I've been a Verizon FIOS customer for a few years now, and recently discovered (from reading these forums) that you don't need a standard set top box (STB) to view the standard channels. I tried this myself (all my TVs are fairly new) and after the long "scan" process from my TV, the channels I get are fine for me. I get the locals, public, and even Create, which I enjoy, and is on a PBS channel.
To make a long story short, I'm currently an Extreme HD package subscriber, and am semi-cutting the cord. I enjoy things like NatGeo, Discovery, BBC, Music channels, etc, but I don't watch 95% of the channels offered, and can certainly live without what I currently watch in order to save fairly significant money per year after the downgrading to the Local TV package and getting rid of 2 HD boxes.
My questions are:
1) I was told if I went to the Local package, they could give me digital converter boxes to get the local stations. Do I even need these? Do the converter boxes allow me to get channels that I wouldn't get by just plugging the cable directly into my TVs? If so, am I charged per digital box (I have 3 TVs)?
2) This may sound obvious, but do I even need the LocalTV package to get the local channels? I mean if I'm just getting an internet/phone package, will local channels still come through the cable line, or must I even subscribe to the LocalTV package?
Solved! Go to Solution.
1 - You should not need any box to recieve the channels on the Local package (they are currently all unencrypted). If they insist that you have to have an adapter you can let them ship it to you and then return it. Unfortunately the phone CSRs are woefully undertrained on this and cable cable cards.
2 - Yes you need the Local package. If you don't have it VZ will shut off the TV signal from the ONT to your TV while still mainatining internet and phone.
You don't need the digital adapters if your TVs have QAM support.
If they are newer (past 4 or 5 years) they probably do.
Before you go that route, run a test.
Hook the cable directly to your TV.
See what channels you can tune it.
That will tell you what you will get on locals package.
Thanks to both of you for the very helpful info.
On one of my TV's, I didn't get any channels, so I think it is 5 years old maybe. Just under the wire apparently to get channels without the box. However, I think Verizon gives you a standard one for free anyway, which is all i would need for that TV. The other two TV's picked up channels fine, so no box required.
Thanks again for the prompt info. Helps me in making my decision.
Unless something has changed, they don't offer free digital adapters. They did at one time when they first converted to all digital services. But don't any longer. And I am not sure the digital adapters get all of the channels.
Plus they are only SD.
I'll find out when I talk to them in about a week.
I would think/hope they at least give one SD box for free. At least I know they do with my current Extreme package. I pay for 2 HD boxes, and they give me a SD box for free. That would be all I would need.
The SD box is not good at all in terms of delayed responses after pressing remote buttons, but at least it's something. I would think even with the Local TV package they one give one SD box included in the price. If not, I would think I can purchase any digital convert box online. Would probably still be most cost effective than renting one every month.
They don't offer true SD boxes anymore.
They do offer digital adapters.
Big difference is no guide and no VOD.