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Verizon FiOS Installation & Hardware - Master Topic!

post #1 of 3340
Thread Starter 
Hi. I am seriously considering switching from DirecTV to Verizon FiOS TV. I live in Fairfax County, Virginia and FiOS TV will be available very, very soon.

My questions concern the installation and wiring.

My understanding is an ONT box will be installed by Verizon on the outside of my house. This ONT will have three (3) connections of type:

1) Coaxial (for FiOS TV),
2) RJ-45 100BaseT Ethernet (for FiOS internet),
3) Not sure, probably simply a regular phone type jack (for my phone service).

The coaxial connection is for the FiOS TV. If the installer runs an RG6 cable from the ONT to my attic (where my DirecTV multiswitch currently is), and replaces the multiswitch with something else (not sure what this would be?), I can use the exising RG6 cables (currently the outputs from the multiswitch) to distribute the FiOS TV signal to the new Verizon FiOS TV STB's and then to my TV's.

Is this correct?

If it is, can I still use my antenna for my local OTA digital channels? Right now, my antenna is in the attic connected to a RG6 cable that is connected to a splitter. Each output of the splitter is diplexed with an output of the mutiswitch. At each TV that I want to get my digital local OTA channels, I have another diplexer and connect each output of the diplexer to the antenna input and satellite input respectively of my current DirecTV STB. I would hope I could do something similar with the Verizon FiOS RG6 in the attic?

If I go with FiOS TV, I will also go with their internet service (15Mbs). I think this setup will be a lot simpler than the TV setup. All they need to do is run an ethernet cable from the ONT into the house and connect it to a wall jack (which they will install). From the wall jack, they will connect an ethernet cable that goes to a wireless router (provided by them). From the wireless router, I can connect my main PC to it using an ethernet cable. My other computers can connect wirelessly to the router using their existing wireless adapters (802.11g).

Is this all correct?
post #2 of 3340
They would just replace the multiswitch with a splitter. FIOS cable behaves just like Comcast cable in the house, nothing fancy needed to distribute it around the house.

You won't be able to diplex your antenna in anymore, you'll have overlap between OTA and their signal range. By the way, if you stick with Directv and get their new 5 LNB dish, you can't use diplexors with it either.

You are correct on the internet part.
post #3 of 3340
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Matt. When you say "overlap between OTA and their signal range", what exactly do you mean?

Again, thanks for the quick response.
post #4 of 3340
The frequenciy range used for VHF/UHF channels is the same as the analog tier from Verizon, they would step on one another. The new Directv Dish drops down into the OTA range also, hence no more diplexors with it either.

On a side note, the early reviews on FIOS TV in Keller TX I read said it offered great PQ, let us know how it goes.
post #5 of 3340
Thread Starter 
The great PQ would be the only reason I would switch to FiOS. I'm really getting tired of the reduced bitrates that DirecTV is currently delivering, especially for HD.
post #6 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickypicky View Post

The great PQ would be the only reason I would switch to FiOS. I'm really getting tired of the reduced bitrates that DirecTV is currently delivering, especially for HD.

I'd love to have that internet access package they have also. I'd love to tell Comcast to get lost all together.
post #7 of 3340
"I'd love to tell Comcast to get lost all together.'

With Verizon's track record on phone service including their insensitivity to customer problems why would you think they would be better than Comcast?
post #8 of 3340
Whether they are better , the same , or worse, remains to be seen. However I for one am very happy their will finally be competition and no longer a monopoly.
post #9 of 3340
Thread Starter 
I switched from COX to DirecTV back in 1998 because the COX PQ was absolutely crap. Since then, DirecTV's PQ has gone down hill as well, including their HD. HDNET used to have stunning PQ. It's a real shame. I paid over $600 for the HR10-250.
post #10 of 3340
rickypicky,
don't worry, Cox hasn't gotten any better.
post #11 of 3340
I have FIOS TV installation for a HD-PVR scheduled for Friday 12/30. I've been using FIOS internet for about 2 months. I currently use DirecTV.

I'm actually considering cancelling/holding off of the installation because I found out the HD-PVR that Verizon uses cannot upscale 480i sources to 1080i. This is important to me because I'm using a Mitsubishi CRT RPTV that takes a second and a temporary "freak out" when you feed different resolutions to the 1080i component video inputs. So, if I for example change channels from HDNet to CNN, my TV is gonna go wacko for about 3 seconds until it can lock on to the 480p signal. Makes channel surfing very difficult. All three HDTV DirecTV boxes I've had for the past 5 years have been able to output a single 1080i format for all channels.
post #12 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

"I'd love to tell Comcast to get lost all together.'

With Verizon's track record on phone service including their insensitivity to customer problems why would you think they would be better than Comcast?

Never had any problems with Verizon personally, Comcast on the other hand is dragging their feet even making my cable network 2-way let alone put HD in. As a result I switched to Directv for TV and get to pay about $65 a month for my cable modem at slower speeds then customers with Comcast cable pay for since I don't use them for TV.
post #13 of 3340
Verizon has been a nightmare for me to establish phone service for my mother in an assisted living facility. My sister in law was without phone service for over two months in Florida after the hurricane. My daughter was without phone service for over two week (locally) after a phone problem.
post #14 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Scamardo View Post

I have FIOS TV installation for a HD-PVR scheduled for Friday 12/30. I've been using FIOS internet for about 2 months. I currently use DirecTV.

I'm actually considering cancelling/holding off of the installation because I found out the HD-PVR that Verizon uses cannot upscale 480i sources to 1080i. This is important to me because I'm using a Mitsubishi CRT RPTV that takes a second and a temporary "freak out" when you feed different resolutions to the 1080i component video inputs. So, if I for example change channels from HDNet to CNN, my TV is gonna go wacko for about 3 seconds until it can lock on to the 480p signal. Makes channel surfing very difficult. All three HDTV DirecTV boxes I've had for the past 5 years have been able to output a single 1080i format for all channels.

Yes, I've set my cable converter for only 1080i to avoid 480p/1080i switching with my 1080i CRT-based RPTV. My SA8300HD does a good upconversion job and has a fine DVR ability, although like most cable STBs it seems limited to <1300-line resolvable detail from HDNet's Tuesday 6 am ET test patterns. CableCard users report improved fidelity but so far haven't seen any reliable test pattern numbers.

If anyone gets a FIOS HDTV installation with a DVR, plus a knowledgeable installer, maybe they could uncover the STBs diagnostic mode, then figure out what bit rates Verizon is using for 1080i/720p. A few members in the programming forum maintain sites that provide bit rates for various programs/sources, and have posted threads on how to measure bit rates using a DVR.

An earlier somewhat controversial post mentioned Verizon doesn't 'compress' video from programmers, and the meaning of that is still unclear. (Downlinked 1080i/720p from program sources is typically about 45 Mbps, which gets shrunk to <17 Mbps (video payload) by cable companies or OTA stations.) -- John
post #15 of 3340
I would expect that FIOS will provide the HDTV at the same compression level it is given it by the providers. In other words, if your OTA station is compressing down to 17 Mbps then this is likely what FIOS will get. These guys have a good chance to avoid compressing these signals longer than some of the other guys, especially if they complete their move over the IPTV.

I received an express letter a couple of days ago from Verizon telling me FIOS TV is available in my area. My major concern with this service over my current DirecTV is that their DVR only records up to 85 hours of standard definition broadcast. This likely boils down to 11-12 hours of HDTV, which would not be sufficient. Does anyone have any better insight into this?
post #16 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTDT View Post

I would expect that FIOS will provide the HDTV at the same compression level it is given it by the providers. In other words, if your OTA station is compressing down to 17 Mbps then this is likely what FIOS will get. These guys have a good chance to avoid compressing these signals longer than some of the other guys, especially if they complete their move over the IPTV.

Yes, Verizon's FIOS might be expected to relay OTA HD at the station's bit rate (<17 Mbps video payload after removal of forward error correction bits). Believe that leaves a lot of downlinked programming to cable/DBS head ends at ~45 Mbps, though, and with fiber's huge bandwidth advantages--assuming associated gear can take advantage of it--FIOS might deliver MPEG-2 at its 'sweet spot' (23--30 Mbps, according to dr1394 ). -- John
post #17 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Yes, Verizon's FIOS might be expected to relay OTA HD at the station's bit rate (<17 Mbps video payload after removal of forward error correction bits). Believe that leaves a lot of downlinked programming to cable/DBS head ends at ~45 Mbps, though, and with fiber's huge bandwidth advantages--assuming associated gear can take advantage of it--FIOS might deliver MPEG-2 at its 'sweet spot' (23--30 Mbps, according to dr1394 ). -- John


I currently get my OTAs via antenna and DirecTV HD STB. Do you think my OTA digitals will suffer going through FIOS? It doesn't appear their box will allow for an antenna connection.

My installation is tomorrow morning.
post #18 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Scamardo View Post

I currently get my OTAs via antenna and DirecTV HD STB. Do you think my OTA digitals will suffer going through FIOS? It doesn't appear their box will allow for an antenna connection.

My installation is tomorrow morning.

If they pass the signal through untouched as mentioned above, the PQ should be the same.
post #19 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjones73 View Post

Never had any problems with Verizon personally, Comcast on the other hand is dragging their feet even making my cable network 2-way let alone put HD in. As a result I switched to Directv for TV and get to pay about $65 a month for my cable modem at slower speeds then customers with Comcast cable pay for since I don't use them for TV.


If you have a cable modem, the network is two way
post #20 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Scamardo View Post

I currently get my OTAs via antenna and DirecTV HD STB. Do you think my OTA digitals will suffer going through FIOS? It doesn't appear their box will allow for an antenna connection.

Wouldn't think OTA via FIOS would be degraded. Cable head ends often get direct feeds via fiber optics, etc., which could exceed OTA unless the cable head end applies rate shaping or other PQ-degrading techniques to conserve bandwidth, (which FIOS shouldn't have to.) With a parallel OTA setup, it's pretty easy, usually, to set up a means of instant, back-and-forth A-B comparisons--say a live CBS football game from OTA and Verizon via a switch, or through two separate display inputs. -- John
post #21 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfoster View Post

If you have a cable modem, the network is two way

Yeah I know, ask Comcast why they still hand out STB's that require being plugged into a phoneline and they still don't offer OnDemand in my county. We've had cable modems for 2 years, they have yet to update anything else equipment wise.
post #22 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

"I'd love to tell Comcast to get lost all together.'

With Verizon's track record on phone service including their insensitivity to customer problems why would you think they would be better than Comcast?

I switched from Time Warner's RoadRunner to Verizon's DSL and I'm very satisfied with my new ISP. As soon as Verizon FiOS TV is available in Upstate NY, I'll drop Time Warner completely.
post #23 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Scamardo View Post

My installation is tomorrow morning.


It sounds as if you decided to go forward with your installation. Hopefully your improved PQ will be a good tradeoff for your conversion issue. Best of luck with the install. I just ordered an HDMI cable and a firewire cable in anticipation of next month's installation. Now if they'll just notify me it's available in my area.
post #24 of 3340
Hi again,

Had my FIOS install this morning, everything went well. I have had DirecTV HD for almost 5 years. I kinda had to run out after he was completed to come to work, so I didn't get to play with everything completely.

Interesting things: installer had to run a RG6 line to my computer/modem location to install another box (hooked up to my FIOS router/modem) that looks like a small router. Apparently, this thing talks through the internet to download program guides to the STBs.

It did take 15-30 minutes initially for each box to download the necessary info to come online. Each box has an IP address.

The motorola HD-PVR they got me has a Seagate 160GB HD in it, I could see it though the top of the box. Picture quality looks pretty good from the HD box. I notice very few compression artifacts on HD channels with my limited observation. The bowl game showing on ESPN earlier today looked fantastic! The new channel "Wealth HD" was showing some SD programming

It did take the installer some time to figure out how to access the set-up menu that lets you change the box output resolution and how it handles 4:3 programming. Unlike other HD boxes, you only have two options to watch 4:3 SD programming if you're outputting 1080i/720p all the time. Those two options are a standard stretch or 4:3 w/black bars. Neither is ideal for me, since I have a CRT RPTV and I want to avoid fat people and the black bars could potentially cause burn it. I could switch the box to output 480i/480p for 4:3 SD programming, but that doesn't work well either, because when flipping channels from SD->HD, it takes my set a few seconds to lock on to the new scan rate.

The minor issue above aside, I feel the overall image quality is better than DirecTV, especially on the SD channels. Even a 10% improvement of HD channel performance is worth it IMO.
post #25 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Scamardo View Post

Had my FIOS install this morning, everything went well.

...I feel the overall image quality is better than DirecTV, especially on the SD channels. Even a 10% improvement of HD channel performance is worth it IMO.

Thanks for taking the time to compose a very informative and helpful post. That is good enough to validate my decision to switch once it is available here in Fairfax County. The reliability of my FiOS internet service after 6 months has won me over. I have been with DirecTV for 6-1/2 years but am not a Sunday Ticket sub. I feel confident that Verizon will have the MLB and NBA sports subscriptions in due time. Here is hoping you enjoy your new service and that you will keep us posted.
post #26 of 3340
Billodom, thanks for the kind words.

As a long-time D* customer myself, I doubt you'll have any regrets about switching to FIOS when available to you. Picture quality is king at my house, and since there is no real premium for the Verizon service over D*, I have to vote with my dollars. If D* had never 'dumbed-down' their HD channel resolutions to HD-lite, then the choice would have been tougher. We'll see what happens with D* goes completely over to MPEG-4, but I'm not holding out any high hopes
post #27 of 3340
Great info!
I have one question, maybe 2.
How much is the FIOS service and are they packaging TV/net/VoIP to existing Verizon Phone customers? I saw that they have just gotten a Video franchise or clearance from NY state to compete with Cablevision. Cablevision is sueing them?
Where will they get their programming from?
My neices family is in one of the NY towns that are in Verizons sights for FIOS and I'm trying to help them make some sense of the situation.
They now have Cablevision, 8 TV's (no STB's) and Optonline. Phone is Verizon.
Town is Massapequa Park.
Where can I get the lowdown on this new option for combining all these services in one fiber optic cable? Besides here of course. I need to catch up and do allot of reading!
TIA & Happy New Year!
post #28 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinhead View Post

Great info!
Where can I get the lowdown on this new option for combining all these services in one fiber optic cable?

The Verizon FiOS TV website is a good start.

Here is the news release from Verizon detailing the Massapequa Park video franchise award.

Here is an article you might find interesting as well.
post #29 of 3340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Scamardo View Post

The minor issue above aside, I feel the overall image quality is better than DirecTV, especially on the SD channels. Even a 10% improvement of HD channel performance is worth it IMO.

Thanks for the very informative post. I know it is difficult to determine 'how much better' the PQ is. I must confess though, I was expecting a bigger jump with FiOS than 10% for HD over D*. As I stated earlier, before 'HD-Lite', HDNet and Discovery HD on D* had the 'WOW' factor. Is the 'WOW' factor back with FiOS?

Also, how much better is the SD with FiOS? Some of the SD channels on D* are, IMHO, unwatchable on my HDTVs (one 30" direct view, one 23" LCD).
post #30 of 3340
Thanks billodom! That's exactly what I needed!!
Now I have to figure out how to handle 8 TV's!
Does anyone know the multi room policy for FIOS? Cable service, just to compare?
I know DirecTV is 5 bux a room and Dish is similarly priced.
Right now they use the cable companies wire directly into the set giving them basic reception.
Be nice to have 1 big set in the den with an STB and movie channels I imagine.
This isn't for me, I'm in Manhattan, but for my neice and her family of 6 in Massapequa Park.
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