Does TiVo Work with Verizon FiOS TV?

Verizon’s FiOS TV service is growing increasingly popular as it becomes available in more areas. More people are coming to discover that the picture quality and speed towers over both cable and satellite by far. While the service has proven to be a viable alternative to traditional TV mediums, there are still a few consumers who are reluctant to make the switch. These are primarily those who have invested in a TiVo and do not want to part ways with their super-functional DVR. TiVo lovers will be happy to know that America’s favorite DVR does indeed work with Verizon FiOS TV.

Why TiVo?

If you are familiar with FiOS, you probably know that Verizon has its own version of the DVR in the Motorola QIP series. This receiver offers all the basic functionality but TiVo it is not.

For starters, the interface on the Verizon DVR isn’t as intuitive as what you get with TiVo, making it a bit more confusing to navigate the program menu. The lack of user-friendliness makes something as simple as recording your favorite series a cumbersome task. When factoring in the clunky remote control and costly leasing fees, you have a DVR the not only underperforms, but fails to compliment what is otherwise a quality television service. Needless to say, the recent integration of TiVO and FiOS TV was refreshing news to many frustrated subscribers.

TiVo offers the comprehensive interface, ease of use and rich feature set the Verizon DVR lacks. On top of that, this receiver has been around long enough to become the face of digital video recorders, the preferred choice for many customers. In order for integrate the technologies, you will of course need a TiVo receiver, preferably the HD the Series 3 model, and two cablecards, which are provided by Verizon and installed by a technician. Although this integration has enhanced the television experience for numerous subscribers, a large number have reported that TiVo and FiOS don’t always work in perfect harmony.

Limitations and Pixel Problems

The problem with TiVo and FiOS TV is mainly associated with the limitations of the cablecards installed into the receiver. For example, one-way digital cable-ready television sets are not able to receive two-way interactive services. Therefore, advanced features of the FiOS TV service such as the interactive programming guide, pay per view, video on demand and various FiOS widgets are not provided to the viewer. Subscribers are required to purchase and install a set-top box in order to enjoy these features.

According to a number of subscribers, the biggest issue related to the Tivo/FiOS integration has to do with picture quality. Several have reported pixel distortion where the digital images on their screen breaks up into large blocks and totally ruins the program they’re viewing. Issues of sound clarity have also been mentioned. Some customers have resorted to inserting video Di-plexers and low-pass filters only to find that these additions only momentarily solved their problems.


As it stands now, the relationship between Tivo and FiOS TV can’t be considered a happy marriage. Cablecards are only a temporary solution and the tuner built-in the TiVo HD receiver prevents you from getting the most out of DVR. Until cablecards are phased out by a more reliable technology and TiVo fixes their tuner bugs, FiOS TV subscribers are probably best suited with the default Motorola DVR. Besides, unless you’re a diehard TiVo fan, there is a great chance that you won’t even notice the vast difference in the two receivers.



Fred M.

July 17, 2009 @ 10:16 am

Does an old Tivo Series 2 DVR work with FIOS? I bought my TiVo with lifetime service ($300) in October 2004. It works just fine with my basic level standard definition DirecTV service. All three of my televisons are standard definition. I don’t need or want high defintion. In fact, the only reason I would get FIOS is to replace Version DSL to get the faster internet speed. The television and telephone portions of FIOS would be a “piggy back” thing as far as I’m concerned. My main concern is to avoid getting rid of my TiVo Series 2 DVR as the “price” for switching from DSL+DirecTV to FIOS.



November 7, 2009 @ 12:28 am

I am trying in vain to make my Verizon FiOS STB work with a Series 2 TivO, using 2 composite cables as follows.

FiOS STB output —composte cable —> TiVo Input
TiVo output —composite cable —> TV composite Input jacks
TiVO IR port — TiVo-Brand IR Cable —> FiOS IR port

I can control the TV’s power with either the STB or TiVO, but
the TV screen shoqws only snow. Can anyone tell me how to make the STB and TiVO communicate? Do I need to re-program the TiVo? Thanks very much.



November 26, 2009 @ 1:10 am

I just did the same thing last night. just rearranged all the wires by process of elimination, etc. i wish i could be of more help. do you have your TV ouput hooked up to anything or am I missing it? also, we didn’t need any IR blasters anymore. have no idea why, but we don’t.


drew f

December 2, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

if anyone has an answer to fred m’s comment from july 17 2009 please share it with me. i am in the same exact senario as he is … thanks


Mike A.

December 27, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

Fred and Drew, I’ve had my old series 2 single tuner Tivo hooked up to my FIOS tv (non HD) for close to a year. One nuisance I’ve had is the slight delay when switching channels. Also, if you’ve built up some lead time on the Tivo, the FIOS remote will have an equally delayed response. My Tivo is run with a basic FIOS box and a Tivo wireless network adapter. I ran the cable from the wall to the Verizon box, then to the Tivo, then to the tv. Hope this helps.



April 20, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

I am in the same boat as Julian and Mike A. using a Tivo series 2 with a Verizon Fios set top box. The problems I am encountering: the Tivo records the wrong channel or a recording only shows the Verizon logo and the “press menu to watch TV” notice for the duration of the recorded show. I’ve tried keeping the set top box on so it records the show but no go. Any ideas for a resolution?



July 7, 2010 @ 8:28 am

I have the same problem as Sarah. I called Verizon and received a new box but I am not sure if that will work.

Has anyone had the same problem or solved it?

Sometimes it records properly but other times we are getting the black Verizon screen


Kelly S.

August 4, 2010 @ 10:41 am

When u get the black verizon screen it means that you inadvertantly turned off the cable box when you turned off the television. Took us a bit to figure this out as well. It is pretty easy to do, and really annoying…just make sure to select “tv” before powering off and don’t leave the remote around to get buttons punched on accident. I am currently unable to change channels with my tivo…just stopped working one day. frustrating! going to try a new cable box….



February 5, 2011 @ 3:19 am

Perhaps someone can help me here. I recently switched from Comcast to FIOS and I have an old Humax/Tivo Series 2 (same boat as Fred with the lifetime service). Unfortunately, now the rest of the family is ready to kill me. Everything works fine until we all sit down to watch a FIOS On Demand movie. Before I do that, I have to remember to go to the Tivo menu and clear out any recordings that may start during my movie. If I don’t, when the Tivo recording starts, I get all kinds of messages on the screen asking me if I want to change the channel (these are not Tivo messages), and the only thing that makes the messages go away is to click yes. I have to go through a whole process of getting out of the movie, stopping the Tivo recording, getting back into FIOS On Demand (if it will let me, sometimes it doesn’t at that point), and getting back into the movie at the right place. Switching options is sooo slow in the FIOS menu that the whole process is unbearable.

Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.


rob w

January 13, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

When I went to set up my tivo and call out my tivo would not work over fios phone line. I have a series two tivo and would like to know what wireless adapter I can use and the procedure to make it work>>>




March 21, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

I’ve had poor luck getting my Tivo to work on Verizon FIOS. Tivo says my signal level is to low, but Verizon says it is fine — all my other STBs work fine. Tivo wants another 60 dB! more than what I currently have. A blame game of which I am in the middle, and thus lost.

Wonder if others have had similar issues with low signal levels.


Steve C

April 24, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

In response to Fred and Drew, I agree with Mike A., I have had FIOS for about four years and have been using my Tivo 2 with a standard def Verizon box with not issues other than what Mike has stated.
Make sure to leave the cable box on all the time to be able to record your shows, but you probably already know that. Good luck.


Tim F

February 2, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

I have Fios and am sick of paying $33/month for the DVR. I am searching for one to buy but it doesnt sound like Fios and outside DVR’s get along. I have a feeling Verizon has something to do with that.

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