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For lack of esata support, the "one step forward, two steps back" logic behind IMG 1.6, and a handful of other reasons already mentioned on these forums I am seriously contemplating canceling my dual turner FiOS HD DVR rental and switch to a dual turner Tivo HD. I'm in the number crunching phase, so here is what I could use a hand with...
1) Is there an install charge, or do they just deliver them to your door? If so, what is the cost of that one time charge?
2) Does Verizon offer two Single stream cards or one Multi stream card to people in my position? Difference in price if both choices available?
Is/are there any official Verizon URL(s) listing current Cable card pricing and not just information? I understand cable cards are FCC mandated and hurt VZ's bottom line by offering consumer hardware choice which is probably why I couldn't find a public URL with pricing anywhere. Maybe it's just very well hidden, thus my need to ask about current pricing for anyone who knows. Thanks.
Thanks TM. A couple of folks I spoke with earlier today at the FSC including a self described "guru" tell me the cards are single stream only (so I'd need two) and are $3.99/mo. There seems to be consensus on those two facts.
However, no one seems sure of the ordering logistics. Half of FCC people say with uncertainty getting these cards involve a one time $79 charge plus a tech visit to bring and install them. The other camp is just as doubtful and says there is no such $79 charge and the cards are self-install with doorstep delivery.
The conversations today were not very confidence inspiring.
zhzh, contrary to what you might have heard, you'll have to make an appointment for a truck roll as there is no way VZ will ship the cards to you. Please visit www.tivocommunity.com if you have any doubt about this.
The truck roll is $25.00 and the cards are 3.99 ea for the "S" series which is all VZ seems to be handing out. We've been told they were exhausting thier supply of the "S" series and start using the "M" model, but that's been a story we've heard for over 6 months. Maybe sometime in the near future, they will hand out the new cards.
A Tivo HD will work well with the single "M" series card, but since VZ hasn't started using them, you'll have to ask for two "S" cards. The cost is still reasonable.
I had my cards installed in a Series 3 back in October of last year and the technician was spectactular in spite of the fact he'd never installed a card before. If you go the Tivo route, make sure you show the technician the card that accompanies the Tivo HD DVR and he'll be in and out within 30 minutes.
If you decide to go the Tivo route, the only thing you'll miss is their On Demand. Everything else is there with a few added bonuses.
Good luck and let us know how everything shakes out!
On Friday I was told again by the FSC, in no uncertain terms, that cable card installation involves a VZ tech visit AND a one time $79 charge. The woman tells me she is reading that verbatim from up to date internal documentation. I keep hearing $79 from the FSC folks.
Tech, Kathleen, Ice... Can someone verify this information and respond? $79 seems exorbitant to me too, but I can live with $25.
Ok, let me see if I get this straight. I have to pay $79 to have a tech come out to install two cable cards in a tivo system I just ordered? They'll ship the DVR and stb's out to self-install, but they won't send out cable cards? This is an oxymoron policy. I *am* a tech and don't need to waste $79 to have someone come out to do what I can do in 5 minutes myself. The customer service rep had no idea that they couldn't be shipped until I asked. She also told me that the DVR can be easily connected to a home network and tv shows recorded to a PC by simply downloading a program. I'm not exactly sure what she was refering to, but I don't think it was the equipment Verizon is offering.
Someone please tell me if you've ever had success at getting Verizon to simply send the cards out without all this scheduled appointment b/s.
Despite what you may be told by Verizon reps, it's company policy to never ship CableCards... period. You may get a well-meaning Verizon employee to offer to ship one to you (and, in my case, the Verizon rep told me incorrectly that shipping the card was the preferred method), but they will not be shipped. There's a $79 fee to send out a tech.
When I first called to schedule an appointment, the Verizon rep asked to ship the cards instead. They were never shipped, and my ticket went into limbo. It took 23 phone calls, and multiple contacts with the CEO's office to finally get a tech to come to my house to install. They've since confirmed that they never, ever ship CableCards. I've been told that a "reminder" was sent around to the staff yesterday.
This is one area where Verizon could certainly use some improvement. Whatever you do, don't let them try to ship you CableCards... they'll never ship them, and the trouble isn't worth it.
That said, now that I have my CableCard all setup, it works great. I love my TiVo!
Well, being the pest I am at times for things that affect me and don't make sense, I made another pass at the customer service department and kept asking "why". The final reason actually made some sense. What was represented to me is that the tech has to use configuration software on their laptop, connected to the tivo system (or whatever the cableCard is being used with), to do some configuring and such that can't be done remotely. If they would simply post that info on their web site or provide it to their customer support people to pass on to others who ask, it'd save everyone a lot of time and frustration.
I do wish Verizon would post more information on their web site about what their stb/dvds will and won't do (though I was lax in doing my homework up front I admit), as I would have gone with tivo in the first place and skipped their inadequate, limited functional DVR box. Could have saved myself $80. Since I just recently switched from Comcast to Verizon's FIOS tv, it'd be nice if they'd waive their fee. But, I suppose that my one miracle was just getting a reasonable explanation out of them over the non-shipping issue.
I am looking forward to the tivo system with all the functionality that the DVR boxes just won't do....not to mention having a tv guide that makes sense.
Thanks for the feedback JohnT...