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NYC FIOS vs Time Warner

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Maybe not the correct forum? I haven't been here in a while.

Anyway, FIOS has finally arrived in my area so now I need to figure out whether to switch from Time Warner. The internet speeds are much greater but I think it's the TV package that matters more. Right now I have a TIVO on the main TV and a regular cable box on another TV. That box has a splitter on the component output and leads to another TV in a bedroom. So both have to watch the same thing but that's been ok. The signal is a bit degraded because of the split but that's also ok.

Anyway, one major problem with TW is that everything that is not OTA is marked as copy protected so TIVO won't late me transfer it to TV. First question then is whether I can save stuff that's recorded on the FIOS DVR or multi-room DVR. I do have a Hauppague HD-PVR but haven't gotten it to work with my main PC. I'd rather just be able to save stuff from the DVR to PC anyway.

I'll probably fire TIVO if I get FIOS so that's a bit of savings but I like TIVO's search and Season Pass options. Hopefully the FIOS DVR has similar functionality by now.

Any comments or pointers to existing threads greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 23
Dump TiVO, dump Hauppauge HD PVR, and get either Ceton or SiliconDust cable card tuner. Ceton has 6 tuner and 4 tuner versions, SD only has 3 tuner version.

Rent a CableCard from either TW ($2.50/month) or FiOS ($3.99/month). CableCArd will allow you to decrypt up to 6 streams at once, and distribute through your house over wired network.

We have 6 TV's and our total bill is $65 for Triple Play and $3.99 cabel card and taxes = under $75/mohth for all 3 services with Verizon FiOS.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Dump TiVO, dump Hauppauge HD PVR, and get either Ceton or SiliconDust cable card tuner. Ceton has 6 tuner and 4 tuner versions, SD only has 3 tuner version.

Rent a CableCard from either TW ($2.50/month) or FiOS ($3.99/month). CableCArd will allow you to decrypt up to 6 streams at once, and distribute through your house over wired network.

We have 6 TV's and our total bill is $65 for Triple Play and $3.99 cabel card and taxes = under $75/mohth for all 3 services with Verizon FiOS.

Can you save programs? And transfer to PC? I'll start looking at these boxes.
post #4 of 23
I'n in NYC and made the switch from TWC to FIOS about two years ago. I've never regretted that decision. The primary issue for me was that I was having pixellation and freezing problems that TWC was never able to resolve. Those problems went away the day of the FIOS install. I got better picture and audio quality, fast and reliable internet performance and better customer service. The monthly expense was slightly less than TWC. For me it was a better deal in every way.

I have a DVR and an STB. The DVR is connected to a Hauppauge HD PVR and a PC. I use the 1212 to archive recordings from the DVR to a PC. There've been a few bumps getting it to work but no problems lately. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. The cable card option mentioned previously sounds very interesting.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
It does sound interesting. I do have a pretty hefty Win 7 PC sitting by the main TV; mostly I use it to play games. But I could easily use it as the media center. I'm looking at the card - I just don't understand how the other TVs can use that PC. Those TVs are not on a network - well, I mean they do get cable of course and have their own boxes. Still, how can I switch channels upstairs? It's going to take a pretty powerful remote to go through the floor. I'll keep looking into it.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

It does sound interesting. I do have a pretty hefty Win 7 PC sitting by the main TV; mostly I use it to play games. But I could easily use it as the media center. I'm looking at the card - I just don't understand how the other TVs can use that PC. Those TVs are not on a network - well, I mean they do get cable of course and have their own boxes. Still, how can I switch channels upstairs? It's going to take a pretty powerful remote to go through the floor. I'll keep looking into it.

Think outside the box....

You will need a Windows Media Center extender (Linksys, D-Link, HP and Ceton) or XBOX360 (one with broken optical drive will work) to act as an "in-between" for the TV and the network.

Each TV will then have its own remote and will be independant from other TV's or the HTPC in terms what you can watch and when. But, you will also have universal TV guide, recorded TV, movies, and music library that will be accessible from any of the TV's on your network.

It is very neat, and a HUGE cost saver, since you don't need to rent a DVR and Boxes from the provider. A single CableCard will give you access to 6 simultaneous streams for viewing and recording. But, you can mix and match Cable and OTA tuners. This way you are not using cablecard for tuning/recording something that can be tuned using a cheaper OTA tuner. Your absolute maximum number of same kind tuners is 32, with Ceton drivers, or 12 with Tuner salad add on.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok, give me an idea of the flow. I do have an XBox360. Cable comes into the house, goes into the PC with the Ceton card tuner. PC is Win 7 Ultimate I think. Now what? The XBox is sitting next to the PC at the moment.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
This is starting to look doable. I was worried that I did have an nForce chipset (which Ceton does not support) but I have a 790FX, AMD Phenom 9500 (I think) quad core. 8 gb. And an XBox360. Looks like all the parts are in place. Poor Tivo, but that will save another $12 per month or so. Maybe I'll get it working with TW just for practice and then switch to FIOS. Or not.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

Ok, give me an idea of the flow. I do have an XBox360. Cable comes into the house, goes into the PC with the Ceton card tuner. PC is Win 7 Ultimate I think. Now what? The XBox is sitting next to the PC at the moment.

Edit: Before you do any of the below, click on the Windows MEdia Center in your start menu. Run "Digital Cable Advisor" If your PC passes, you are good to go.

Cable comes into the tuner. You can position the tuner in the basement, if you get a network attached version. If you go with PC hosted tuner, then cable goes into the tuner in the PC.

PC connected to TV via HDMI. Get a $10 Windows MEdia Center remote from newegg, press the "green button" and WMC comes up. Follow on-screen prompts to turn the PC into a whole house DVR. TV1 is Done!

XBOX connects to the network that the PC is on. TV connects to the XBOX however you wish (HDMI, component, composite...) Get another Windows MEdia center remote for $10. PRess the "green button" on it. XBOX goes into WMC mode. Follow prompts to pair the xbox to the PC. TV 2 is Done!

You can have up to 6 total TV's on the same system at the same time.

You can set both the PC and XBOX to boot directly into WMC, and actually lock them in WMC mode for error prrof solution. You will need wired, MoCA or Powerline network. Wireless may work, but only a few people have had stable and sucessful set up with wireless.
Edited by blueiedgod - 6/4/13 at 1:21pm
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

This is starting to look doable. I was worried that I did have an nForce chipset (which Ceton does not support) but I have a 790FX, AMD Phenom 9500 (I think) quad core. 8 gb. And an XBox360. Looks like all the parts are in place. Poor Tivo, but that will save another $12 per month or so. Maybe I'll get it working with TW just for practice and then switch to FIOS. Or not.

Phenom X4 is what I have driving 6 TV's. It is a workhorse.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
PC passed. Umm. So I need one extender for each TV? That isn't so good. I have two TVs besides the one by the PC. Those extenders are around $180 each. I guess I need the XBox and one more extender. But the XBox really should be on the main TV since we do use it for games once in a while.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

PC passed. Umm. So I need one extender for each TV? That isn't so good. I have two TVs besides the one by the PC. Those extenders are around $180 each. I guess I need the XBox and one more extender. But the XBox really should be on the main TV since we do use it for games once in a while.

You can place the PC near one of the other TV's and use XBOX at the main TV. It really doesn't matter where the PC is. You can even use it as a headless unit in the basement, you'll just need more extenders for the 3 TV's then. So, why not use the PC as one of the "cable boxes/DVRs"?

Before we had a "real TV" in the bedroom, we just used the PC and monitor with a remote as bedroom TV.

Ceton Echo is $180.

I have bought broken XBOXes for $20 off craigslist for customer builds. Some just needed a RROD fix, and some worked just fine as extender because the optical drive was faulity, which is not needed for extender functionality, you just lose DVD playback fuction, which most extenders don't have (other than Linksys DMA 2200)

You can also buy now discontinued extenders from linksys, d-link and HP for under $50 on ebay/craigslist. We are using Linksys extenders that I got from newegg new for $80 each on sale.

Ceton echo has been as low as $129 on sale.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Currently I have the two upstairs PCs on one cable box with a splitter and it works out ok since usually only one is on at a time. So I really only need one extender if I can keep that setup working - I'm splitting the component output from the box. I can't move the PC because that is used mostly for gaming on the main TV. At least inititally I can use the XBox upstairs. But that doesn't seem to have component output.although I see online that folks say it does. Must need a special cable. 1080p or 1080i isn't really a major problem for me, i is ok.

Well if it has component that solves one problem at least initially and I can pick up extenders on sale.

Now, the network question. Currently cat5 with an old Netgear 10/100 router. Do I need gigabit and/or cat6? The runs are significantly less than 100 feet.

Can I temporarily pull the existing cable card from Tivo to test the Infinity and then put it back in Tivo?
Edited by dgk - 6/6/13 at 3:39am
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

Currently I have the two upstairs PCs on one cable box with a splitter and it works out ok since usually only one is on at a time. So I really only need one extender if I can keep that setup working - I'm splitting the component output from the box. I can't move the PC because that is used mostly for gaming on the main TV. At least inititally I can use the XBox upstairs. But that doesn't seem to have component output.although I see online that folks say it does. Must need a special cable. 1080p or 1080i isn't really a major problem for me, i is ok.

Well if it has component that solves one problem at least initially and I can pick up extenders on sale.

Now, the network question. Currently cat5 with an old Netgear 10/100 router. Do I need gigabit and/or cat6? The runs are significantly less than 100 feet.

Can I temporarily pull the existing cable card from Tivo to test the Infinity and then put it back in Tivo?

You can keep 2 PC's, but then you will have to deal with 2 recording schedules, and some recorded programs will only play on the PC it was recorded on and the XBOX. Also, which PC are you going to associate the XBOX with? You can only pair it to one PC.

My suggestion, if you want to keep the gaming PC downstairs and XBOX, is to use the other PC as your "whole house DVR", and use the XBOX downstairs to receive cable TV on the TV downstairs, while having it paired to the HTPC.

I am not clean what "Currently I have the two upstairs PCs on one cable box with a splitter and it works out ok since usually only one is on at a time." mean, since you don't need PC if you have cable box, or don't need cable box if you have PC do the decryption.

Fox XBOX to output component, if yours is not HDMI compatible, you will need an XBOX HDTV cable. It has a switch on it to output in 720p, which is pretty much the same as 1080i. It has XBOX connector on one end, and 6 RCA plugs on the other, 2 of which are left and right audio. Some connectors also have "optical" so that you can feed more than 2 stereo channles into a device that can receive optical.

Cat 5 is only rated to 100 Mbps, Cat 5e is rated to 1 Gbps. If you have Cat 5, you will be limited to no more than 5 simultaneous streams. Each HD stream is maximum 20 Mbps. With 3 TV's, you will not exceed the 100 Mbps rating for most programming. However, if you get a network attached Ceton (6 tuners), then 3 simultaneous streams from the Ceton to the HTPC then out to 2 extenders, or a combination of 5 simultaneous streams into the HTPC will saturate the 100 Mbps...

You can take the cablecard out of TiVO, but depending on your provider you may or may not be able to tune anything on another machine until it is paired properly. It will all depend on whether they are using copyright protection on top of the encryption. You can try, and see if it works, but don't take it as permanent solution. You can call them and re-pair with the Ceton tuner. It is not illegal to move cable cards as long as they are properly paired.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
My brain is going, I meant two TVs, not two PCs. There are two upstairs TVs on one cable box. So the setup is 1 gaming PC and Xbox hooked up to the living room PC which also has the Tivo. Upstairs I have one cablebox with the component output and the audio split going to two TVs. There actually are two PCs upstairs as well, but neither really has the power to act as the DVR. The most powerful one is a dual core AMD Opteron 165 at 2.12 GHz and 2 gb RAM. That is not going to do it. I read that one core per tuner is optimal and at least 8 gb. Too bad because that one is also my webserver and is on 24/7.

The XBox has an HDMI output as well as what I guess is a proprietary XBox connector. There is also an optical output and apparently three USB ports. The only reason that I care about component output from it is because I can use the existing component cable run. I suppose there is no reason that I couldn't get an HDMI splitter although I guess that would need a booster of some kind. I know the TW Samsung cable box refused to output both HDMI and Component simulaneously.

I have the 4 tuner PC card on order from Newegg and it should be here tomorrow or Saturday. I can't see needing to record more than 2 shows at one time while watching two other shows.

I pay for Tivo by the year and that's up at the end of October so at worst I can setup the InfiniTV card at the main PC and run Tivo for a few more months upstairs while experimenting with the XBox and looking for a cheap extender or two. That will mean getting a second cable card. The Echo can only output HDMI I see. The claim of low power usage for the Echo over the XBox is actually a factor, but if it's only on when watching TV, that's not all that often.

Thanks for talking me through this, I greatly appreciate it.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
InfitTV has arrived. I need to get another cablecard - TW charges .6.95 I think, far more than anyone else that I know of. I will likely switch to FIOS but play with this first for a bit.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

InfitTV has arrived. I need to get another cablecard - TW charges .6.95 I think, far more than anyone else that I know of. I will likely switch to FIOS but play with this first for a bit.

Just take it out of TiVO. Once you go WMC, you won't need TiVO.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

My brain is going, I meant two TVs, not two PCs. There are two upstairs TVs on one cable box. So the setup is 1 gaming PC and Xbox hooked up to the living room PC which also has the Tivo. Upstairs I have one cablebox with the component output and the audio split going to two TVs. There actually are two PCs upstairs as well, but neither really has the power to act as the DVR. The most powerful one is a dual core AMD Opteron 165 at 2.12 GHz and 2 gb RAM. That is not going to do it. I read that one core per tuner is optimal and at least 8 gb. Too bad because that one is also my webserver and is on 24/7.

The XBox has an HDMI output as well as what I guess is a proprietary XBox connector. There is also an optical output and apparently three USB ports. The only reason that I care about component output from it is because I can use the existing component cable run. I suppose there is no reason that I couldn't get an HDMI splitter although I guess that would need a booster of some kind. I know the TW Samsung cable box refused to output both HDMI and Component simulaneously.

I have the 4 tuner PC card on order from Newegg and it should be here tomorrow or Saturday. I can't see needing to record more than 2 shows at one time while watching two other shows.

I pay for Tivo by the year and that's up at the end of October so at worst I can setup the InfiniTV card at the main PC and run Tivo for a few more months upstairs while experimenting with the XBox and looking for a cheap extender or two. That will mean getting a second cable card. The Echo can only output HDMI I see. The claim of low power usage for the Echo over the XBox is actually a factor, but if it's only on when watching TV, that's not all that often.

Thanks for talking me through this, I greatly appreciate it.

Test it out with Opteron. Opteron is a Server grade CPU, amy be powerful enough to run the system. Then you would connect 1 TV to the PC running Opteron, XBOX to the TV downstairs, and just have to get another XBOX or extender for the other TV upstairs. Look on ebay or craigslist for XBOX with a broken optical drive. I would normally recommend Linksys extenders, but they have shot up in price recently. I have bought a bunch of RROD XBOXes for $20 each, and fixed them up for extender use.

In reality, all you need is a triple core with 3 Gb of RAM per MSFT spec. I don't know if AMD ever released triple core socket 939, but it may be worth looking into it. I have used Athlon II x2 (dual core, just like opteron) with 3 TV's and it is fine. Just slow, and only when all 3 TV's are on. It doesn't sound like you have all 3 TV's on at the same time too often, since 2 of them, the way they are set up now, can only view the same content as the other TV.

The "slow" in WMC is still faster than TiVO.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
I figure it will take a little while to get this worked out, especially if I try it on the Opteron; so my plan is to leave the Tivo in place for a bit until I get it working. Otherwise I may piss off the SO and a second cable card is cheap at that price. Domestic Harmony and HiDef TV = Priceless.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
I acquired a second cable card, actual charge $2.50/month. It comes with a second tuning adapter for those split channels. It took about 2 hours to actually get it all hooked up and working - the Time Warner Cable Card lady was very good even though I managed to plug in a non-working cable into the InfiniTV causing some confusion. But as of last night it was all working correctly, even the tuning adapter. So now I just need to figure out Windows Media Center, for instance, once I minimize it I don't want to hear the audio. But that's just a learning curve, I hope. The guide seems ok. I'll play more as I get some spare time. Tivo is still hooked up so there is a fallback.

I need to figure out what power settings need to be on the PC; I guess it will need to wake up in order to record things.

And of course I need the extenders. I guess an XBox 360 with the red ring of death is no good. But GameStop has used XBox360s (starting at) $120. Still that's a lot cheaper than the Ceton Echo, and of course you have another XBox to play upstairs. Now all I need is some way to extend the day to 25 hours.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

I acquired a second cable card, actual charge $2.50/month. It comes with a second tuning adapter for those split channels. It took about 2 hours to actually get it all hooked up and working - the Time Warner Cable Card lady was very good even though I managed to plug in a non-working cable into the InfiniTV causing some confusion. But as of last night it was all working correctly, even the tuning adapter. So now I just need to figure out Windows Media Center, for instance, once I minimize it I don't want to hear the audio. But that's just a learning curve, I hope. The guide seems ok. I'll play more as I get some spare time. Tivo is still hooked up so there is a fallback.

I need to figure out what power settings need to be on the PC; I guess it will need to wake up in order to record things.

And of course I need the extenders. I guess an XBox 360 with the red ring of death is no good. But GameStop has used XBox360s (starting at) $120. Still that's a lot cheaper than the Ceton Echo, and of course you have another XBox to play upstairs. Now all I need is some way to extend the day to 25 hours.

RROD XBOX360 is relatively easy fix. I do that all the time. You just need to remove the x-clamp, and drill larger holes in the xbox frame. Insert 5mm bots with 3 or 4 washers to keep the motherboard from bowing. Install the motherboard, add 1 or 2 washers on top of the motherboard and install the heatsinks with new thermal compound. You just have to play with washers a bit to get the right height between the motherboard and case, and between the motherboard and heatsink.

It fixes RROD permanently.

$120 for older xbox is highway roberry. Slims are Ok at that price, I guess. They were $149 on BF. IF you are going to buy used, xbox, look into buying a windows media center extender off ebay. They use much much less power, and are silent. Ones without DVD drive have absolutely no moving parts.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

RROD XBOX360 is relatively easy fix. I do that all the time. You just need to remove the x-clamp, and drill larger holes in the xbox frame. Insert 5mm bots with 3 or 4 washers to keep the motherboard from bowing. Install the motherboard, add 1 or 2 washers on top of the motherboard and install the heatsinks with new thermal compound. You just have to play with washers a bit to get the right height between the motherboard and case, and between the motherboard and heatsink.

It fixes RROD permanently.

$120 for older xbox is highway roberry. Slims are Ok at that price, I guess. They were $149 on BF. IF you are going to buy used, xbox, look into buying a windows media center extender off ebay. They use much much less power, and are silent. Ones without DVD drive have absolutely no moving parts.

I guess I can fix the RROD, but I don't see any WMCE's on ebay except for the Echo and a Linksys, neither particularly cheap.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk View Post

I guess I can fix the RROD, but I don't see any WMCE's on ebay except for the Echo and a Linksys, neither particularly cheap.

You are right. I could not find a decent deal on extenders on ebay. Once in a while you will get someone listing it withot knowing what it is. Use "streamer" or just model number in your searches: DMA 2100, DMA2200, X280N, DSM-750.

I think more and more people are doing WMC, and Microsfot just jumped to gun too soon. You used to be able to buy Linksys on ebay for $50 or so.

I switched to RROD XBOXes for client builds because I could no longer source extenders for $30.

At one point market was flooded with them. I bought our Linksys extenders from Newegg for $80 shipped, NEW sometime back in 2008-2009.

MSFT was way too early with the WMC, before hardware was there to support all of the features (multi-tuner, multi-TV set up), I guess.
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