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#1 06-10-2007 1:33:34 PM

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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2881
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Frank Gets Verizon FiOS: The Install

After deciding to switch from Comcast Digital Cable / Internet to Verizon FiOS TV / Internet and going back and forth in my mind with the various issues involved, the next step was to call and schedule the install.  What follows below is the good, bad and ugly about the install.  Portions copied / updated from previous posts.

I'd called several times previous to this while gathering information.  My main concern was that the HD DVR be able to record two HD shows at once. I'd read here that it could not.  That would be a problem.  On this specific subject, I called once and got the answer that it could, and then I called again and got the answer that it could not.  As the "could not" guy sounded confident and knowledgeable, I took that answer as gospel and made other arrangements (OTA using a Series3 TiVo). As it turned out, it was totally false.  I've recorded 4 different HD shows over FiOS using a combination of the QIP-6416 and a Series3 TiVo with CableCARDs installed. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I could have just signed up and scheduled the install over the Internet, but with major things like this I'm more comfortable doing it over the phone. So I called on Friday June 1, followed the menu prompts, and got to a live person within minutes.  To be fair, this representative sounded brand new (she may have even had a more experienced rep watching over her shoulder).  I knew exactly what services and options I wanted (15/2 Internet / QIP-6412 DVR / 2 QIP-2500 Cable Boxes / HBO) but I was patient as she went through the scripted "signup" script with me.  We finally got to the point where the install was scheduled.  I was pleasantly surprised that they were going to be able to do it the next business day: Monday June 4.  Then she got to a screen where it was asking for some information she did not know (my login, whatever that means). She said Customer Service would have to complete the order.  She gave me the direct number and tried to transfer me, but I got disconnected.

I called the direct number, and got right through to a PRO.  She didn't have access to my aborted order, but she zipped through once I told her what I wanted.  Install still scheduled for Monday.  She said they may need to dig to put in my fiber optic cable (they didn't - my area is pole-to-house in the air).  Got a installation confirmation call on Saturday. All systems go.

My installer called Monday morning at 7:55 AM, and had arrived by about 8:30.  I gave him the tour of my wiring set up and explained what I wanted where.  Then he started stringing my Fiber Optic to the pole.  Then he put the junction box type thing (which I learned is called an ONT) on the side of the house and wired it up.  Then he went into the basement and put my battery backup and all that rigmarole together.  That was about 11 AM.  In about a half hour my phone was switched over.  He gave me the heads up that my Comcast Internet would be going down as he was disconnecting me entirely from Comcast and tapping my house wiring into FiOS.  About 15 minutes later, we migrated my computers onto the network.  All was good.  12:30.

Then he and I ran around and put the STBs where they needed to be.  In the meantime, I decided I wanted CableCards for my Series3 TiVo after all - why not, they're only $3 a month each.  He calls it in to the billing office. They talk to me, verify my information, and add it to my order.  We're on a roll.  He hates doing CableCards because apparently they're finicky.  But we're going forward.

We start setting up the CableCards.  TiVo instructions say to activate one at at time.  We install the first one, he goes onto his network to activate it...failed.  He calls HQ.  Apparently, the authorization system for all of PA is down.  No STBs or CableCards can be activated at this time.  OK - there's other stuff to do.  We work out a minor phone issue.  Try again.  Still down.  This is about 1:30 PM.  All I have is what comes over their Coax connection: local channels (w/ HD versions in QAM), WGN out of Chicago for some reason, and weatherscan local.

Long story short - he sat in my driveway (at my request) until about 7PM, checking every 15 minutes, and the authorization system never came up. To his credit, he then re-hooked me back up to Comcast for the night.  He said he would be back the next day, once the authorization system was back up, to complete the install.

He arrived Tuesday morning at 8:15 AM. Everything is back up and running on their end. 

We installed the CableCards per the instructions that came with the TiVo.  One at a time.  1st one initialized and then activated.  2nd one initialized and then activated.  All channels appear on the TiVo on both tuners, including Premium (HBO).

Connected and powered up the QIP-6416.  Downloaded firmware and software and had time display in about 10 minutes.  Initialized - got IP address - activated and up and running. Menus and guide appeared almost immediately.  All channels working, including HBO.  Tested VOD. All active including HBO.

Connected up the 2 STD STBs (QIP 2500).  Same as above.  Time display after firmware / software DL then full menus and guide and channels.  Tested premium (HBO) and VOD.  All is well.

All cables etc were provided (with spares in a case where I requested).  My installer was 100% pro and 100% helpful and 100% out to make sure I was satisfied with every aspect of the install.

Everything was signed and dated and the guy was out of my driveway by 9:35 AM.

I later got a call that we'd be receiving a $50 gift card due to the authorization problem on Monday.  I turned my DCT-6412 in at the local Comcast office on Wednesday, downgrading to lifeline + Internet for the time being (until I'm sure that all friends / family / mailing lists / credit card sites / etc are emailing our new addresses).

Comcast never mentions it, but apparently this downgrade prompts a service call, because I got a visit from a Comcast tech on Saturday to put a filter on our line to block all non-lifeline channels.  The Line isn't hooked up to anything anyway.  I was on my way out, but hung around to make sure he didn't screw with my FiOS install at all.  I didn't have anything to worry about.  The dude was a pro all the way.  Did what he needed to do, I signed, and he left.

Up next, I'll give my "Week One" impressions of my new Verizon FiOS service.



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