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Old 05-31-2014, 08:16 AM   #1
PopcornGuy
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Need advice for building a Tivo Roamio network

Coming back to Tivo after a few years with Directv (wife hates the Directv interface). I am looking to build a Tivo Roamio system in my new house. This would consist of multiple Roamios and multiple Minis. The house is wired with cat5 and coax at every potential tv outlet (10 total). Those lines all run to a large wall box with power outlets in a storage closet. My ideal setup would have three Roamios in the common areas and seven Minis in bedrooms/office. Each room that has multiple wired network devices (gaming included) would have an Ethernet switch.

Now for my questions...

Should I connect the Roamios and Minis all with the coax for a moca network? If so, how do I run the spitters so that all boxes can communicate with each other? Is that the more desirable setup? Is it faster? I don't want to bog down the Ethernet network with Tivo traffic unnecessarily. I assume I also connect Ethernet for Tivo guide data, web content, etc.

Can I have 10 Tivo devices on one network/account?

With three six-tuner Roamios I would need three multi-stream cablecards, correct? Are tuning adapters needed with the Roamios?

Is there a "best way" to setup the Minis for a scenario where all 10 TV's were on and tuned to a different live TV channel at the same time?

I currently have a Series 3 Tivo with upgraded storage and lifetime service. How will that work with the new system? Am I better off selling it? I am not too worried about the content on it since it's been little used for two years.

Today I have a cableco DVR hooked up that says "unable to record". I don't want to waste time with it. Luckily it's a slow week for TV programming. All advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:59 AM   #2
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Is your Ethernet network capable of Gigabit speeds? If so, I wouldn't worry about the Tivos bogging it down. I wouldn't use MoCa if there was a Cat 5/5e/6 jack near the Tivo.

Accounts are limited to 10 Tivos but you can have >1 account. They may have different MAKs though so they may only be able to share/stream amongst Tivos within the same account.

Each Roamio would need a cablecard. If you need a tuning adapter with your cable company, Roamios probably won't obviate that need. If your current Series 3 needs one, the Roamios probably will as well.

I think the Series 3 could take the place of one Mini. If it doesn't work out, you can always get another Mini and retire the Series 3. If you're going to sell it, I would wait until fall TV season when demand is higher.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:14 AM   #3
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Is your Ethernet network capable of Gigabit speeds? If so, I wouldn't worry about the Tivos bogging it down. I wouldn't use MoCa if there was a Cat 5/5e/6 jack near the Tivo.
Ethernet cables are Cat 5e. There is an 8 port and a 5 port gigabit switch in the central box. Internet service is Lightning 90 (mbps). The cableco provided modem has MoCA built in.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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MOCA is primarily (although not exclusively) for folks who do not have Ethernet jacks conveniently located near their installation points. If you have Ethernet jacks conveniently located near all 10 of your desired locations, I would go 100% Ethernet.

Based on that, no additional splitters would be needed.

Going 100% Ethernet will not bog down your network any more than using MOCA. I can't speak to the 10 devices question, since I have never had that many live devices on my account at any one time.

You will need one Multi-Stream cablecard for each Roamio. If you have three Roamios, you will need three cards. The only caveat to this statement is if you choose to have any Roamio Basics as part of your network and choose to use them with OTA feeds, then a cablecard will not be necessary for those particular devices.

Tuning adapter requirements are determined by your cable provider. If your provider does not require it, then your Roamio does not need it.

The "best" way to connect your Minis, assuming they will be located in areas with other Internet-connected devices would be to run Ethernet in that room into a switch, and then connect the Mini and all your other Internet devices into that switch.

Personally, I would dump the Series 3. The differences in UI between your Roamios and Minis (in HD), versus the SD interface in the Series 3 would be annoying enough (for me) to justify dumping that box in favor of a more consistent experience throughout the house.

My two cents...
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:51 AM   #5
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We just did the same conversion, so I can tell you it is pretty simple. I'll assume you are using a SWiM system (one wire per DVR). Are you running DECA with your DirecTV setup? If so, you are already using a form of MOCA (DECA runs on different frequencies than regular MOCA but is otherwise identical). All you need to do is replace your DirecTV devices with TiVo devices, connect Ethernet to one of the Roamios, configure the network settings there to use Ethernet and MOCA and you'all be good to go.

If you are not using DECA, then you are still likely to be fine. Just replace the dish feed with your local cable feed and you should be all set.

You will no longer need an equivalent to the Cinema Connection Kit (a DirecTV version of a MOCA bridge) or a GenieGo (the equivalent of a TiVo Stream - and built into the Roamio Plus and Pro). You may also need to replace the DirecTV splitters if they are "green label" splitters - while they are rated to 2GHz, they have components to propagate the DECA signal through the splitter without loss, and have one output port that passes DC through to the input (which shouldn't cause a problem, but we replaced ours, just in case).

As to whether you should use MOCA or Ethernet, I'd suggest MOCA since you plan on several Minis. That way, watching via a Mini (which will send all the video from one of the Roamios) will not impact your Ethernet network.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:56 PM   #6
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We just did the same conversion, so I can tell you it is pretty simple. I'll assume you are using a SWiM system (one wire per DVR). Are you running DECA with your DirecTV setup? If so, you are already using a form of MOCA (DECA runs on different frequencies than regular MOCA but is otherwise identical). All you need to do is replace your DirecTV devices with TiVo devices, connect Ethernet to one of the Roamios, configure the network settings there to use Ethernet and MOCA and you'all be good to go.

If you are not using DECA, then you are still likely to be fine. Just replace the dish feed with your local cable feed and you should be all set.

You will no longer need an equivalent to the Cinema Connection Kit (a DirecTV version of a MOCA bridge) or a GenieGo (the equivalent of a TiVo Stream - and built into the Roamio Plus and Pro). You may also need to replace the DirecTV splitters if they are "green label" splitters - while they are rated to 2GHz, they have components to propagate the DECA signal through the splitter without loss, and have one output port that passes DC through to the input (which shouldn't cause a problem, but we replaced ours, just in case).

As to whether you should use MOCA or Ethernet, I'd suggest MOCA since you plan on several Minis. That way, watching via a Mini (which will send all the video from one of the Roamios) will not impact your Ethernet network.
It's new construction. I just wanted it wired with both options. Do I need to assign the Minis a parent Tivo for tuner assignment and put 2-3 Minis with each one? Or do the Minis get their tuner from a pool of the 18 total tuners?
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:06 PM   #7
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Tuning adapter requirements are determined by your cable provider. If your provider does not require it, then your Roamio does not need it.
Picked up three multi stream cablecards and three tuning adapters today. Total additional monthly cost = about $9.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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It's new construction. I just wanted it wired with both options. Do I need to assign the Minis a parent Tivo for tuner assignment and put 2-3 Minis with each one? Or do the Minis get their tuner from a pool of the 18 total tuners?
If you're going to run 7 minis I would assign two each to the two most used Roamios and the last three to the least used Roamio in the home. They do need to be paired with a Roamio, but they only use a tuner when they're actively watching live TV. There is no tuner pooling with TiVo like there is with WMC unfortunately.
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:29 PM   #9
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Picked up three multi stream cablecards and three tuning adapters today. Total additional monthly cost = about $9.
Wow, that makes me insanely jealous. FiOS charges $4.99 per cablecard.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:26 PM   #10
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Ethernet is switched. MoCA is a bus topology. The max realistic bandwidth you get from gigabit Ethernet is around 500Mbit. Moca only gives around 250Mbit. MoCA being bus means ALL MoCA devices share that 250Mbit, just like you have to share wireless bandwidth. The gigabit Ethernet only has to share bandwidth on the path from the switch a specific device, meaning you can be streaming 2 shoes from 1 Tivo and those 2 streams share 500Mbit, while another Tivo can be streamiing to 2 other Minis an only have to share the 500Mbit to that Tivo. If it was all MoCA, you'd have 250Mbit shared by 4 streams. In the end, MoCA is still probably fast enough, but the Ethernet will be overall better and easier to support.

(ok, fixed the typo, but 1000T Ethernet is still faster than MoCA no matter how it's wired)
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:32 PM   #11
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Ethernet is switched. MoCA is a bus topology. The max realistic bandwidth you get from gigabit Ethernet is around 500Mbit. Moca only gives around 250Mbit. MoCA being bus means ALL MoCA devices share that 250Mbit, just like you have to share wireless bandwidth. The gigabit Ethernet only has to share bandwidth on the path from the switch a specific device, meaning you can be streaming 2 shoes from 1 Tivo and those 2 streams share 500Gbit, while another Tivo can be streamiing to 2 other Minis an only have to share the 500Gbit to that Tivo. If it was all MoCA, you'd have 250Gbit shared by 4 streams. In the end, MoCA is still probably fast enough, but the Ethernet will be overall better and easier to support.
That assumes that the Ethernet is wired correctly, with each node home run to one large switch. In most residential networks, however, the topology usually looks more like a bus/star hybrid. If both "source" TiVos are on one switch, and both clients on another, with an Ethernet segment between them, then all the traffic is passing over that one interconnecting segment, with all sessions sharing the same bandwidth, just like MOCA or wireless. If we round off an HD stream to 10 Mbits/second, even a MOCA bus can support at least 8, possibly 10, streams before you'd begin to get any contention. The 250 Mbit (not Gbit) rating of MOCA is based on half duplex transmission and has to be halved to get the equivalent of full duplex Ethernet, so it's really 125 Mbit/second.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:01 PM   #12
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According to several sources I've seen such as here Moca 1.1 is capable of a max throughput of 175 Mbps (send + receive), however as mentioned there, most bridges have 10/100 Ethernet ports which limits 1 way transfer to < 100 Mbps. For example the Actiontec adapter TiVo sells has exactly these specifications as can be seen from Amazon page:
http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Ethe...actiontec+moca
Quote:
Technical Specifications
RF Interface Connector: F-type
Impedance: 75 Ohms
Network Center Frequency Range 1150 ~ 1500 MHz
Network Frequency Range 1125 ~ 1525 MHz
Max Transit Power +3 dBm (52 dBmV)
Link Conditions Min Attenuation (> 250 Mbps): 10 dB min
Max Attenuation (>30 Mbps): 68 dB max
Max Attenuation (> 250 Mbps): 50 dB max
Network Size 15 Devices (including NC)
Max Physical Data Rate Up to 270 Mbps
Coax Application Data Rate Up to 175 Mbps bi-directional combined
Ethernet Interface Connector Type: RJ45
Configuration: One Port
Protocol: IEEE 802.3x, 100M Fast Ethernet

MoCA Version MoCA 1.1
Link Delay Typical: 3.5 ms
Max: 9 ms
Power Requirement Power Consumption: < 5 Watts
Input Range: 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz
Environmental Conditions Ambient Temperature Range: 0 ~ 40 degrees Celsius
Storage Temperature Range: -5 ~ 65 degrees Celsius
Operating Humidity: 10% ~ 95% Non-condensing

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Old 05-31-2014, 08:26 PM   #13
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You're right about MoCA 1.1 being 175Mbit. Not sure where I pulled 250Mbit from, getting old. If it's all on MoCA, the bridge isn't a bottleneck, but as you point out, if you do have to bridge to Ethernet it could be.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:54 PM   #14
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Good point, the drop to < 100 Mbps is only if you bridge to ethernet through the adapter.
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:47 PM   #15
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Wow, that makes me insanely jealous. FiOS charges $4.99 per cablecard.
Yes but at least we don't need as many cable cards any more. At one time I had eight cable cards from FiOS and two from Comcast. Although back then the Comcast cards were free and the FiOS cards were $3. But that was still $24 a month I paid FiOS. Now with only one cable card from FiOS, I don't mind that the fee has increased to $5 per cable card..
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:56 PM   #16
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Ethernet is switched. MoCA is a bus topology. The max realistic bandwidth you get from gigabit Ethernet is around 500Mbit................
?????????????????I got faster throughput than that over GigE back in late 2001 with the slow hard drives and PCs I had back then. Now in 2014 I have zero issues maxing my throughput at 960Mb/s PC to PC on my network over GigE.

Of course the Tivo can come nowhere close to those speeds. I used to get 150Mb/s+ speeds from my Roamio Pro before the last update. But now it is much, much slower.

But either way, whether I use MoCA or Ethernet I will not notice a difference in speeds in my setup . Now if I had several PRo/Plus units on MoCA all transferring then I would have a problem. But I currently only have my Pro and three Minis on MoCA connected to my Actiontec 4 port GigE MoCA adapter. And then my Roamio BAsic, Premiere and TiVo Desktop PC are connected to a GigE backbone so I can get max speeds to/from TiVo Desktop with concurrent transfers.
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:24 AM   #17
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Looks like I will go with the Ethernet setup due to the multiple Roamios potentially having problems. The speed/reliability seems to be a tossup. I appreciate all the advise.

I have had a bit of difficulty getting cablecards to authorize so I don't have any boxes running yet to see the results. Hopefully I will have some time for that this week.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:44 PM   #18
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10 devices max on the account, although someone on here has like 14 or something and TiVo hasn't complained, but you're pushing your luck if you go over 11.

Ethernet is better since you have it, so just do coax to the three Roamios, along with Ethernet for networks, and Ethernet only to the Minis. My Minis are all MoCA, but I would/will definitely use Ethernet over MoCA if/when I have Ethernet available.

Each Mini will have to be assigned to a Roamio. How you assign them depends on your viewing habits, what will be recording on what Roamio, and who is going to use what Roamio.

The only big issue with that setup is that with BHN, you can't transfer anything other than network programming from Roamio to Roamio, because they use TWC's technology, which over-flags content, but you can still stream them Roamio to Roamio.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:24 PM   #19
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It doesn't sound like you'll hit this limit with your setup, but I've had massive problems running more than 7 minis assigned to a single host. When having 8 connected I've experienced random reboots and C501 errors. The Mini's logs seem to suggest the host fails to respond and timeouts waiting. I assume I could get past this issue if I threw another host in to the mix.

Another tip, the tuning adapter(s) will fail at some point and need rebooted. BHN pushed a Cisco TA patch back in December to resolve tuning issues that were effecting Roamio after its launch. Since then I've rebooted the TA approx 5 times (due to it failing to tune) with the longest being 3 months of uptime. I can't say its the Roamio, but this is in sharp contrast to my TiVoHD with TA that went years without becoming a PIA. I hope things settle back down, but try to find a way to periodically monitor your boxes.

I'm assuming your on BHN - hit up BHN forums at https://secure.dslreports.com/forum/bhousedirect to resolve your CableCard pairing issue. BHNtechXpert has helped me a few times and is much more efficient than calling a random CSR. If you are set on calling in to a CSR, be sure to ask for member of their priority resolution team (PRT) - otherwise you could waste hours.

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