Then FiOS TV Went Down with an Odd Set Top Box Problem

At The Home Office, the week of gadget craziness continued. On Sunday night my son Jimmy wanted to watch Teletubbies on FiOS Video On Demand before he went to bed. (Kathleen suggested it and Jimmy got excited about the idea, so that was the plan.) Anyway, we brought up the FiOS VOD subsystem on the television in the living room, and a message says that On Demand isn't available at this time. Try back in a few minutes.

Kathleen said that this happened a couple of days ago, and I should put a call in this time. I called Verizon and was walked completely through a testing process and a set top box reboot by an automated voice response system. It said that my set top box would reacquire the program guide and all would be well again in a few minutes. But, if for any reason the problem wasn't resolved, my call and the details of what was done would be noted in my account to expedite the process of speaking with a live support person.

"This is progress," I said to Kathleen.

Thirty minutes later, the program guide and our DVR functions hadn't reappeared. Jimmy was watching a DVD instead. Kathleen wanted me to call Verizon back and get the problem straightened out.

When I made the call, the computer estimated that I would be on hold for 41 minutes. The alternative offered was for the system to call me back in 41 minutes when a support person became available. That would have been too late for me, so I hung up.

The set top box didn't reacquire the guide all day on Monday, so I called support at about 9:00pm. The wait was much more reasonable. It turned out to be under five minutes, although the computer's initial estimate was longer.

I went through a guided reboot of my router and my set top box. Eventually the set top box reacquired the guide, so I ended up being happy that the problem was solved.

A new problem developed with our Local Area Network. Apparently the process Verizon used to reset my router and set top box blew away my router's configuration, including its password. I had to troubleshoot my LAN to determine that the LAN's IP address range changed, then I realized that the password on my router changed. Eventually I realized that the router had just been reset to the default settings. So I reconfigured it to the way the network was before the problems occurred, and now I hope that everything is working once again. (I know that the Internet is working, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this article right now.)

The lessons I learned from this process are:

  • Don't use FiOS' automated voice response system to troubleshoot your TV while someone is watching it. You will probably temporarily lose additional services for at least as long as an automated system test takes.
  • Document your LAN configuration in case Verizon decides to reset your router to its initial state.
  • Keep that LAN configuration at your fingertips when calling Verizon FiOS support even if the call is about TV or telephone.