Verizon FIOS integration and IP control

Verizon FIOS offers a nearly full-featured (and presumably IP-based) remote through their FIOS Remote app (including channel number and program name).

It would be great to have this functionality added to Roomie (similar to DirecTV). I’ve been holding off on buying Roomie, but getting this functionality would definitely prompt me to more fully build out a Roomie solution with some of the extra packs.

I agree. This would be awesome.

Ditto here

+1. I downloaded the app assuming this would work. Will wait for this feature before purchasing the theater pack and making roomie my home theater remote.

Yes, FIOS support would be great.

Agree, bought two IR units and the full pack of software only to find that I can’t use a Verizon guide. Is there a way to make a custom guide? At least I could add my favorites.

No sooner do I post then the guide shows up in my tests. Shows as Verizon FIOS TV of Silver SPG/WA Metro.

Now I can pull up the guide and use it to change channels on my FIOS TV box. Finally I can control my home from my iPad.

Any idea if this will be possible?

I’d really like to have all devices use IP.

It’s all that’s holding me back from purchasing for all of the iOS devices in my home. At least confirm if you are working on FIOS support and I’d buy this product knowing I can control all my IP-control items now with Verizon Fios support on the way.

Fios IP control is a must… any word on when we might see this?

As far as we know, Verizon FiOS does not have any IP control. They are using the Motorola QIP boxes that just don’t support it (are there other boxes users have seen out there for FiOS?).

The way those boxes work is that the box does not offer any IP control. Instead, central servers at Comcast (or Verizon or whatever provider) receive commands from end users that eventually are translated into cable signals sent over the actual cable/FiOS network and interpreted by the box. This is very simple to verify. If your box is connected to Ethernet, unplug it. Notice that you can still control your box because the signal is going through the cable network not IP control. Notice also that there is almost no control whatsoever over the actual box. All you can do is change channels or hit record. So there are basically 2 commands. The app is doing all the work. It’s a very quick and dirty, sloppy implementation.

Needless to say, the likelihood that such a backwards or non-existent control method can be safely reverse engineered, in a way that would be allowed by Verizon or another provider, is somewhat slim. Not impossible, but slim and with a reasonable danger that some provider would decide they don’t like it and do something to prevent it.

The good news is that the only reason this is the case is that the content providers were caught off guard by this whole “app craze” and so they frantically (measured in multiple years for them which is what they call ‘fast’) added a control method that uses their cable bandwidth instead because the boxes simply weren’t engineered for IP control. It bypasses the boxes in other words.

The new generation of boxes such as Comcast’s Xfinity X1 we believe finally has actual IP support. Whether that will translate into a usable IP control protocol, we’re not entirely sure yet, but it’s a huge leap forward. So while there is hope for the future, the likelihood that the old Motorola boxes can be safely controlled via IP is pretty low, and even if we spent the huge amount of work to try to do that, (1) a provider might try to prevent it, (2) the control would be limited to the pitiful 2 or 3 commands available, (3) the new generation of boxes already being deployed uses a completely different method that should solve these issues.

So, long story short, we recommend IR for the older boxes and we’re researching the next generation boxes. (We’re not sure which box represents the next generation FiOS box like the X1.)

Roomie team-

The Mororola QIP boxes do include IP control (although it’s a bit confusing since it’s through coax/MoCA). IP is used to deliver guide data to the box, to enable whole-home DVR access, and more recently for remote control.

The FIOS Mobile Remote App allows control of DVR and non-DVR boxes. One feature of this app is a Remote feature that duplicates all functionality of the STB’s remote via IP when used on the same local network (this feature does not use Verizon’s central servers). There is also a remote DVR scheduling feature, which is routed through Verizon’s central servers, similar to DirecTV.

If one of the challenges associated with enabling IP control for FIOS is access to the hardware, is there some sort of data us FIOS users can provide? For example, is there software you recommend that allows someone to trap the IP commands being sent by the app to the STB?


Let’s be clear that IP control means IP communications between the app and the box directly. That’s not what’s happening at least with other Motorola boxes. IP over MoCA is not ‘IP Control’, that would perhaps more aptly be called ‘MoCA Control’. It’s completely different just as say Wi-Fi on an iPhone is not LTE.

Meanwhile, if there is a separate protocol that actually goes over the local network to send commands directly to those boxes *(unlike Comcast, etc.), we’re all ears. WireShark or any other packet capture tool would be the best way to record that. Note that using WireShark is nowhere near as simple as just running it. You would also need to make sure your network is setup to sniff the packets on it. This is usually accomplished either with a network switch that has monitoring diagnostics, or a really old Ethernet Hub before they switched packets.

I have used wireshark, I have a HP Pro Curve switch and FiOS. I’ll give it a quick check this weekend. It should be as simple as turning it on, on my network, send a few commands from the remote and see how they get to my cable box.

Curious though. Isn’t MOCA just IP over cable? A MOCA adapter can give you a cable line and an ethernet rj-45 connector at any point you have a cable connection in your home.



Did you ever do the testing you mentioned? It would be great to have better integration beween the Fios box and Roomie.


Sorry, no. I got in a work crunch. I’ll try to get back to it soon.

Here’s a link to the code

I love github!

Anything more on this? This is a killer feature for me…