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Monday, April 21, 2008

FiOS HD box hidden menus

Monday, April 21, 2008   

We upgraded to a FiOS HD-DVR box since we like their onDemand (Sesame Street, etc. for our son), and we like their viewing Guide (we really prefer TiVo but we would lose both those things if we went TiVo Series 3). Anyway, setting up the new box ourselves, I forgot how to get into the secret menu to change the scaling coming out of the box.

I found it online with a slew of other menu items. I post this for those with FiOS boxes, it's cool what kind of information you can display.

From the online forum post:

With your STB powered on, hit "Power, Select, Select" quickly in sequence from the front panel. To exit the menu, hit "Power" to turn off the STB. The next power up will be back to normal.

The setup menu is where you configure the display, 4:3 override, HDMI settings, etc. is accessed by hitting "Power, Select, Menu". That's different than the diagnostic menu described here.

This menu is how your STB tells you what's going on. Everything from signal quality to channel encryption status to it's IP address and who it's talking to over the MoCA ethernet. The Line Attenuator thread contains a link that describes what the screen looks like and how to find SNR and AGC: »···diag.htm. However, it's old and Verizon's menu contains additional entries.

I don't think you can hurt anything as this menu doesn't allow for user entry. Read-only. I think...

d01 General Status: Displays a top level error code and lots of times and dates. Remod Channel might be the RF tuner output channel (3). One of the time formats is in "GPS" time. Sorry, it's called either "GMT" or "UTC" whichever is in use (they are different). Might want to report that as a bug, but it's been there since forever.

d03 OOB Status: Out Of Band. On Comcast, this was the RF channel for the program guide. 75.25 MHz. On Verizon, it's used for firmware and channel map and other items to allow you to see the video (and maybe the guide info?).

d04 Inband Status: The status of the current channel, from an RF perspective. WIth the STB ON, select the channel of interest, then access the diagnostic menu. The menu will report the channel it's currently tuned to.

Note: Be careful to note which tuner is in use. My HD-DVR has 2 tuners, the current channel was on Tuner 2, not Tuner 1. I did not enter the diagnostics menu while it was recording, but that shouldn't cause any problems (?).

I checked the SNR, AGC, and correctable errors for a few channels. SNR is >37 dB, AGC "Good", 0 errors. Helpful if you have pixelation errors (those that are not from Verizon) or lose a channel. I mapped a few channels:

Channel Name Frequency Modulation
03 CBS local broadcast 459 MHz 256-QAM
49 WeatherScan local 477 MHz 256-QAM
75 Versus SD 795 MHz 256-QAM
829 Comcast Sportsnet-HD 639 MHz 256-QAM
833 HDNet 501 MHz 256-QAM
846 Discovery HD 669 MHz 256-QAM

Notice that the STB is using the SD digital channels for 2 - 49, not the analog. Knowing the right frequency is very helpful if you think you are having signal problems. Like if you are having a problem on a channel at 800 MHz and not having problem at 100 MHz, check your coax. Or, if you are using a QAM tuner without an STB, you could map frequencies to channels.

d06 Current Channel Status: Displays info about the channel, but with a focus on the digital status. Contains details about the flags used to set copy protection. Those interested in recording over firewire may want to visit AVS forum to understand the DRM and CCI and other bits to determine if a program can be copied / recorded: »···page=148. The menu shown in the link above is old.

d07 Upstream Status: "Ethernet Return". Get your STB's IP settings and MAC address here. DHCP stuff, DNS enabled, RADD Name Resolved (?). Looks like the IP address is configured for IPv6: 0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:

d08 Code Modules: The firmware versions. Compare this stuff to the reported IMG Settings.
Platform Built: Version: 19.38, Nov 15, 2007 13:36:00 (Guessing this is the firmware release date, time is usually a version number. Not in the IMG.)
Code objects: fios_0064 version 5.68 (IMG Build Number), odc_0064 version 8.68 (IMG data object filename)

d10 Audio/Video Status: Use this to check the audio and video formats.
Audio: Surround, Video: 16:9 1920 x 1080i 30 (also 4:3 528 x 480i 30 for local SD). The "30" means 30 Hz refresh.

d11 Interface Port Status: All things digital plugged in. Displays status of firewire (1394), USB, MoCA. Like if the firewire port is enabled (Y) and active (N). Page 2 is the display EDID data. It's a map of supported video resolution formats. Helpful for debugging 480i vs. 480p vs. 720p vs. 1080i.
- Page 3 contains details about the 1394 copy protection status, e.g. 5C implementation. Same as D06 menu, but in E-Z read format.

d13 DVR/HDD Status: Hard drive central. Like size (160 GB), disk space, IDE, model, etc. The bottom of the screen contains the hard drive temperature. Temp: 100F 38C, Max: 113F 45.0C, Over Temp: No, Count: 0 (Current temperature 100 deg F or 38 deg C, maximum was 113 deg F or 45 deg C, is not over temperature now, has been over temperature 0 times).

d16 Connected Home: This is how your STB talks to the ActionTec router (that's not my real MAC address). RF Freq: 1150 MHz, MoCA 10/10, RF Password: (blank), MAC/IP: 01:23:45:67:89:AB,

You can match this to the ActionTec router:
Network Status menu: Device: IP-STB1, Connection Type: Coax, IP Address:, IP Address Allocation: DHCP, MAC Address: 01:23:45:67:89:AB.
"MoCA Diagnostics Information". Channel: 1 - 1150 MHz, MAC address of the STB (device 1): 01:23:45:67:89:AB, IP Address of the STB: There are other views that show the information a bit differently.

The ActionTec MoCA channels: 1 - 1150 MHz, 2 - 1200 MHz, 3 - 1250 MHz, 4 - 1300 MHz, 5 - 1350 MHz, 6 - 1400 MHz. Don't know if Verizon uses anything other than Channel 1. (Use good coax and splitters that go to at least 1 GHz).
Remember: Do NOT change any parameters that deal with the STB- you may lose your program guide, etc.

I haven't found where the is on the ActionTec, but I'm not expecting to. That's a reserved address that didn't find a host device. Probably for something else, but don't know what.

Back to the STB:
Page 4 (scroll up/down) shows the STB's TX data rates, in Mbps. I think it might be useful for those with home media DVRs that transfer their videos around the house. I don't know, as I don't have one. But it looked interesting. My data rate is around 230 Mbps.

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