Video Media Server Installation Experience
Justin46
Legend

Before I describe my new VMS experience, some background. I am in North Texas and have had FiOS triple play since Sept. 2005. My setup was one QIP7232 Multi-Room DVR, two QIP7100-P2 STBs, all connected to HD TVs using HDMI, and one old NIM-100 that I have been using for several years to provide intenet access via coax to my wife's computer at the other end of the house. I also have an Actiontec Rev. I router that I have had for several years.

I had been checking My Verizon for several weeks to see if the VMS were available here, no luck. On Tuesday April 1 it finally showed as available. I ordered one server and two clients on April 2 through My Verizon and received them via UPS on April 4. It all came in one big white box. I did not receive a new router as I already had the most current Actiontec.

Here are my impressions so far. Keep in mind that the product has just been released and is really probably still considered as being in Beta test, is not yet generally available across the country, and there will be fixes and new functions made available (hopefully soon!).

Positives

Packaging was clear and complete. Instructions were packed on top, easy to find before you do anything (and a word to the wise: read the instructions before you do anything else, things need to be done in a specific order). Everything I needed was included (well, except there was only one coax, I have three devices, if I did not already have FiOS TV I would need to go out and buy two coax cables. Mistake in packaging my order? I don't know, but if Verizon is going to supply any coax they should supply one for each device ordered - IMO.).

The installation instructions are well illustrated and very clear.

The installation went well, with one major exception related to my old NIM being on the network and described below under Negatives. The process is simple and straightforward: you install and activate the server and then each of the clients.

Pausing and replaying live channels on all devices is great, works well.

Chaptering for recordings works on the clients as well as the server, a nice step forward.

Skipping forward and back in a recording (over ads for example) is incredbily responsive on the server. Have not yet tried that on a client.

Glad to have the clock/channel number display back on the clients, we missed the clock on the 7100-P2 boxes.

I had previously exported my settings from my 7232 DVR to the cloud and during installation was offered the option to import the settings. And it worked, on both the server and the clients! At least mostly. Most of my settings did get imported, such as Favorites, Scheduled Recordings, and some of the customized options I had made in Settings. But some of my settings were not imported, things like Notifications, Interactive TV, etc. (I really am not sure which were and which weren't, I just know I had to go in and Disable some of them that I should not have had to, on all three boxes)

The Guide appears to be back one level from what is currently available on 1.9.5. I really prefer it to the newer Guide, but unfortunately I am sure the VMS will eventually get the newer Guide.

1 TB hard drive is nice, more space to hold more recordings. The drive is very quiet.

The server case stays very cool. The client cases are much warmer (not hot, just warm).

I have always had my STBs set to display the clock (at least boxes those that had a clock display), and when switching channels the display would show the new channel number for up to a minute before reverting to the clock. Now the switch back to the clock appears to be a fixed 5 seconds after the channel number is displayed - I like this better.

Negatives

Note: Major installation issue, but fortunately most users will not experience this. When installing the VMS and clients I followed the directions and removed my 3 STBs but I forgot about the NIM. The VMS would not activate, it gave an error code of 1200, TX data rate too low. I eventually called tech support, finally wound up with a great engineer named John who is located in Irving, TX. He said the problem was my Actiontec was not running at the correct MOCA level, so we did a factory reset of the Actiontec but still had a problem. At that point I finally remembered the NIM and mentioned it to him, he said that was definitely the problem and it needed to be removed from my network. So I removed it, we started over with another factory reset of the Actiontec, then a cold start of the VMS, the VMS then activated just fine, and so did the clients.

Big irritant: I have not pinned this down completely, but it appears that when I turn off the TV and leave it off for a long (?) time, when I turn the TV back on the box, server or client, reverts to displaying the lowest channel in my default Favorites list. We experienced this today on the server and both clients. We have always left our STBs turned on when going to bed, etc., just turned the TV off, guess I will try turning one client off tonight and see if there is any difference tomorrow.

The size button (#) on the remote no longer works on SD channels to resize the image. I frequently used that function to make the SD channels full-screen, now no way to do that that I can find so far. This is true for both clients and the server. There are only two options for SD Override in the Settings, Off and Stretch, and I do not like stretch, it distorts the picture too much for my taste.

The interface on the server is sometimes slow, sometimes fast. I cannot figure out what causes the difference. For example, calling up the Guide sometimes only takes 1 second or so, other times it takes 3 or 4 seconds. Not really a big deal, but still I am used to more consistent performance. Same with channel changing, sometimes immediate, other times a 2 or 3 second delay.

The interface on the clients is considerably slower than on the server or on the 7100-P2 STBs they replaced. It is also not consistent, sometime 2 or 3 seconds, other times 5 seconds or more.

The picture just seems a little softer than with the QIP boxes, on both the server and the clients. I have set the Video Sharpness to the maximum (5) on all boxes, did not seem to make much if any difference. We both have noticed it, would prefer a sharper picture.  

During activation on each device you are prompted to name that device, but you cannot use the same name as you used for the STB that the device is replacing.  

Some other sources of information

Verizon VMS Q&A: http://www.verizon.com/Support/Residential/Tv/FiosTv/General+Support/Top+Questions/QuestionsOne/1215...

DSLReports: https://secure.dslreports.com/forum/r29119552-DVR-All-Things-VMS-Quantum-TV

I hope others will post their experiences here, post their questions, and provide some answers so we can all benefit. I will update this thread as I learn more.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

85 Replies
MHZ123
Enthusiast - Level 2
Hey Justin,
Are the Verizon Media Server Clients wireless?
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Justin46
Legend

@MHZ123 wrote:
Hey Justin,
Are the Verizon Media Server Clients wireless?

No, coax only, at least for now. Have heard some rumors of ethernet and/or wireless in the future but haven't seen anything official. For me this coax requirement of course is no big issue since I have only replaced existing FiOS TV equipment where I already had coax available.

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Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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Justin46
Legend

Here are some updates on things I mentioned yesterday plus one new item that I have no explanation at all for.

1) Previously I said that the picture seemed softer than we were used to from our QIP boxes. Today that seems to have changed somewhat, the picture seems more crisp. The only thing I can think of is maybe the components in the boxes are ageing due to use and are reaching their normal operating characteristics. But whatever the reason, the picture is more like we like it, on all three boxes.

The previous softness comment applied to the HD channels, the SD channels just weren't anywhere near as clear as we were used to. But today they also seem to apply to the SD channels, they are much more watchable today than they were yesterday. Anybody have any thoughts?

2) Also yesterday I said there was a big irritant that all three boxes had switched to the lowest channel in the default Favorites list after the TV had been off for a long time. This morning, after turning off one box overnight and leaving the other two on, all three were still on the channels they had been left on. So I am theorizing that maybe Friday night Verizon did a reset of the boxes for some reason, and that resulted in the channel change. But at least today all is well on this front, will have to keep a watch out to see if it happens again.

3) Now for a new, strange problem. This morning I was watching the F1 race on NBCSN HD (590). I was standing maybe 10 feet from the TV and 10 feet from the remote when suddenly the client box just up and changed the channel to the lowest channel defined in my default Favorites list. I for sure can't explain this one, I am looking for ideas.....

Still learning here, probably will be for quite some time......

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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Justin46
Legend

One thing I have found with the VMS that I really like is the ability to rewind a channel on a client or the server that someone else has been watching on another client (or the server if I am on a client).

For example, my wife is addicted to CNN's seemingly endless coverage of the missing 777, so she has been watching it on a client almost exclusively . I have an interest but I am not going to watch it all the time. But because she is, I can go to CNN HD (600) pretty much any time I want on either a different client or the server and rewind CNN a long way back to view any part of the coverage I have missed.  Of course it will only go back as far as the start of the current program.

I am just using CNN as an example above. And interestingly I find that at times that when I view a channel and then go back to that channel later that I can rewind that channel also, even though nobody is currently watching it and I have moved around looking at other channels in the meantime. For us, with only two clients and the server, the 6 tuners apparently are all used as we change channels, so some are still saving program content. I have yet to figure out what algorithm the server is using for selecting the tuner to use when I switch to a channel.

Anyway, a nice step forward for us.

Oh, and picture quality on all of the devices is now excellent, the softness we saw earlier appears to be completely gone. And the SD picture quality is now as good as it was on our QIP devices, which was really very good. Now I miss even more the ability to resize the SD picture to full screen using the size (#) button.

Nuts: The problem I described in an earlier post about the client suddenly, without warning or any action on my part, switching to the lowest channel in my default Favorites list, just happened on the server. And my wife just came in and said the same thing just happened to her on one of the clients. Anybody else with VMS seeing this? Suggestions to fix? Since Friday evening this has happened once on each of the clients and once on the server. Pretty annoying although easy to fix, just hit the Last button on the remote to get back to the program I was watching.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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joker211
Contributor - Level 1

"Now I miss even more the ability to resize the SD picture to full screen using the size (#) button."

 

Why is this function gone on the new VMS?   Why would they take this away.?  Some cable channels only come in SD

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Justin46
Legend

@joker211 wrote:

"Now I miss even more the ability to resize the SD picture to full screen using the size (#) button."

 

Why is this function gone on the new VMS?   Why would they take this away.?  Some cable channels only come in SD


I have no idea, I am  just reporting what I see. Maybe it is a bug and not something they purposely took out. But whatever it is, I am hoping that that function will reappear, I used it a lot.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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CRobGauth
Community Leader
Community Leader

Several people have commented that the IMG on VMS appears to be based on a previous release.

I would think that VMS will get all of the features we were used to as soon as the bring the IMG up to current version.

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Justin46
Legend

@CRobGauth wrote:

Several people have commented that the IMG on VMS appears to be based on a previous release.

I would think that VMS will get all of the features we were used to as soon as the bring the IMG up to current version.


You may very well be right, we can hope so.

The Guide definitely is not the 1.9.5 guide. The Menu is similar to 1.9.5 as best I can tell, similar sequence of menu items I think, but I don't have access to 1.9.5 any more to make a comparison.

The missing resize function for SD channels was not something new in 1.9.5, I have been using that for years.

I have never been a big user of the Widgets, but in looking at them there seem to be far fewer than there used to be. And I did occasionally use the Pandora widget in the past, it is no longer present, which is disappointing.

Amazingly the channel change time seems to have been somewhat reduced and become more consistent over the last several days, especially on the server (or maybe we are just getting used to how the new system works Smiley Very Happy ).

Despite a few relatively minor problems I am pretty happy with the VMS. My wife's only real issue is what seems to be the daily channel change back to the lowest channel in my default Favorites list; I have removed power to the server today and restarted it to see if that makes any difference.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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Justin46
Legend

Brief update: I received a call yesterday afternoon from VMS support, apparently there have been multiple reports of the channel change problem that I am experiencing. For me, it seems to have pretty much settled down to changing the channel on all three boxes at approximately 12:38 PM CDT every day. An annoying problem but not really all that serious, we are never recording anything at that time of day, and all it takes is one press of the Last button on the remote to get back to the channel you were watching. Still, it needs to be fixed, and the VMS developers are supposedly now researching the problem.

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Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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joker211
Contributor - Level 1

I been looking of r youtube or any video that shows a personal unboxing review.  Is there any?

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Justin46
Legend

Just got home from the UPS Store, returned my QIP boxes (remember this is free, no fees to ship stuff back to Verizon this way). So I guess I am now truely committed to the VMS. Smiley Happy

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Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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joker211
Contributor - Level 1

WAIT there was an upgrade fee right?   That is what I read.  So if it is $24 upgrade fee then that includes shipping. 

What was your upgrade fee?

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Justin46
Legend

@joker211 wrote:

WAIT there was an upgrade fee right?   That is what I read.  So if it is $24 upgrade fee then that includes shipping. 

What was your upgrade fee?


The upgrade fee was $24.99.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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joker211
Contributor - Level 1

Ok so that includes shipping imo..   Shipping is not free.  Cablevision never charged a upgrade fee.  So I am guessing Fios is charging to include shipping and help with hook up

Do you think you can or will make a youtube video showing the new box and features?   I am so waiting for someone to do it.

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Justin46
Legend

@joker211 wrote:

Ok so that includes shipping imo..   Shipping is not free.  Cablevision never charged a upgrade fee.  So I am guessing Fios is charging to include shipping and help with hook up

Do you think you can or will make a youtube video showing the new box and features?   I am so waiting for someone to do it.


It is called a "one time charge" on the order. I suspect you would pay it whether you have equipment to return or you are a new customer. What I was referring to is being able to return my old equipment at no charge; I know that some customers have paid to return equipment, but if you take it to a UPS Store they box it up and ship it back and Verizon pays the bill for that.

No, I have plan or desire to make any kind of video. And really I don't understand why you want one - you order, you receive the equipment, you read the instructions, you disconnect any old equipment, you connect the new equipment, server first then clients, they activate themselves, you customize your settings, and you sit back and enjoy. Not difficult. And learning the new features is just a matter of trying things to see what happens, mostly it is similar to using the QIP boxes. There are a few new functions that I have already mentioned in this thread, and a couple of bugs that I have discovered that hopefully will be fixed fairly quickly, but other than that, not that much to learn.

Is there something specific you want to know about? If so I will be happy to answer if I can, or try to find an answer.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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joker211
Contributor - Level 1

So basicly it is the same as my multiroom dvr with an added 6 turners.  With no resize function and older firmware.

There is now Youtube right?   I thought it was going to have Youtube and maybe some other internet stuff. I remember using Verizon media manager, but I had to keep my compyter on and the video quality was horrible.  So when I got a new TV, I got a smart TV with all that built in.

To be honest I think all this wait is a let down.  I was expecting more.  Something to WOW me.

Also let me ask you this.  Let's say you have 3 tv's.  And one is not used much (guest room).  You have an older QIp 2500 that was given to you at sign up and at no charge for lifetime promotion.  Are you saying that I might have trouble hooking up the new 6 VMS to the network that the QIP 2500 is on?

To be clear I would not care  if the QIP 2500 was able to play back recordings or even connect to the VMS at all.  Let's say I just want the QIP 2500 to play TV.  Nothing more.  

From what I read from your posts.  It looks like the VMS will not establish a setup with one extra Tv and leave the older one alone?  I do not understand why I can not have one old box that is not apart of the newwork.  That I will have to pay for an extra box for a TV I hardly use?

Unless I am misunderstanding what I read.  Of course i can not call verizon because most of the people whom I spoke with do not know what a VMS is. 

Just disapointed that is all.  Three year wait for what?

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joker211
Contributor - Level 1

Oh I forgot to mention I was never charged $25 one time  fee.  As a new customer I would not of put up with that,  It was never brought to my attention.  Cablevision never had any equipment fee upgrade charges.  You oder a new box. Pay any difference in price and that was it.  Sometimes new systems (boxes) had different rates.  Most of the time no.

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Justin46
Legend

@joker211 wrote:

Oh I forgot to mention I was never charged $25 one time  fee.  As a new customer I would not of put up with that,  It was never brought to my attention.  Cablevision never had any equipment fee upgrade charges.  You oder a new box. Pay any difference in price and that was it.  Sometimes new systems (boxes) had different rates.  Most of the time no.


Apparently you haven't ordered a new box from Verizon in a while. I believe they now charge a one time fee any time you order an STB. You might want to go into My Verizon and go through the ordering process just to add an STB to your existing configuration to verify what I am saying. When I ordered a QIP7232 several years ago to replace my QIP6416 I had to pay a fee, $40 I think. And I think you may find it commonplace among the service providers these days, anything to get another buck.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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sangs1
Specialist - Level 2

Which is why - if one is available to you - it's much better to walk into a FiOS store for new equipment. No fees. Just pick up and go. (Thought they do charge a return fee if you're bringing an STB or DVR back to a FiOS store.)


@Justin wrote:

@joker211 wrote:

Oh I forgot to mention I was never charged $25 one time  fee.  As a new customer I would not of put up with that,  It was never brought to my attention.  Cablevision never had any equipment fee upgrade charges.  You oder a new box. Pay any difference in price and that was it.  Sometimes new systems (boxes) had different rates.  Most of the time no.


Apparently you haven't ordered a new box from Verizon in a while. I believe they now charge a one time fee any time you order an STB. You might want to go into My Verizon and go through the ordering process just to add an STB to your existing configuration to verify what I am saying. When I ordered a QIP7232 several years ago to replace my QIP6416 I had to pay a fee, $40 I think. And I think you may find it commonplace among the service providers these days, anything to get another buck.

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)


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joker211
Contributor - Level 1

Justin,

Thanks for the information.  My wife would not be happy in increase in our monthly.  A one time fee or drive to the Fios store is ok compred to a $70 to $80 increase per year.  For a TV we rarely use.  In fact. when we had cablevision.  We did not have a box at all in that room.  We just hooked it up to the wall for basic.  Then any guests would just have basic tv.

So to clarify something you said.

Lets say you have 3 tvs:

1) Ist tv has VMS 6 turener server

2) Has client box

3) Has client box

If no one is watching tv at all.  Then I can record 6 shows at once.  Right?

If I am watching the TV with the VMS I can watch live tv and record 5 shows.  Right?

The question is.  If the client boxes are in use to watch live tv.  Does that mean I lose a turner to record shows for each client box in use.

So if ALL tvs are being watched for live tv at same time.   Then 3 turners are in use and then I only have 3 more turners to record shows?

Justin, kind of you to share information. 

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