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Bytezboy

join:2001-05-17
New York, NY
reply to elefante72

[Pricing] Re: Here comes the Router rental fee of $4.99

This is horseshit. I need the remote DVR feature so forced to use their router.
--
75/35 Fios, Triple Play Extreme.


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

Bytezboy -- The Actiontec is not required in order for Remote DVR to work. However unfortunatly, that statement is of no consolation, because I was never able to find anyone who actually got it working without the actiontec. I know that sounds silly, but all the Actiontec is doing, is allowing Verizon to reach inbound to your STB's using NAT. From what I can tell, the Actiontec was listening on one port, then sending it to your STB on another port. Any good firewall is capable of doing this, as long as you know how to configure the forwarding & what ports to use. That is the info that doesn't seem available.


Shady Bimmer
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Northport, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by batsona:

Bytezboy -- The Actiontec is not required in order for Remote DVR to work. However unfortunatly, that statement is of no consolation, because I was never able to find anyone who actually got it working without the actiontec.

If you don't know of anyone that ever got it to work why would you think it is possible?

The only network connectivity to the STBs (including DVRs) is via MoCA (not ethernet) so at minimum a MoCA/ethernet bridge would be required. The actiontec provides this functionality.

In order for remote functions, such as remote DVR to work, VZ needs to know how to reach each individual STB/DVR. This is done by connecting to the actiontec via TR-069 (CPE Wan management) and configuring a port forward in the router to the STB/DVR. If that fails (IE: if the actiontec is not reachable) then the setup for features such as remote DVR fail. It would not be possible to initially configure remote DVR functionality without the actiontec being reachable.

The details of how to configure these port forwards is documented in the FAQ in a few places including the item 'Can I use my own router as primary and keep remote DVR'. These very same port forwards would be required for any of the scenarios that leverage a user's own router as primary.

sgip2000

join:2004-05-05
Hillsboro, OR
reply to Bytezboy

said by Bytezboy:

This is horseshit. I need the remote DVR feature so forced to use their router.

Tivo?


ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
reply to Bytezboy

The Verizon router is required for anything interactive, widgets, on-demand, MRDVR, Guide, information bar, etc. Anyone trying to watch TV without this will go crazy



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:29

1 recommendation

said by ITALIAN926:

The Verizon router is required for anything interactive

Not strictly true. A MOCA bridge such as a NIM-100 can be used in place of the Actiontec to provide MOCA LAN to the STBs.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

As if Verizon is installing NIMs in lieu of their routers, come on. Whats the price for that alternate equipment.



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:29

2 recommendations

I didn't say anything about VZ installing NIM-100s. I was referring to the ability to run one's own router and still have connectivity for the STBs.

You made a blanket statement that the VZ router is required. I was simply pointing out that it is not, as many users in this forum can attest.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to Shady Bimmer

If you can use Static DHCP and port forwards, it will work- unless Verizon is purposely blocking user-owned routers from working properly. Although most users who are advanced enough to know what a port forward is aren't using crappy MSO DVRs anyways.



ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
reply to More Fiber

OK, in that case, good luck finding a NIM.


Shady Bimmer
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Northport, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to BiggA

said by BiggA:

If you can use Static DHCP and port forwards, it will work- unless Verizon is purposely blocking user-owned routers from working properly. Although most users who are advanced enough to know what a port forward is aren't using crappy MSO DVRs anyways.

If the port forwards had already been established on an actiontec then yes. For remote services that are unique per STB such as remote DVR those ports are not known until the service is initially enabled, and if VZ is not able to "enable" those services successfully it likely will not work. I've been down this path more than once.

Verizon is not doing anything to specifically block user-owned routers. For some services (such as remote DVR) it simply does not know the details until it attempts to set them up.

Shady Bimmer
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Northport, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to ITALIAN926

said by ITALIAN926:

OK, in that case, good luck finding a NIM.

There are other MoCA/ethernet LAN bridges aside from the NIM-100. Many (including the NIM-100) are not so difficult to find especially on ebay.

For what it is worth there are currently many MI424 routers that can function as such a bridge available pretty cheaply on ebay as well.


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

1 recommendation

reply to Shady Bimmer

said by Shady Bimmer:

If the port forwards had already been established on an actiontec then yes. For remote services that are unique per STB such as remote DVR those ports are not known until the service is initially enabled,

I don't believe this is entirely true. The role of the Actiontec is two-fold. It does open various ports, as you mentioned, but once these are known (they're sequential), you can replicate them on any third party router.

The second part is that the Actiontec communicates back to Verizon what your public IP address is. When you use Remote DVR online, it pulls from that database and then tries to make the connection. This why the three-router setup does work with Remote DVR. In that configuration, the Actiontec is used for the sole purpose of communicating the public IP address back to Verizon. All port forwarding is handled by the third-part primary router.

Seems to me there should be a better (non-Actiontec) way for VZ to implement Remote DVR / Caller ID. I would hope they have a method of tracking what IP addresses are assigned to the CPE behind each ONT. Maybe they don't...
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!

Shady Bimmer
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Northport, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Thinkdiff:

I don't believe this is entirely true. The role of the Actiontec is two-fold. It does open various ports, as you mentioned, but once these are known (they're sequential), you can replicate them on any third party router.

I referenced the ability to replicate these easily. However the specific port to which VZ needs to connect differs depending on which STB/DVR is the target. This mapping is not known until VZ creates the initial establishment. And while they may be sequential, they are not always predictable. For instance I had a single DVR and it was not at the documented starting port (it was one higher) for quite some time. Once this mapping is established it is not specifically required for this purpose, until your IP changes (see below).

The second part is that the Actiontec communicates back to Verizon what your public IP address is. When you use Remote DVR online, it pulls from that database and then tries to make the connection.

Yes, this would be part of the initial setup and as long as your IP does not change then there is no need to report the IP back to VZ. This is (as you noted) the reason for the three-router configuration so that one does not need to keep swapping routers.

From the best I have been able to determine so far it is the STB/DVR that is reporting its internal and external IPs along with the internal port that it is listening on for each service. If VZ sees a change it reaches out to the actiontec at that external IP and ensures there is a port forward to reach the internal port at the internal IP. The STB/DVR determines its external IP from interaction with the actiontec but I have not identified how this occurrs yet. The three router solution is working well for me so this is not a priority at the moment.

As I noted in my original reply, as well, if nobody has demonstrated and provided a configuration for remote services such as remote DVR to work without the actiontec there is no reason to assume it should. My points were mostly to highlight that the actiontec is needed at least for the initial setup and that without it success should not be expected. Beyond that, there are too many unknowns to know if the AT can be fully removed while keeping full remote services functionality. To date it does not look possible.

Shady Bimmer
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Northport, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Thinkdiff

said by Thinkdiff:

Seems to me there should be a better (non-Actiontec) way for VZ to implement Remote DVR / Caller ID. I would hope they have a method of tracking what IP addresses are assigned to the CPE behind each ONT. Maybe they don't...

The part that I try to keep in perspective is that many here that are looking to deviate from the default provided by VZ are actually in the minority compared to the entire FiOS customer base.

The solution is such that a very large number of standard installs can be fully managed and maintained remotely using minimal support (read: human) resources.

Adding complexity to suit the minority is contrary to that goal and what VZ provides suits exactly what they need. Further automation such as the "auto correct" functionality in the IMG menus depends on at least a certain minimal known configuration.

I would note that choosing the auto-correct functions does seem to re-initiate the entire configuration process from the beginning.

Note that the TR-069 spec does have extensions to allow for better discovery when behind NAT (IE: the AT could be behind another NAT router and the external IP of that router could be discovered instead), but since the AT is meant to be the external device as the CPE there is no reason VZ would necessarily consider implementing this (again - minority of customers would use it).

Depending on the actual pricing policy that started this thread, there may be more that look to altogether forfeit the AT. However like many other cases likely there will be a few customers that leave and the rest will just complain and bear it.


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

My point was only that their Remote DVR system seems very "finicky" for lack of a better word. It is already complex and relies on so many moving parts.

Seems like the entire problem could be solved just by making the STB do a UPnP request and push that information to a database server which would then know both the WAN IP and port number from that single request. Then the Remote DVR / Caller ID systems could pull the relevant info from there. Using this hodgepodge of TR-069 with two-way communication and call-backs and pushing port forwarding rules, etc seems like a waste. The cynical view would be it's deliberate to get people to use the Actiontec, but I'm not so sure.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
reply to ITALIAN926

eBay has lots of options, including used Actiontech and Westel routers, last one I bought cost 9 bucks. One can use any router they want and any Bridge they want for the Ethernet to MOCA part to feed the STB's


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to Thinkdiff

Hmmmm, sounds like they are running their own little proprietary version of DynDNS. That's pretty nasty. They should just make it standardized so that users could use their own router. The problem is that even with that option, 99% of users would have no clue how to set it up. And even then, the users advanced enough to figure it out are using TiVos in the first place. Can you get all the VOD through the web or Roku apps now, or do you still need a box for that?


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to Thinkdiff

They should also enable Ethernet so that you could run the data portion entirely over Ethernet without MoCA at all.