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Old 05-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
jdhancock
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Thumbs down Problems Streaming HD Between Premiere and Elite

I had been using powerline ethernet and could stream both SD and HD, but frequently had problems with the two Tivos seeing one another. I had Cat6 cable run to the bedroom and the living room. At the router end both cables terminate the router. The other ends terminate at a gigabit switch. The switch connects the Tivo plus a PS3 and the TV.

The to Tivos could see each other immediately and I could stream SD with no problem, but HD stuttered like it was contently buffering. Netflix worked fine as did the PS3. Tried different ports and new patch cables. No change. Tried various combinations including plugging the Cat 6 cable directly to the Tivo.

What worked was bypassing the switch in the living room but retaining the switch connection in the bedroom. Now HD streams in both directions.

Is there a problem with going from one Tivo through a switch to the router, through the router to another switch and from there to the other Tivo?
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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I've got a similar setup and have no issues streaming between TiVos. Perhaps something is wrong with the switch in your bedroom.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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Check that you don't have a bad cable in that bunch. I had similar network problems recently and it turned out that replacing one of the cables did the trick. Some networking equipment is very tolerant of bad cables, other equipment isn't. Check the cables first--including the cables in the wall.

You can buy a cheap cable tester at Amazon. It won't do everything the fancy $200 testers will do, but a $15 tester will at least tell you if you have continuity on all four pairs. Since it sounds like you had at least some of those cables installed in the wall, it's possible they were damaged during installation. I had that problem, but since I did the work myself, I had no one else to blame.

I'm rambling, but the short answer is to take your known working situation (with switches and cables removed) and add one component at a time until it starts failing again. When it starts failing, that's a clue as to the source of the problem.

BTW, unless you're using the WAN port on the router (which you would normally use for your Internet connection) that router is just like another switch on your LAN, so you have three switches between the two TiVos.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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What brand and model router and switches are you using? Sounds like it could potentially be a port buffer issue on the living room switch or a router ARP issue, assuming it is not cabling. Not all switches and routers are created equal. I'd also be curious to know how many total devices are on your home network. Some home routers have a laughably small ARP table.

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Old 05-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #5
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Its your switch that cannot handle the bandwidth.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Its your switch that cannot handle the bandwidth.
Even an HD stream doesn't even approach 100 Mbit/s. Unless he's using a 10 Mbit/s switch (which would be truly ancient in tech terms) there's got to be some defect in his cabling or equipment.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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Even an HD stream doesn't even approach 100 Mbit/s.
Unless the switch is bad. I think maybe that is what jcthorne meant.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:53 AM   #8
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Unless the switch is bad. I think maybe that is what jcthorne meant.
Quite possible. I just didn't want the OP rushing out to buy an overpriced gigabit switch from Best Buy because of an implication that 100 Mbit might not be enough.

One troubleshooting suggestion--replace the suspected bad switch with the known good switch and wire the TiVo that had the known good switch directly to the wall and see what happens. If it works in that configuration, then it is likely that the suspected bad switch is actually bad. But definitely check the cabling too.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:29 PM   #9
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I forgot to mention one thing. If I direct connect the bedroom Tivo it fails the Port and DNS test.

The switches are 8 port 10/100/1000 from Monoprice. It has received very good reviews.

Equipment connected to the switches include the 2 Tivos, 2 PS3s, 1 Apple TV, Sony TV. On the same network connected to the router or a Linksys 4 port 10/100/1000 switch -- desktop pc, Iomega NAS, & WD NAS.

I have ordered a third Monoprice switch, Cat6 patch cables and and inexpensive cable tester.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:33 PM   #10
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I have ordered a third Monoprice switch, Cat6 patch cables and and inexpensive cable tester.
If you are paying a premium for Cat6 jumpers or cable, then I suggest you stop. Cat6 is not required for 1000BaseT transport, and provides no advantage over Cat5e. It is no more reliable, and the distance spec is the same.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jdhancock View Post
I forgot to mention one thing. If I direct connect the bedroom Tivo it fails the Port and DNS test.

The switches are 8 port 10/100/1000 from Monoprice. It has received very good reviews.

Equipment connected to the switches include the 2 Tivos, 2 PS3s, 1 Apple TV, Sony TV. On the same network connected to the router or a Linksys 4 port 10/100/1000 switch -- desktop pc, Iomega NAS, & WD NAS.

I have ordered a third Monoprice switch, Cat6 patch cables and and inexpensive cable tester.
Are both Tivos auto-negotiating at 1000Mb Full? If one or the other is negotiating at 10Mb half or even 10Mb full, that could explain your symptoms.

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Old 05-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #12
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Have you isolated it to a network problem by putting all of the tuners on both TiVos on "empty" channels?
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #13
jdhancock
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The switch can only indicate either 10/100 or 1000. It's indicating 10/100 for the Tivo, PS3, and Apple TV.

I don't understand the suggestion about the tuners.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:44 PM   #14
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The switch can only indicate either 10/100 or 1000. It's indicating 10/100 for the Tivo, PS3, and Apple TV.

I don't understand the suggestion about the tuners.
Ah, I forgot these were only 100Mb devices. Is there something in the diagnostics to tell you what speed has been negotiated?

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Old 05-02-2012, 04:27 PM   #15
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I don't understand the suggestion about the tuners.
So that the TiVos aren't doing much of anything except the streaming.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:14 AM   #16
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If you are paying a premium for Cat6 jumpers or cable, then I suggest you stop. Cat6 is not required for 1000BaseT transport, and provides no advantage over Cat5e. It is no more reliable, and the distance spec is the same.
While not likely anything to do with the OPs problem, I have seen an improvment in effective network speeds using all shielded Cat6 cables, connectors and punch down blocks. Perhaps my home has more radio frequency interferrence than most but it made a difference. Connections are also less effected by power glitches now.

I could also have had some bad/cheap cat5 cables. I replaced all of them at the same time when chasing another network problem and many things cleared up using the higher quality components.

For similar reasons, we also spec Cat6 shielded cables for networks installed in industrial plants or offshore installations. Was recommended by our telecoms dept so we did, and is what led to my trial at home.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:16 AM   #17
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While not likely anything to do with the OPs problem, I have seen an improvment in effective network speeds using all shielded Cat6 cables, connectors and punch down blocks.
Not unless there was a problem. Both 100BaseT and 1000BaseT use the exact same carrier for transporting the signal, with the only difference being 1000BaseT uses 2 carriers per direction, rather than a single carrier.

Now there was an older, now defunct, protocol known as 1000BaseTX which did require Cat6 cabling because it employed a single carrier of (I think) 250 MBaud vs. the 125 MBaud carrier used by 100BaseTX and 1000BaseT. One major probable reason the spec is defunct is because it did require the more expensive Cat6. Unshielded Cat5e fully meets all the requirements of the 100BaseTX and 1000BaseT specs to 100 meters. Cat6 does not extend that distance.

Category 6 cable has better noise and cross-talk specifications, and is rated for 250 MHz carriers, allowing transmissions of up to 10,000 Mbps. It does not have significantly better attenuation or equalization specs.


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Perhaps my home has more radio frequency interferrence than most
Probably not. I can just about guarantee you it doesn't have the amount of stray RF running around that our Central Offices do, and we use nothing but Cat5e to deliver service to many hundreds of customers in our C.O.s, not to mention thousands of customer premises. Our technicians frequently run across problems caused by bad RJ-45 connectors, and every once in a while a complete drop replacement is required, but I know of no case where the drop had to be upgraded to Cat6.

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but it made a difference. Connections are also less effected by power glitches now.
I have no doubt, but it's not because Cat5e was in any way unable to transport your services. Replacing a bad Cat5e jumper with a good Cat6 jumper will definitely have a positive effect, but then so will replacing it with a good Cat5e jumper. Note also the specs for both 100BaseTx and 1000BaseT are very stringent concerning terminations, and a connector or punch-down with just a bit too much un-twisted cable can cause problems, whether it is Cat5e or Cat6.

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I could also have had some bad/cheap cat5 cables. I replaced all of them at the same time when chasing another network problem and many things cleared up using the higher quality components.
The quality of the components could most certainly explain it. The Cat6 vs. Cat5e spec would not.

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For similar reasons, we also spec Cat6 shielded cables for networks installed in industrial plants or offshore installations. Was recommended by our telecoms dept so we did, and is what led to my trial at home.
It's not really required. OTOH, in my years of dealing with telecommunications, I have seen a great many exaggerated requirements put forth by people who really should know better. I have met many engineers who fail to consider cost when making suggestions or setting technical requirements, but such is NOT good engineering. Over-stating technical requirements can be as bad as under-stating them. Since superior engineering specifications come with increased cost, good enough often really is good enough.

Last edited by lrhorer : 05-04-2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #18
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I want to thank everyone who weighed in on my problem. The living room switch was the culprit.

As for Cat6 Versus Cat 5, I elected to use Cat6 for the hard wiring since there was little difference in the job cost. IMHO it doesn't make sense to install older (though perfectly good) technology in a home for a small difference in cost. I bought Cat6 patch cables because they are so inexpensive from monoprice.

Once again, thanks everyone.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhancock View Post
I want to thank everyone who weighed in on my problem. The living room switch was the culprit.

As for Cat6 Versus Cat 5, I elected to use Cat6 for the hard wiring since there was little difference in the job cost. IMHO it doesn't make sense to install older (though perfectly good) technology in a home for a small difference in cost. I bought Cat6 patch cables because they are so inexpensive from monoprice.

Once again, thanks everyone.
I'm glad you figured it out. Now sit back and enjoy the streaming goodness.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #20
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I want to thank everyone who weighed in on my problem. The living room switch was the culprit.
I have had very very back luck with "consumer grade" switches, both from Netgear and Linksys (nee Cisco). I've owned about 4 or 5, they've all died after a few years. Sometimes it's the switch itself, sometimes it's the power supply.

I finally got mad and paid a few dollars more for a "real" HP switch. So far so good (it's been a few years). They're not that much more expensive, Amazon (thru a 3rd party) sells the 8-port for $124. And it's capable of being "managed" (but admittedly that doesn't help most people), which can aid in troubleshooting problems.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #21
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I've been very happy with TRENDnet switches. I've had a 24G WebSmart switch feeding all my components in the house for years, and I have a couple of 5 port switches feeding little remote islands. I also bought an 8 port PoE 10/100 switch for my Sister and an 8 port Gig switch for my sister-in-law. All of it has been flawless. They tend to be a bit more expensive than the bottom end consumer switches, and their features are nowhere nearly as advanced as the Cisco, Juniper, or HP commercial grade switches, but they offer great value for a very competitive price.
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