Cincinnati Bell Fioptics + Series 2 = no TiVo???
Aug 9, 2012 at 11:30:15 PM | #1
After years of DirecTV slowly jacking up my rates and cutting my service I finally decided to try a different TV provider. My local telco Cincinnati Bell has been pushing their 'Fioptics' branded TV service with some really great deals so I decided to give them a try. When I signed up I asked the salesman if I could use my TiVo and he said it should be fine. CableCards aren't supported in my area so that means older Series 1 or 2 only...or so you would think.
Well, the installer came out today and put everything in while my wife was home, and when I got home I set about running the guided setup again. Well, first I hooked the new cable boxes up to my TiVo's since the goofball installed just hooked them straight into the TV with a composite cable, and THEN I started the guided setup. My problem came when it got to setting up channel changing. It turns out Cincinnati Bell is using some oddball box made by ZTE, model ZXV10 B700V3A. There is no ZTE listed in the TiVo manufacturer list (although it did recognize that Cincinnati Bell is a service provider...must be for the luck few with CableCards.) I called Cincinnati Bell and the script-reader on the other end informed me that they didn't have any IR codes for their cable box. Their remotes are programmed just for their boxes. Nevermind the fact that the remote that came with the new boxes was just a generic universal remote. So, I gave up on those idiots and chatted with a TiVo support rep. They told me to try the COMCAST DIGITAL ADAPTER option in the manufacturers list. I tried it, on both of my Series 2 units, and it didn't work on either one. My IR blasters were hooked up correctly and working fine. I told the support chat person this, and they told me I was out of luck. Next was the most surprising part: I asked the TiVo rep who I should email or contact to ask about getting this box supported and he told me they were no longer providing updates for the Series 2 units! At that point I just closed the chat window rather than blasting the poor tech with a stream of very unhappy words.
Not to be denied I continued the search for some sort of solution on my own and found an IR code listed in the documentation for the universal remote that came with the new cable boxes. It claimed it was 21972. So, I got into the advanced channel setup menu and tried to manually enter 21972. No dice. That code didn't exist in the list of options, even in the advanced setup!
At this point, I went into my basement and un-did everything that the installer had done, hooking my old DirecTV equipment back up, and tomorrow I will be taking a big box of brand new equipment back to Cincinnati Bell to cancel my new service. I can't really express how upset I am with this whole situation, but suffice it to say I haven't been this angry in several years. I'm mad at Cincinnati Bell for using some no-name IPTV box and for being totally wrong about their service working with a TiVo. I'm also mad at them for only offering CableCards to some customers, and not others with no info or idea of when they might be available. I'm upset with TiVo for compounding this issue by ceasing updates to Series2 TiVo's. I'm now wondering if I can switch my TV service AT ALL without running into the same issue. I mean, I have no idea if the newer DirecTV boxes or whatever boxes Time Warner is using will be supported in my old-school list of IR codes. I'd consider upgrading to a Series3 or 4, but they ONLY record off of CableCARD and there is exactly one provider in my area that supports them at all, and then only with a tuning adapter. At that point, if I'm locked in to a single provider anyway, why not just switch to their home-grown DVR's?
I love my TiVo's, and I would hate to give them up, but between ignoring the older Series2 units and going CableCARD-only with the newer ones, it is becoming a little frustrating to be a TiVo user.
Aug 23, 2012 at 4:05:25 PM | #2
I too live in the Greater Cincinnati area, and I have been a subscriber to the Fioptics TV service for two years now. I did not encounter any problem in getting Cincinnati Bell to furnish M-Cars (CableCARDs) for my three TiVo Premiere boxes, and I have been very pleased with the service.
I do know that Cincinnati Bell has made some compromises in their rollout of the fiber optics services. I believe some of these compromises are interim measures while they are still building out the network. For example, in many neighborhoods, the fiber optics data cables do not run all the way to the customer residences, and copper wiring is used for the "last mile" of the service connection.
I wonder whether your experience with lack of CableCARD supprt has something to do with the state of the fiber optics network buildout in your neighborhood.