I examined the logs for my visitors and noticed a couple of hits for the search “FIOS channel guide not updating”. When my FIOS was installed last week, I had that exact problem and here is what I found out.
Make sure your FIOS cable modem is working. Log into http://192.168.1.1/ with the default admin password combination (look it up) and make sure that your set top boxes are listed.
See that column in the middle of the web page? That lists your PC and your set top boxes. On my installation they are labeled IP-STB1,2,3, etc. and they are all Connection Type: Coax. The setup boxes need the FIOS Internet gateway to communicate via IP to Verizon and get the guide data. If they do not show up there then they are not getting any updates.
One of the Verizon people I spoke with mentioned that some people hardly use the Internet portion of FIOS and were not aware that the service needs both to work. After two weeks all the guide data was expired; once that customer switched on the Internet gateway the guide data came back.
Of course, that wasn’t my problem. For me it was that the splitter installed in my cable line was not up to speed and was interfering with my set top boxes getting the guide data. The tech replaced the splitter and everything started working. That splitter was from my Cablevision installation and the first tech should have replaced it. No hard feelings and I’ve been enjoying the service including the ability to remotely schedule recordings.
My Internet and TV viewing works well but for some reason the guide data is not being loaded onto the set top boxes. While I am waiting for the (hopefully) Monday morning fix to my TV guide data, here is what you get with FIOS.
1. A weather sealed FIOS box that performs the hand off from fiber to copper telephone line and cable TV. This was mounted on the outside of the house.
2. A battery backed UPS unit. This is solely for the Verizon FIOS box and it’s to maintain the phone line in the event of a power outage. The POTS lines are on a separate power circuit so when the town goes dark the phone lines still work. Since the fiber connection does not have electricity this is necessary so that the phones are always on.
3. A very cool cable modem with built in 802.11b/g wi-fi and 5 Ethernet ports (1 WAN and 4 internal LAN). This plugs into the cable line and provides a very complete turn-key solution. I turned off the wi-fi since I already have a wireless network and don’t feel like redesigning my setup. But for the non-technically savvy customers this is a good fire-and-forget solution.
4. And of course all the set top boxes.
Each of the set top boxes is assigned a DHCP address from this router on the 192.168.1.0/24 network. I connected my Internet gateway to an Ethernet port and was also assigned a 192.168.1.x address. I like to access my basement remotely so I setup TCP port forwarding on specific ports on the Verizon box to my gateway. Initially I had all ports forwarded but I narrowed it down to a few specific ports and it’s all working. I did have to change my ddclient.conf settings but that was very easy.
The setup boxes get their configuration data via the Internet router. If the router goes dead, the TV signals will still work but the guide data will stop updating. No guide data means that the DVR is kind of pointless.
The phone is flawless and the Internet connection is amazing. See the SPEEDTEST.NET results to the right.
I just have a small problem with my digital TV service. At the moment I have no picture at all. Earlier I had picture and all my channels but I did not have the channel guide. An hour later, no channel guide and no picture.
I’m not really worried and here’s why: everyone I have dealt with on the phone or in person has been polite and professional. The installer arrived around 11 AM and wrapped up the install before 3:30 PM. He did mention that the programming data might take as long as Monday morning, but all the channels worked and I could live without the guide for a weekend.
I just got off the phone with Verizon and they are working on getting my service back. I’ll see how it goes.
Since Verizon messed up my order yesterday, they informed me that my order was set for 8 AM – 12 noon today. That sucked but it was better than waiting till next week. And I have to dial into work around 10 AM today so what the heck, I’ll just go with it.
Before 8 AM I called and wanted to confirm that my installation was on track. The person I spoke with was polite and professional and informed me that someone would call me back. I just got that call and my appointment is still on for today.
All day today. They can come at anytime today and screw the 12 noon thing. Oh, but I’m not to worry since they “requested” that the install occur before noon. I informed the polite and professional lady that I’m not thrilled about being held hostage to Verizon’s schedule and that this is NOT what I was told yesterday.
This is how a solid service offering gets ruined. I’m assuming that once I have FIOS installed it will be rainbows and sunshine but getting there is really amateurish on their part. First impressions are important because they set the customers expectations going forward. If they continue to mess up, I lose nothing by just canceling the order. As I mentioned yesterday I don’t have an axe to grind with Cablevision and the money I save with Verizon is not that significant.
I’m hoping that this afternoon I’ll be able to post how fast my new connection is and how happy I am with the service.
Update: FIOS install delayed. Tomorrow is the new confirmed install date. Just like today was confirmed. Not a good way to start.
I’m currently on Optimum Online and I’m having FIOS installed in my house today.
It’s not that I have any real problem with Cablevision (I don’t) or have had support problems (Cablevision has always fixed any problems I had) I just feel like trying a new offering. And I do save a few dollars each month even with the install. The contract time period doesn’t bother me so I’m a good candidate for moving to FIOS.
The graphic is from the SPEEDTEST.NET website. When I have FIOS working I’ll post another test results.