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Old 12-01-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
web1b
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Alternative to Moca network?

I just got a Roamio and a Tivo Stream. It works OK except for the CBS channel that pauses every 30 seconds to 2 minutes. It is too annoying for it to be watchable. If there is no solution, it is going back.
If I return it, I would consider trading the Stream for a Mini and not bother with streaming to an iPad.
One of the main reasons I got the Tivo stream is to watch TV in a bedroom without having to deal with setting up a MoCa network. I also wanted to be able to go out to the patio and watch TV outside, so without the Stream, I would lose that ability.
I use OTA TV and an signal amplifier and the setup docs for Moca says it is not compatible with a signal booster.
I would also need to get 2 MoCa adapters. One in the living room with the Roamio and another in the bedroom. The setup starts getting complicated enough where it defeats the purpose of using Tivo vs a HTPC with Windows Media Center. I want Tivo to be much more plug and play to justify the cost vs installing Media Center on a desktop PC setup I will have running anyway and put an XBox 360 n the living room to use a the extender on the big screen.

The WMC would also allow me to stream to a Windows laptop, so I could take the laptop outside to the patio or anywhere else within range of the WiFi.

Instead of MoCa, I'm wondering if there is any easy way to get Ethernet working through the house?
The house telephone jacks are labeled "CAT5," and we have no landline phone service, so they are just dead jacks.
Is it possible, without rewiring, to have the phone jacks converted from RJ11 phone jacks to RJ45 Ethernet jacks and network the Roamio with a Tivo Mini without needing to resort to setting up a MoCa network?

I assume I would just plug a switch into the wall jack in the living room with the Roamio and router and then the bedroom would be on the same network if the wall jacks were converted to from phone to Ethernet jacks.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:59 PM   #2
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It depends on how the cat5 in your phone jacks is wired. In my house they used Cat5, but they daisy chained it through the house. If it's daisy chained, you cannot use it for ethernet. If every telephone jack home runs back to a central location, then you can easily put on RJ45 jacks/connectors and use ethernet instead.
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
web1b
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Quote:
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It depends on how the cat5 in your phone jacks is wired. In my house they used Cat5, but they daisy chained it through the house. If it's daisy chained, you cannot use it for ethernet. If every telephone jack home runs back to a central location, then you can easily put on RJ45 jacks/connectors and use ethernet instead.
I am pretty sure it runs to a central location. There is a little cabinet in a bedroom closet that looks almost like the door to a "fuse box," but has coax and phone lines.




How much work would be involved to make these CAT5 phone lines into an Ethernet network? I have no plans of ever activating landline phone service.

That chrome box on the right is the signal amplifier for the OTA antenna.
The instructions I read on Tivo.com says:

"We do not recommend using a signal amplifier on a MoCA network. Amplifiers can block communication between devices and cause them to disappear from the network."
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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What's that horizontal thing with coax running into it? A splitter?

One alternative would be to run all of your coax into a single splitter, and then run that splitter into the amp. At that point, the MoCA network would "mix" together before hitting the amp.

How are you networking your Stream to the TiVo? I'm curious as to why you would be getting skips and stalls. Sounds like you're using wireless? Can you provide more details on your network: what type of internet (cable/dsl/fiber) and is it all wireless or do you have any ethernet connections as is?

FWIW, with those cat 5 runs being home run, it won't be difficult at all to convert that to an ethernet instead of phone network. You just need to terminate RJ45 jacks or plugs and buy a switch to put in that cabinet and then terminate RJ45 on the other end as well.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
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There are 2 inputs into the house. There is an OTA antenna and Comcast. OTA goes to the Roamio and Comcast goes to the cable modem and to a Tivo HD with CableCARD in another room with a smaller TV where the Comacast compression of locals is not noticeable.

That other box is a splitter to send Comcast cable to different rooms in the house. If I want the room to have cable TV, I connect the cable from that room into the Comcast splitter and if I want the room to have the OTA signal, I connect the cable from that room to the OTA amplifier instead.

The Stream is not using wireless. Both the Stream and the Roamio are in the living room right next to the cable modem and router, so they are both hardwired to the wireless router. Only the iPad is on wireless.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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Well, given that you have two different coax networks (OTA and cable), and you cannot mix those (without buying several extra MoCA adapters) your best bet is probably ethernet, which like I said isn't going to be an issue at all given the way your house is wired. However, that isn't going to fix your stream's stuttering issue. Probably want to pursue that with TiVo support or the gang here to see what's going on. I don't have a stream so I can't provide any advice for that one.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
web1b
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Another question. If I keep the Stream, could I stick it in this cabinet so I never have to hear the annoying fan noise? Could an Ethernet cable be added inside the cabinet that would allow it to communicate with the Roamio?
When the cover is put back on and the closet door shut, I don't think I would be able to hear the Stream's loud fan any more. However, it would be a hassle to get back in there if I ever needed to power cycle the Stream.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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Its easy to change out the phone jacks to Ethernet jacks, I've been gradually doing that in my house as I need them in each room. You would need a powered unmanaged switch in your AV box but that should do it. Here is a link for a lot of info on the subject: http://swhowto.com/CAT5_Ch1.htm
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:50 PM   #9
web1b
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Well, given that you have two different coax networks (OTA and cable), and you cannot mix those (without buying several extra MoCA adapters) your best bet is probably ethernet, which like I said isn't going to be an issue at all given the way your house is wired. However, that isn't going to fix your stream's stuttering issue. Probably want to pursue that with TiVo support or the gang here to see what's going on. I don't have a stream so I can't provide any advice for that one.
I don't understand why I would need "several" MoCA adapters when I would only have one Tivo Mini at most (not that I am trying to push towards MoCA adapters).
Would I need fewer MoCA adapters if I switched the Roamio to the cable network and put in a CableCARD so it didn't need to go through the OTA amplifier?
I would have to pay someone to change the phone jacks to Ethernet jacks, so MoCA adapters might cost less since I could just plug it in myself.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #10
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You would need two MoCA adapters in the wiring closet. One connected to your OTA network and one connected to your Comcast network, with an ethernet cable between them---that is, if you want to have MoCA connectivity between the two.

The Mini supports MoCA built in, so you don't need an adapter wherever you put the Mini. You only need MoCA to get your Roamio (which I assume is a two-tuner based on the fact you're using it for OTA) on the MoCA network.

If the only thing you're going to be connecting is your base Roamio to your Mini, and both are on the OTA coax network, you only need one MoCA adapter. You'd place it at your Roamio since it's next to your router. You'd also need to get all your OTA connections combined into a splitter before you run it into that amp.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #11
web1b
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The Roamio has 4 tuners, but I don't think MoCA is built in.
So, what if I don't need the Comcast network and OTA networks to talk to each other? Couldn't I just connect the Roamio and a Tivo Mini to the same OTA network and just get one single MoCA network adapter (except for the issue that the OTA splitter is also an amplifier)?

Option 2: If I replace the the Roamio with a Roamio Plus (install a CableCARD and connect it to Comcast network), would I not need any adapters at all plus I could return the Tivo Stream device? Sounds like this could work except I would have to be willing to give up the extra local channels I can receive OTA that Comcast doesn't include in their locals package and I would lose some of the super sharpness in the picture that I get in uncompressed local HD channels OTA.

I could connect the Tivo HD in a second bedroom to the OTA antenna and it would not need to communicate with the Roamio or Mini. Roamio content would still be available from that room or anywhere else in the house via an iPad.

Last edited by web1b : 12-01-2013 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by web1b View Post
The Roamio has 4 tuners, but I don't think MoCA is built in.
So, what if I don't need the Comcast network and OTA networks to talk to each other? Couldn't I just connect the Roamio and a Tivo Mini to the same OTA network and just get one single MoCA network adapter?

Option 2: If I replace the the Roamio with a Roamio Plus (install a CableCARD and connect it to Comcast network), would I not need any adapters at all plus I could return the Tivo Stream device? Sounds like this could work except I would have to be willing to give up the extra local channels I can receive OTA that Comcast doesn't include in their locals package and I would lose some of the super sharpness in the picture that I get in uncompressed local HD channels OTA.

I could connect the Tivo HD in a second bedroom to the OTA antenna and it would not need to communicate with the Roamio or Mini. Roamio content would still be available from that room or anywhere else in the house via an iPad.
You are correct on all counts. The 4 tuner Roamio that supports OTA does not have MoCA built-in, but the Mini does. If you upgraded to a 6-tuner Roamio, you'd lose OTA capability (you'd have to connect it to Comcast and get a CableCard) but it has MoCA built in. Provided that you connect the Mini to your Comcast network as well, you would need no MoCA adapters at all. The 6-tuner Roamios have Stream capability built-in as well.

The TiVo HD could easily live by itself connected to your OTA antenna, you just need to connect it to your ethernet network. Once you do that, your Roamio content will be available to the TiVo HD and your TiVo HD content will be available to your Roamio (although the TiVo HD doesn't support streaming, so you will have to transfer recordings, meaning anything that is "Copy Once" or "Copy Never" on the Roamio will be available on the Mini but unavailable to the TiVo HD). I also would strongly recommend not putting either the Roamio or the TiVo HD on wireless--put them both on wired ethernet.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:16 PM   #13
web1b
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I think the Tivo HD should be OK on wireless. Since the only package I have on Comcast is locals plus HBO (which I can use HBO GO from the iPad or AppleTV in the livingroom and the HBO content would be blocked from being transferred anyways), there would never be any reason to transfer content between the Tivo HD and the Roamio. Wireless is good enough to for the unit to call in for software updates and guide data.

I just called a handyman that I remembered knew how to do network wiring. He said he would convert 3 wall jacks from phone to Ethernet for $50. So, I think I will do that and forget about MoCA. I just need to pick up my own faceplates and other hardware from Lowes before he comes to do the work next week.

If the Roamio Plus also included OTA capability, I would definitely buy it to have the Tivo Stream built in. Being forced to give up OTA capability makes it a more difficult decision and prevents it from being a no compromise choice.
I wonder what made them decide to make it cable-only?

Do you think I could stick the Tivo Stream in that wiring closet and connect it with an Ethernet cable so I don't need to hear the fan noise? There is an power outlet in there that is unused and I would think it could be directly wired into the network with a cable without even installing a faceplate.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by web1b View Post

Do you think I could stick the Tivo Stream in that wiring closet and connect it with an Ethernet cable so I don't need to hear the fan noise? There is an power outlet in there that is unused and I would think it could be directly wired into the network with a cable without even installing a faceplate.
Well, it depends on the ventilation of that box. Also, you need a switch in that box to join all of those ethernet connections together, so you'd also need to get something to split off another electrical outlet.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #15
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You mean that you're getting pauses while *streaming* on the iPad, right?

This is not actually answering your question, but *as a workaround*, you could simply DOWNLOAD to the iPad instead. As long as your download speed is slightly faster than needed to watch it, you can do this. You can WATCH IT WHILE IT IS DOWNLOADING..

I *almost* always download, instead of stream, precisely because there is better control (i.e. much much much faster skip forward/backward) on the locally downloaded content... Of course, I can't skip past where it has downloaded to (with a stream, you can of course skip anywhere, and wait for it). This is almost never an issue to me. (Once in a rare while I stream to literally catch the last minute or something of an episode, or if my iPad is full of other content.. but I have gone months without streaming, IIRC.)
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:00 PM   #16
web1b
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I got my phone jacks rewired to Ethernet today. The guy who said he could do it for $50 couldn't figure it out. I found someone else who knew what they were doing who did 4 ports including one for the switch in the panel for $125.
Now I can't test it or use it because the Tivo service is down tonight. So annoying.
At least the fan noise on the Tivo Stream will no longer be an issue at that location.

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Old 07-04-2014, 11:36 AM   #17
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I solved this problem using a Netgear Powerline 500. Two boxes. Plug one into the outlet near your router, the other near the Mini or other device, push the security buttons, connect the Ethernet cables and VOILA you have "wired" internet connections for $59 and no sweat. After struggling with Moca for two days and working around a tuning adapter on my Roamio it was plug and play heaven. The devices are available at Best Buy. Go for the fastest one available For Netgear the 500 instead of the 200.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:55 PM   #18
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I would think Powerline would be a last resort. Since typically a MoCA network will provide much faster speeds and be more reliable. Although it didn't work out for you for some reason. I personally don't like powerline adapter because they can't be used with a UPS. And with no UPS, the devices will lose connectivity during a power outage. I put all my electroinc devices on a UPS so I can continue using everything, like normal, if there is a power outage.
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