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Old 01-15-2015, 06:58 PM   #1
Jeron
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Choppy video playback on 2 out of 4 Minis from Roamio Pro yet no Netflix problems

I have 4 Minis connected to a Roamio Pro on a Gigabit Ethernet LAN.

The Minis all work great streaming from Netflix and Amazon, but 2 of them can't play back a recorded video from the Roamio Pro without it constantly stopping video and audio for a few seconds then play for a few seconds.

They play live video fine.

Tivo support says they only support ethernet if all devices are plugged into only a router, so I plugged the minis directly into the router and get the same results. I doubted the switch was the problem since half the minis have no problem.

I don't understand how they can advertise support for 11 Minis but no network equipment but a single router. Is MoCa really that much better than ethernet?

Any ideas? Seems weird that internet video playback works fine, live video works fine, yet recorded video can't play.

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Old 01-16-2015, 02:42 PM   #2
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If they can play live TV then they should be able to play a recording. It's basically the same thing. (live TV is just a buffer on the TiVo's hard drive) So I'm not sure what would cause the issue you're seeing.

Just to make 100% sure it's not the network try swapping one of the working units with one of the non-working units. If the problem follows the Mini then you know it's the Mini causing the issue. If it stays in the location then you know it's the network or perhaps the TV it's connected to.

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Old 01-17-2015, 05:47 PM   #3
Jeron
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I'm sure it isn't the network. I've swapped a "bad" Mini with a good Mini and get the same results.

Thanks for the info about live TV. I thought that would be the case. I'm at my wit's end and getting nowhere with TiVo support. So far I just think the Mini's are bad and need replacing... it just makes no sense to me though.

Actually, if I had known when I researched these products that I have to plug ALL TiVo devices into the same router and have no switches or hubs in my network, I would have never bought them. The only limitation I saw was that 11 Minis were supported. Support is "backsliding" on that as well saying that you can plug 11 in but can only have around half that accessing the Roamio at a time. I figured 4 or 5 would be OK, but I have computers, printers, smart tvs, etc. that need access to the Internet too. I can't just dedicate my entire network to TiVo.

I guess my question should be more along the lines of...

What kinds of Mini and Roamio Pro setups do people have working out there? Does anyone have 4 or 5 Minis connected to a Roamio Pro via Ethernet and do you really not have any switches or hubs in your network? If so, what kinds?

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Old 01-17-2015, 05:53 PM   #4
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Also Dan, how would it be the TV if live TV and streaming from Amazon and Netflix works? I'm curious what would cause the choppy playback with the TV plugged into the HDMI.

The playback issue looks like a buffer issue, like the playback pauses to read the video from the hard drive. I've been a video editor working with Avid and Premiere Pro so I've seen behavior like this back when the hard drive speeds couldn't keep up with the playback through the editor applying edits and filters.

I don't mind replacing network equipment and TVs. I love the TiVo equipment if it works.

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Old 01-18-2015, 07:20 AM   #5
DeltaOne
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Originally Posted by Jeron View Post
Actually, if I had known when I researched these products that I have to plug ALL TiVo devices into the same router and have no switches or hubs in my network, I would have never bought them.
When TiVo says they "only support ethernet if..." it means they won't help troubleshoot problems. Many of us, myself included, have set-ups that involve multiple Ethernet switches and it works just fine.

You say you've swapped Mini's and get the same results, so it's not your network. If "same results" means the problem in a particular room was still happening, then it means there is something wrong with your network.

Also, why not use MOCA if Ethernet is proving challenging for you?

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Old 01-18-2015, 11:43 AM   #6
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When TiVo says they "only support ethernet if..." it means they won't help troubleshoot problems. Many of us, myself included, have set-ups that involve multiple Ethernet switches and it works just fine.

You say you've swapped Mini's and get the same results, so it's not your network. If "same results" means the problem in a particular room was still happening, then it means there is something wrong with your network.

Also, why not use MOCA if Ethernet is proving challenging for you?
I'm going to disagree a little.

First, I completely agree that regardless of the horrible position that Tivo itself takes with respect to networking, the devices can and often do work properly on a solid network. I'm doing it, and it works. It's a little flaky, and requires some special care that it should not to be honest, but it works. The most consistent issue I have beyond the other nuisance things (like how sometimes a mini just loses connection for no reason - though not often) is that one of my minis constantly gets out of video/audio sync. Hitting pause, and then play immediately restores it. It's not perfect, but in about an hour, the voice and video are REALLY out of sync.

As far as Tivo, I don't think it's just troubleshooting they won't help with. It's that they won't help - period - in many cases. They just stop, and won't escalate issues.

Finally, I don't think the poster was saying they were "challenged" with Ethernet. His observations about Tivo being insane trying to tell people to connect all Ethernet connections into the "router" (which is a fallacy right from the start) is accurate. Tivo is being ignorant and arrogant in that point. But more to the point, many people don't have RG6 run to all the places where they may well have CAT5 or CAT6. I know I didn't run RG6 into my shop/garage, but I have Ethernet there. From his comments, it seems to me that it's not the poster that is "challenged" by Ethernet. It's Tivo.

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Old 01-18-2015, 12:15 PM   #7
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His observations about Tivo being insane trying to tell people to connect all Ethernet connections into the "router" (which is a fallacy right from the start) is accurate. Tivo is being ignorant and arrogant in that point.
I was actually a little surprised they said to connect everything to the same router. My recollection from reading here is that as soon as you mention Ethernet the "we do not support" line comes out.

Yeah, I was wrong to use the word challenging. Maybe "problematic" would have been better.

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Old 01-19-2015, 03:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jeron View Post
Also Dan, how would it be the TV if live TV and streaming from Amazon and Netflix works? I'm curious what would cause the choppy playback with the TV plugged into the HDMI.

The playback issue looks like a buffer issue, like the playback pauses to read the video from the hard drive. I've been a video editor working with Avid and Premiere Pro so I've seen behavior like this back when the hard drive speeds couldn't keep up with the playback through the editor applying edits and filters.

I don't mind replacing network equipment and TVs. I love the TiVo equipment if it works.
So if you swap the bad Mini to another location the problem follows the Mini? If so then I'd agree they are bad and need to be replaced.

The only thing I could tink of that might cause an issue where the TV is causing the issue is in the case of a resolution the TV does not support well or perhaps an audio codec the TV does not support well. To test that theory you can set the audio mide of the TV to PCM, which will limit it to stereo, and then limit the resolution yo a single choice (unchecking all others) that matches the native resolution of your TV.

But like I said if the problem follows the Mini then it's likely a bad Mini.

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Old 01-22-2015, 11:53 AM   #9
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Thanks for the help, everyone.

I don't want to have to run coax to all of the places I want to watch TV and then hope I got everything right for MoCa. I watched my girlfriend go through hell with Cox trying to get MoCa to work in her house for Contour because of the coax cable; changing splitters, putting in boosters, capping off ends, etc.

I'm returning the TWO Minis that don't work before selling everything, so I'm not selling a broken piece of gear to someone. I can't dedicate my entire router (entire LAN) to TiVo. I'll try one more time to find a WiFi router that has more than 5 Ethernet ports.

Even if I can find a router that I can plug all of my TiVo equipment directly into, my experience with TiVo's documentation and their support make me weary. There was too much misleading, fine print, and effort to "get rid of me".

I can understand TiVo's point of view, but when I questioned the whole "You can only have a router on your network" standpoint and where it says that, the response was "Here on this page where is says 'connect your DVR to the router' implies that you can't have any switches".

My response was, "If we are talking about implications, then some might think that in this day-and-age, when you say you support ethernet, the implication is that you support giga-bit switches too"

So I'm worried about all of the other "implications" I'm missing in their documentation and policies

If I could find a lot of people saying "Oh yeah, I have 4 or more Mini's going through switches to a Roamio.", I'd feel a lot better

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Old 01-22-2015, 01:01 PM   #10
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I have three Minis, a Premiere, a Roamio, two blu-ray players, three wireless base stations, 5 computers, two printers, two slingboxes, a PS3, and several other devices connected to my network. The Premiere and Roamio both act as ethernet to MoCA bridges, one of the Minis is on MoCA, and everything else is attached by 10/100 or gigabit switches. My wired router has only four LAN ports, and I am only using two of them. (One port plugged into Roamio, the other into a gigabit switch.)

As long as you stay away from the so-called "green" switches, there's no reason to avoid using a switch with TiVo.

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Old 01-22-2015, 02:15 PM   #11
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I have at least 4 switches in my network, as well as MoCa and powerline bridges, with Minis connected to each of those legs. There is no mysterious formula that makes it work. If the units have a reliable network connection between them they will work.

MoCa is a technology that piggybacks on to an existing wire by using frequencies that wire was never designed to carry. It has to have good wiring, good splitters, and good connectors to function. If you're unable or unwilling to diagnose the problem yourself then I'd suggest using an alternative network connection. But honestly coax cable is one of the simplest things to deal with. It's also pretty cheap. You could probably rewire you're entire house with new RG6 for a couple hundred bucks. But I doubt that's necessary. If you spend a little time troubleshooting you'll likely find that it's one bad splitter or connector causing your issue.

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Old 01-22-2015, 04:11 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input.

Since people seem to not having problems running with a LAN sporting unsupported network equipment like me, I'll at least try the new Minis before selling everything. The other two work fine... and I purposely tried to "break" them by putting 3 switches between them and the Roamio.

I have high end giga-bit networking equipment and CAT6 run to all the rooms. I can't really upgrade it with anything better.

I do not want to run coax, it would take more time and effort to do that than I'm willing to do for TiVo. I'll just go back to what I had before I bought TiVo. The main reason I bought TiVo was for the ethernet support. I had a TiVo DVR for 8 years back when it was the only DVR, loved it and had no problems.

I'd feel better if I could understand the problem. Streaming from internet works flawlessly. Playing live TV is great. Playing recorded shows is too choppy to watch. I'd expect live TV not working or choppy playback on all Minis indicating a buffering/slow hard drive issue on Roamio.

I'd also feel better if TiVo support and documentation were not so "unfriendly" or "unreliable" as well.

I'd be shocked if the new Minis don't work. Although it seems sort of weird to get two with the same weird problem...

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Old 01-22-2015, 06:43 PM   #13
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I have high end giga-bit networking equipment and CAT6 run to all the rooms. I can't really upgrade it with anything better.
If you have this, and can get a cable to each Mini, then it should actually work better then MoCa. If you were still having issues using this then it was almost certainly the Mini's themselves that were bad.

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Old 01-23-2015, 06:00 AM   #14
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If you have Cat 6 to all rooms then forget about MOCA. All you need is a good network, and good wiring and you'll be fine.

I'm running a Premiere XL4, Roamio Pro, 5 Mini's, a Control4 system, several computers, AV components, an access point and various wireless devices on a gigabit network with 3 switches and a higher end Cisco Linksys Router. It all just works.

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Old 01-23-2015, 07:24 AM   #15
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Yes, the key is DO NOT use green switches. Please make sure your switches do not conserve power by automatically trying to provide speed increases or decreases to ports. Simple is best.

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Old 02-17-2016, 08:24 PM   #16
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I was having a similar issue...it turned out it was because of my video setting. My video was only set to 1080P (pass-though)...Once I did an auto detect, it selected 1080i and all dvr shows streamed without the choppiness. My tv is definitely supports 1080p so....

I was able to go back ad also select 1080P but I seemed to delay my audio a bit as compared to video on screen. I've turned it back off and stayed with only 1080i selected. I have 3 Minis and only one was having this issue.

It's all running over 1Gig Ethernet too. Cat6a to all rooms.

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