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Tivo mini + wifi bridge

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by Exci, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Mar 16, 2013 #1 of 129
    Exci

    Exci New Member

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    Mar 16, 2013
    I received my Tivo mini yesterday and wanted to share my experience setting it up (as the internet is fairly void of this information).

    I have it running quite well using a wireless bridge, however I wouldn't recommend it for most folks. Wireless is a fickle technology, and not something you want to depend on for a high speed constant connection if you can avoid it.

    That said, my bedroom doesn't have a cable connection to use Moca, I'm not drilling holes between rooms to run ethernet, and I didn't want to spend the money on a powerline network adapter knowing the chances weren't great it would work with the rooms being on separate circuits.

    So, I purchased a cheap wifi router that supports wireless bridge mode, set it up to connect to my broadband router (which the tivo elite plugs into), made sure I was using the 'cleanest' wifi channel (using inSSIDer), and crossed my fingers.

    The Tivo mini worked as I would expect. Setup was fine, no lag. The only difference I notice comparing it to my Elite is that the video is choppier when fast forwarding, making it harder to tell when to hit play when you get through commercials. Having not tried it elsewhere, I'm not sure if that's normal for the Mini or due to bandwidth.

    This is not something I would configure for my family. Getting wifi bridge mode setup isn't something to mess with if you haven't heard of it or worked with it before. Also, I live in an area where I can only see one other wifi network (the neighbor). You might very well run into problems in even moderately crowded wifi areas.

    So, that's my experience. I just wanted to throw out there that it is possible, I can understand why Tivo doesn't support it, and make your own decision if the risk of it not working is worth it to you if wifi is your only option.
     
  2. Mar 16, 2013 #2 of 129
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    What kind of router is it? Bridge mode can be very easy to setup depending on the device. On My Asus RT-N56U it's just a matter of selecting Bridge mode in the web console. On my Dlink DAP-1522 boxes it's just a matter of sliding a switch. But the DAp-1552 boxes are also AP/Bridge units. After the initial setup which takes a few minutes, you just slide a switch to go between Bridge and AP mode. The Mini worked great on the DAP-1522 in Bridge mode when I tried it. The performance seemed the same as when connecting the Mini to the wired portion of the network.
     
  3. Mar 17, 2013 #3 of 129
    Exci

    Exci New Member

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    Mar 16, 2013
    I got a $30 linksys e1000 and flashed it with dd-wrt. I suppose that in and of itself was adding complexity and a purpose built bridge would probably be easier to setup.

    That said, the core I was trying to convey is that the Tivo Mini can run off wifi, but know the risks going in.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2013 #4 of 129
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Nevada
    When using MRS FF/RW is always a bit choppy, but how choppy it is does depend on bandwidth. I originally had my network setup to use a pair of older AV200 powerline adapters. The video played fine, but FF/RW was very choppy and hard to control like you describe. As a test I ran a long 100' Cat-6 cable between the rooms and FF/RW was much smoother. Although still not quite the same as using the TiVo locally, but much easier to use. That was a temporary solution so I decided to try MoCa instead. The performance is almost as good as when I had the Ethernet cable hooked up.

    So if there is any way for you to run a coax to that room I highly recommend it. Your experience will be a lot better.
     
  5. Mar 19, 2013 #5 of 129
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    I'm testing out my two Minis right now with MoCA. From what I can tell so far performance has been at a minimum identical to when I had them connected to Ethernet. One Elite is in Ethernet/MoCA bridge mode so both minis are connected through that one Elite.

    Sent from my HTC ReZound using Forum Runner
     
  6. Mar 19, 2013 #6 of 129
    mrizzo80

    mrizzo80 Active Member

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    Anyone else with bridge setups want to chime in with results with the Mini? My 2 Premiere's are connected via Netgear 3300's flashed with dd-wrt in bridge mode (5ghz band).

    I usually experience 1 drop (I think v87 error?) per show that I stream between the two with this setup. Wondering if this type of random dropout is any more/less common when a Mini is involved.

    I know TiVo doesn't officially support this method of transfer, but hopefully the next software update will correct these hiccups anyway.
     
  7. Mar 19, 2013 #7 of 129
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I've seen that a few times with a wired connection, a wireless Bridge, and a MoCA connection. But I've only seen it occur at the very end of a recording I'm watching. Only when I'm fast forwarding through the last set of commercials and I get ready to stop it to see next weeks previews and I've seen that error pop up. It's happened around 10% to 20% of the time. No idea why but it has only happened at the end of a recording and only if I was FF. And even then it doesn't happen every time.

    Right now I'm trying out both my Minis and both my Elites on MoCA. I figured I'd try those for a few days and then switch to trying wireless bridges on each of those four to see how it is with all of them on wireless at the same time.
     
  8. Apr 14, 2013 #8 of 129
    bill.weir

    bill.weir New Member

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    Jun 7, 2003
    Redwood...
    Interesting. I have the same set up that Exci described at the top of this thread, with the same motivations, but my router bridge is with two Asus RT-66U units, the mini connected to the router in "media streaming mode" (Asus' own term). Unlike Exci however, the TiVo mini setup is unable to find te Elite DVR downstairs, even having followed all the usual instructions - share a tuner, get DVR to check in with TiVo, do a whole network reboot. On the router admin page I can see that both mini and Elite are on the 192.168.1.* network, and the mini can check in with TiVo - which proves the bridge is working. But still setup says it cannot find a DVR. The help text suggests checking the text for condition V70. All the conditions on that page are met. Tivo confirms Elite is a valid host DVR for mini.

    TiVo support were great. Officially this is not supported but they helped me with some ideas. They suggested QOS may be involved.

    Anyone got ideas about what's going on? Wh would a mini not be Abe to discover an Elite note same subnet?
     
  9. Jul 21, 2013 #9 of 129
    smh410

    smh410 New Member

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Was running into the same issue with a linksys router & bridge. I just adjusted the Channel for the Broadcast, and set it @ 40 Mhz wide, and it started to work. Hope that works.
     
  10. Jul 26, 2013 #10 of 129
    cmonroe

    cmonroe New Member

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    Sep 1, 2007
    For those experiencing WiFi issues, you may want to check out Open-Mesh products. I'm in no way affiliated with them but their simplicity and reliability is better than anything out there. I too (like many people) opted for the AP + bridges around the house model but there were always quirks; e.g. bridge X would lock up requiring a hard power cycle, throughput would drop to next to nothing after days of run time, TiVo would randomly disconnect, etc. To give you a virtual picture of my network, this is what I have:

    [​IMG]

    Note the "g" next to 2 of the nodes. These are "gateway" nodes which simply mean they have hard wired uplinks to my LAN. The "tivo-bridge" node is a stand-alone wifi bridge. The numbers in each direction denote the RSSI (signal strength). There are two numbers on each link as each node reports the signal. Living Room-> TiVo is maybe 10ft but through a nasty wall, Living Room->Office is about 30ft between 2 walls, and Living Room->Office is about 40ft between 3 walls.

    Since these are mesh nodes, they provide a few advantages typical wireless gear does not such as:

    • automatic gateway selection
    • for nodes with no wired uplink; autodiscovery of configured neighbors and failover to the closest neighbor if one node goes offline
    • link role discovery; I did not assign those nodes as "gateway" nodes, it was decided by the AP based on the fact that it could DHCP and connect to the internet on a wired port
    • similar to above, each node has 2 wired ports; you can use one for uplink, one for a LAN device (one is effectively a gateway/uplink port, the other a bridge port), or both wired ports as bridge ports (how the node "tivo-bridge" behaves, it has a TiVo mini and AppleTV connected)

    Anyway, I can't tell the difference between using this wireless setup and wired/MoCA. The worth thing I've had happen while watching a show is see the main AP (closest to TiVo) die/reboot. This will send you back to the home screen but by the time you re-start your show it's failed over to the other AP.

    Nodes are managed by the Cloudtrax dashboard. Not totally feature rich but good enough for the basics. I recommend:

    * SSID #1: Hide (this SSID acts as a NAT + captive portal, so unless you want the box to do NAT and connect it to your upstream internet connection turn it off)
    * SSID #2: Typically used for bridge mode (what you'll want if you want to extend your LAN). Under the SSID #2 tab, check "Enabled", "Bridge", and "Wired Clients"... assign your network name, password, etc. and save.
    * Advanced: I usually check "Block Alien Nodes", "NG Firmware", and "Test Firmware" (if feeling brave).

    From there your network will configure and mange itself. The only thing you need to do is go back to the "General" tab and click "Add/Edit Nodes".. find your location on the map and each time you left click it will pop up with a dialog asking for Name, MAC, and Description. Only MAC is required; this is what tells nodes in your mesh who to allow on and who to block. The first node you connect must be wired, but from there on out the nodes are smart enough that you can take a factory fresh node and so long as it's within range of another node AND the MAC is in your Network config it will auto-join, get the latest firmware, and get your network config; couldn't be easier.

    Remember it's best to wire as many nodes as possible, each wireless "hop" cuts the bandwidth in half. Overall great products.. they need something in the 5Ghz band with N or AC (I've heard i's coming) but the 2.4Ghz models perform great in this application. Note that the only model I've used (and recommend) is the OM2P-HS (2x2 MIMO for $75). The other two models are single stream. Even though they have a model with external antenna claiming "best range", the OM2P-HS range is pretty insane; I can get working signal 1/2 block down the street from my house (you can turn the radio power down if you like but I live in a rural area).

    The enclosures are also quite clever, especially the "Indoor Wallplug Enclosure".. if you have an outlet to give up i's easy to hide. Prices are fair and their gear is great. The dashboard software is free to use, but if you decide you hate it and want a traditional AP you can flash OpenWRT onto the hardware if you desire.

    Anyway, check them out, everything works great with TiVo... they have some videos on their site but information is a bit sparse. If there are any questions I'm more than happy to answer.

    Cheers,
     

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  11. Sep 20, 2013 #11 of 129
    slindberg

    slindberg New Member

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    Feb 3, 2008
  12. Dec 31, 2013 #12 of 129
    vurbano

    vurbano New Member

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    Apr 20, 2004
    I was thinking of trying this with a linksys WUMC 710 wireless bridge and an asus rt68u router under wireless AC. The performance should be really good shouldn't it?
     
  13. Dec 31, 2013 #13 of 129
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    If the performance delivers the expected bandwidth, it should be good. If you have two walls between the devices that drop the bandwidth, then not so good. IMO, there can be so many variables unique to each persons setup that affect wireless performance, it's really hard to give a definite answer.
     
  14. Jan 1, 2014 #14 of 129
    vurbano

    vurbano New Member

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    Is there a windows utility to test speed from the wireless router to a wireless device?
     
  15. Jan 1, 2014 #15 of 129
    lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    I use an older Linksys router that I've reconfigured with DD-WRT so I can make it a bridge/repeater. What DD-WRT also allows you to do is to modify the transmit signal power which may help keep the bandwidth up in some situations. The one primary issue with any bridge is that you now have two devices between the source and the consumer and that slows things up. In other words, your Tivo has to transmit to your primary router which then has to re-transmit to the bridge that is connected to the Mini or second Tivo. And vice-versa for the other direction.
     
  16. Jan 2, 2014 #16 of 129
    vurbano

    vurbano New Member

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    My WUMC710 arrives tomorrow. On sale direct from linksys for $49 bucks. It will be 5ghz dedicated at 1.3 Gbps to Asus dual core RT AC68U router with a 5 Ghz band at 1.3 Gbps and 2.4 ghz at 600 Mbps. Testing begins Friday night. Nothing else will be on the 5 ghz band. if the connection is stable it should work well. I've tested a laptop from the mini location with an Netgear USB 1200 Mbps AC adapter and read full strength 867 Mbps which is max for its 5ghz AC band. Tomorrow should be interesting. So far this asus router seems like one bad SOB IMO and incredibly user friendly. This is all for my 87 yr old father who has screwed up wiring. No Ethernet drops. And two seperate cable feeds to the house which are unconnected (so no moca) and doesn't want me to install wall drops and face plates even though I've done it all over my house. Geez. Trust me i am a wired fan. But at his age you just do what he wants. So I am testing everything with my equipment before even venturing into his house with the new setup, a roamio plus with 3tb upgrade and a mini. Cox here will charge $500 dollars a year in fees for an equivalent setup. That's robbery.
     
  17. Jan 2, 2014 #17 of 129
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Va Beach, VA
    867 Mbps!?! :eek: Hopefully all goes well tomorrow! :)
     
  18. Jan 2, 2014 #18 of 129
    vurbano

    vurbano New Member

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    Apr 20, 2004
    That's just what the adapter software reports. Salt meet grain. Not sure what actual throughput is. But the 710 unit is what will be connected to the mini and it's supposed to be 1.3 Gbps.
     
  19. Jan 3, 2014 #19 of 129
    vurbano

    vurbano New Member

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    Wow. It's fast. No detectable difference changing channels, playing recordings, rewinding, fast forward or 30 sec skip, or skipping in large chunks.
     
  20. Jan 3, 2014 #20 of 129
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    You will get the same result over wireless N(2.4Ghz and 5Ghz). From a user perspective, there will be no difference over wireless doing those things. it will feel the same as using a wired connection. At least it did in my testing.
     

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