Brands - the Debian is unbranded and says class 1
the Fedora is unbranded and has no class (so to speak)
That's almost certainly the problem. There's a list of tested good cards at http://elinux.org/RPi_Verified.....eripherals
- I've been using a Sandisk Ultra2 class 4 2GB card.
If you don't plug it into a TV, insert the card and turn it on, what happens to the LEDs?
Red power LED goes on
Yeah - totally sounds like a borked SD card. Try it with a different one and let us know what happens!