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Video Media Server Installation Experience

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Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Video Media Server Installation Experience

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Before I describe my new VMS experience, some background. I am in North Texas and have had FiOS triple play since Sept. 2005. My setup was one QIP7232 Multi-Room DVR, two QIP7100-P2 STBs, all connected to HD TVs using HDMI, and one old NIM-100 that I have been using for several years to provide intenet access via coax to my wife's computer at the other end of the house. I also have an Actiontec Rev. I router that I have had for several years.

I had been checking My Verizon for several weeks to see if the VMS were available here, no luck. On Tuesday April 1 it finally showed as available. I ordered one server and two clients on April 2 through My Verizon and received them via UPS on April 4. It all came in one big white box. I did not receive a new router as I already had the most current Actiontec.

Here are my impressions so far. Keep in mind that the product has just been released and is really probably still considered as being in Beta test, is not yet generally available across the country, and there will be fixes and new functions made available (hopefully soon!).

Positives

Packaging was clear and complete. Instructions were packed on top, easy to find before you do anything (and a word to the wise: read the instructions before you do anything else, things need to be done in a specific order). Everything I needed was included (well, except there was only one coax, I have three devices, if I did not already have FiOS TV I would need to go out and buy two coax cables. Mistake in packaging my order? I don't know, but if Verizon is going to supply any coax they should supply one for each device ordered - IMO.).

The installation instructions are well illustrated and very clear.

The installation went well, with one major exception related to my old NIM being on the network and described below under Negatives. The process is simple and straightforward: you install and activate the server and then each of the clients.

Pausing and replaying live channels on all devices is great, works well.

Chaptering for recordings works on the clients as well as the server, a nice step forward.

Skipping forward and back in a recording (over ads for example) is incredbily responsive on the server. Have not yet tried that on a client.

Glad to have the clock/channel number display back on the clients, we missed the clock on the 7100-P2 boxes.

I had previously exported my settings from my 7232 DVR to the cloud and during installation was offered the option to import the settings. And it worked, on both the server and the clients! At least mostly. Most of my settings did get imported, such as Favorites, Scheduled Recordings, and some of the customized options I had made in Settings. But some of my settings were not imported, things like Notifications, Interactive TV, etc. (I really am not sure which were and which weren't, I just know I had to go in and Disable some of them that I should not have had to, on all three boxes)

The Guide appears to be back one level from what is currently available on 1.9.5. I really prefer it to the newer Guide, but unfortunately I am sure the VMS will eventually get the newer Guide.

1 TB hard drive is nice, more space to hold more recordings. The drive is very quiet.

The server case stays very cool. The client cases are much warmer (not hot, just warm).

I have always had my STBs set to display the clock (at least boxes those that had a clock display), and when switching channels the display would show the new channel number for up to a minute before reverting to the clock. Now the switch back to the clock appears to be a fixed 5 seconds after the channel number is displayed - I like this better.

Negatives

Note: Major installation issue, but fortunately most users will not experience this. When installing the VMS and clients I followed the directions and removed my 3 STBs but I forgot about the NIM. The VMS would not activate, it gave an error code of 1200, TX data rate too low. I eventually called tech support, finally wound up with a great engineer named John who is located in Irving, TX. He said the problem was my Actiontec was not running at the correct MOCA level, so we did a factory reset of the Actiontec but still had a problem. At that point I finally remembered the NIM and mentioned it to him, he said that was definitely the problem and it needed to be removed from my network. So I removed it, we started over with another factory reset of the Actiontec, then a cold start of the VMS, the VMS then activated just fine, and so did the clients.

Big irritant: I have not pinned this down completely, but it appears that when I turn off the TV and leave it off for a long (?) time, when I turn the TV back on the box, server or client, reverts to displaying the lowest channel in my default Favorites list. We experienced this today on the server and both clients. We have always left our STBs turned on when going to bed, etc., just turned the TV off, guess I will try turning one client off tonight and see if there is any difference tomorrow.

The size button (#) on the remote no longer works on SD channels to resize the image. I frequently used that function to make the SD channels full-screen, now no way to do that that I can find so far. This is true for both clients and the server. There are only two options for SD Override in the Settings, Off and Stretch, and I do not like stretch, it distorts the picture too much for my taste.

The interface on the server is sometimes slow, sometimes fast. I cannot figure out what causes the difference. For example, calling up the Guide sometimes only takes 1 second or so, other times it takes 3 or 4 seconds. Not really a big deal, but still I am used to more consistent performance. Same with channel changing, sometimes immediate, other times a 2 or 3 second delay.

The interface on the clients is considerably slower than on the server or on the 7100-P2 STBs they replaced. It is also not consistent, sometime 2 or 3 seconds, other times 5 seconds or more.

The picture just seems a little softer than with the QIP boxes, on both the server and the clients. I have set the Video Sharpness to the maximum (5) on all boxes, did not seem to make much if any difference. We both have noticed it, would prefer a sharper picture.  

During activation on each device you are prompted to name that device, but you cannot use the same name as you used for the STB that the device is replacing.  

Some other sources of information

Verizon VMS Q&A: http://www.verizon.com/Support/Residential/Tv/FiosTv/General+Support/Top+Questions/QuestionsOne/1215...

DSLReports: https://secure.dslreports.com/forum/r29119552-DVR-All-Things-VMS-Quantum-TV

I hope others will post their experiences here, post their questions, and provide some answers so we can all benefit. I will update this thread as I learn more.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

84 REPLIES 84
MHZ123
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-02-2013

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 2 of 85
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Hey Justin,
Are the Verizon Media Server Clients wireless?
Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 3 of 85
(11,114 Views)

@MHZ123 wrote:
Hey Justin,
Are the Verizon Media Server Clients wireless?

No, coax only, at least for now. Have heard some rumors of ethernet and/or wireless in the future but haven't seen anything official. For me this coax requirement of course is no big issue since I have only replaced existing FiOS TV equipment where I already had coax available.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 4 of 85
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Here are some updates on things I mentioned yesterday plus one new item that I have no explanation at all for.

 

1) Previously I said that the picture seemed softer than we were used to from our QIP boxes. Today that seems to have changed somewhat, the picture seems more crisp. The only thing I can think of is maybe the components in the boxes are ageing due to use and are reaching their normal operating characteristics. But whatever the reason, the picture is more like we like it, on all three boxes.

 

The previous softness comment applied to the HD channels, the SD channels just weren't anywhere near as clear as we were used to. But today they also seem to apply to the SD channels, they are much more watchable today than they were yesterday. Anybody have any thoughts?

 

2) Also yesterday I said there was a big irritant that all three boxes had switched to the lowest channel in the default Favorites list after the TV had been off for a long time. This morning, after turning off one box overnight and leaving the other two on, all three were still on the channels they had been left on. So I am theorizing that maybe Friday night Verizon did a reset of the boxes for some reason, and that resulted in the channel change. But at least today all is well on this front, will have to keep a watch out to see if it happens again.

 

3) Now for a new, strange problem. This morning I was watching the F1 race on NBCSN HD (590). I was standing maybe 10 feet from the TV and 10 feet from the remote when suddenly the client box just up and changed the channel to the lowest channel defined in my default Favorites list. I for sure can't explain this one, I am looking for ideas.....

 

Still learning here, probably will be for quite some time......

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

 

 

Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 5 of 85
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One thing I have found with the VMS that I really like is the ability to rewind a channel on a client or the server that someone else has been watching on another client (or the server if I am on a client).

 

For example, my wife is addicted to CNN's seemingly endless coverage of the missing 777, so she has been watching it on a client almost exclusively . I have an interest but I am not going to watch it all the time. But because she is, I can go to CNN HD (600) pretty much any time I want on either a different client or the server and rewind CNN a long way back to view any part of the coverage I have missed.  Of course it will only go back as far as the start of the current program.

 

I am just using CNN as an example above. And interestingly I find that at times that when I view a channel and then go back to that channel later that I can rewind that channel also, even though nobody is currently watching it and I have moved around looking at other channels in the meantime. For us, with only two clients and the server, the 6 tuners apparently are all used as we change channels, so some are still saving program content. I have yet to figure out what algorithm the server is using for selecting the tuner to use when I switch to a channel.

 

Anyway, a nice step forward for us.

 

Oh, and picture quality on all of the devices is now excellent, the softness we saw earlier appears to be completely gone. And the SD picture quality is now as good as it was on our QIP devices, which was really very good. Now I miss even more the ability to resize the SD picture to full screen using the size (#) button.

 

Nuts: The problem I described in an earlier post about the client suddenly, without warning or any action on my part, switching to the lowest channel in my default Favorites list, just happened on the server. And my wife just came in and said the same thing just happened to her on one of the clients. Anybody else with VMS seeing this? Suggestions to fix? Since Friday evening this has happened once on each of the clients and once on the server. Pretty annoying although easy to fix, just hit the Last button on the remote to get back to the program I was watching.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

joker211
Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎01-11-2012

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 6 of 85
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"Now I miss even more the ability to resize the SD picture to full screen using the size (#) button."

 

 

Why is this function gone on the new VMS?   Why would they take this away.?  Some cable channels only come in SD

Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 7 of 85
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@joker211 wrote:

"Now I miss even more the ability to resize the SD picture to full screen using the size (#) button."

 

 

Why is this function gone on the new VMS?   Why would they take this away.?  Some cable channels only come in SD


I have no idea, I am  just reporting what I see. Maybe it is a bug and not something they purposely took out. But whatever it is, I am hoping that that function will reappear, I used it a lot.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

CRobGauth
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Posts: 7,984
Registered: ‎11-04-2008

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 8 of 85
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Several people have commented that the IMG on VMS appears to be based on a previous release.

I would think that VMS will get all of the features we were used to as soon as the bring the IMG up to current version.


If a forum member gives an answer you like, give them the Kudos they deserve. If a member gives you the answer to your question, mark the answer as Accepted Solution so others can see the solution to the problem.
Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 9 of 85
(10,921 Views)

@CRobGauth wrote:

Several people have commented that the IMG on VMS appears to be based on a previous release.

I would think that VMS will get all of the features we were used to as soon as the bring the IMG up to current version.


You may very well be right, we can hope so.

 

The Guide definitely is not the 1.9.5 guide. The Menu is similar to 1.9.5 as best I can tell, similar sequence of menu items I think, but I don't have access to 1.9.5 any more to make a comparison.

 

The missing resize function for SD channels was not something new in 1.9.5, I have been using that for years.

 

I have never been a big user of the Widgets, but in looking at them there seem to be far fewer than there used to be. And I did occasionally use the Pandora widget in the past, it is no longer present, which is disappointing.

 

Amazingly the channel change time seems to have been somewhat reduced and become more consistent over the last several days, especially on the server (or maybe we are just getting used to how the new system works Smiley Very Happy ).

 

Despite a few relatively minor problems I am pretty happy with the VMS. My wife's only real issue is what seems to be the daily channel change back to the lowest channel in my default Favorites list; I have removed power to the server today and restarted it to see if that makes any difference.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

Justin
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,173
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

Re: Video Media Server Installation Experience

Message 10 of 85
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Brief update: I received a call yesterday afternoon from VMS support, apparently there have been multiple reports of the channel change problem that I am experiencing. For me, it seems to have pretty much settled down to changing the channel on all three boxes at approximately 12:38 PM CDT every day. An annoying problem but not really all that serious, we are never recording anything at that time of day, and all it takes is one press of the Last button on the remote to get back to the channel you were watching. Still, it needs to be fixed, and the VMS developers are supposedly now researching the problem.

 

__________________________________
Justin
FiOS TV, 25/25 Internet, and Digital Voice user
QIP7232, QIP7100-P2, IMG 1.9.5
Keller, TX 76248 (VHO 1)

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