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Old 10-27-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
kenney
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VPN to extend network to another house for Mini

Has anyone set up a VPN to connect their TiVo to mini's farther away, such as connecting their house to a summer home or cabin? I was reading a few other threads, but didn't see any success stories.

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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Unless you have 15+ Mbps upstream speeds from your ISP don't even bother entertaining that idea. Slingbox or possibly the iOS app with TiVo Stream are better possibilities.

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Yeah TiVo to Mini streams are full bitrate, meaning that they require between 14-19Mbps. So unless you're on FIOS it probably wouldn't work. If you are on FIOS then it is possible. The two things you have to worry about is that the VPN had to be capable of passing Bonjure traffic and both networks have to be on the same subnet. And since both networks have to be on the same subnet you also need to be very careful that there are no IP conflicts.

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:56 PM   #4
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People have played with proxying bonjour, using proxy arp, and other intermediate techniques, with mixed results.

The simplest approach however is to flat out bridge the two networks (merge the broadcast domains) with a VPN - then apply a bridging filter that only permits the MAC addresses of the Tivo's across the bridge. This solves most of the headaches (restricting DHCP, conflicting router addresses, etc..), while allowing the tivos to believe they are on the same network.

Edit: The assumption here is that both locations use the same subnet, as that makes it easy. Both tivo's must 'believe' they are on the same subnet (whether it's true or not), so if they aren't, you've got some creative networking to do...

Then your big concern is bandwidth. You must have enough upstream bandwidth at one end, which on non-FIOS networks can be iffy at best. And you must have enough download bandwidth at the other end, which in a cabin in the woods can be iffy at best. And the connection must be very stable. But between two FIOS customers with 75x35 lines, it's indistinguishable from local access.

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Old 03-23-2015, 09:02 PM   #5
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Remote Tivo / Tivo Mini / Tivo over a WAN/VPN/GRE

I have established a GRE tunnel between my two locations and have successfully bridged the two physical locations into one /24 network.

There's a Tivo Roamio at the main location and a Tivo Mini at the remote location. The Tivo Mini has never connected to the Tivo Roamio. From the remote location, I am able to browse the Internet, access my SMB shares at the main location and do just about anything as if I were at the main location. The Tivos simply will not sync up and connect. The Mini will not connect to the Tivo Service either.

I've been down the road of checking the TCP MSS, MTUs, etc. I have all but run out of ideas. I think there must be a problem with latency to the default gateway...which, in my configuration is at the main location. I'm getting about 10ms between the locations... where locally at the main location I get <1ms. There's nothing I can do about that. (Hmmm...while typing this I'm wondering if I can use the local router as the default gateway and use a static on the Tivo Mini.............?)

I have Slings, Plex, Chromecasts, etc - it all works great. I don't even watch TV much, but I love playing around with the connectivity!

I'd be very curious to hear about other people's successes or experiences.

More to come.

EDIT: 23-Mar-2015 10:28PM: Changing the IP to a static and the gateway to my local router worked! I can now connect to the Tivo Service. No LIVE TV yet tho - and I can't grab shows off of the Roamio. I have 75Mbps at the main house and 25Mbps at the remote location. Soooo close.


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Old 03-24-2015, 03:39 AM   #6
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IIRC TiVo uses a UDP discovery protocol that only works if the TiVo and the Mini are on the same subnet. So make sure your tunnel is passing UDP traffic and make sure both sides of the network are using IP ranges in the same subnet.

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Old 03-24-2015, 05:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mrdavis94 View Post
I have established a GRE tunnel between my two locations and have successfully bridged the two physical locations into one /24 network. There's a Tivo Roamio at the main location and a Tivo Mini at the remote location. The Tivo Mini has never connected to the Tivo Roamio. From the remote location, I am able to browse the Internet, access my SMB shares at the main location and do just about anything as if I were at the main location. The Tivos simply will not sync up and connect. The Mini will not connect to the Tivo Service either. I've been down the road of checking the TCP MSS, MTUs, etc. I have all but run out of ideas. I think there must be a problem with latency to the default gateway...which, in my configuration is at the main location. I'm getting about 10ms between the locations... where locally at the main location I get <1ms. There's nothing I can do about that. (Hmmm...while typing this I'm wondering if I can use the local router as the default gateway and use a static on the Tivo Mini.............?) I have Slings, Plex, Chromecasts, etc - it all works great. I don't even watch TV much, but I love playing around with the connectivity! I'd be very curious to hear about other people's successes or experiences. More to come. EDIT: 23-Mar-2015 10:28PM: Changing the IP to a static and the gateway to my local router worked! I can now connect to the Tivo Service. No LIVE TV yet tho - and I can't grab shows off of the Roamio. I have 75Mbps at the main house and 25Mbps at the remote location. Soooo close.
Wow this is exactly what I've been researching and working on for the past week too. Keep us updated, especially with Dan's awesome advice!

I was going to use 2 Asus routers for the VPN, the server at my parent's in Philly and the one here as the client. Will this work for what you have done so far?

Have you tried connecting two regular TiVos between the two locations to stream between them instead of trying to pair a Roamio and mini?

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Old 03-24-2015, 05:57 PM   #8
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It sounds like you've done all the right things. Without knowing all the details, I would make sure that UDP broadcasts are flowing unmolested, and unNATted. Blocking UDP broadcasts, or forgetting to exclude the tunnel from any NAT rules, is a very easy mistake. I would also double/triple check that the boxes have the same netmask, as the units activly compare their [IP BinaryAND Netmask] with that of their peer.

Also, I've never done initial setup over a VPN, so I have no experience there. I made the Mini and the Host unit happy in the same house, then moved the Mini to the other location.

Results at 75Mbps have been... so-so. Classic MRV works fine. Classic MRS works fine. Live TV off a remote tuner, hasn't worked too well. The mini's are so fantastically twitchy when it comes to network imperfections, that they bomb out complaining they've lost the host very, very frequently.

But, if you can make it work, more power too ya...

Edit: And in my case, the units at each location use different default routes (each uses the local router as its default route, instead of traversing the VPN), that works.

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Old 03-24-2015, 08:45 PM   #9
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Wow, this is a clear case of trying to use an egg to pound a nail. Wrong tool for the networks and Tivos we have today - even if you have the connections to make it work initially the latency is going to be a killer given the Mini limitations.

Sling is the obvious answer here, not bridging a VPN network to (try to) use a Mini remotely.

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Old 03-24-2015, 10:32 PM   #10
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Remote Tivo / Tivo Mini / Tivo over a WAN/VPN/GRE

The GRE tunnel is bridged at both locations - I'm seeing all ARPs (broadcasts) and multicasts from both places, at both places. Every device on the network at both houses, think they are on the same broadcast domain.

The issue of the Mini not connecting to the Roamio is where I've come up short. If it's a case of latency, then I will be stuck until I can fool the Mini into thinking the Roamio is "closer". I was thinking of a way of DNATing the ICMPs from the Mini to something local - and letting all other traffic flow normally. If the theory works, the Mini would "ping" something local and get low latency numbers (and not know it wasn't really the Roamio) - and the rest of the traffic would be as good as the 2 bridges could deliver.

As I said before, I have Slings and Plex servers - I just would like to see if a Mini could work like I've tried.

BTW - I'm using 2 3-port Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite routers to create the GRE tunnel/bridge. I have a Juniper SRX210 at the main house and a generic Verizon-supplied FiOS router at the remote house. The Lite routers give me the ability to play and not interrupt other people using the Internet at either location.

FWIW, I do "see" the 4 Tivos (2 Roamios and 2 Series 3s) from the remote Mini - the problem comes trying to pull up "MY SHOWS" or "LIVE TV" with the remote Mini. LIVE TV starts to load... I even get the episode banner at the bottom, but just when the picture is about to appear, so I think, the screen kinda freezes. When I pull up MY SHOWS from a Tivo DVR, it almost wants to list everything.. but never does. (Do I sound hopeful? hahaha)


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Old 03-25-2015, 01:05 AM   #11
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The GRE tunnel is bridged at both locations - I'm seeing all ARPs (broadcasts) and multicasts from both places, at both places. Every device on the network at both houses, think they are on the same broadcast domain. The issue of the Mini not connecting to the Roamio is where I've come up short. If it's a case of latency, then I will be stuck until I can fool the Mini into thinking the Roamio is "closer". I was thinking of a way of DNATing the ICMPs from the Mini to something local - and letting all other traffic flow normally. If the theory works, the Mini would "ping" something local and get low latency numbers (and not know it wasn't really the Roamio) - and the rest of the traffic would be as good as the 2 bridges could deliver. As I said before, I have Slings and Plex servers - I just would like to see if a Mini could work like I've tried. BTW - I'm using 2 3-port Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite routers to create the GRE tunnel/bridge. I have a Juniper SRX210 at the main house and a generic Verizon-supplied FiOS router at the remote house. The Lite routers give me the ability to play and not interrupt other people using the Internet at either location. FWIW, I do "see" the 4 Tivos (2 Roamios and 2 Series 3s) from the remote Mini - the problem comes trying to pull up "MY SHOWS" or "LIVE TV" with the remote Mini. LIVE TV starts to load... I even get the episode banner at the bottom, but just when the picture is about to appear, so I think, the screen kinda freezes. When I pull up MY SHOWS from a Tivo DVR, it almost wants to list everything.. but never does. (Do I sound hopeful? hahaha)
Good progress!

Like I asked previously, have you tried using a regular TiVo (Premiere or Roamio) at the remote location instead of a mini?

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Old 03-25-2015, 01:10 AM   #12
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......... Sling is the obvious answer here, not bridging a VPN network to (try to) use a Mini remotely.
Not in my case where Comcast is throttling my Sling speed and the picture is only 960x544 (1/2 1080 HD) plus the remote latency. If I VPN my two locations then I can just transfer or MRS my recordings from TiVo to TiVo and start them while it's still transferring.

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Old 03-25-2015, 04:13 PM   #13
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Have you done any packet captures to see what the TTL is, if its 1 this could be stopping you from routing it? But someone mentioned Tivo uses MDNS to discover each other? I'd figure it'd use DLNA if anything. DLNA (SSDP) is route-able MCAST address, however MDNS isn't.

Also what are the packet sizes? Assuming you're on the same subnet (GRE bridging) it could be a MTU issue.

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Old 03-25-2015, 04:34 PM   #14
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I'm not sure what TiVos use these days. TiVo Desktop has an option to use the old proprietary UDP protocol or to use Bonjour for discovery. I *think* TiVos themselves still use the old UDP protocol, but I'm not 100% sure. There is a whitepaper somewhere that explains the TiVo discovery protocol.

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Old 03-26-2015, 10:21 AM   #15
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Not in my case where Comcast is throttling my Sling speed and the picture is only 960x544 (1/2 1080 HD) plus the remote latency. If I VPN my two locations then I can just transfer or MRS my recordings from TiVo to TiVo and start them while it's still transferring.
Do you have proof that they're throttling, and if so can you please submit it to the FCC with a Media Bureau complaint? I'm sure they would be interested to see it after the recent neutrality rulings.

I seriously doubt that this is happening btw, Sling is just a gnat on the ass of that elephant.

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Old 03-26-2015, 11:18 AM   #16
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The firestick works well enough for me. Have not tried the new android software on it yet...

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Old 03-26-2015, 11:58 AM   #17
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Do you have proof that they're throttling, and if so can you please submit it to the FCC with a Media Bureau complaint? I'm sure they would be interested to see it after the recent neutrality rulings. I seriously doubt that this is happening btw, Sling is just a gnat on the ass of that elephant.
Well someone is, it may be Sling themselves with these new boxes. I've done extensive testing and posted what's happened in many threads so I'm not doing it again here.

In a nutshell, I get 6-8Mbps on the first connection after setup of every new Slingbox when OOH and then watch it throttle back to ~3 Mbps on the very next connection and forever more until a new one is setup again.. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Oh and BTW, I have another Slingbox connected to my TWC system and THAT system gives me 6-8 Mbps every time OOH. You do the math.

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Old 03-26-2015, 12:41 PM   #18
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What about streaming to an Ipad hooked up to a tv via HDMI adapter or thru an AppleTV to the tv if the Tivo app allows airplay.

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Old 03-26-2015, 04:34 PM   #19
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What about streaming to an Ipad hooked up to a tv via HDMI adapter or thru an AppleTV to the tv if the Tivo app allows airplay.
Who is that directed to, me?

If so, then yes I have tried that with the same results.

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Old 03-26-2015, 06:22 PM   #20
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Airplay and HDMI are both blocked by the app. Although there is a setting in that debug menu called "Allow video out" which might enable HDMI. (not sure, don't have HDMI cable for iPad)

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