How to time-record on VCR with Verizon Fios? - AVS Forum
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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We recently switched from Comcast to Verizon Fios for cable. My issue is now I cannot set my VCR's timer recorder to tape my shows. I have an older VCR, older TV (with coaxial input only), set up in the bedroom. I was able to time-record with Comcast by not using the STB and plugging the cable directly into the VCR, then outputting coaxial to TV. (We use the STB for full viewing pleasure on NEC plasma/home theater set-up in living room---thanks for all the AVS forum information I researched for that!). I was only able to record from the first 120 channels, because the VCR tuner only goes that high. It wasn't a real problem, because most of the shows I wanted were found in that range in the Comcast line-up.

Everything's changed with Verizon. I have scoured the forums and cannot find anyone else who seems to have these problems. Here's what I've tried and the problems I've encountered.

(1)The set-up: cable line> Motorola standard STB via coaxial to RF in> VCR> TV. Setting up timer to record the actual channels I want to record results in a fuzzy screen. With it this way, I can only set the timer to channel 3, turn the STB to the channel I want to record, and have it record the scheduled time period. Then I have to reset the STB channel to the next show I want to record and wait. Or manually set the STB channel and hit the record button when the show comes on.

This defeats the whole purpose of being able to use the timer to record shows automatically when they are scheduled to come on. Even if this first set up worked, I could only get 120 channels. The Verizon line-up has most of my favorite shows above that (SciFi channel, A&E, CSPAN, etc.). I know I cannot record the HD channels, which isn't my goal anyway---I just want my basic ones!

(2) When I set it all up like I had with Comcast (take STB out of equation), it didn't work at all. I only could get channels up to about 40 and couldn't watch the TV unless set to VCR.

(3)I then tried connecting the VCR to STB via composite, and connecting the STB to TV via coaxial. Another no-go.

Questions: Would any of the following approaches work? If not, what do I do now? I rarely, if ever, am able to watch TV in real time. I like to record on tapes because they are easy to then play back in my office/sewing room set-up of just a VCR hooked up to TV (I can multi-task while catching up on my programs).

a)Purchase a VCR or DVR/VCR combo without a tuner. Would I then be able to access the channels of the STB properly, and be able to set the timer, without the channel 3 nonsense? Do most/all VCR units only allow, at most, 8 recording events? How do I find out? This is information that is never put in product specs.

b)If a VCR or combo with a tuner will work, I would need one with a tuner that can access at least 200 or more channels. Do they make such a thing?

c)Am I missing something very basic to Verizon Fios that will allow this to work, but I haven't been able to find in the (inadequate) manual or in the menu? Or is this a grand conspiracy by the cable companies to get everyone to rent their DVR units?

d)I think I am resigned to the fact that no matter what method may work, I will not be able to watch a different channel on the TV when I am recording another. Unless...is there a split cable arrangement prior to the cable line going into the STB that would allow that?

I appreciate very much any help anyone can give. I cannot fathom that I cannot figure this out...I am hoping I have missed something very simple that will fix this dilemma I am in. And hopefully can get this worked before the new TV season starts!
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:06 PM
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Oh dear...I was under the impression that FIOS was all digital, and didn't offer analog channels. And it sounds like that's the problem you're having. You can only see the cable box's feed when you turn the vcr to channel 3? Which means you must record on vcr ch3 with cable box tuned to the desired channel, and you can't watch anything else on another channel while it's recording....
I don't have FIOS, so you're going to have to call them and confirm whether they offer analog channels, or if they're totally digital.

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Old 07-31-2007, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Westly, I was hoping there was a simple remedy from one of you experts on AVS. I'll have to see if Verizon can offer a solution. If not, my viewing and recording habits will have to change drastically, or else I'll go back to Comcast...
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:30 PM
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Sorry you're having this problem. Didn't the techs who came out to the house say anything at all when hooking everything up?

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Old 08-01-2007, 05:11 AM
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Janis,

I don't know if this applies, but back in the day, I had a Comcast Digital STB that was connected to the VCR, then to the TV. The technician set up the STB with a little IR blaster that would send a signal to the VCR to turn on and record.

So on the STB, I would scroll to a show that I wanted to record and press a few buttons to set it up. When the program came on, the STB would turn on and tune into that channel. Then it would send a signal to the VCR to turn on and record. When the show ended, the STB would send another signal to the VCR to stop and turn off.

This would save me from having to program the STB and the VCR independently.

As for VerizonFios, you might want to see if their SD-STB's support this type of feature.

Verizon is not totally digital. They carry the locals, public access, and other channels on analog. Channels 2-49 are analog. All others are digital. Your VCR will not be able to get any of the traditional "basic" channels without a STB.

Honestly, it might be worth your while to go with a DVR. We bought a Sony HD-DVR and it's so much better than messing around with tapes and timer programming. You're going to need a STB on that TV anyway, so for a few bucks more, you can get the DVR. I think that they are planning on offering a SD DVR soon.

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Old 08-01-2007, 06:25 AM
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Hi Janis. Welcome to the forum.

It seems like we are from the same neck of the woods -- DTown, that is.

I found the user manual for your STB, and it can be found by clicking here.

I was going to suggest that you set timers on the STB to turn on the STB and tune it to the desired channel for recording, but looking through the manual, it appears that the Motorola QIP2500 DOES NOT have timers. This really sucks because many STBs have timers for this very purpose. It doesn't have an IR blaster either.

I will try to locate more information, but it appears that unless you want to do the manual tune to channel method, the only other option is to record the analog portion of the channel lineup -- that is below channel 49.

The only other alternative, albeit a more expensive one, is to rent the DVR from Verizon (Motorola QIP6200, user manual here), which will let you watch 1 channel and record another, or watch 2 channels at the same time, or watch a recorded video, while recording 2 other programs, because it has 2 tuners. In addition, this is a HD DVR that will allow you to record and watch in HD! This might be a good option for you instead of buying more equipment.

Good luck.

RG
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanisHP View Post

c)Am I missing something very basic to Verizon Fios that will allow this to work, but I haven't been able to find in the (inadequate) manual or in the menu? Or is this a grand conspiracy by the cable companies to get everyone to rent their DVR units?

Yes. FIOS is essentially all encrypted digital. They provide the local channels (equivalent to comcast basic) in the lower 50 channels as clear QAM and analog. So if you plug your old equipment into the cable directly without an STB, you will be able to use it like you did for comcast but those are all the channels you will get.

The most hassel-free FIOS solution for you would be to rent an STB for every TV you want to use for viewing, throw away the VCR and rent their "delux" DVR (I don't know what they actually call it) for your main TV. When your TV's are hooked up to FIOS by STB they actually form a local area network in your house. Their delux DVR is a 2-tuner job that is capable of independently sending a recorded program to any remote STB in the house for playback.

- kelson h

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Old 08-01-2007, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much, everyone, for all the suggestions. Looks like I have a few things to try now, but may take the advice from most of you and plunge into the DVR route. *sigh* Creature of habit am I, and giving up the VCR/tape routine (so 20th century, I know, but what're ya gonna do?) will be hard... I'll post in a couple of days to let you know what's up. THANKS!
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanisHP View Post

Thanks so much, everyone, for all the suggestions. Looks like I have a few things to try now, but may take the advice from most of you and plunge into the DVR route. *sigh* Creature of habit am I, and giving up the VCR/tape routine (so 20th century, I know, but what're ya gonna do?) will be hard... I'll post in a couple of days to let you know what's up. THANKS!

Once you go DVR, you slap yourself for not doing it sooner. It really does change the way you watch TV.

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Old 08-01-2007, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

I was going to suggest that you set timers on the STB to turn on the STB and tune it to the desired channel for recording, but looking through the manual, it appears that the Motorola QIP2500 DOES NOT have timers. This really sucks because many STBs have timers for this very purpose. It doesn't have an IR blaster either.

I have Verizon Fios, and you are correct about it not having Timers or an IR Blaster, but there is something that it doesn't tell you about in the manual which helps out tremendously when recording only the channel that is on, one channel at a time.

There is a feature called: "Set Reminder" where when you are navigating through your guide to see what programs are on, you can highlight one and select "Set Reminder". What that does is it automatically changes to that channel when the program comes on. What I typically do is go to the program that is on before what I want to record and set my reminder there, then I leave the Cable Box on and it's fine. I set it one program before because if you set it for the current program you get the On Screen menu, when it switches channels, and that may
come out in your recording.

It really does work very well though. I consider it my timer "work around".

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Old 08-02-2007, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Suplex, it looks like you suggested a way that works for me. I set my VCR timer to channel 3, put the time slot in that I want, do the "set reminder" so the STB will turn it to the correct cable channel, and it records just fine. Though I can see problems developing (make sure no one turns off the cable, can't watch TV on that set, I have to remember to set up, etc.)...BUT for now, it will get me by.

I truly do think I'll follow the recommendations from many of you to take the plunge eventually (probably sooner than later) and go with the FiOs DVR, that will send my recorded shows to the STB of my choice....the extra $$ it will cost each month will probably be worth it. You all have been terrific...thanks for all the advice!

And suplex, your quote "Never Underestimate the Power of Forums" has been a lesson I've learned over the past year concerning AVS! I've learned an unbelievable amount of stuff lurking for a year or so, and especially with the great response to my first post...
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:18 AM
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Really old post, I know, but I have a specific question pertaining to this exact dilemma.

The reminder's would be perfect solution for what I need, and I used to have directv which had unlimited amount of reminders. Now I have cablevision and they limit you to 8 "reminders." Does FIOS give you an unlimited amount of reminders? As sometimes I need more than 8 reminders (don't ask! ). Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Dear Fiddy,

I have never used the Reminders feature on FIOS, so went and looked at the Help menu about it (Help /TV Listings/Reminders). This is what it says (anything in parentheses will be my comments):

"Users can set Reminders for any upcoming show (since it says ANY, maybe there is no limit?). The Reminders will show an alert on the screen a few minutes before the show begins.

To enable a Reminder, view the program information for an upcoming TV show or PPV program and select the Reminder button (when I actually tried this, I could not find any Reminder button on remote or anything on available menu...just Record Show, Record Series, etc. so I couldn't actually test this).
The Reminder will tell you the channel number and show the name of the program. You can decide if you want to tune to the channel at that time or at sometime in the future."

Your comment about only being able to have 8 reminders suggests it may be something with your VCR? I could only program 8 shows with mine. But I have no limit on how many RECORDINGS I can do, now that I have the DVR with FIOS.

I hope this helps. Maybe someone at FIOS can answer your question better. Obviously, I did get the DVR, and have not looked back. I am able to record a zillion times more shows with no hassle--my only problem now is having the time to watch everything. I can't seem to get the DVR below 85% full (and lately it keeps hovering at 98% because the kids discovered how to use it now)!
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:23 PM
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Obviously, I did get the DVR, and have not looked back.

Bet the picture quality's a little bit better, too.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:39 AM
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I have been working on a solution to turn on the STB and change to the channel I want to record on my VCR for over a year. I have done only minimal testing but have just today found that the following seems to work. I have a QIP6200-2 and a QIP2500-3 STB's. On the remote there is a red record key, which I thought was only for using when you have a DVR. If you bring up the program menu and goto the program that you want to record, select that program with the record button then set your VCR to turn on at that time. The STB will turn on when that program comes on and will change it to that channel. All you need to do now is to tell your VCR to record from what ever STB output you are using coax or component.

Please give this a try to see if it works for you.

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