcast SA8300HD box.

On Demand is ok. PQ is good, but the "free" selection is limited (no free movies at all). Showtime, TMC and Starz all have OD as well, and its ok selection.

Overall SD quality is the best I have ever seen. Better than D* years ago, and better than Voom as well. Some SD channels like WGN are horrible, tho. The < ch 50 SD channels on a cable ready TV really look nice. You can't tell they are analog at all.

HD quality is the same as Comcast. I can't tell any difference. Better than Voom after the new encoders as well.

I'll know more about the DVR as shows record. One annoying thing so far is the hard drive was full of recordings!

As for missing features, so far all I notice is there is no Zoom feature. Nice for a 16:9 SD picture, so I can zoom it to real 16:9. Looks like SD & HD outputs are active at the same time, and the HD content is letterboxed. No squeeze mode like the Voom box.

I'll write more as I use it more... :) But so far, I'm impressed!

-John
 
K

korsjs

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Jan 25, 2004
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Land O Lakes, FL
i agree that the channels below 50 look bad. those are the ones that can be seen without a box. most of my channels below 50 look like dish network locals. the good thing for me is that i don't watch hardly any of the channels below 50. the only one i occasionaly watch is the one youmentioned, wgn when the cubs are on. i think there are only about 20 channels below 50. your locals, but you would be watching them from the hd feed anyway. the only other one i know of is wgn off the top of my head.
 
jgantert

jgantert

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Apr 7, 2004
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Well, a few more comments here...

On Demand - Wow, its fast! With comcast you got "Comcast Please Wait" then in plain text "please wait..." then "Initializing File Load... Please Wait", and it took forever to stop a movie. There's almost no lag time with the Verizon On Demand.

EPG - I just love how you can see listings for just one channel. It's awesome. I can browse thru TMCXTR, find a movie showing that I want to see. The do more info then other times and find out if its playing on a HD channel. Sweet!

EPG - I dont like how it doesn't list actors/actresses. The guide must contain this data since you can search for them, but it does not list them.

SD Quality - I am still amazed by the SD quality. Especially on my 27" SDTV. It's amazing. Worlds better than analog cable.

DVR - Horrible FF/RW controls. Very lagging, and they automatically do rewind when you hit play. Essentially, you need to FF past the commercial to several seconds or so into the show, then hit play. The box then rewinds a bit, and if you are lucky, you are at the end of the commercial segment.

-John
 
K

korsjs

Welcome To SatelliteGuys
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Jan 25, 2004
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Land O Lakes, FL
jgantert said:
DVR - Horrible FF/RW controls. Very lagging, and they automatically do rewind when you hit play. Essentially, you need to FF past the commercial to several seconds or so into the show, then hit play. The box then rewinds a bit, and if you are lucky, you are at the end of the commercial segment.

-John

my fast foward and rewind was bad at first, but they had a software update a month or so that corrected it and mine works fine now. i wonder if there is a way to see what software version you have. i will poke around on mine and see if i can find it.

there is a guy on ebay that is selling the comcast remote that you can program the 30 second skip. can't do it with the verizon remote. if you have a harmony remote, that will work as well. let me know if you want the link. he is selling them two for ten bucks with free shipping.

i agree with the indemand. mine only takes about two seconds before it starts playing.

another thing i like about the epg is that you can view when the show will be on again. this comes in helpful when you have conflicts in your timers.
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
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SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
John, thanks for sharing your first, and second, impressions...not bad for Verizon's first forray in the video market, but improvements and features will certainly be coming in the future. Plus, you have an additional choice of cable tv provider and will hopefully be saving money.:)

I know you don't have DishHD, and it's hard to make direct comparison between different programming packages, but how would you rate FiOS TV against Comcast and VOOM DBS? (quality, price, features, customer support, etc.)
 
cdru

cdru

Just another yahoo
Supporting Founder
Dec 4, 2003
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
jgantert said:
DVR - Horrible FF/RW controls. Very lagging, and they automatically do rewind when you hit play. Essentially, you need to FF past the commercial to several seconds or so into the show, then hit play. The box then rewinds a bit, and if you are lucky, you are at the end of the commercial segment.
This may be a result of the encoding. I know with my Dish 522 DVR if you resume from pausing or FF/REW, there is a slight second or two pause in audio until things get synced up. If Verizon's DVRs is similar, it may rewind a few seconds automatically so that audio is there at the begining of the programming.
 
T

tejasaggie

New Member
Jun 6, 2006
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Another complaint about the EPG.
Has anyone noticed that ALMOST every movie is rated 2 stars.. I dont think I have found an exception. Kind of makes the ratings system worthless.
Also... no star ratings on the VOD movies.
Not having the actors listed is kind of annoying as well. At least they should show up in the expanded "more info" screen.
 
mindgrind

mindgrind

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 9, 2005
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There are actually SOME 1 star and 3 star ratings, but I agree almost everything is a 2 star which is crazy, along with the other comment of not listing the actors. It seems like everyone list these as well as better ratings; very strange.
 
jgantert

jgantert

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Apr 7, 2004
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Aberdeen, MD
Well, the more I use the DVR, the more I am impressed with it. I guess because I came from the Comcast POS DVR.

Series recording on this DVR is so much better. For example, say I want to record Quantum Leap on UHD. QL shows one episode a day, 3 times a day.

With my Comcast DVR, after 1 week it would have recorded 21 episodes. 3 copies of 7 episodes.

With the Verizon DVR, after 1 week it would have recorded 7 episodes. 1 copy of each of the 7 episodes. PLUS, to access them, just go to the Recordings menu, then select "Quantum Leap (7)". They actually group all of the episodes togeter! Very nice.

I feel like I have just jumped forward in time about 5 years! :D

I can't believe how bad the Comcast DVR is. I can only wonder how good a real TiVo unit would be, as most users seem to complain about the Verizon DVR as well.

-John
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
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SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
I used the SA8000HD and SA8300HD DVRs while I was briefly with Adelphia. The E* 942 and 622 are light-years ahead of this unit. Hopefully additional software releases will improve the FiOS DVR features and usability...to include USB and SATA external device support. BTW, have you tried the Firewire?
 
Last edited:
Barney

Barney

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Jun 4, 2004
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Kyle in Republic of Texas
You guys s u c k (thats a good thing).....I so wished I had FIOS in the Austin, Texas area (Kyle, small town outside of Austin). Looks like I'm going to have only HD OTA for another year.........Its gotta get better someday.

Barney
 
H

Huachipato

Active SatelliteGuys Member
May 23, 2006
20
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Carrollton, TX
I previously had the Dishnetwork DVR, and recently changed over the FiOS DVR. I do notice a slight lag from when I hit the button, to when the action actually takes place on the TV. The lag is annoying.

For what its worth though, I got very used to the "Advance" (Going forward 30 seconds) and "Replay" (rewinding 10 seconds) feature. I found that the Motorola boxes have that feature, but they are not on the remote control. Getting a good universal Remote (such as Logitech Harmony) gives you the ability to program these features into the remote.
 
jgantert

jgantert

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Apr 7, 2004
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Aberdeen, MD
Replay is on the remote, but not advance button. I haven't gotten around to programming that button into my remote (I just used the JP1 file for the Moto box, and didn't notice the Advance function).

As for firewire, I coudn't get it to talk to my Liteon 5005 DVD recorder. The liteon supports DV-Link. So maybe the FiOS DVR is not putting out a compatible firewire signal for my DVD recorder. It sounds like the firewire is active from others reporting they can connect it up to a PC and get a signal.

-John
 
K

korsjs

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Jan 25, 2004
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Land O Lakes, FL
some people say firewire works and some people say it does not. when i plug it into my computer, it does see it, but due to my regestry being messed up, i can't install the drivers.
 
jgantert

jgantert

Thread Starter
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Apr 7, 2004
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Aberdeen, MD
This DVR continues to impress me. I have a ton of series recordings, and it will let me record the series if there is conflicts. Also, it lists the conflists and has series priority so it knows which to record! On my old Comcast box, if I tried to record a series with a conflict, it would just say "no can do".

Also, I have had a problem with micro-studdering others have reported. Rebooting the box fixes it.

Oh, and on the SD boxes. I notice that the electrical outlet can be switched or always on. Either way, when the power goes out, you need to turn the box back on for the outlet to get power again (even if it is set to always on).

So far my favorite HD channel has to be TMC HD. There is so much HD content there, its amazing! SHO HD still has a lot of SD, and Starz ED (er, HD) shows almost no HD at all, just WS ED.

-John
 
K

korsjs

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Jan 25, 2004
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Land O Lakes, FL
i have found myself going through all the movie hd channels setting up timers so i can watch hd movies on the weekend. it is nice having all the movie channels in hd.
 

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