With the release of the Tivo Mini and Roamio boxes, a lot of people are considering using a MoCA connection rather than ethernet or wireless to communicate between Tivo devices.
Because a lot of people are new to MoCA, hopefully this quick and dirty setup information will help answer most of your questions. This isn't a complete A-to-Z MoCA FAQ; it just answers the most common setup questions that have come up on this forum.
If you are a FiOS TV customer, skip to near the end if you have setup questions.
What is MoCA?
Simply put, MoCA is a networking standard that allows you to transmit data over the coax cable in your home. It's an alternative to ethernet, wireless, and powerline adapters.
Why use MoCA?
Ethernet is ideal for home networking, but because most homes don't have a lot of ethernet cable running though them, most people use wireless [802.11] adapters as an alternative.
Wireless adapters can be slower and less reliable than a wired connection for many reasons. Because of this, Tivo recommends using a wired connection for multi-room streaming between Tivo devices. MoCA is a good option to use because it's faster and more reliable than wireless, and it uses the coax cable already running through your home.
If you have only 1 Tivo device, you may not need MoCA. A wireless adapter (or the Tivo Roamio's built-in wireless) may be all you need. This guide is mainly intended to help people with 2 or more Tivo devices stream content between them, such as a Tivo DVR to a Tivo Mini.
Enabling MoCA in the Home
There are two ways to set up a MoCA network.
Option 1: Connect Tivo via Ethernet
Platforms Supported: Roamio Pro, Roamio Plus, XL4 (a/k/a Elite), Premiere 4
This option allows the Tivo itself to function as a MoCA bridge for the rest of the home. First, your Tivo (one of the boxes listed above) must be connected to your router via Ethernet.
Roamio boxes: Then, if you're using one of the above Roamio boxes as the MoCA bridge, go in the Network Settings, select 'Change Network Settings' and select 'Use this DVR to create a MoCA Network.'
Premiere boxes: If you're using a Premiere XL4 or Premiere 4 as the MoCA bridge, change the connection type to MoCA+Ethernet.
That's it! Go into your Tivo Mini(s) or other MoCA-supported devices (Premiere 4, XL4) and select "MoCA" as their network connection type. The streaming between them will be performed over the MoCA network.
(Using this method, your Mini(s) or other secondary MoCA devices are relying on your Tivo DVR for its internet connection, so if your Tivo DVR is offline for some reason, so are the secondary devices.)
If you have a Tivo on your network that does not support MoCA, check below for the "Setting up a 2-tuner Tivo or a 4-tuner basic Tivo Roamio for MoCA" section if you would like to get them connected to MoCA too.
Option 2: Use a MoCA Adapter
Platforms Supported: Roamio Pro, Roamio Plus, XL4 (a/k/a Elite), Premiere 4
If option #1 is not desirable or possible, you can purchase a MoCA adapter ($50 from tivo.com, and also available on Amazon, eBay, etc.) and connect it to your modem and router as shown below to create a MoCA network.
Once the above diagram is completed, this will enable MoCA throughout the home. Choose "MoCA" in the Network Settings on each box, and you're set.
If you have a Tivo on your network that does not support MoCA, check the below "Setting up a 2-tuner Tivo or a 4-tuner basic Tivo Roamio for MoCA" section if you would like to get them connected to the MoCA network too.
Setting up a 2-tuner Tivo or a 4-tuner basic Tivo Roamio for MoCA:
Platforms Supported: All Tivos with an ethernet port but not MoCA support (namely, 2-tuner Tivos and the 4-tuner basic Roamio.)
2-tuner Tivos and the basic 4-tuner Tivo Roamio do not natively support MoCA. However, you can still connect them to a MoCA network if you wish.
To do this, you first need to follow one of the above Options to create the MoCA network. You must also purchase additional MoCA adapters for each of the additional non-MoCA Tivos you wish to connect to the MoCA network, and connect them in this fashion:
FiOS TV Customers:
Your home is already MoCA-enabled if your Verizon-supplied router is connected via coax. Your P4/XL4/Roamio Plus/Roamio Pro and Mini can simply be connected to the coax, select "MoCA" under their Network Settings, and that's all that needs to be done under most conditions.
If you would like to connect a 2-tuner Tivo or a 4-tuner basic Tivo Roamio to your MoCA network, follow the previous section's instructions on how to connect MoCA adapters to these Tivos.
It is recommended that you install a Point of Entry (POE) filter at your cable TV's point of entry in the home. This helps keep your MoCA signal strong, prevents it from exiting your home and potentially allowing neighbors into your network, or creating interference with neighbor's services. They're $9 on Tivo.com and can also be purchased cheaply elsewhere (eBay, etc).
If you are a FiOS TV customer, a POE filter isn't necessary.
If your Tivo setup requires a Tuning Adapter supplied by the cableco, the below image shows the recommended setup to allow the tuning adapter and MoCA network to co-exist.
If you are using a Tuning Adapter with a Tivo that needs a MoCA adapter, the MoCA adapter should be inserted on the splitter's coax leg that is going to the Tivo's Cable-In.
In other words, from the Splitter:
- 1 line goes to the Tuning Adapter, then connect the TA to the Tivo's USB port. Don't use the TA's RF-Out.
- The other line goes to the MoCA Adapter, and then the ethernet and RF-out go to the Tivo.
Most Common Problems:
The most common problems associated with MoCA are old or inadequate splitters, loss of internet connectivity, signal amplifiers (amps) somewhere on the line, and aged coax cabling.
At the very least, make sure all of the coax connection points are firm.
For MoCA to work properly, it is highly recommended that coax splitters be rated for at least 1000 MHz (1GHz) but preferably higher. If the splitter(s) are 1000 MHz but particularly old and you're still having signal problems, it wouldn't hurt to replace them to rule it out as the source of the problem.
Signal amps should be placed at the coax cable's point of entry in the house. However, sometimes they are not. Ideally, the amp really should be moved. But if that is too complicated, the amp should be rated to pass through signals of AT LEAST 1000 MHz (1GHz) bi-directionally, but preferably higher.
Very old and weathered/damaged coax cable and loose connection points might be to blame as well. These coax lines would have to be replaced with new coax.
Loss of internet connectivity:
If you lose your internet connectivity when activating MoCA, try installing a MoCA POE filter on the coax right before your cable modem ($8 on ebay).
NIM100 MoCA adapters:
Older NIM100 MoCA adapters have been known to have signal issues in combination with the built-in MoCA support of Tivo boxes. The "work-around" is to either not use the integrated MoCA feature (use adapters instead) or replace the older NIM100's with newer adapters.
Using MoCA setup option #2? Connect your Smart TV, Blu-ray player, Roku, or other device to the Tivo's Ethernet port! Those devices can daisy chain off your Tivo's MoCA connection. (If you want to connect multiple devices, you can get a cheap Ethernet hub and plug it into the Tivo's port too.)
If there are ideas or things missed in the guide (but remember it's not a complete and total MoCA FAQ, just a setup guide) then post them here. I'll add them!