Ethernet limitations removed?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by mmulicka, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. mmulicka

    mmulicka New Member

    Jul 14, 2018


    I'd like to know if TiVo now supports ethernet switches. Background...

    TiVo Roamio Pro
    TiVo Premiere
    TiVo Mini x 5 - more planned

    In 2014, I ran CAT 5e to every A/V location in my home. In order to support the required number of locations, I used ethernet switches connected to my router. The TiVos and Minis didn't work. After numerous calls and lengthy discussions with TiVo support, I was very upset to learn that TiVo doesn't support ethernet switches. This was not documented anywhere, and required me to re-run all of the RG6 that I'd just eliminated in order to go back to MoCA.

    I'm now re-wiring my entire house and I'd like all networking to be CAT 6A ethernet. I could conceivably wire everything directly to a router with enough ports, but that would require a lot more wire and an expensive router, and would limit expandability. I'm concerned about retaining MoCA because the number of devices is already 7 and and I expect growth.

    Does anyone know if TiVo now supports ethernet bridges? Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    Most switches work just fine, but TiVo will probably still b*tch about them if you call in for support. I've had as many as 3 switches scattered around the house, but right now I'm down to one 16-port LinkSys LGS116 gigabit switch that handles everything except wireless with a single feed line from the router.

    Simpler is better. Look for unmanaged switches that don't have the word "green" anywhere in the description.
    kpeters59 likes this.
  3. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2004
    Sioux Falls, SD
    I've had switches for years without issues. I think my longest has four switches between two TiVo Premieres. I even bought flat Cat6 cables so that all 5 TiVos are hardwired. I can stream and MRV without issues. I use DLink gigabit green switches (all the same brand), ranging from 5-16 ports depending on location.

    Edit: and a Stream is in the mix, too
    kpeters59 likes this.
  4. scole250

    scole250 Member

    Nov 8, 2005
    Goldsboro, NC
    I wasn't aware there was ever an issue using switches, as long as they are connected through switch ports and not the WAN port on a router. You just have to be sure all your devices are on the same class C subnet, (first 3 octets all the same like 192.168.1 ).

    I have 4 tivos and all go through 3 switches to get another tivo.

    EDIT: I use Netgear Prosafe 5, 8 and 16 port switches with a Linksys here and there.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  5. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas


    IGMP Snooping may be an issue for this setup.

  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    Nov 25, 2003
    Mentioned previously, the two most common issues with switches (or routers) are "green" switches that power-down ports not in use, and managed switches or routers that support IGMP Snooping/Proxy. You can search TCF or the web for more info on IGMP Snooping, or begin your adventure >here<.
  7. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    Just to pile on... I have two of my TiVos on switches, not a problem with either. Very simple, very basic 4-port switch with no features.
  8. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Sacramento, CA
    I have NetGear gigabit switches (FS-105 and FS-108) in my kit- had had problems with the energy saving mode on the 108 not waking up- which would hang the connection between the Bolt and the Mini. Only happened a couple of times, but as it's an unmanaged switch, there was no way to adjust it. I eventually audited and reconfigured some of the network hardware, and I was able to delete both switches from my network. They're all resting comfortably in a closet.
  9. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    I've never had any issues using our TiVo's with Ethernet switches. 2 S3's since 2007 and a Roamio Pro for the last 2 and a half years with a Mini. Others have reported that TiVo support indicates they don't support switches but that's because they don't want to be in the position of troubleshooting your network.

    As mentioned above some of the green switches caused issues (although I've had no issues with our Dlink green ones) and on newer switches IGMP snooping/proxying causes issues with multicast traffic which the Mini uses.

    chiguy50 likes this.
  10. Fireblade

    Fireblade New Member

    Nov 17, 2017
    TiVo always worked fine with switches. TiVo support just doesn't support them. You got misled.

    Why would the TiVo even have an ethernet port if they can't work with switches? Even the LAN ports in your router are ports on a switch.

    Your original problem was most likely something else, not the switch. Or perhaps it was the IGMP thing.

    Personally I use all Netgear unmanaged switches, GS105/GS108 & GS305/GS308. Never had an issue with any of my TiVos/TiVo Minis.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  11. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    As multiple other posters have said there is/was never such a "limitation" It was that support will not troubleshoot a customers networking issues if switches are involved because it adds more complications to the process, agree with it or not, I get why they did it.

    The title of the thread and the OPs statement of it being a "limitation" isn't accurate, plenty of us have run both simple and complicated network footprints with no issues, had you asked TCF in 2014 we most likely would have helped you get past this issue.
    jrtroo and chiguy50 like this.
  12. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Same here. I've been using unmanaged D-Link gigabit switches with my TiVo DVR's since 2009 without any issues.
  13. Voting

    Voting New Member

    Jun 3, 2018
    Which switches do you have?
  14. MScottC

    MScottC Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    I also had issues with switches between my Roamio Plus and my mini. It turned out I had 2 "Green" Gig-E switches in my network infrastructure. I managed to bypass them. A few months later, TiVo rewrote some software or firmware, and the problem went away. All of this happened when way back when the Roamios were first released.
  15. mmulicka

    mmulicka New Member

    Jul 14, 2018
    To all,

    Thanks so very much for sharing your insights and advice!

    Had TiVo told me that I could use the switches but they would not provide tech support for them, I would have kept working on a resolution. The messgage I got at the time was as I originally described - a limitation of the technology. For some of the reasons mentioned here, I didn't understand it and I expressed my disappointment to TiVo at the time that I had to rerun the RG6, but they told me that was the only solution. It's all history and I'll write it off to miscommunication.

    What's important now is the path forward. I'm getting all new networking hardware and will incorporate your advice into my decisions... And this time I'm going to test the complete setup Before I run the wires in the walls

    Thanks again.
    HerronScott, dianebrat and JoeKustra like this.
  16. sakaike

    sakaike Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    It's all semantics. TiVo (the devices) will all work in an environment with the right switches. TiVo (the company) won't "support" your use of the TiVos in an environment that includes switches.

    TiVo (the company) could save themselves a few customer support calls by making this distinction a bit more clear. I don't know why they don't.
  17. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    The multiple ports on the back of your cable router is a switch. You wouldn’t be able to hook up more than one device in your house without a switch.
    jcondon and kpeters59 like this.
  18. Fireblade

    Fireblade New Member

    Nov 17, 2017
    Yeah, there's literally nobody out there who doesn't have their TiVo hooked up via a switch. The only way you wouldn't is if you had your TiVo hooked directly to your cable modem and didn't use internet at all in the rest of your home.

    TiVo obviously works just fine with switches, but if you talk to support, instead of just saying "we don't do troubleshooting of your ethernet network", they make it sound like they don't support switches. Been through it myself. It's extremely deceptive. Maybe they are getting kickbacks from MoCA vendors?
  19. MHunter1

    MHunter1 TiVo Bug Hunter

    Oct 11, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    After years of using a Wireless G adapter with my Premiere, I hired a reputable handyman to install a 100' Cat6 ethernet cable in the crawl space and my heart sunk when I plugged it in and the MAC address blinked onscreen for a split-second then disappeared. After trying the cable with multiple devices it just would not transmit a signal. I didn't test the cable before giving it to the installer so the reason is a mystery. Was the cable defective? Kinked by a staple? Burned by the freshly-drilled hole? I tested a replacement cable before re-doing the installation and it has been working fine but I still think about who or what was to blame for that original failed install.
  20. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    How can someone reputable install cable without testing/mapping the pairs? I mean you don't need expensive bandwidth frequency tester, but the installer should have at least tested the pairs to see if they were wired correctly on both ends before trying different devices. Even if you have the pairs wired correctly, if you use the wrong style connectors/blocks it can cause contact issues also. Solid core and stranded cables have different style connectors that are optimized for the style of wire.

    Instead of trying the non-working cable with multiple devices it probably would have been better to redo the punchdowns and the crimped ends.

    Next time test the cables using something like this before even connecting any equipment, will save you a lot of debugging headache:

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