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Mini Networking issues.

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by MScottC, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I have like 3 switches between my Mini and my TiVo, and all traffic travels across a both a powerline network and a MoCa network, and I never have any trouble with it.

    Mini->Powerline->Switch->Switch->Moca->Roamio Pro->Switch->Premiere 2

    My wife uses it most often and the above is the mapp the data has to take to get from the Mini to her Premiere. If she had problems with dropouts she'd let me know.
     
  2. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    These "switch" issues with Tivo drive me crazy. I'm not sure what IP stack Tivo is using, however unless you are managing multiple vlans and subnets and have some crazy stuff going on, with a flat network using a single DHCP server/applet, there should be zero issues. Unfortunately, Tivo seems to be somewhat non-compliant with industry standard technology - and frankly points to a deviation from the IEEE standard (whether accidentally or deliberately). Any time you report a V301 or similar issue (which btw have HORRIBLE instrumentation) Tivo CSR will ask if you have a "switch", and if you do, they then say that "Tivo does not support switches". The reality is that unless you use MOCA and unless you have zero other hardwired Ethernet TCP/IP devices in your home, the mini cannot be used in any configuration without a "switch". Keep in mind that the "router" everyone talks about (from VZ, etc) is really a combination router/access point/firewall/DHCP server/switch. Emphasis on the "switch". IMHO it is simply another cop out on Tivos part to try and blow off software defects. I experience the same V301 issues that I reported a year ago. Tivo has been of zero help whatsoever. BTW, DHCP should have absolutely nothing to do with this. If this is somehow related to DHCP leases, something is HORRIBLY wrong.
     
  3. gweempose

    gweempose Active Member

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    That's utterly ridiculous! These things are designed to be used on a network. How exactly is it possible to have a network without at least one switch?
     
  4. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    You are exactly right. IMHO Tivo preys on the non-tech savvy folks out there because there are clear quality issues with their product and they either cannot or will not dedicate resources to resolving them. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of good to Tivo, but quality has IMHO continuously declined over the past 5 years - dramatically.
     
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Well you can setup a PC as a DHCP server and every network connection is connected directly to an Ethernet card in the PC. This is how my network was setup in the late 90's and early 2000's. But I only had a few things on my network back then.
    Now with over sixty devices that is not possible for me.
     
  6. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo New Member

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    It does seem odd to be having these basic networking issues in this day and age. Sort of a throwback to the 1990s. I suspect at least part of the issue is that Tivo is a little more fussy than other ethernet devices for content security reasons. So some network configurations that might work perfectly well with say a pair of PCs will not work with a pair of Tivos. Most switches will for example quite happily bridge two subnets, but this will not work with a Tivo. Top tip: make double sure you are not running DHCP on more than one device in your network. Double sure.
     
  7. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I doubt that would be an issue with the vast majority of people. Most people have one router, which is also used for wireless access. So right there they can easily have issues with wireless because they don't have multiple APs like a proper setup is supposed to have.
     
  8. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo New Member

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    I come across friends and neighbors all the time who are running two routers, most without even realizing it. People who have some devices directly connected to their modem and other devices connected to a wifi router. People who have added a second wifi AP as a range extender and are running it as a router because that's what it defaults to.
     
  9. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Actually, not sure exactly what you're saying here. I was building networks back in the ArcNet days. In the late 90s and early 2000s you would still have needed a switch to have multiple connections to a PC, unless you had multiple NICs in the PC - in which case it would be a co-homed set of networks (which is a bad idea). A NIC does not have the ability to do what you said.

    Back in bus network topology, you could serially network network devices - having a terminating resistor on both ends. Other than that, you need either a switch or at least a hub to have more than 2 devices - and have needed this for decades.
     
  10. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the first part of your statement, but your suspicion.
    I do NOT believe it has a darned thing to do with content security. There are plenty of devices that have to deal with this - specifically including cable/fios provided dvr's among others.

    The bottom line here is that Tivo simply violates IEEE standards and best practices, either deliberately or accidentally. Switches do not manipulate packets. Period. Routers and firewalls can have different effects, but not switches. These are clear flaws/defects in the Tivo system, for which Tivo has not shown the slightest indication that they are trying to fix.

    For my "job", I have hundreds of thousands of network devices, with encryption for data at rest and data in motion, Enterprise VoIP, video, many many many petabytes of data. The fact that Tivo points to "switches" as creating problems for their devices speaks volumes. No self respecting technology/service company (which is exactly what they are) would either allow this, or would admit it.

    This really makes me question even more what will happen to Tivo as more IP delivered content becomes mainstream, and more homes become "unplugged" from cable/fios/etc. These services are Tivos weakest link.
     
  11. WRX09MD

    WRX09MD Member

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  12. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Certainly nothing to do with my issues. No MoCa. No 2nd router. No 2nd DHCP server/applet. Just a single, flat network with a single DHCP server (on the FiOS Actiontec unit). All devices connected on the same flat network segment via CAT5E.
     
  13. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo New Member

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    Yes, cable/fios have to deal with these same issues. And do their whole home DVR solutions work? No, they don't. Whole home DVR is hard. The Tivo solution isn't perfect but it works a whole lot better than anyone else's product.

    Look, I don't know if your issues are related to content security or not, and nor do you. But it is very unlikely to be a layer 2 networking bug because Tivo, along with everyone else in the industry, are using extremely mature stacks for that stuff. You don't seriously believe Tivo writes their own ip networking code do you? It is far more likely to be an application layer issue or user error. There are plenty of us with quite complex network configurations who are having no problems.
     
  14. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

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    If you go to this page, and scroll down to the "switch" sections, you will see four switches that have compatibility issues with Sonos devices. Look at the reasons listed. It seems to be that the switch is not doing something correctly.

    I have no idea what is going on with the TiVo Mini, but it is my guess that it could be the fault of any device on the network - in this case that doesn't rule out either TiVo or the various networking equipment that we all have in our homes.

    As I have stated before, I will NOT be purchasing a TiVo Mini until TiVo identifies the problem, and either fixes it, or identifies the conditions under which it occurs.
     
  15. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    I totally disagree with just about everything you've said here. Yes, I believe it's entirely possible that Tivo is using a proprietary IP stack. They would not be the first, nor the only company to do so. I happen to have VZs whole home DVR solution in addition to my XL4s and Minis. Yes, it works. It is very very reliable IMHO. Is it as feature rich as Tivo? No. Is it more reliable? Yes, in every single respect.

    BTW, I do agree that it's likely software (code) - which for your info includes the IP stack.

    I would encourage you to do some research before making claims that "everyone is using mature" etc. The company I left 2 years ago used - guess what? A proprietary IP stack for a network enable product. Why? Because the processor of the unit lacked the power and capability to do otherwise. Hmmm.... And exactly how "powerful" is the processor in a Premiere? Not as powerful as what's in most newer smart phones.
     
  16. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that many of those issues related to the bonjour protocol being used for multicast. That is certainly one issue that can be caused by some access point/switch/routers. However, that is not related to this issue whatsoever.

    I do not, under any circumstances, hold anyone but Tivo responsible for this. It's very easy for Tivo. If you want to be transparent, simply expose exactly what ports and protocols are being used. So long as they are being properly supported, nothing else matters. The lack of such clarity speaks very very loudly. In other words, if Tivo really believed it was the fault of other network gear, they could easily put the responsibility where it lies were they to publish this and clearly show switches/routers that failed to properly implement support of such protocols.
     
  17. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Just for reference purposes, I work for a company that builds network gear and it's incredibly uncommon for someone to use "their own IP stack" in anything designed or built in the last decade. Almost all companies either use the IP stacks of the OS that they use or they license a mature stack from another company.

    Building an IP stack is a costly and painful endeavor.

    Additionally, Layer 2 problems (which are switch type problems) have nothing to do with the IP stack. A layer 2 problem, such as a link negotiation problem, power saving problem, etc, are not IP issues. They are far more likely to be issues with hardware drivers, or in very rare cases, issues with the hardware itself.
     
  18. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Just for reference purposes, as described I can give two specific examples in the last 18 months of products that use a proprietary IP stack. Most of these occur when the OS itself is a non-standard OS, and when using lesser capable processors.

    Additionally, I never said this was a layer 2 issue. This could easily be layer 3 among other issues.
     
  19. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    If the problem is that links drop and disconnect it seems more likely that it's layer 2 than layer 3.
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    Yes I had multiple NICs in my DHCP server.. And when I went gigabit I had multiple NICs as well until I could finally get a gigabit switch at a descent price.
    And then once consumer routers came out with gigabit ports I finally dumped the dhcp server and used a Dlink router..
     

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