2x Bolt+, 1x Mini, and networking (MOCA?)

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by kdc914, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. kdc914

    kdc914 Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    I have two Bolt+ units ("why TWO?" explained later) and one Mini. One of the Bolts and the Mini have gigabit ethernet connections. The ethernet-connected Bolt+ is one 8-port switch downstream from the router and the Mini is TWO switches downstream from the router because of multiple devices in that room. The other Bolt+ uses WiFi-only. Initially, I was able to stream between the two Bolts, even though one is one WiFi, because I have multiple Ubiquiti Unify WAPs covering my home. After getting new furniture, the WiFi connection was no longer strong enough to stream that way. Then and only then did I find the blurbs on Tivo.com stating that WiFi streaming was not recommended... So now I must either run Ethernet to that Bolt (VERY painful due to the location and layout of my home) or use MOCA networking.

    On paper, the Bolt/Bolt+ have MOCA networking built in. IN THEORY, I should be able to create a MOCA network with the ethernet-connected Bolt+ and use the client MOCA setup on the WiFi-connected Bolt+ and then either leave the Mini strictly on ethernet or convert to MOCA cable.

    I realize I may have to update some of my cable splitters to handle the higher frequency requirements of MOCA networking, but my PRIMARY question is this: the Tivo website states "If your Tivo is next to your router, blahblahblah. If not, MOCA blahblahblah." I THINK what they mean is "If you Tivo is connected to ethernet, do this. If not, use MOCA to stream content because WiFi is not reliable for that." I don't think the switch between the router and the ethernet-connected Bolt+ should matter, should it? SECONDARY question is this: where should I install the POE filter? In front of the cable modem or at the demarc point outside the house?

    As for "why TWO Bolts?" I was replacing two aging and failing TivoHDs. My wife and I have VERY different tastes in television content. Marital harmony was achieved, in part, with "his" and "her" TivoHDs, especially since those only had two tuners each. She also has little patience when it comes to technology. Knowing in advance that I didn't have wired gigabit ethernet to the room where "her" Tivo is, I thought it best for her to have her own. With the SIX tuners in each Bolt+, it's massive overkill but now I have full redundancy if one should go down. And at that time, Tivo had a sale on the Bolts with lifetime activation, so the price of getting two was more reasonable. THAT's why...
  2. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    IMO put the Mini and the 2nd Bolt+ on MoCA, isolating the video traffic from your network. Gigabit is enough to handle everything, but that is an argument that makes sense only if you don't want to enable MoCA. Once you decide to go MoCA, might as well isolate the video traffic if you can with little effort.

    As you suspect, your Bolt+ can be configured as MoCA bridge as long as it has ethernet connected.

    Your other Bolt+ can be configured as MoCA client as can your Mini.

    MoCA is pretty robust in my experience so I wouldn't even bother with changing the splitters unless you have issues. PoE filter I would install, but at your leisure, unless you were having issues, in which case you should try it. I put PoE filter on mine so stuff doesn't leak onto the exterior cable, but my MoCA network worked fine without it.

    Theoretically you should install the PoE at the Point of Entry and at any devices that don't need MoCA, but in reality many cable modems already have a MoCA filter built-in or are not sensitive to MoCA.

    So IMO just enable the MoCA bridge in Bolt+ #1, takes less than a minute, enable MoCA client on Bolt+ #2 (in the process disconnecting ethernet) Try it out and see if it works. Personally I wouldn't care if you don't get maximum MoCA trasmission speeds as long as it is sufficient to stream without hiccups, but some people want everything configured perfect.

    If you have all the cabling in place, literally, it would take less time to enable MoCA and see it works without further mods than it would to respond to this thread :)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  3. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    The MoCA POE{Point of Entry} or a Whole Home DVR filter is an important device and needs to be installed for a number of reasons, including securing your entire network. Until you can determine a more ideal placement, the input of the first splitter to enter your home will suffice.
    You can use the Bolt which has access to the Ethernet connection to "create a MoCA network" or "bridge". The mini does not need to be changed and can be left on Ethernet. The Bolt currently using wifi should be the other change made and it should be set to "connect to a MoCA network". You may see an error popup when changing to MoCA on the Bolts "C33", this is a false positive, ignore it.
    I would try it with the above changes as you are, the MoCA filter{s} are a requirement on all isp's but Fios and you may need an additional one or more filters depending on the cable modem in use and if your system uses TA's, i.e., Tuning adapters.
    I would give it a try with what you have on hand, and see if you can get it working but order your MoCA filters asap. If you run into issues come back and post again. Besides the security aspect, a MoCA filter will actually give a little boost to the MoCA frequencies. If you still have issues and are thinking of upgrading your splitters, be aware that simply mentioning "MoCA or MoCA compatible" in the splitter product description is not telling as almost all splitters are "MoCA compatible". The best results for MoCA are usually achieved when using actual MoCA rated splitters from Holland or Verizon, here is a good source for such splitters and they also have reasonably priced filters, Cable and Satellite Tools - Distributor of Tools for CATV, Satellite, Home Theater, Security, Telecom
    krkaufman and kdc914 like this.
  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    Nov 25, 2003
    Yep, that's how it should work, with your Ethernet-connected BOLT+ establishing your MoCA network (MoCA: "Set up as Bridge") and the current Wi-Fi BOLT+ switching over to a MoCA client connection (MoCA: "Set up as Client"). The Mini can connect via Ethernet or as a MoCA client, but if it ain't broke...

    You'll find a number of posts on TCF, alone, where the absence of a "PoE" MoCA filter resulted in sub-optimal MoCA performance or failure, sometimes after things had been working fine for a considerable period of time, only to mysteriously fail. Given your statement re: spousal patience regarding technology, I'd err on the side of optimizing things up front.

    'gist: Heed @fcfc2's advice and get the "PoE" MoCA filter properly installed, ASAP, ideally on the input to the first splitter encountered by your cable provider's incoming signal. The "PoE" MoCA filter is NOT just for security.

    See here for my go-to list for MoCA-related hardware.
  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    Nov 25, 2003
    p.s. Another value of shifting all 3 of your TiVo devices to MoCA, aside from taking the TiVo content streaming traffic off your Ethernet LAN as suggested by @sfhub, is that in the event of a router outage or most other hiccups with your Ethernet hardware, any TiVo-to-TiVo streaming activity could continue uninterrupted. That is, recorded or live TV viewing would be less affected by an Ethernet/router-related issue.
  6. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Good point. You do need to deal with the silly Blue Spinning Circles, but better than the alternative :)

    BTW the pic of the Mini running 20.7.2 RC24 was funny.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    krkaufman likes this.

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