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Can I receive basic FIOS tv without a FIOS box?

Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-16-2009

Can I receive basic FIOS tv without a FIOS box?

Message 1 of 3

was wondering if basic FIOS cable is available without a box.  Can I just plug a coax in the back of the TV and get basic?



Gold Contributor V
Gold Contributor V
Posts: 1,692
Registered: ‎05-17-2009

Re: Can I receive basic FIOS tv without a FIOS box?

Message 2 of 3

Most likely the answer is no.


However, if you have a tv with a DIGITAL tuner, then you will be able to get local channels without a box. But if you want ANY cable style channels (tnt, usa, family channel, etc) you will have to have a STB. But if you want just local then you MUST have a tv with a digital tuner.


Error exists between keyboard and chair.
Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 183
Registered: ‎09-09-2008

Re: Can I receive basic FIOS tv without a FIOS box?

Message 3 of 3

specedebris' answer is mostly correct, but to be more specific:


Bottom line.

(1)  You do NOT need a box if your TV has a built-in QAM tuner, but you will be unable to watch any encrypted channels (most likely only locals (ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS...) will be available.  You would need a box for other stations (USA, ESPN, HBO etc.)

(2) You will not need a box for ANY channels if your TV has BOTH a QAM tuner AND a CableCard slot.  You will need to rent a CableCard from Verizon ($3.99/mo).  You would still not be able to get any program guide nor access VOD, Widgets, etc.



There are 2 types of "digital" tuners used in the U.S.  For Over-the-Air (OTA) broadcast TV, most new TVs have a built-in ATSC tuner, but a smaller fraction of modern TVs have a built-in QAM tuner.  That is what you need to decode ANY Fios TV signals internal to the TV.  However, very few signals (local stations for the most part) on FiOS are unencrypted QAM, so if you want to get ALL of your FiOS stations on a QAM tuner-equipped TV without using a box, your TV ADDITIONALLY must be capable of supporting a cable card.  A MUCH SMALLER fraction of TVs come so equipped.


So you have to do your homework and shop wisely to get the TV that will deliver the performance you seek.

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