DirecTV to FiOS/TiVo Redux - 2 years later

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Diana C, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    2,119
    296
    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Almost two years ago I posted that we were switching to FiOS with TiVo DVRs after 12 years with DirecTV. That thread can be found here: http://www.dbstalk.com/topic/212382-long-time-directv-customer-moving-to-fios-and-tivo/page-1

    I thought I would come back and let you guys know how the last two years have gone, as a few posters requested at the time.

    Our renewal is now a bit over 2 months away (June 6) and so I am now getting the renewal emails from Verizon. Those that warned that the discounts would go away after 2 years are right...instead of a $45/month discount they are now offering $40/month. They did also add a regional sports fee, and raised rates (but not on our tier). Of course, DirecTV raised rates too.

    Our TiVos are going strong, with several new features added including Skipmode (skip a complete commercial block with one click) and support for additional streaming services. We have never had to call Verizon for any technical support, and we have had zero service outages (we sure don't miss rainfade). While TiVo has introduced a new DVR model (the Bolt) it is more of a lower cost entry model. My Roamio Pros are still the top model.

    Since we broke even on the cost of the TiVos a few months ago the monthly savings have been pure gravy. We really wish we had done this sooner.

    To be fair, Verizon is unlikely to add any UHD content anytime soon, and when they do it will likely be PPV, but we don't own any UHD TVs and are unlikely to for several more years.

    Perhaps the biggest unexpected benefit has been TiVo's support for PLEX. This allows us to download recordings from the DVR (except for HBO and Fox channels which are copy protected) and archive them onto a server. They can then be recalled and played back through the TiVos. We have barely used our Rokus in the past year or more.

    I'm still lurking here, keeping up to date on the satellite world...I may come back to satellite someday.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. Jon J

    Jon J Grouch Extrordinaire

    1,241
    9
    Apr 22, 2002
    Music City, USA
    Hello DC.. Thanks for the update. ATT U-Verse video is not available to me so Comcast is my only alternative. How would you expect that to pair with Tivo as in your situation?
     
  3. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    2,119
    296
    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Comcast is one of the most TiVo friendly cable systems, but actual service quality varies a lot depending on location. On the good side, they have a dedicated cable card team (which is tantamount to a TiVo team) to work out authentication and authorization issues, and they provide an app for TiVos to give the user access to the Comcast On-Demand library. So, if your local Comcast system is in good shape, and offers a full channel,lineup without Tuning Adapters, it should be quite similar. On the not so good side, Comcast is generally difficult to deal with as a consumer...they don't have the worst customer service stats for nothing.

    Edited to add: IIRC, Comcast may copy protect more channels, but I don't think they are as bad as TWC who copy protect everything except broadcast channels. So the PLEX benefit may be somewhat less.
     
  4. ragweed10

    ragweed10 Member

    462
    24
    Jul 10, 2013
    San Diego
    Thanks for the UP-DATE. Glad to hear there is some company that is trying to please customers.
    Only of $ 5.00 difference on credits isn't bad.
    Can't you ask for the RSF to be Eliminated ? DTV doesn't charge it on their good packages.
    How much do you pay for the FIOS Services ?
     
  5. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    2,119
    296
    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    If you go back and look at the original thread, I did a breakdown of the costs. I currently pay Verizon $159/month for their top tier programming package (same as DirecTV Premiere level) 75/75 Internet and phone. That will rise to $164/month June 7 unless they throw more discounts at me closer to renewal time.

    I haven't tried to get the RSF waived...so I don't know if they will. We use the RSNs so we don't mind paying it.
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    23,065
    154
    Aug 22, 2006
    Lower...
    It's been almost two years since I switched to Optimum (Cablevision), in order to try their "cloud DVR". With 15 tuners and cloud storage of recordings and series links, the thought of no more worries about conflicts or disk failures intrigued me. It turned out to be all I hoped for, except for one missing feature that's recently become important to me. We've moved to a new home where the eat-in kitchen layout precludes the installation of a display/cable box combo, so I would like to watch recordings on my iPad. The Optimum iOS app does not yet support streaming of cloud recordings, just live TV. Optimum does offer a $2/month cablecard option, however, so I switched to a TiVo Bolt and mini clients in the fall, and couldn't be happier.

    I didn't do this to save money, but as it turns out, I am saving close to $500 if you look at this as a 3-year investment, until the next model TiVo comes out. The Bolt and 3 clients cost me $750, including the cost of a 2TB internal drive replacement I installed myself. Over the next 36 months, I'm saving $44/month, or $1584, on Cablevision hardware and fees. (Each of my 4 STB locations was $8/month + a $14/month household "cloud DVR" fee, less the new $2/month Cablecard fee.) TiVo service is free for the first year, and $15/month for years 2 & 3. $360 total. Add that to the $750 I spend on hardware, and I'm about $475 to the good over 3 years.

    With "just" 4 tuners, I do run into an occasional recording conflict. If TiVo does come out with a rumored 6-tuner Bolt Pro this summer, I may switch. Until then, I'm thoroughly enjoying Skip-Mode, built-in HBOGO, Amazon and Netflix. And streaming to my iOS devices on the home network is practically flawless, with HD picture quality and extremely responsive trickplay.

    Funny how things come full circle. I bought my first TiVo in 1999. Paid about $800 for a 30GB model on Amazon that I used with my Cablevision service. I switched to DirecTV in 2001 or 2002, when the Sony SAT-T60 TiVo came out and I continued to use "DirecTiVos" up until the HR10. In the spring of 2007, I switched to the HR20 because the HD Yankee broadcasts were only going to be available encoded as MPEG-4.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,698
    111
    Aug 16, 2006
    The area in which I think FiOS is a distant 2nd to DirecTV is the channel assignments. They just don't make sense with FiOS.
     
  8. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    6,566
    334
    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    How many TV's is that and how many recording boxes and tuners is that?

    Do you own the boxes or lease fees included
     
  9. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

    12,224
    95
    Nov 18, 2005
    Great to see the old team here.

    My 2 years with FiOS & TiVo Roamio came up last November, the new setup has certainly paid for itself and it's been an awesome experience. Just perfect.
    I also continue to have DirecTV for NFL Sunday Ticket. A perfect combination, at least for us.

    Some items that come to mind ... (and this is just the top of the list)

    No more rainfade, wonderful, especially during Fall & Winter storms. No longer any need for recording backups or on-demand because of a storm.
    And always a strong coax signal, with the coax originating at the FiOS ONT in the basement, and built-in MOCA, and unlimited tuners.
    SkipMode. I originally thought it wasn't a big deal, but it's been a joy. One click of ChanUp at a commercial, and boom, the show resumes.
    I love the TiVo Pro keyboard remote, just click it open, hit the search button and type away on the keyboard. And no more key lag.
    And search goes across TV and streaming options (Netflix, Amazon, ...). So it's a unified search.
    Finally got back the ability to power-on/off both the TV and Denon receiver with one button press of the remote. Just like from the ole DirecTiVo days.
    Tuner buffering is awesome, 6 full-time buffers. I'm always loading up the buffers and bouncing around. Total control and view into what's in each of the 6 buffers.
    And I'm always finding stuff in the buffers when I turn the TV on, especially a news show or a game that I join in progress but didn't record.
    Or load up different games in each buffer. Last night was a great experience with the NCAA tournament. Can individually select a buffer (with a game).
    The TiVo App is perfect. Video offloading is sweet and smooth. Also finally have total access to the settings of each individual DVR remotely from anywhere.
    Multiple high-end DVR's are fully supported, and MRV by DVR! I can have as many Roamios as I want, and fully supported, and unlimited season passes.
    I use MRV by DVR every day. We have 3 DVRs. I can sit at any of the 7 TV's, select my DVR, and see just my PlayList. It's as if I was sitting at the DVR. This is exactly how I want MRV to work.
    And I can copy/transfer recordings from one DVR to another. I don't do this often but I do once in a while as I'm cleaning up a playlist, or if I need to do an upgrade.
    And I use UnDelete all the time. I watch/delete, but if I ever want to show the family something that I deleted, I just undelete it from my playlist, watch, delete again.
    And with a 3GB disk, most of the time the old recording is there to be undeleted.
    I can also view an individual Playlist by "All", "TV Series", "Movies", "In Progress" and a few other options. I'm usually in the "TV Series" view.
    I'm also always sorting by the series/episode info. There's also a progress bar next to each recording to display how far you've watched each recording.
    And I can quickly jump to the top or bottom of a Playlist with the advance button.
    I don't use Netflix and Amazon as much as the rest of the family, but my son just selects Netflix on any of the 7 TV's and he's on his merry way.
    And TiVo Mini's are great. For a little over a $100 you can add a client with never another charge.

    Well, that's what comes to top of mind, it's the perfect setup. I really now have just about everything that I can imagine I'd ever want, and I'm usually very demanding. I'll probably upgrade to a Bolt Pro when/if it gets announced though other then 4K I can't think of anything else that I need or want.

    And I'm getting all of the above, with FiOS' top package (Ultimate), with every HD channel, and every premium, with 100/100 internet on the FiOS GPON Gigabit network, and FiOS unlimited Digital Voice ... all for probably 65-75% of what I was paying for just DirecTV Premiere previously.

    I couldn't be happier, and I have the DirecTV Genie for Sunday Ticket sitting right next to the main Roamio Pro.
    Actually, we always add a 2nd TV on Sundays during football season with the local game on the main TV, and then swap around to other games via Sunday Ticket on the 2nd TV. And then after the local game, have Sunday Ticket on the main TV, and RedZone on the 2nd TV via FiOS. Just awesome.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. ragweed10

    ragweed10 Member

    462
    24
    Jul 10, 2013
    San Diego
    When do you have time to Use the Internet, talk on the Phone, go to work or sleep ?
     
  11. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    6,566
    334
    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I have never heard of one unhappy FIOS customer. The above further cements it.
    And I wish FIOS was offered where I live
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    36,249
    2,051
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    So do I. What kills me is I don't live that far from Diana. I don't need the phone service, but I would use the Internet service and I'd love to get away from D*. I could use my owned HRs to pay for the equipment. But, for some reason, no FIOS here. I'm paying about $150 a month and almost half of that is for equipment. I have no movie packages.

    Rich
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    36,249
    2,051
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Alway good to hear from you, Diana. On a side note, how's your generator working? Mine had a bad rotor and would not output any juice at all. Took quite a while for Generac to replace it. I thought it sounded kinda odd when it first went into service but I was told "they all sound like that". Doesn't sound like it did now. Runs very smoothly.

    Anyway, hope you and yours are all well,

    Rich
     
  14. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    2,119
    296
    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    As noted in my signature, we have 2 TiVo Roamio Pros (total of 12 tuners and 6TB of disk) and 5 Minis, for a total of 7 TVs (one of which is remote and connected to its Mini via a Slingbox). All the equipment is owned. The only thing I lease are two cablecards ($5.99 each per month).
     
  15. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    2,119
    296
    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hi Rich...things are fine here (generator and family wise). The generator ran our house for a couple of hours last fall when a transformer failed on our block. I hope things are well for you and yours too.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    2,119
    296
    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Ditto everything Sixto said. :). We don't have a need for Sunday Ticket (the only football fan in the house is a Jets fan).
     
  17. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    12,971
    204
    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    I had to switch to Fios as well because of a tree I don't own. Tivo makes fios tolerable. The fios DVR is one big mess and while I think Tivo is far from perfect (I prefer the DirecTV menuing system), it is close enough to make it workable.

    If I could, however, I would go back to DirecTV in a heartbeat (even though I love commerical skip) because of the sports offerings and the more HD overall than Fios.

    But it is close enough to make Fios with Tivo a viable alternative. I just have to stream more sports (MLB.tv since fios only has 10 HD feeds for MLB, for example).
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    23,065
    154
    Aug 22, 2006
    Lower...
    I've had two go-rounds with FiOS over the past decade, and my two sisters and daughter are current FiOS customers. FiOS is great... as long as everything's working. If not, customer service can be a nightmare, at least here in Westchester County, NY. Depending on the issue, I've spent hours on the phone with customer service on behalf of family members. Also, be prepared to pay for a service call if they deem that an issue like poor internet connection speed, e.g., *must* be a problem with your home network, since they are unable to detect or fix it from their office. They are still deeply entrenched in the old telephone company mentality and culture, IMO, at least around these parts.

    Verizon also nickled and dimed me with add'l fees, as well, to the tune of $10-$12/month of surcharges I never saw on my Cablevision or DIRECTV bills.

    Again, just my experience. Depending on where you live, YMMV.

    Like the home I just moved from, the place I moved into has a FiOS ONT wired up in my basement, ready to go. I still opted to stick with Cablevision. They've been rock-solid the last two years I've been with them. :up:
     
  19. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    8,021
    307
    Nov 16, 2005
    Los...
    ILEC here in So. LA is AT&T so no FiOS available or entry allowed.

    After entering our 21st straight year with DIRECTV may have to look at alternatives now as it's simply getting too expensive. Got a grandfathered Premier with HD access waived and near the max. in programming discounts and six HD-DVRs which includes a Genie and the bill is still ~$170.00/mo.

    Researching TWC, to which we also have 23/2 internet, with TIVOs ....

    But the high up front cost of having to buy TIVOs with lifetime won't sit well with some I know.

    Anyway, glad to hear from some of the old gang here as well ...

    Sent from my SGH-M819N using Tapatalk
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    23,065
    154
    Aug 22, 2006
    Lower...
    If you can get by with 4 tuners (or 6 when the rumored Bolt Pro comes out this summer), you might want to reconsider lifetime up front. First 12 months of service is free. After that, it's $180 for the next 12 months. So over 3 years, e.g., TiVo service is an average cost of $10/month, vs. $400-$600 lifetime, depending on whatever special offers may be available.

    I've got 4 seats here and the "TV" portion of my Optimum triple play* costs me about $53/month, including cablecard. If I was still paying DIRECTV with my grandfathered package, I'd probably be paying about $150-155/month. If I add the average $10/month cost for TiVo service to the $53 I pay for TV now, I'd be saving about $90/month, or $3200+ total over 3 years, had I remained with D*.

    So the real question is how much the TV portion of a TWC triple play is going to cost you, vs. the $170/month you're now paying D*? Even if it's as high as $70/month, you'd still be $3600 to the good over 3 years, to cover the up front hardware costs.

    BTW, Fry's occasionally sells the Bolt for $229, or Best Buy offers a $50 gift card with a purchase, bringing the cost down to $250. The Minis all come with lifetime and can be found for as low as $105 each, so you can buy a Bolt and 5 minis for under $800 total.

    * The rest of my triple play costs me $15/month for phone and $30/month for 50/25 internet. I pay about $104/month total, including taxes and fees. No HBO or SHO, but I do have the Encore channels and all the NY RSNs.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements