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Suggestion for clearer documentation for how to set up Roamio + Mini

Discussion in 'TiVo Suggestion Avenue' started by mfschwartz, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. mfschwartz

    mfschwartz New Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    I was on tech support numerous times with TiVo before finally getting my Roamio and TiVo mini to work together. The basic problem is the documentation for how to hook up these devices is incorrect, incomplete, and misleading. Once I figured it out and got it working, I love these devices. They let you set up a central media center in your home and share it to several rooms in your house, with just the small footprint (and diskless/noiseless) Mini in your other rooms. I particularly like no longer hearing the disk noises in my bedroom.

    In the hopes my efforts to figure this out can save someone else the same hassle, here are my notes. TiVo - please consider fixing your documentation per my notes below! It had some very misleading flaws, and now that I understand what I'm doing the setup actually is pretty straightforward.

    First, ignore the instructions that come with the TiVo that you can use Ethernet to connect the Roamio and Mini. I tried this, and the video quality at the Mini was horrible - it would freeze, skip, and barely play at all. You need to use MoCa, which provides much higher bandwidth connectivity (up to 800Mbps ostensibly, vs 100 for typical home Ethernets), as needed for transmitting hi def video.

    Where the coax cable enters the premises, attach a point-of-entry filter (which you can buy from TiVo). This is needed to isolate your local coax loop from other units in an apartment complex (may not matter as much for a house), for 2 reasons: (a) avoid signal leakage, which degrades ability to transmit high def video; (b) avoid other apartments' being able to get on your Internet connection.

    Attach the point-of-entry filter to a 2Ghz splitter. Don't use the 1Ghz splitters you get from the cable provider - they won't pass the high bandwidth signal used by MoCA.

    Connect the output of that splitter to the cables going to various rooms in your house/apartment.

    At the room where you'll set up the Roamio, connect the coax to another 2Ghz splitter, and run one output of that splitter to your cable modem, and other output to the Roamio. Note: If you have a central cable junction box don't put the cable modem and router there; TiVo tech support told me you need to have them physically near the Roamio, so only a short high quality (cat6) Ethernet segment separates cable modem and Roamio. I don't expect that really matters if you're using MoCa (rather than Ethernet) to connect between the Roamio and Mini, but in the off chance it might I did as he said.

    Connect Cat6 (not cheaper Cat5) Ethernet from cable modem to WiFi router, and another Cat6 Ethernet from WiFi router to Roamio. Again I don't know how much using Cat6 matters when you'll be sending the video over the MoCa network, but might as well use the higher grade cable to be more "future proof".

    On the Roamio DON'T try to go to Settings->Network->Connect to MoCa Network as described in the setup instructions. You only would do that if you're using an external MoCa adapter, but the Roamio and Mini both have built-in MoCa adapters. Once you've hooked up both the Ethernet and the coax cable to the Roamio as described above, the Roamio will be in MoCa bridge mode (bridging the Ethernet connection from the Internet into your coax MoCa network). Note: this step is where I wasted most of my time with tech support. We kept trying to get the Roamio to "connect to MoCa connection", and it kept failing with error code C33. I luckily finally reached a tech support representative who knew that was the wrong thing to do.

    There's also no need to go through the setting to allow remove devices to control the TiVo because the TiVo software update is now out that supports dynamic tuner allocation (which then lets remote TiVo minis use a tuner to watch shows on the Roamio or watch live TV).

    At the TiVo Mini go to Settings->Network and select MoCa network. It should find the Roamio and let you connect and watch live TV or shows on the Roamio.

    Note also that when you move cable cards between TiVo boxes you need to re-activate your premium channels with the cable company. Call their tech support, ask to work with someone on Cable Card pairing, and they'll ask you to bring up Tivo settings screen for cable card pairing, and read off the cable card serial number, host ID and data.
  2. djjeesh

    djjeesh New Member

    Feb 16, 2014
    I get Phy rates at about 220-240 on my Minis with a 1gz splitter. But I also have issues with missing frames or really really short stuttering. I have no connection issues or loss of internet or host DVR. I'm wondering if I need a higher rated splitter myself.
  3. eboydog

    eboydog Just TiVo'ing.....

    Mar 23, 2006
    With all due respect category 6 patch cables do not effect the performance of your ethernet home network in the way you describe.

    The only time a home user may need category 6 patch cables is when they are actually using category terminated wiring (permanent wiring installed in the walls/dwelling) AND then only if you are running gigabit ethernet. Category 6 has nothing to do with the quality of the HD signal transmitted across the ethernet network, but rather the speed capabilities of the ethernet network. the majority of ethernet devices in a typical residential home is limited to a maximum of 100 Mb and using more expensive ethernet cables will not change that.

    You are are also confused about the MoCA 1.1 standard used by TiVo devices, the maximum data rate is 175mbps with a maximum physical throughput of 275mbps. The throughput you describe is the MoCA 2.0 standard which the best of my knowledge, despite its approval, no manufacturer has yet to market. Yes, MoCA 2.0 which as you describe offers 800 mbps in enhanced mode (400 in standard mode) however Tivo products at the this time only support the slower MoCA 1.1, the newer MoCA standard will support the older 1.1 however it will then slow all devices down to the 1.1 mode which in a sense defeats upgrading until all your devices can support MoCA 2.0.


    Yes cat 6 or cat 5e cables are recommended if you are connecting two Gb ethernet interfaces however, I have yet to see standard cat 5 cables work for 1gb ethernet or even 10gb ethernet (I Btw maintain enterprise data infrastructures for a living and more working experience with high capacity data networks than most third party support engineers do).

    I scoff at the crazy prices that box stores charge for these cat 6 "high speed" cables, to the average home consumer, this nothing more than nutty, misleading marketing! If you need good cables a good source is www.cable2go.com Do not buy the plastic wrapped cables that Bestbuy sells for $25+, that's just nuts!

    Furthermore, it is technically impossible for any TiVo device to exceed the theoretical limits of a 100 Mb switched connection despite the Plus & Pro Roamio's having a 1gb ethenet enterface. If I were to speculate the only reason those models have them is for future support of MoCA 2.0 should any products supporting that reach the consumer market. You do understand there is a big difference between the descriptors suffice of "mps", "mb" and 1gb when referencing throughput and speed of a interface esp relating to ethenet? You can not easily compare the three in relationship to actual operating thoughputs.

    There are no absolutes when it comes to MoCA networking esp when can be so many other factors involved especially when a MoCA gateway is connected to an existing home network. Maximum theoretical throughput numbers are a pie in the sky limit that few if any networked devices can actually achieve.

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