FiOS, TiVo, and CableCards
MrStylz
Enthusiast - Level 1

Can someone please break down the prices Verizon charges if you have a TiVo HD that accepts an M cablecard?  Ie, truck roll is x amount and cablecard is x amount per month.

Thank you

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1 Solution
TimSykes
Specialist - Level 2

truck roll = free

per month = 3.99

View solution in original post

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SWisler817
Newbie

I'm having trouble with one of the FiOS cable jacks in my house (no coax LAN connectivity), so I made an appointment with fiber solutions to have someone come out to look at the jack and hopefully fix it.  I just bought a TiVo HD and was hoping to get the guy fixing my FiOS to install the Cablecard in the same visit to avoid (even the threat of) the $79 fee.  I figured, well he's going to be here anyway, he can just pop in a Cablecard, program it, and I'll be good to go.  I guess Verizon sees it differently because I was told to contact customer support to setup a new install. There was nothing fiber solutions could do about that.

She gave me a direct number so I didn't have to wait on hold, which was nice, but it turns out that their systems are not connected at all.  Therefore, I would have to place a separate ticket to get a "new" installation of the Cablecard (the connected jack is there, the tech would just have to activate the cablecard since he was going to be here anyway). This would require a seperate verizon tech to come out to do this.  I asked her if the there were seperate teams of people for problems vs. installation and she told me that the dispach is the same so she assumed it was all the same truck. Meaning that the truck coming to fix my FiOS jack was capable of installing a cablecard, but couldn't because fiber solutions and customer service can't talk to each other.

From an efficiency point of view this made no sense to me, but I kept trying to get at the heart of the situation.  From what I could gather, customer support could not access fiber solutions' files, and therefore two separate crews would have to visit me.  She was super nice and offered to make the appointment for the same day and time as my service visit, and of course charge a $79 truck roll fee.  

Can someone from Verizon please help me understand this? There is a real possibility that 2 seperate Verizon crews could be at my house at exactly the same time, working on the same service, and yet I'm the one footing the bill? I am being punished for Verizon's system not being completely integrated? It seems to me that either Verizon is really poorly setup (which wouldn't surprise me) or I am being charged a punishment fee for opting to own my own equipment, or more likely a little of each. I'm willing the pay the $4/month to replace the free cable box on my secondary TV, I'm not willing to pay for Verizon's inefficiencies. In addition to the completely spotty service I have to be nickeled and dimed too? C'mon Verizon! Stop putting very nice customer service people in the middle of your crummy policies!

I get that everyone is saying that there will actually not ever be a fee applied, but I really can't take the chance of losing $79 for such a frivolous reason.   I know a bunch of people are saying they're told there will be one and it never shows up but I'm just curious, can anyone say whether they have actually ever been charged this fee?

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SYSSJR
Enthusiast - Level 3

Well....

The interesting thing, was that when I placed the order, there was no mention of a charge.  I will wait for the next

bill and update this post.

-Steve

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TexasTim
Newbie

Well... I got Tivo to upgrade me to a TivoHD for $99 and keep my existing plan of $6.95/month. So, hopefully tehre will be no hassles. Im about to call Verizon and set up the install. Tivo warehouse is about 10 miles from my house...ships tomorrow and should be here Wednesday.

So, if you guys want to upgrade, just tell them you are thinking about canceling Tivo service and switching to your cable company. The refurbs are $199, and if you say you are going to cancel, then a new door opens and there is a $99 upgrade and you keep your existing plan. They said the refurb isnt really a refurb, but more of an open box return. They package it all back up, then send it out. It keeps the new Tivo warranty.

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SYSSJR
Enthusiast - Level 3

Well...

Despite all the horror stories, 2 techs came to install the card last Saturday.  They

had to connect to my router (which I renamed), so had to give him the new name, which

took the tech a little by surprise,. But after about 20 minutes, they were gone.  Tivo/Card

working like a charm.  Did talk to them about some of the issues reported.  Usually it

has to do with people not actually setting up the Tivo before they come in.  Since I already

went through the setup, and all the updates, there were no real issues.

Now, to compare it with the VZ box...  I've had the pleasure of having Tivo before, with the

original Directv installs.  I guess I was expecting a little more than those units.  One of the

real reasons for going back to the Tivo was the interface with my PCs on my network.  So

I downloaded Tivo Desktop, and unfortunately i'm not very impressed.  Very slow, and not

the best 'interface', even though its Tivo.  Looking at Galleon now.  The Netflix access works
great, they just need to get some better variety of instant access titles.  Looks like Blockbuster

still will charge for on demand access, even with an online account.

I definitely will miss the 'On Demand' option on the FIOS DVR, especially the Premium/Local

channels series.

Does anyone now if there is a future between Tivo & FIOS to make some type of On Demand

offer ?

Also, any update on adding a Hardrive to the Fios boxes ?

-Steve

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SWisler817
Newbie

@SYSSJR

were you charged the $79 truck roll? I'm considering just going for it, but am curious

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SYSSJR
Enthusiast - Level 3

Just got the bill.  Was not charged for the truck roll !!!!

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KenAF
Specialist - Level 2

From reports across various forums, dozens (maybe hundreds?) if FiOS CableCard users in the New York area all lost their cable channels in the past few days.   It affects CableCard TVs, TivoHDs, Moxis, and PC CableCard setups.

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mjryder
Newbie

I just had a second tech out to my house since I lost the CableCARD Auth Thursday night/Friday Morning. Sounds like Verizon is realizing there's something going on here. This tech told me he had several open orders, including startups, where the CableCard would not authorize. He escalated the call and told me that he was told to aggregate these calls under my current open ticket. I'm located in the Western New York area. Whatever happened Thurs night seems to have hosed the ability to auth cards.

There are separate threads building on DSL reports and the TiVO community site related to this.

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RF75
Newbie

Western NY (Hamburg) also am missing nearly all encrypted channels from TivoHD with Cablecard, spent about 45 mins with tech support, they sent commands to the card & had me reboot twice to no effect, have opened a ticket with video support.  Clearly something to do with the head end in WNY since other areas report on Tivocommunity that they're fine. Sad that tech support had no record of similar problems.  At my work we do tech support for a widely deployed web application and track problems seen by multiple customers, and it helps pinpoint the problem QUICKLY. Hope this doesn't take long for FiOS to figure out, that it affects other types of box (Moxi, PC Cablecard tuners) sure points the finger at FiOS TV.

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mastrick
Newbie

I just got off the phone with verizon CSR after trying to order two m cards.  I was completely unsuccessful, having the rep tell me that cablecards do not bypass the fios STB, being told the cards would arrive in 3 - 5 days, being told their was no truck roll required.

I eventually got the issue escalated to a manager, who basically repeated the same thing, wouldn't budge, wouldn't let me schedule a truck roll (even though I said I would pay the 80$ without arguement.)

I was told they would research the issue and call me back tomorrow.

Should I try to call another CSR or is there a different approach I can take?

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KenAF
Specialist - Level 2

@mastrick wrote:

I just got off the phone with verizon CSR after trying to order two m cards.  I was completely unsuccessful, having the rep tell me that cablecards do not bypass the fios STB, being told the cards would arrive in 3 - 5 days, being told their was no truck roll required.

I eventually got the issue escalated to a manager, who basically repeated the same thing, wouldn't budge, wouldn't let me schedule a truck roll (even though I said I would pay the 80$ without arguement.)


You should be fine as long as they (a) placed the order for the CableCards and (b) have your correct phone number on file.


Two to four business days after you place an order for CableCards, Verizon's system will call you with an automated message  that includes the date and time of the installation.  This occurs for every CableCard installation without an accompanying install date.  Be sure to check your voicemail and/or answering machine.  If you need to change the date/time, call back after you get the message.

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ralpharch
Newbie

I just switched from COMCAST Montgomery cty MD and wished I had read this thread first.

I had two motorola m cards in my two SONY tvs, and when the tech showed up I asked if he could install a cable card in one of them instead of the standarddef box I had ordered.  He said he would try - but he said that the card would not pair up in either TV even though it was the same type of card that was working with COMCAST.  He indicated he needed to get an older style card with tvs like mine (SONY xbr960n and a 36kd955xs)

Is this an accurate story or is there a need for additional coordination between the verizon support on telephone and the tech in the field?

I would like to try again but am wondering what the chances of success are.

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JerseyJoe
Enthusiast - Level 2

@ralpharch

The installer is wrong. In most areas, you can't get an S-card (single-stream) from FiOS even if you explicitly ask for one; all they have in the depot are M-cards (multistream).  I can't figure out if your TVs have S-card or M-card slots, but it doesn't matter: M-cards are backward compatible and will work in S-card slots.  There's no reason to use an S-card in any of your devices, and if they manage to dig one up, there's a high likelihood that it's so old it would malfunction anyway, so insist on M-cards.

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ralpharch
Newbie

Thanks Jersey Joe

Looks like I will roll the dice with a cable card truck roll.  But it should work with my tv (Sony XBR 960n) as I already had the same version motorola m card working with comcast as the one the initial installer tried and failed to get set up on initial setup.

I really couldn't complain to him as it wasn't on my order for that day

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SYSSJR
Enthusiast - Level 3

Thanks..

Looks like its time to order.  One other quick question.  Do I need to subscribe to the Tivo service

before the cablecard activation, or its ok to have the Tech come out prior ?

-Steve

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KenAF
Specialist - Level 2

@SYSSJR wrote:

Thanks..

Looks like its time to order.  One other quick question.  Do I need to subscribe to the Tivo service

before the cablecard activation, or its ok to have the Tech come out prior ?



@JerseyJoe wrote:

The TiVo's a brick without an active subscription these days--it won't even let you complete its initial setup without contacting TiVo's activation server on the Internet within the first few steps--so you'll have to sign up for the TiVo service first.


Every TiVo includes a 7-day trial to the service, so you don't have to sign up first.  After you activate service, you have 30-days to cancel for a refund.


It would be a good idea to connect the TiVo and run guided setup before the Verizon installer arrives, however.  Last year, TiVo updated their software to eliminate signal compatibility issues with FiOS, so you'll want to have that before they arrive.  It  takes 2-3 days for the TiVo to download and update to the latest software after initial setup.

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JerseyJoe
Enthusiast - Level 2

The TiVo's a brick without an active subscription these days--it won't even let you complete its initial setup without contacting TiVo's activation server on the Internet within the first few steps--so you'll have to sign up for the TiVo service first.

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SYSSJR
Enthusiast - Level 3

Just returned a single room dvr to the service center.  Never even hooked it up.  Seems senseless to spend that amount of money without being able to add a hard drive, etc...

No one has given a specific date on availability for drive extensions, etc.  Switched from DirecTV to FIOS. 

Still have to rid all of the DTV boxes, but that may take a while being all of them are DVR's at $5.99/Month.

Was looking at a Tivo HD, being they are now on sale for about $219. 

When I dropped of the old box at the center, I asked about the cost of getting a card.  They said it requires an installer to

come out, and its $79.

Does anyone know if this could be avoided by bringing a Tivo unit into the center to get hooked up to avoid the fee ?

There should be nothing that ties the Tivo/CableCard to the physical address.


Thanks,

-Steve

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JerseyJoe
Enthusiast - Level 2

@SYSSJR

Whoever you talked to in the service center is simply wrong about there being a fee to install the CableCARD. I don't know why Verizon can't get its act together on this, it's completely pathetic and embarassing, but despite what any customer-facing representative says to you, there is no fee for Verizon to install a CableCARD.  If you look back in this thread, you'll see that I and others wasted hours arguing with customer service representatives (CSRs) who swore up and down that there was going to be a fee charged for the installation, and in the end, not one of us was charged the fee.

Just schedule it, they'll come out and do it, and you'll never see the fee on your bill. If by some chance you do, come back and post in this thread, and one of the Verizon employees who monitors this thread should help you get it taken off.

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vgsmike
Enthusiast - Level 2

A number of Tivo/Cablecard users are beginning to report losing encrypted channels above channels 50/550, seemingly after the 1.7 update. Not sure what that would have to do with cablecards directly, but the error began at the same time regardless.

What's up, Verizon?

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