This Old House: Goodbye SDV, Hello FiOS

Dave Zatz —  January 1, 2011

fios-install1

The backstory… We moved into our new (old) home about three weeks ago. And, to be efficient, merely transferred our Cox cable and Internet services. Unfortunately, the migration wasn’t quite as seamless as I had hoped – including blown scheduling by Cox and several days without service at both the old and new locations (without restitution). Additionally, regular readers should be familiar with my ongoing switched digital video pain and Cox’s restrictive CCI Byte implementation… leading to severely crippled TiVos. So no one should be surprised I’d want to give Verizon’s FiOS a try. Given reader encouragement in the comments and an upcoming siding project, we accelerated the plan.

My original goal had been to run both Cox and Verizon services simultaneously, reserving the right to terminate the install at any time, but within 10 minutes of the technician surveying the landscape he started severing legacy coax – which is when I realized there was no turning back. The installer (Matt W.) very patiently and expertly accommodated every request and performed outstanding, detailed work during his 6.5 hour visit. Not only that, he refused every offer of a beverage and a generous tip.

Now I did inform Verizon ahead of time that I’d ordered service, but I’m not sure I received any sort of special treatment. In fact, it could have worked against me…

fiostv-tweet

As to the wiring, instead of having cable television enter the home in two locations and telephone enter in what turned out to be four locations, a new fiber optic line penetrates the perimeter through a newly drilled hole and I’ve ended up with a serviceable homerun from the basement utility closet that feeds telephone, television, and Internet to all three levels. Matt found my suggestion to run cable up the laundry chute amusing. It seemed to me like a clever way to get service to the upstairs, but I guess it’d have been an amateur hack. Whereas he pretty easily found a channel from the attic to the basement that runs parallel to the AC intake ductwork and knocked out that challenge in short order.

fios-gear2

We basically abandoned all the existing internal copper and added one new phone jack on each level. (I’ll be clipping maybe half a dozen phone jack biscuits and dead wiring from the baseboards this weekend.) To additionally futureproof the home, there is extra coax and Ethernet running from basement to attic. However I’m quite satisfied with the performance of my 802.11n mesh (two access points) and, given Verizon’s gear, can leverage MoCA if I really feel the need to hardwire something. Related, Verizon’s FiOS modem is also a router – however, I obviously chose to disable its wireless capabilities in favor of daisy chaining our Time Capsule.

fios-gear1

On the DVR front, we’ve got two units in play at the moment. A FiOS TV DVR, utilizing their latest Motorola hardware (QIP 7232) and a TiVo Premiere with Verizon-provided CableCARD. We’ll have a third box in the mix once we upgrade the living room television. Whole home DVR capabilities have been a priority for me… With the CCI Byte issue behind us, TiVo’s copying (versus streaming) may be sufficient. Alternately, when IMG 1.9 hits, I may pick up a second FiOS TV DVR. In the interim, I’ll hang onto our decommissioned Series3 and TiVo HD.

47 responses to This Old House: Goodbye SDV, Hello FiOS

  1. By the way, I don’t know recall exactly what I subscribed to and I haven’t been able to ‘activate’ my online account yet – due to what I suspect is a double NATting network issue. I’ll try again later with Melissa’s laptop directly connected to the Verizon router (as my MBA doesn’t have a network port).

    We have the Extreme HD package, no premiums yet, some sort of phone service, and I think the mid-range 25/25 Mbps Internet plan. A couple of early speeds tests recorded slightly higher download and slightly lower upload speeds. No complaints there.

    The triple play package includes two new subscriber bonuses – a free DVR for a year and $5 off the monthly bill for a year or maybe two. I think the total is $105ish/month. But I’ll verify the phone package and if there are any add-ons I didn’t know about or didn’t recall. Also, I don’t know what my ultimate installation costs are. I’m sure it’ll be something reasonable as I got exactly what I wanted and compared to hiring an electrician.

  2. Sweet! The new siding will love the lack of holes.

  3. Congrats Dave! I used the Actiontec router for a long time (years) but when Verizon refused to support a ARP issue I was having I ditched it when the power supply finally died and they wanted me to wait a few days without Internet to receive a replacement.

    I used this guide.
    http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Verizon_FiOS_-_Using_Your_Own_Router

    You will have to find a way to feed the STB’s internet though for guide data. A MoCA bridge might do the trick, or maybe you can use the RJ45 connector on the DVR, not sure.

  4. Now you will have to deal with the dark side of FiOS ;), the billing.

    Just make sure you double and triple check the first bill. This has and was my only big issue with FiOS. My first bill came in and it was $500+. They incorrectly billed me for two wireless routers at $129 a pop I never asked for or received. This was made worse since I had autopay enabled and Verizon charges your card before telling you what you will be billed so you don’t have a chance to stop it before it happens. I finally got it straightened out two bills later.

    I would definitely be curious to see what if any install charges there are. I know they tried to charge my friend a bunch of install fees, but he got those taken off since he did his own install after the ONT.

  5. Home Runs so much better. :-) Going to make everything so much better. Remember to put caulking in the hole in block the fiber comes through.

    Aerial Wire removed.
    Speaker Wire Removed
    Outside TV Coax Removed
    POTS De-mark Removed
    Cable De-mark Removal Planned.

    40 years of crap removed.
    House gonna look great!

  6. bunklung, SouthPaw – Yep, I cleared a lot of wire and boxes both inside and out. I’m also pleased putting the ONT inside wasn’t a big deal. Also, the new wires and boxes are installed very precisely, cables are tied, etc. Progress and modernization!

    The tech did empty of a whole tube of silicon or something into the outside portion of the hole. He suggested leaving the inside unsealed, although offered to do it, as he didn’t think it’d offer much more insulation from anything and if the outdoor line got severed it would be a bit more messy to pull and rerun. (I think it goes through two blocks).

    Ben, nice – didn’t realize I could run my own router directly. Although, as you say, I may need to do something additional to feed the FiOS TV DVR. I have heard of some obscure networking bugs plaguing people… we’ll see how it works out for me.

    brennok, yeah I’ve been warned multiple times from multiple people. I’ll hope for the best but expect the worst. My first challenge will be canceling POTS while retaining FiOS. I had activated it specifically to figure out my various copper runs (despite ultimately abandoning them all).

  7. “Now you will have to deal with the dark side of FiOS, the billing. Just make sure you double and triple check the first bill.”

    Yup. Fibre To the Home is beyond amazing, but Verizon billing is genuinely suspect.

    “Congrats Dave! I used the Actiontec router for a long time (years)”

    I’m still using the Actiontec. It’s been good to me. And since it gives good 2.4ghz service to legacy devices, it lets me invest in 5ghz-only presence points to hold down costs.

    —–

    Now that you’re good to go, two things:

    1) Time to think about getting a Mac Mini to connect to your TiVo, and trying beta Plex as a supplementary media center option. The whole thing is seamless after the initial setup.

    2) Your public demands a 24/7 ONTcam. The lights are hypnotic. Once excitement builds, I think you could get viewership numbers above those of Glee.

  8. From the picture of the ont it looks like your data connection is moca as well. You can bridge the actiontec the get past the double nat issue and the fios stbs will still work. Fios BHR (broadband home routers) do are not modems by the way. If you want to get rid of the actiontec all together you might be able to still find a motorola nim 100 on ebay. http://www.joshie.com/journal/2009/12/23/actiontec-double-bridge-with-fios.html has a decent walk through of how to set the actiontec up as a bridge.

  9. Dave, what is plan with cable De-mark and orange buried cable?

  10. If you want to use your own router, there are a bunch of guides over at dslreports how to integrate the actiontec. It is fairly straightforward.

    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/12506

  11. Personally, since I’m not a FIOS DVR kinda guy, I had them disable MoCa and run me ethernet from the ONT to the Actiontec.

    It serves my purposes well, and provides more flexibility, (stuff like it being child’s play to completely cut the Actiontec out of the picture if I ever want), but I understand it’s not an option that is correct for everyone.

  12. Mark, Chucky, Yeah the ONT can do MoCA or Ethernet. As I was writing the post, I did stop to wonder if the ONT was the “modem” versus the Actiontec router but obviously didn’t do my Google research before hitting publish – thanks for the clarification.

    Mark, brennok, for now I’ll keep the double NATing as I don’t feel like messing with it. But when I’m ready to unpack the Slingboxes, Hava, Vulkano, Dropcam, etc I’ll simplify DHCP one way or another so as to get those signals out with less effort.

    Southpaw, to keep things simple and controversy-free I intend to just remove and store their Arris box in the garage. However, I don’t want to drop the orange cable into that window well. It’s the basement bedroom and it’s been upgraded to a real window (size and placement). Even though we’re not currently using that room for anything but storage it’ll look weird. For the time being, I’ll tape off the connection (without trimming it), coil it up, and lean it against the wall. But I’m open to suggestions. There’s two even older black coax cables coming up out of the ground nearby (and rusting) that I assume are disconnected on the other end – so I’ll trim those at ground level.

  13. “I think I’ll just remove and store their Arris box in the garage.”

    Now we can go split-screen on the 24/7 webcam.

    The ONTcam will provide excitement on the left side of the screen, while the ArrisBoxcam will provide boredom on the right side of the screen.

    In a year or two, you could overtake Netflix in primetime bandwidth delivered…

  14. Dave what is behind the wall from the orange coax. Might be easier to drill hole and run inside. Maybe dig up to corner and run under fence into another side.

  15. Behind the wall at ground level is the basement bedroom and the closet isn’t anywhere near that corner. On the other side of the fence at the corner is a big shrub, so I could easily conceal behind that with minimal effort. But I’m truly content for now with the box off the siding ahead of that work. I could always just spray paint the cable grey to match the concrete. ;)

    I managed to activate my online account with a direct connect to the Actiontec. Our phone services are unlimited local and long distance and the TV package is the Extreme HD one. Unfortunately, there’s no info up yet on my monthly rate (with taxes) and what the install ran. I’ll check in a few days. Not sure if I can add Showtime without adding the entire movie package, but Californication returns shortly and we’ll need to subscribe.

    Also, the copper line/number that no longer services the house is on a separate account it seems. That might make it easier to kill. Hope I don’t come to regret turning that on… But before I handle that, I need to close out Cox tomorrow. Hopefully my account lines up with the property I actually possess. Cablecos seem to frequently get confused when folks have CableCARDs versus their boxes (and remotes).

  16. What do you mean by “daisy chaining our Time Capsule.” Does the Time Capsule act as a Wireless Access Point?

    That would make sense. If so, how would this be considered double NAT’n? I guess I don’t know enough about the Time Capsule.

    Having said that, I know some people want you to ditch the Actiontec and/or bridge or go NIM-100, but there are trade offs such as Caller ID integration within the STB AND lack of Remote DVR control. Although some people have had some success. It’s still unreliable and a hack. On demand and SDV (coming soon) can also suffer from QoS issues when using a personal router as the gateway router.

    You might find the capabilities of DD-WRT or other high end custom firmware to be over reaching. Since you might not use 1% of what it offers.

    If you are a casual user and just need to forward a few ports, the Actiontec is much less of a headache.

    Originally I went with the NIM approach since the NAT table on the Actiontec was really low. However, the NAT table issue seems to be fixed with later revisions in the Actiontech hardware.

    I think Rev D and beyond have solid NAT tables. The later Rev F has .N (150M) and the Rev G has MIMO .N (300M?) AND GigE ports. But I think this Rev G is only going out to customer’s who purchase the 150M/35M package.

    What Rev did you get? See back label.

    I’m really surprised Verizon let you keep the POTS line when you got Fios. I thought they ditched the copper drop when they installed Fios. Maybe you have that setup as a business line however.

  17. bunklung, the Time Capsule is both a NAS and my primary wireless router. So both the Actiontec (rev F) and Time Capsule are DHCP servers – however, I’ve disabled wireless on the Actiontec. My older Airport Extreme Base Station is running as an ‘access point’ point to extend the 802.11n network that originates with the Time Capsule (both wirelessly and with three Ethernet jacks). Like I said, I’ll want to reengineer it all at some point so as to skip double port forwarding and any potential DNS weirdness.

    I think because both the Verizon accounts are brand new, the record keeping wasn’t entirely in place and maybe why the FiOS order didn’t kill the POTS line/account. Obviously there’s no longer any copper into the house, so it’s entirely useless at this point…

  18. Doing some before and after pics could help people getting past the cringe factor of having a service installed. I know a few people that have wives or husbands that won’t get service changes or complain about poor cable signal because of problems with unsightly things that have been done to their home.

  19. Looks like the TC supports bridge mode. You could turn that into an access point as well. From what I read the WAN port also functions as another LAN ports once the bridge mode is turned on.

    Bridge mode would remove the double NAT issue. The question is, can you get a cat5e cable from your Actiontec to the TC? I don’t know if you can wirelessly bridge the TC and at the same time extend your wireless network. That may require multiple SSID support within the TC.

    Have fun :)

  20. I obviously chose to disable its wireless capabilities in favor of daisy chaining our Time Capsule.

    i did the same thing… i wanted to get rid of their router, but its required to get the VOD content (ie: free on demand of premium content like showtime, etc), IMG access, and other services like ipad dvr manager + guide (http://goo.gl/G7lQI), iphone dvr manager (http://goo.gl/VJwDf) and remote iphone app (http://goo.gl/MLU9).

    the back of the DVR box has an Firewire port and they are active. Did you know you can rip that content? if you have a mac, cuz i don’t know how to do this on a pc, you can rip the stream using this app http://goo.gl/ZpaA0 (click the link and the download should link should be on the right side) and then use the app AVCVideoCap to capture the content. It’s pretty cool to get pure HD content. by law, the broadcast channels must be unencrypted. here’s the exact print on the law:

    “(4) Cable operators shall: (i) Effective April 1, 2004, upon request of a customer, replace any leased high definition set-top box, which does not include a functional IEEE 1394 interface, with one that includes a functional IEEE 1394 interface or upgrade the customer’s set-top box by download or other means to ensure that the IEEE 1394 interface is functional.”

  21. So much for the NY’s resolution to get to the gym….

  22. bunk, the two are already linked via Ethernet. And it turns out the problem is simply corrected. The Time Capsule was blinking yellow which usually happens when there’s a software update available. This time, though, it noticed a problem of double NATing on its own (!) and offered to take care of it. See here:

    http://twitpic.com/3mbyxn/full

    I have my second router unplugged at the moment, as we contemplate moving it from the living room TV stand to upstairs office, so I’m not sure if anything needs to be done. Possibly not. Hm.

    SouthPaw, a before and after pic post is a good suggestion. Perhaps I’ll hit it if/when motivated. Unfortunately, the best pic (or is it the worst) wasn’t captured before the Cox guy cleaned up some of his predecessor’s work. That original pink coax cable hung off the electrical out in the basement connected to a three-way splitter and then there was about 4″ of coax and another two-way splitter all suspended in midair with cables floating all over the place. Why no one thought to pin it all down is beyond me. Guess neither the techs nor the former home owners cared. Meanwhile, I’ve inherited a very nice $2k stove and $2k fridge I don’t care much about, so I guess everyone’s got their own priorities and interests.

  23. “Unfortunately, there’s no info up yet on my monthly rate (with taxes) and what the install ran”

    Just to make you jealous, since I’m in an area with multiple wireline providers where Verizon was charging hard to get converts, I managed to negotiate the following deal:

    – Free installation.
    – $600 in cash rebates after two months of service.
    – Free HBO for a year.
    – An additional $30 off per month for the first year.

    So I ended up with their Triple Play, ExtremeHD, all premium movie channels, and my monthly bill (after rebates) was under $40 for the first year.

    (I had to hassle with billing to actually get them to bill at that rate, but I’d learned enough about Verizon’s shady billing practices to get the negotiated deal in writing prior to the installation. So after a phone call, that’s what I ended up paying.)

    Gotta love vigorous competition among wireline providers. At the end of the day, compared to what I had been previously paying for Coax service, it’s essentially as if Verizon paid me $1,500 for the privilege of running Fibre to my Home…

  24. I’ve periodically seen deals for free TVs or large cash bounties. Especially or maybe mostly early on. Through one of the new home owner mailers, I went to a special URL that got me a $50 gift card on top of the $5 off/month and free DVR. Supposedly my installation would be free other than “new” jacks. But I’m not quite sure how I’ll be charged since we abandoned some but replaced in similar locations. Regardless, I didn’t work the amazing deal you did. By the same token, assuming my billing is not totally jacked up, I’m satisfied with what I think my rate is. My monthly fee is less than Cox (for more stuff) and the wiring work was significantly less than what a electrician would have charged me to do what the installer did.

    With both the POTS and FiOS, I did everything online without speaking to anyone at all. Unfortunately, you can’t request/order CableCARDs online but I figured we’d work it out – and we did. Not sure if there’s a charge associated with them or ‘additional outlets’ – guess we’ll see. (My online account billing is still blank today.)

  25. note: i have comments that say “awaiting moderation” odd?

  26. “the back of the DVR box has an Firewire port and they are active. Did you know you can rip that content? … It’s pretty cool to get pure HD content.”

    Of course, if you’re using a TiVo with FIOS, you can xfer your pure HD content both ways via ethernet using KTTMG on pretty much any OS…

  27. is that TiVo content encrypted though? Including the non broadcast channels?

  28. “is that TiVo content encrypted though? Including the non broadcast channels?”

    The TiVo content is encrypted in the same sense that DVD content is encrypted. I’ll let you work that one through on your own.

    What matters is the CCI byte that the wireline provider sets on content. And FIOS doesn’t set the CCI byte in such a way that prevents xfer from TiVo to computer.

    FIOS makes me love TiVo, and TiVo makes me love FIOS.

  29. Okay. I thought TiVo was encrypted and it could simply be burned to DVD using roxio, etc. I was just commenting on the fact you can grab this data off the box as pure unscripted data not saved in some .TiVo format, etc. it’s been a while since I had TiVo, had one if the originals until I switched to a renting model. For example, the qip6416 motorolla box I have, the hdmi stopped working. Called my local store and 20 min later had a new box up and working. When I had a TiVo, one broke and I had to pay together another one and with the fees I said I’m just going to rent a cable DVD box. It’s taken 10 years but these boxes have really caught up! Anyway, in an old location I lived at no channels were encrypted. I was able to snag hbo, showtime, I remember because John Adams was on for the first time and I was creating hd movies off of it.

  30. Typing on a iPad while eating pizza is really hard * meant DVR box

  31. “I was just commenting on the fact you can grab this data off the box as pure unscripted data not saved in some .TiVo format, etc.”

    Understood. Just commenting that unwrapping the .mpg out of the .tivo is absolutely trivial for the masses using open-source tools.

    (Tangentially, I may be wrong about this, but I believe the CableCARD individually watermarks the programming to discourage public sharing. If it does so, it seems like a sensible policy that works to make everyone happy.)

    “Anyway, in an old location I lived at no channels were encrypted. I was able to snag hbo, showtime, I remember because John Adams was on for the first time and I was creating hd movies off of it.”

    I know the feeling.

    I’ve moved old seasons of favored cable series like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Wire from my TiVo to my Mac Mini. From the Mini, using Plex, I can playback on the same TV that my TiVo serves, as well as being able to serve my other Mac boxes and iOS boxes via LAN or WAN…

  32. I have to give credit to Apple. They do build easy buttons into all their products. It’s really cool and interesting that the TC recommended bridge mode. Very slick.

    I’m trying to picture your setup, but here goes a guess…. You might want to consider connecting the Airport Extreme AP to the TC, since they both have Gige ports. Then have only one single cable go back to the Actiontec. This way, wireless traffic and any internal LAN traffic with stay at either Gige E or .N speeds.

    Traffic that doesn’t leave your LAN will never hit the Actiontec because they are switches. (At least that’s how it should work)

    If you connect both the TC and APE to the Actiontec individually, then you will be operating at the slowest link, 100M, when devices need to communicated from the TC to the APE.

    Only when something is going outside the LAN/.N will it be limited to that single 100M connection. But you will be still bound by the WAN side of Fios anyhow, 25M/15M.

    Just an observation, maybe you already have that covered :)

  33. Evan, any comment with more than one link goes into the moderation queue and when I’m online, i free the legit ones.

    Regarding TiVo decryption… that’s partially how this site arose, launching about the same time TiVoToGo launched. TiVo does encrypt their content but they rolled their own. In the very early days, we (or third party programs) used their own Windows .dll against them to intercept and playback the content or make it available for transcoding. Nearly two years later, their encryption scheme was entirely reverse engineered and now there’s several programs that’ll remove it.

    Although, as Chucky says, cable companies that flag content as ‘copy once’ via the CCI Byte you can’t actually get off the TiVo. Without a PROM hack anyway…

    bunk, the Actiontec only feeds the Time Capsule over ethernet. Nothing else on the network talks directly to/thru it. Prior to FiOS, I had the TC in the basement and the AEBS on the main level in the living room to create a broader 802.11n network. I unplugged a bunch of stuff in the living room to give the FiOS guy room to operate. And was thinking of actually moving the AEBS to the upstairs office to give us a better signal (and allow us to hardwire the laser printer). However, with just the TC in play the last two days we’ve got full coverage on all three floors. Haven’t tried streaming video upstairs since the reconfiguration though.

  34. “Regarding TiVo decryption… that’s partially how this site arose, launching about the same time TiVoToGo launched.”

    Huh. That was before I went TiVo.

    I discovered your site when you covered the telnet Crestron trick. The video was fun.

    (I’m still annoyed I haven’t been able to figure out how to properly manage telnet via AppleScript so I could roll my own elegant laptop solution. Having AppleScript as the only language you speak does have certain drawbacks.)

  35. Yeah, I’ve been meaning to do a ‘ZNF Origins’ post for awhile…

    Basically, I started a web guide on TiVoToGo decryption early in 2005 after too many of my own posts and interesting threads were nuked from the TiVo Community. I was told it wasn’t my playground, and if I didn’t like it, go start my own thing. So I did and the rest is history. Of course, every time I tell this story Peter Rojas (founder of Gizmodo, Engadget, and gdgt) deserves a shout-out – he’s the one who very strongly pushed me into expanding my turf and format despite my fears and protests.

  36. “Basically, I started a web guide on TiVoToGo decryption early in 2005 after too many of my own posts and interesting threads were nuked from the TiVo Community. I was told it wasn’t my playground, and if I didn’t like it, go start my own thing. So I did “

    Good for you. And that’s a pretty sweet origins story.

  37. The ONT is essentially a media converter, takes fiber and pushes out Ethernet, Coax and Telco.

    I had them switch me over to Ethernet provisioning (a simple phone call to tech support + 10 minutes or so) and then replaced their router with my Cisco ASA 5505. I get more than the promised speeds with this router and having VPN access to your home is indispensable.

    I still use the Actiontec as a MoCA bridge for the DVR/STB to get OnDemand (which is pretty decent) and Guide Data.

    Replacing their router with yours will cause you to lose Remote DVR (scheduling) since they use some kind of crazy/proprietary auto port forwarding that’s built into their router firmware (I REALLY wish they’d use some kind of standardized ports so we could enable forwarding on our own routers…)

    I’ve found losing Remote DVR (scheduling) is not that big of an issue since I have a slingbox. The new iPad app is pretty nice and their iPhone app is pretty basic.

    Last Friday, I had the tech out and was crafty enough to get him to swap my DVR and STB out with the new 7232 and 7100 P2. MUCH better response and I like the new footprint (and color) of the boxes, now we wait for (hopefully early) access to IMG 1.9, though I’m on the west coast so I don’t hold my breath there.

    Other than the billing issues with Verizon, they are great. Also keep your eyes out for specials (they send fliers) and you can call them and usually get them to give you the current promotion if not better.

  38. “Replacing their router with yours will cause you to lose Remote DVR (scheduling) since they use some kind of crazy/proprietary auto port forwarding that’s built into their router firmware (I REALLY wish they’d use some kind of standardized ports so we could enable forwarding on our own routers…)”

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    FIOS makes me love TiVo, and TiVo makes me love FIOS.

  39. I didn’t have time to read all the comments, but I would suggest seeing if Verizon could give you the old style remote. The new remotes don’t control your AUX sound system which is ridiculous.

  40. Angelo, thanks for more info on alternate router configurations. Since I have to keep the Actiontec live on the network, I’ll leave it at its current location until it ever gets in my way. I should have a better idea of its impact in a few weeks as I start unpacking my various gadgets.

    I, too, like the look of the new DVR. Although it’s a bit taller than I imagined and I wish I could dim, but not disable, the front clock. Hoping to get the 16:9 IMG 1.9 soon as well. Also hoping for live television streamed to an iPad via FiOS service. I think Verizon’s planning to share some new stuff next week at CES. Although, I just canceled my trip (post to follow). However, I’m trying to get Mari to the breakfast briefing I was set to attend.

    John, I noticed New Years Eve at my brother-in-law’s that they have a different remote with those additional device buttons up top. For now, it’s OK as my audio situation is basic and in flux. When no longer basic and in flux, I may go back to Harmony… I’ve got a pair in the closet. One even does IR< ->RF which would give me some interesting TV stand options if we upgrade that as well. Also, I’m not sure yet if the FiOS DVR will be a primary DVR or not. Depends how things evolve with them and with TiVo over the next few months. And I’m still waiting for new info on the CableCARDified HDHomeRun. Decisions, decisions.

  41. I had to lower my shelf for the newer DVR and I couldn’t agree more on the clock, I immediately went to the preferences to look for an option. I’m thinking maybe we can get some kind of a film/screen protector to apply to the front panel in order to dim it.

  42. “I didn’t have time to read all the comments, but I would suggest seeing if Verizon could give you the old style remote. The new remotes don’t control your AUX sound system which is ridiculous.”

    You can actually order both types of remotes here:
    https://teleproducts.verizon.com/fios/index.cfm/eh/DisplayProducts

  43. Was Fios availability a factor in buying this house?

  44. Definitely not. However, I did keep tally of which neighborhoods FiOS would be available in as we conducted our research. I also made mental note of which had Comcast versus Cox. But we chose this neighborhood (and house) based on other criteria.

  45. I’m so jelous! Right now the 1.9 trial is in PA/NJ/DE. I’m sure eventually you will get it. Keep us updated with your impressions of the service. Looking forward to a review, once you have enough time to play with everything.

  46. Have they released an N router yet? I know we can daisy chain another router, but I would love a single router with N speed.

  47. Just a note to say I’m really enjoying the story. I like reading about infrastructure stories.

    Sadly, no FTTH here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, but thankfully, Comcast has pretty very stable with good Internet performance, and techs that understand Cablecards. Now if only the TV service were less expensive…