Upgrading Verizon To FiOS TV Quantum

Dave Zatz —  June 4, 2014 — 35 Comments

As Verizon declares its FiOS Quantum TV rollout complete, fellow Northern Virginian Ananth Sarathy shares his initial experience with the new whole-home DVR. He’s also kindly agreed to take questions in the comments — perhaps he’ll even be able to explain Verizon’s obtuse pricing.

fios-quantumtv-extender

I’ve had the new Quantum DVR for about a week now. The interface is the familiar FiOS interface that we’re used to, for better or worse. It doesn’t seem to have yet received the recent UI upgrade and is missing a few elements, such as the autotune to HD feature. The boxes do use the same FiOS remotes as before, so I’ve stuck with my existing ones, and didn’t need to program them, which is nice. But I kind of wish they had upgraded to a remote that could control AV system volume as well.

I completely set up the 6-tuner hub DVR first, including favorites and settings.The nice thing about doing it that was that it allowed me to import the settings from the head unit to the remote boxes. In fact each subsequent box can import from any of the boxes already setup. This was fortunate as there doesn’t seem to be an import or export settings on any of these boxes after initial setup, and it looks like you can only do an import on initial set up. So far, the remote extender boxes seem much more responsive than I had experienced with Verizon’s original Multi-Room DVR solution, and device reboots are much faster than they used to be with the older units. The remote boxes are very small with setup being pretty quick and easy – though I was unable to import my existing series and settings from our former DVR via the cloud.

One thing I noticed is that DVR actions on the remote boxes seem to be the same as if they were run on the head unit, so if I say skip the guide ahead two weeks on a remote box, my scheduled recordings are updated to end of the date on the viewed guide data. I haven’t used it that much, but it seems much better, and I look forward to its improvements and the Phase 2 rollout of expanded cloud functionality and viewing content on other devices.

35 responses to Upgrading Verizon To FiOS TV Quantum

  1. Are you experiencing audio dropouts? So far that’s been my (and many others on DSL Reports) complaint.

  2. I haven’t experienced any audio issues. The only thing I have noticed, is some times after a channel change on a remote box, there is some kind of visual slowdown, almost akin to when you have a 120hz TV that is filling in frames, but it goes away after a few seconds.

  3. I spent 4 hours yesterday getting mine set up. Turned out I had to replace my two splitters to improve the Moca signal. These new boxes are much more sensitive to coax than the old motorola ones.

  4. I have had my new equipment in a box for the past week or so. I will probably set it up this weekend. I am concerned about the splitter issue people are mentioning.

  5. More sensitive or using different frequencies? Guess the end result is the same, cause doesn’t matter. Not quite related, one time when I was on Cox, I couldn’t tune certain channels using higher, newer frequencies that a coax splitter from the 80s couldn’t handle. New splitter cleared it right up (which Cox replaced/installed in the attic for free). Hm.

  6. Dave as far as pricing goes, it’s net effect for me going from a MR Dvr and two regular STB was 9.99 more a month. (Plus a one time 25 dollar equipment charge). 10 bucks so I can pause on any TV, and being able to record more shows at once, plus being more responsive seems like a deal.

  7. Yah, upgrade pricing certainly makes sense in your case. But any new customers have to decipher hardware+room fees to make an informed comparison to other providers like Comcast or running your own hardware like TiVo, etc.

  8. “But I kind of wish they had upgraded to a remote that could control AV system volume as well.”

    What the hell is wrong with these companies that refuse to ship (or sell at an extra price point) a damn remote with a few learning buttons to control the things you want to control when you’re watching teevee?

    (I mean, I’ve been holding off on buying a Roamio to date only because I’d be stuck with a S4 Glo remote so I could have a few learning buttons, and I worry the lack of a ‘back’ button will cripple my non-CableCARD experience.)

    This ain’t rocket science. No one wants to handle two remotes just to watch teevee…

  9. Chucky, The worst thing is I think verizon has one you can get. I was holding off ordering one of ebay, as I wanted to make sure it would work when the Media Server came out, but I’ll order one this week.

  10. “Chucky, The worst thing is I think verizon has one you can get.”

    Well, if your suspicion that such an item exists and would work with the Quantum proves true, I take back my vituperative criticism.

    I’ve got no problem with companies charging extra for learning remotes. The important thing is just that they are (at a bare minimum) an option.

  11. The default remote controls the tv and the stb. They actually sent me 3 with the quantum boxes and I’m sending two back as my existing ones are just fine. You can buy a 2 device, 4 device, or even large button one here: https://www.verizon.com/fiosaccessories (where I bought splitters) They make it a lot easier than most other cable companies.

  12. I have some spliters that are:

    RCA DH24SPF Two Way 3 Ghz Bi-Di Splitter (link http://amzn.to/1mSURDi )

    Those should be fine, right?

  13. That’s a well designed affiliate tag ;) wish I tracked things so closely.

  14. Do frame-at-a-time and slow motion playback work properly from the remote extenders? They are pretty hit-and-miss over my existing whole home setup.

  15. @Chucky An option does exist for TiVo with the new TiVo Slide Pro remote, no?

    “The TiVo Slide Pro, Glo Premium, and Slide remotes are learning remotes, which means they can learn certain functions from other remote control devices without requiring a device code.”

    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/278

  16. Not ready for cable DVR yet. My tivo premiers work fine. Verizon is far superior to Cox. Never have to call for service, its very reliable. However I don’t want one of their crappy cable DVRs.

  17. HarryKerryJr. June 4, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Doesn’t matter: Verizon will buy Dish after the auction for spectrum later this summer. Verizon can’t sit back and allow it’s chief competitor to become the 2nd largest TV provider in the country having completed their “build out” virtually overnight with true critical mass at the stroke of a pen, along with far better, less expensive agreements with channels/content owners. Verizon can gain the same attributes as AT&T/DirecTV deal with purchase of Dish. IMHO, they will wait until after the auction for spectrum, then decide which spectrum they will hand back to the FCC to allow the acquisition to go through. AT&T Uverse subs, get ready for your Genies. Verizon FiOS subs, best to start making room for your Hoppers before it is official. :).

  18. But the Hopper is only a three tuner DVR. I have six tuners recording concurrently almost everday with my TiVo Roamio Pro on FiOS. The Hopper wouldn’t help me since most of those recordings are not from the local channels.

  19. I don’t know how to get it play in slow motion. I must be missing something…

  20. “@Chucky An option does exist for TiVo with the new TiVo Slide Pro remote, no?”

    Huh. Looks like the Slide Pro does indeed do learning buttons. Correct, you are.

    Unfortunately, my brief previous experience with a slide left me cold as to its ergonomics. The balance felt all wrong to me, in a non-minor way. And the non-slide TiVo remote feels just so damn perfect in the hand.

    If/When I upgrade to Roamio, I’ll likely just use a S4 Glo. (Is such a thing even possible, I suddenly wonder? Is there an RF/IR conflict I haven’t fully considered here?) And assuming the lack of a ‘back’ button kills the non-CableCARD features, I’ll just switch inputs to Roku for stuff like that.

    But thanks for your info nonetheless. If/When I upgrade to Roamio, I’ll probably buy a Slide Pro from Amazon and give it a 30 day tryout, which I wouldn’t have done without your info. (And damn TiVo for not just making a learning Glo for S5. I’d pay a hefty premium for such an item, not to mention that I would’ve bought a Roamio the first week they were released…)

  21. “I don’t know how to get it play in slow motion. I must be missing something…”

    Have you tried a Maureen Dowd dosage of marijuana edibles? That should make everything look like slo-mo…

  22. “I don’t know how to get it play in slow motion”
    Hit pause, and then fast forward, to get slow motion.
    Hit pause, followed by the jump forward or jump back key, to go frame-at-a-time forward or back.

  23. rpj22, thanks for the tip. Both working for me.

  24. HarryKerryJr. June 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Hopper can now offer 5 full time tuners with Super Joey, equal to Genie. Further, Dish will subsidize 2 Hoppers for a house hold providing 6 full time tuners for the household, and with an officially stated coming software update, one hopper can access the other hoppers tuners if there are not enough for all the recordings needed for the first hopper. So, it will allow automatic dynamic allocations of all 6 tuners to record across both hoppers. Also, still can add the USB OTA tuner for additional locals.

  25. I set up my system tonight.
    - I upgraded my router to Rev I from Rev F. I made sure to write down any settings and even tried saving the old configuration but it would not load the saved configuration on the new model (probably because they are different models)
    - The Rev I router requires a stronger wireless password. (Needs letters and numbers)
    - Setup went well. I was able to import all my settings / scheduled recordings.
    - My MOCA extenders are working well. I have 3 of these spread over the townhouse.
    1 )Actiontec WCB3000NK01 Wireless Range Extender IEEE 802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz – 5.0GHz, 1000Mbps (AQB-102109603 )
    - Actiontec Ethernet to Coax Adapter Kit for Homes with Cable TV Service (ECB2500CK01)
    2) Hooked up to an old router upstairs
    3) hooked up to a slingbox to the IP Client

    One thing so far that I think was recognized on the DSL reports thread is that the IPC is not outputting over component while attached to HDMI. (That’s all I tested).
    Also, the IPC does not have Coaxial Digital SPDIF output (it does have optical – but my Slingbox HD Pro only does digital coaxial or good old fashioned RCA).

    The guide is a bit dated looking (compared to the version I had on my other boxes) but I expect that will be updated eventually.

    No crashes yet.

    Happy to answer any questions.

  26. A lot, most, or even all modern boxes aren’t dual outputting component and HDMI these days in a misguided anti-piracy measure. For Slingbox owners, this means you gotta wire up the placeshifter in the middle and use component. It’s more clutter but shouldn’t noticeably impact television quality. The audio situation as you describe it could be a problem tho, unless you go straight from STB to receiver and stereo to Slingbox? Hm.

  27. Well. I have to add a clarification . (I don’t think I can edit comments).

    I made a quick change and now the Component outputs and HDMI outputs are working. The change was to change the output from 1080p to 1080i.

    I have IPC –> HDMI –> 19″ TV
    same IPC –> Component + L/R RCA –> Slingbox Pro HD

    It is all working now.

    This post helped me:
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29286937-

    And that DSL reports thread , which is long, has a lot of good info:
    Thread link: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29119552-DVR-All-Things-VMS-Quantum-TV

  28. The one thing that is bothering me is the response from my remote to box is a lot slower. I changed batteries and even tried the new remotes they sent me but still slow.

  29. Great features for quantum but cannot attach external hard drive since with the new boxes everything is saved on the server… the new boxes have no hard drive to my understanding and they are all the same.
    I need to consider that since I will be going down from 1.6 TB to 1 TB with quantum.
    My present DVR has a 640 GB HDD and my external myDVR WD is 1 TB.

  30. Does anyone know if the skip function works on the secondary boxes? I had the old version of Verizon whole-house system and the 30 second skip function worked only on the main DVR. You could fast forward and rewind on the STBs, but the skip did not work. I dumped the system and went with two independent DVRs as FF through commercials is so tedious.

  31. Does anyone regret moving to Quantum tv? If so, why?

    Thanks.

  32. I just installed two hubs and four slaves. The only thing I have a problem with is that you can not see the other both hubs on the tv that is hooked to a hub. You can see both hubs from the slaves???

  33. Thanks for all who commented on the four-button remote with AV control. Just ordered one for my Quantum TV.

  34. I am having a tremendous number of problems with my new FiOS set up (total 3 room boxes/DVR). I had FiOS up until May 2014 when I moved. It was reinstalled in July but with the new smaller boxes and the ability to record more shows simultaneously.

    So far, not so good compared to before.

    The DVR takes forever to load and play a recording – usually about 20 seconds but sometimes as much as 30 seconds(!). I never experienced that before. The FiOS DVR in my previous home responded instantly. You could only record two shows at once, but the response to remote control commands was very snappy.

    Switching out of one recording and directly into another is equally time-consuming (and frustrating). Always long waits. Sometimes the screen goes completely black until the recording starts, too, making it seem as if something has catastrophically failed.

    And within the DVR menu, trying to go up and down in the list of recordings couldn’t be more buggy and annoying. The cursor hangs up constantly, stopping at a listed recording and then refusing to budge for several seconds.

    An even bigger problem is that when watching a recording, the skip forward button sometimes stops working. Instead of skipping ahead, it does the opposite and returns me back to a previously watched scene, often a long way back. I then have to tediously fast forward for a long time just to get back to where I was.

    Once this starts happening, the only way to advance is with the fast forward button. God help me if I forget that the skip forward function stopped working an hour into, say, a 4 hour sporting event and I accidentally hit it to jump past a commercial with just a few minutes to go in the broadcast. It’s like my remote came from the movie “Ground Hog Day.”

    Tonight, there was a new problem; The On Demand Menu refused to load. All I got was the onscreen msg that says “Loading.” I gave up after multiple tries and long waits with nothing happening.

    This locked the screen as well. No other commands worked except the power off button. Powering down the box was the only way to exit out of the On Demand mode.

    Lastly, I am unable to press and record a show that I’ve searched for. I have to exit the Search function and manually forward through the Guide until I reach the show I want and then the DVR will allow me to record that future show.

    There are a couple of other small bugs as well. Let me say that I’ve been a huge fan of FiOS up until this new installation. Although significantly more expensive than Cablevision, I found in the past that FiOS was worth every penny for the noticeably superior picture quality and infinitely better functionality.

    But I’m not so positive about FiOS now. What the heck is going on?

    P.S. Is it just me or does no one else ever achieve the Internet speed that we’re paying FiOS for either? Not once in two years of use have I ever hit the 50mbps download threshold I’m supposed to be getting when I’m hardwired. And with this new installation it’s not actually close: I’m usually down in the 40mbps range, sometimes the high 30s. In the past, it didn’t get to 50mbps either, but it was usually in the mid-to-high 40s range (not once was it ever actually 50mbps, though). Now, 40mbps seems to be my download norm. Upload speed, though, is as claimed or better. But download is 20% off. Do you think they’ll reduce my bill 20% to compensate or acknowledge that they’re in breach of contract. Ah…not likely.

  35. We just installed quantum on 5 Tv’s. WARNING, if you switch, you can’t go back. On the West Coast, Quantum sucks. You can’t search for programs, the set the Media Server to recorder to record it. The audio drop out is so bad, sometimes you miss a whole sentence. The guide is only for 14 Days but a number of channels are listed on the guide as “PLEASE WAIT”. Today we had to reset the media server 7 times because the picture freezes. Tech support checks the system and sez everything is ok and to just follow the Tools located under menu. When I said this ie terrible, and that I wanted to return to the old system, I was told you can’t go back. I’m checking out Time Warmer and AT&T now.

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