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.
This guide answers:
- What is MoCA?
- Why use MoCA?
- How to create a MoCA Network
- How to connect your Tivo devices to a MoCA Network
- Special issues (Tuning Adapters, FiOS customers)
- Troubleshooting most common issues
FiOS TV customers:
Skip to near the end if you have setup questions.
What is MoCA?
Simply put, MoCA is ethernet over coax cable. It's 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?
Because most homes don't have ethernet cable running throughout them, people use wireless [802.11] adapters in their home. But as we know, wireless adapters can be slower and less reliable than a wired connection for many reasons.
Unless you have a very robust wireless network, streaming video between Tivo devices may be choppy or not work at all. Because of this, Tivo recommends using a wired connection. 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 MoCA-enabled Tivos by ethernet and use the Tivo to establish the MoCA network.
Option 2: Connect a MoCA adapter to your router. (Choose this option if running ethernet to your Tivo is not desirable.)
Option 1: Connect Tivo via Ethernet
Platforms Supported: Roamio Pro, Roamio Plus, Premiere 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.
1. Connect your Tivo (one of the boxes listed above) to your router via Ethernet.
2. Go in the Network Settings, select 'Change Network Settings' and select 'Use this DVR to create a MoCA Network.'
That's it! Your MoCA network is created!
3. Go into the Network Settings of your other MoCA devices (Mini, Premiere 4, XL4) and select "MoCA" as their network connection type.
(Note: Using this method, your Mini(s) and other secondary MoCA devices are relying on your Tivo DVR for their 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
1. If running an ethernet cable to your Tivo is not desirable or possible, purchase a MoCA adapter ($50 from tivo.com, and also available on Amazon, eBay, etc.).
2. Connect it to your modem and router as shown below to create a MoCA network.
That's it! Once the above diagram is completed, this will enable MoCA throughout the home.
3. Choose "MoCA" in the Network Settings on each Tivo box.
If you have a Tivo that does not have built-in MoCA support, 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 the MoCA network as well.
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.
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. No ethernet connection is recommended.
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.
If you are a FiOS TV customer using your own router or using the Verizon router's ethernet connection, you will need to choose one of the above 2 options to create a MoCA network.
It is recommended that you install a MoCA 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 access to 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 is not needed.
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.
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 Tivo if it has built-in moca support, or to the MoCA adapter if your Tivo model needs one.
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.
In the event of signal issues (such as bad performance or devices not seeing each other), old or inadequate splitters are a common issue. Replace any old or inadequate splitters (rated less than 1000 MHz) with new splitters that are rated for 1000 MHz (1GHz) or higher. Some high-frequency (3-4 GHz) splitters originally intended for satellite can also cause moca signal problems. Those should be replaced as well.
Signal amps should be placed at the coax cable's point of entry in the house. However, sometimes they are not. Ideally the amp 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. Replace if necessary.
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, install a MoCA POE filter on the coax right before your cable modem ($8 on ebay).
SDV Tuning Adapter malfunctions:
If your SDV Tuning Adapter isn't working correctly when activating MoCA, install a MoCA POE filter on the coax right before your Tuning Adapter ($8 on ebay).
NIM100 MoCA adapters:
Old NIM100 MoCA adapters are MoCA 1.0 devices and have been known to be incompatible with the built-in MoCA support of Tivo boxes (MoCA 1.1). The "work-around" is to either not use the Tivo's integrated MoCA (use adapters instead) or replace the old NIM100's with newer adapters.
Using MoCA setup option #2? Connect your Smart TV, Blu-ray player, Roku, or other device to the Tivo DVR'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!