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M-CARDs in Southern California?

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SoCalKen
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Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-17-2010

M-CARDs in Southern California?

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Hi All,

 

Having FiOS installed tomorrow. Bought my TiVo HD XL and have it set up and running (over the antenna for now).

 

Called 1-888-553-1555 to inquire whether they will send me two single-stream CableCARDs (S-CARDs) or whether they have multi-stream CableCARDs (M-CARDs) in my area (Redondo Beach, CA). The rep didn't know anything about such differences, so we kept the order at two cards, and if I only need one I need to call back for a box to ship back the other one. I was told that I can't just give the second unneeded card to the installer (which goes against what I've read in other posts).

 

So, my main questions are:

 

  1. Are M-CARDs guaranteed in Southern California?  
  2. Should I cancel my second CableCARD?

 

--Ken

 

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SoCalKen
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-17-2010

Re: M-CARDs in Southern California?

Message 3 of 4
(5,256 Views)

Indeed, Southern California does have M-CARDs.

 

Indeed, I got an M-CARD, no problem. I got a Verizon guy, Tony, who was training three other guys. I felt lucky I got "the man." Smiley Happy  He knew exactly what the M-CARD was, showed it to me right away, knew about multi-stream and installations with TiVo HD boxes, and the installation went flawlesslessly.

 

So my experience confirms your "All new cards deployed by Verizon in the past 9+ months are M-CARDs" statement. If I had gotten one of the new guys that had only been trained for two weeks, then things would have been dicier, so your other advice would have been warranted. Thanks for that advice, too.

 

The poor untrained reps at 1-888-553-1555 just don't know how to handle "single-stream" and "multi-stream" questions. They also don't realize that the ordering of two cards does not require one to have to be shipped back to them because "they are provisioned in Pennsylvania" and "the installer cannot simply take the second card with them." Phooey. Smiley Happy  They poor untrained rep was prepared to send me a box with return shipping in advance, but I held off. Saved Verizon a few bucks and reduced their carbon footprint a little bit. Smiley Happy  Indeed, my installer, Tony, knew just to give me the one M-CARD and to just write up that he gave me one card, so he told me that I will only be charged a single $3.99/month for the card.

 

So, a bunch of mis-information during my journey, but all's well that end's well. Smiley Happy  

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KenAF
Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: M-CARDs in Southern California?

Message 2 of 4
(5,309 Views)

All new cards deployed by Verizon in the past 9+ months are M-CARDs.  That said, it's always possible for an installer to have an S-CARD in their truck that they recently retrieved from another customer.  For example, they could've swapped two M-CARDs for four S-CARDs the day before, and not yet returned to the warehouse to retrieve more.


The installer should call 30-40 minutes before they arrive.  When they do, make sure they have a M-CARD with them.  M-CARDs have "M-CARD" written in large bold letters across the card, so it will be obvious to the installer, even if they don't know anything about the differences.


From the AVS TivoHD FAQ:

 


Does the TivoHD work with Verizon FiOS?

Yes.  The TivoHD replaces the FiOS STB and DVR, so you no longer need to pay those fees to Verizon.  It supports all the same SD and HD channels as the FiOS DVR, including all subscription sports packages.   TiVo supplies its own guide data for all FiOS channels with more accurate and complete program information than Verizon provides for its own boxes.

The TivoHD does not support Verizon's own Video On Demand (VOD), nor does it support Verizon's on-screen widgets for weather and traffic.  If you don't want to lose Verizon's VOD, you can rent their Motorola STB and connect that to a separate input on your television.  Note the TiVo does not support multi-room viewing with Verizon's Motorola boxes; it only supports multi-room viewing with other TiVos.

The TivoHD requires one CableCard (M-CARD) from Verizon to support both tuners.  This card plugs into the front of the box to authorize all of the channels you pay for.  Verizon charges $3.99/mo for this CableCard, and requires a "truck roll" to install it.  Verizon will not ship CableCards or allow local pickup under any circumstances; to the representative, it may look like they can ship you the cards, but if they submit the order that way, you will receive an automated phone message within 2-3 days with the date and time of the scheduled installation.

There is no charge for FiOS CableCard installation, so long as the only action performed is a CableCard install.  Anything said to the contrary is outdated information.  If you want to return or remove existing equipment, do not mention that when you order the CableCard. Verizon charges $79 for truck roll orders where the caller references equipment removal.  Officially, free equipment return is only available by request of a prepaid mailing label or through a visit to the local office.

Note Verizon's order system and CSRs scripts only list "CableCards."   Verizon sales does not have any information on S-CARDs or M-CARDs.   As of 2Q 2009, Verizon FiOS uses M-CARDs for all new installs in all markets, without exception. No matter what the sales rep says, that is what you get when you order a CableCard from Verizon. Anything said to the contrary is outdated information.


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SoCalKen
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-17-2010

Re: M-CARDs in Southern California?

Message 3 of 4
(5,257 Views)

Indeed, Southern California does have M-CARDs.

 

Indeed, I got an M-CARD, no problem. I got a Verizon guy, Tony, who was training three other guys. I felt lucky I got "the man." Smiley Happy  He knew exactly what the M-CARD was, showed it to me right away, knew about multi-stream and installations with TiVo HD boxes, and the installation went flawlesslessly.

 

So my experience confirms your "All new cards deployed by Verizon in the past 9+ months are M-CARDs" statement. If I had gotten one of the new guys that had only been trained for two weeks, then things would have been dicier, so your other advice would have been warranted. Thanks for that advice, too.

 

The poor untrained reps at 1-888-553-1555 just don't know how to handle "single-stream" and "multi-stream" questions. They also don't realize that the ordering of two cards does not require one to have to be shipped back to them because "they are provisioned in Pennsylvania" and "the installer cannot simply take the second card with them." Phooey. Smiley Happy  They poor untrained rep was prepared to send me a box with return shipping in advance, but I held off. Saved Verizon a few bucks and reduced their carbon footprint a little bit. Smiley Happy  Indeed, my installer, Tony, knew just to give me the one M-CARD and to just write up that he gave me one card, so he told me that I will only be charged a single $3.99/month for the card.

 

So, a bunch of mis-information during my journey, but all's well that end's well. Smiley Happy  

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prisaz
Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 6,820
Registered: ‎08-23-2008

Re: M-CARDs in Southern California?

Message 4 of 4
(5,221 Views)

FYI

When I had my M-Card installed, the tech told me that techs are still holding onto the S-Cards because some TVs do not handle mutistream cards. So there is a reason one might be on the truck. So yes it is a good thing to make sure the tech has a M-Card when they call. But they should not be running a card install unless they have an M-Card.

 

Yes my card install also went great in Aug 09. Glad to here your up and running. I like my Tivo.

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