Home TV & Internet Set up?

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by JimD, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. JimD

    JimD Member

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Hi,
    I just joined the forum as I am in the process of getting rid of our "never-used" landline and the Verizon mega-bill for TV channels we never watch. I would like some advice/recommendations please.

    We have Verizon FIOS and currently have all three services. Eliminating the TV cable and hone charges will save us about $120 per month. So, this what I'd like to know.

    What is a good "over the air" indoor antenna that will connect to a non-Verizon DVR so we can record shows to watch later. (I checked TV Fool and it looks like we have access to pretty good signals)

    What is a good DVR that I can buy that will enable us to record from the antenna described above? (Preferably at least 4 simultaneous recordings).

    Finally, is there anything to be gained from getting rid of the Verizon router and using something better? Also, does Verizon charge for the Actiontec we have now or would my bill remain the same even if I started using a non-Verizon router?

    From a technical standpoint is it worth converting the output from the Verizon ONT boys to ethernet instead of co-ax? Also, is it possible to do this with out getting Verizon involved?

    Apologies for all the questions but I just got my Vz bill and our total Verizon outlay will exceed $200 per month starting July 1 and that is just about twice what restarted paying years ago.

    All suggestions welcomed.
     
    LeoIrish likes this.
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  3. Rob Lister

    Rob Lister Staff Member Community Leader

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    Regarding the Antenna: Must it be purely indoors or would an Attic Mount do? If the former, then any indoor flat panel antenna will do. RCA makes a good one. Get it from somewhere that has a hassle-free return policy to see if you can actually get the channels you want with it. Make sure you test at night.

    Regarding the DVR: Four channels at once? Wow. I'm not sure. Whatever you choose, look for what the subscription fees are. Channel Master (2-channels max) is the only one I know of that doesn't have monthly subscription fees. They're also the most expensive box.

    Regarding the Verizon Modem: Nay, don't mess with it. Your bottle neck is the speed you pay for. The modem will easily accommodate 10 times that.

    Regarding the Router: If it isn't an 802.11AC router, you're better off buying your own. The older 11G and 11N routers don't have nearly the range or speed.

    Add Plex and Roku to your stream and you've got more tv in a day than you can watch in a month: you won't bother recording much of anything.
     
  4. JimD

    JimD Member

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Thanks Rob. After the post above I went out and bought a Mohu Leaf ultimate. It didn't do so well. My home has cathedral ceilings so there's no attic to speak of. I mounted it high on an interior wall (about 25 feet from the level the yard is at). Some channels came in fine but some were un-watchable. I'm going to call Mohu tomorrow to see if they have any advice. I may have to use an outdoor antenna :( . I only suggested the four tuner DVR as we have had occasional issues with Verizon's 2 tuner DVR. Three would probably do just fine. Even then, it's not a frequent problem.

    With respect to the modem/router, we have a Verizon Actiontec M1424WR. Can I just replace that with an 802.11AC router I buy or does it have to remain in the loop?

    Given what I would save by dropping Verizon TV and phone the cost of a DVR will be recovered very quickly.
     
  5. Rob Lister

    Rob Lister Staff Member Community Leader

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    What you have is a router/modem combo. You need the modem part. As for the router part, you can turn the wifi part of that off in the box settings or you can leave it on and either extend that network or create a separate network or subnet (recommened usually for mixed bands).

    Basically all you do is buy the new router, configure it, and plug it in to any one of the 4 ports on the back of your existing box. For a separate network you plug it into the "internet" or "wan" port of the new router. To extend the network, you plug it into one of the 4 ethernet ports.

    There are a few ways to configure that and how you do it depends on what you want out of it. No matter which way you go, you're [probably] not going to be able to use the out-of-box settings of the new router. It does take some minor skills to do it right so if you're not sure, ask. Nothing you can't look up on the tubes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  6. LeoIrish

    LeoIrish Community Leader

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    Modem / Router: I have TWC, so I cannot advise what Verizon does or does not charge for the equipment. I do know TWC does charge for the modem (and router if you get it via them) with a monthly rental fee. For years I have owned my own router for security considerations, and I purchase my own modems to save money overall. To date, I have not had any issues, but I would suggest to reviewing your bill and see if Verizon is charging you or not. If they are not, then I say just keep the equipment.

    DVR: I did a ton of research on them, and my plan is to either purchase a TiVo Roamio or OTA DVR (depending if the OTA has a deal on the lifetime subscription or not).

    Welcome to the group! I know I have learned quite a bit since joining myself.
     
  7. JimD

    JimD Member

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Hi,
    I'll start looking into an 802.11AC router. Any suggestions? I also went through my Verizon invoice carefully and they do not break out a separate charge for the modem/router. They do for the STB - $16.99.

    LeoIrish, what's the difference between the Roamio and an OTA DVR?
     
  8. LeoIrish

    LeoIrish Community Leader

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    Roamio: You can use a Cable Card from most cable providers versus using the DVR box from them and antennas.

    OTA: This only works with over the air (antennas).
     
  9. JimD

    JimD Member

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Thanks LeoIrish.
     
  10. Rob Lister

    Rob Lister Staff Member Community Leader

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    If you're not paying extra for the router, then you probably own it. If you do, and your house is such that it you get decent wifi strength at the tv (and every other room optimally) then you may want to keep the one you have rather than buying a new AC router.

    If you do buy the router, any brand will likely do. I have a TP Link but Netgear, Dlink and Cisco do just as well for the most part. Don't aim at the lowest price point. Don't aim at the 'gamer' routers. Go middle of the road. I spent ~$150 for mine but it is THE busiest piece of hardware in my home.
     
  11. JimD

    JimD Member

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Thanks Rob. I'll keep that in mind.
     

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