How Do We Connect an OTA antenna and keep FIOS Internet

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by rlumme, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Hi, We need help connecting OTA antenna at a single entry point AND keeping FIOS internet and phone service.

    After making the decision to cut cable, we purchased a TIVO Roamio OTA and OTA antenna. We tested it by connecting the antenna and Tivo to a single TV and have determined we receive plenty of OTA TV channels and the optimal antenna placement worked out. Now it's time to connect to the whole house and this is where we need help.

    Our phone and internet service are Verizon FIOS and enters the house via a coaxial cable. After some fairly extensive research, we THINK we need to purchase two diplexers to make this work, but I can't find any conclusive information or How To.

    Here is what I think we need to do and would very much appreciate any words of advice from those who have gone before us.

    The Set-Up we have in mind:
    - The Mohu Sky 60 antenna mounted on roof and it's cable run to the exterior location where FIOS cable enters the house (the ONT).

    - A diplexer, installed outside near the FIOS box, receives the FIOS cable and OTA antenna cable, combining the two signals and sending them through a single cable entering the house

    - That single cable carrying both the FIOS internet and OTA TV signals is then split at various locations behind walls to our 3 TVs (yes, I know about signal degradation, but will tackle that later if necessary)

    - A second diplexer is installed inside next to the wifi router. That diplexer receives the cable carrying internet and TV signals and then splits those signals via two cables exiting with one going to the FIOS router and the other to the TIVO Roamio OTA box.

    The BIG question: Will this work?

    I've read about amplifiers, boosters, MoCA, and filters, but have no clear idea when those might be useful and how they might apply to our set-up. We are in an older home with no easy way to run new cable.

    Thanks for any help!
     
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  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    At what frequencies does the FiOS Internet and phone signal operate, and are these frequencies fixed? OTA lies between 40-806 MHz.

    Do you need the raw OTA antenna signal fed to each TV, or were you planning on using TiVo Minis for access to the OTA content?
     
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  3. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    If you are not using MoCA, don't fret about it. It just complicates setup.

    Basically, you are removing the cable cards, Tuning adapters (if used) and the cable coax. Replacing it with the antenna coax.

    But since you now have a Roamio OTA, you would just be using the antenna coax, ethernet.
     
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  4. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    My understanding is that the frequencies won't interfere, but no idea if they are fixed. We are using the Roamio OTA with 1 TV and simply OTA free channels for the other 2.
     
  5. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Totally agree with you, except that we need the FIOS internet and phone service that comes through the coax at the ONT. Since we need those signals to share space with the OTA signals, we are hoping the diplexer is the answer. Does that makes sense? I hope I'm explaining it correctly - this is definitely not my area of expertise.
     
  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    The FiOS MoCA WAN frequency is centered at 1000 MHz (975-1025 MHz), so a diplexer could apparently be used to merge/separate the OTA antenna and FiOS MoCA WAN and even MoCA LAN signals, but I don't have a clue how the FiOS phone system works.

    Signal frequencies...
    OTA: 40-806 MHz
    Cable: 5-1002 MHz
    FiOS MoCA WAN: 975-1025 MHz (MoCA Band C, channel C4)
    MoCA LAN: 1125-1675 MHz (MoCA Band D + Extended Band D)

    Typical diplexer pass-band specs...

    VHF/UHF(ANT): 40-806
    SAT: 950-2150
     
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  7. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Of course, you can keep cable and antenna coax separate and still use the network by ethernet, wireless.
     
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  8. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the ONT broadcasts a TV signal if you're not a TV subscriber, so assuming that's true if you can merge the OTA signal with the ONT's output coax, that alone would be sufficient... I think. It shouldn't interfere with internet or phone and the second diplexer probably isn't necessary.

    Fios coax goes on the high-frequency/satellite side of the diplexer. OTA on the low-frequency end.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
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  9. jacksails54

    jacksails54 New Member

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    I'm curious... why do you want to combine the FIOS signal and the OTA antenna signal on the same coax and then distribute that combined signal throughout the house? Here's an idea...

    - Leave FIOS setup alone
    - Leave OTA antenna to TiVo Roamio setup alone
    - Add TiVo Mini to each TV location
    - Connect TiVo Roamio OTA to ethernet switch
    - Connect each TiVo Mini to ethernet switch
    - Enjoy!!
     
  10. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    That would certainly simplify things, but require purchasing 2 Minis, which we don't want to do, and to run extra cable and ethernet to multiple locations. Not practical in our 50 year old house. We want to use - if at all possible - the existing coaxial cables in order to avoid exposed cables or having to poke holes in the walls. Thanks so much for replying!! :)
     
  11. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    If you are not using Fios TV services and you have Ethernet from the ONT to your Fios router, you should not run into issues just using the splitters which are already there and powering up everything, assuming you have available coax ports. The OTA signals should not interfere with the Fios router (MoCA WAN which is not used) nor it's MoCA LAN side, so the only concern would be sending your MoCA LAN back up the antenna, so you will need one diplexer on the coax from the antenna.
    If you are using the MoCA WAN (coax only) to get internet from the ONT, then simply using one sat grade diplexer as the first point coming from your antenna is again all that you would need.
    The use of the diplexer is actually better than trying to use a MoCA filter as it eliminates the MoCA WAN signal from going back up the antenna, not really a security risk, but could definitely cause interference, an FCC issue.
    Fios phone service is normally wired from the ONT to where ever the standard phone box is located on the outside of the home but the connection from the regular phone company, the outside world, is disconnected, so only the phone lines in the home have a connection via the ONT. This works best for most people as they can use any internal jacks to connect their phones to.
    EDIT: The antenna feed would go to the input of the diplexer and any further feeds would go on the "antenna" side. The "sat" side is not needed so I would put a 75 Ohm terminator on it.
     
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  12. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    The all-TiVo approach *would* require purchasing 2 Minis, but wouldn't require any new coax or Ethernet runs since the Minis could be networked via your FiOS gateway-established MoCA LAN. The only drawback with the Mini approach, other than the cost of the Minis, is that live TV viewing can be limited if all the tuners on the host DVR are occupied with recording or other live TV sessions. Some setups benefit by only having to deliver the OTA antenna signal to a single location, avoiding the signal loss associated with splitting the signal and, thereby, avoiding the need for amplification.

    But back to your original question...

    Assuming the FiOS phone devices are just LAN IP devices they should communicate through the FiOS gateway and over the MoCA WAN, right? If so, the phone service should continue working even with the diplexers in place.

    The only other stumbling block might be if you find you need to amplify your antenna signal, once it's been split to feed all the TV locations. Placement of and powering an amp can be complicated by the diplexers, since most diplexers don't allow power to pass through their TV/antenna port but *do* pass power through the satellite port.

    Lastly, a MoCA filter would normally be needed to prevent MoCA signals from reaching and emanating from the antenna, but many consider a diplexer, as you're connecting it, a sufficient substitute for the function.
     
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  13. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    Wow! I think this is exactly what I was after. Thank you! Internet is definitely entering the house via a coax cable coming from the ONT, not an ethernet. For this reason, would a second diplexer be needed to split the OTA signals from the internet signals inside the house? I'd connect the coax carrying the combined signals to a second diplexer near my wifi router, running a cable from the SAT connection to the router and a cable from the antenna connection to the Tivo Roamio OTA box. Easy enough to test it both ways, but just wanted to make sure I was understanding you correctly. Sure appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thanks so much!!!!
     
  14. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    Thanks! All that makes sense and I agree. We don't have any interest in purchasing the Minis so I think the diplexer is the way to start and see what happens. Will update the thread once the diplexers arrive and we do the connections. It's a relief to know we're headed the right direction with all of this. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
     
  15. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    I am not exactly certain of your setup....so get a second diplexer just in case. You should be able to get it working though just with those for certain. The only other possible issue is signal strength on the OTA Roamios...but if problematic, using a MoCA friendly amp should solve that. Hopefully, it won't be a problem.
     
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  16. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yes, you'd want to use a second diplexer as you originally posted to deliver the MoCA WAN signal to the FiOS gateway and the OTA antenna signal to the Roamio DVR. You could also use MoCA filters at each of your TVs to block the MoCA signals from the TVs' coax inputs, but this is optional ... barring symptoms that would indicate it necessary.

    edit: NOTE: You *could* use a splitter at the gateway/Roamio location but a diplexer would be more effective since it results in less signal loss, delivering more of each signal just where it needs to go. (The gateway has no need for the OTA antenna signal and the Roamio OTA can't do anything with MoCA.)

    And the first diplexer, outside the house, would be connected as you'd previously suggested, with the ONT coax connecting to the "SAT" port and the coax feed from the antenna to the "ANT (VHF/UHF)" port, and the "IN/OUT" port connecting to the coax line entering the house -- and connecting on the other side to the input of your distribution splitter.

    If the phones are connected as fcfc2 indicates, directly between the ONT and a separate phone junction, your original diplexer plan to get the combined signals into the house via a single coax line would seem to be a go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
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  17. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    Thanks again! Diplexers are scheduled to arrive tomorrow (how is it possible that I cannot find a single electronics store in the DC metro area with diplexers in stock?) and I'll update the thread once installation is complete. Yay!
    :) Roxanne
     
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  18. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    p.s. Amending my previous comment, rather than using MoCA filters at your other TV locations, *if* you were looking to filter-out the MoCA signals from the TV inputs I'd suggest going with an additional diplexer at each location, since a diplexer is typically cheaper than a MoCA filter and would allow later installation of a MoCA adapter or MoCA-capable device (see: TiVo Mini) via the diplexer "SAT" port. If unused, as fcfc2 instructed, cap the unused "SAT" diplexer port with a 75-ohm terminator.

    See here for parts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
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  19. rlumme

    rlumme New Member

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    Perfect! Thanks again!
    Roxanne
     
  20. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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    Wow Roxanne / @rlumme ! :eek: Thanks for starting such an interesting thread!! :thumbsup:

    I've had to re-read it multiple times, possibly because I'm on one of my 'awake-over-24-hours' binders (like in Bindy from Crocodile Hunter in Australia, not looseleaf binder books) where, when I start a 'Unit-of-Work', I have to finish the thought process (Retirement is great! :D ).

    You're doing what I am planning to do, in a fashion - ~40+ years ago, when my wife and I bought this ranch, I put a deep fringe antenna up with a rotor. It fed a preamp in the attic (to shield it from the weather), then a single coax run to the basement where a 2-port splitter fed two Archer 4-port amps for (up to) 8 TVs (unused outlets were terminated with 75ohm resistors).

    When I upgraded to Comcast, then FiOS, all of the coax for the individual TVs / VCRs was already in place and, in the case of FiOS, all that needed to be added was coax for the ONT and the Modem / Router. I'm going to present my layout, not with the intention of changing your mind, but, just to convey to others with a similar goal (switch TVs from cable / FiOS to OTA) my point-of-view / alternative method. Being a retired Programmer / Analyst, and being OCD, I love to format (see the re-formatted QUOTEs above
    :rolleyes: ). It helps me proofread.

    FiOS has 1 line coming from the pole to my house. That 1 line goes into a 2-Port splitter, outside, and 2 coax cables enter my basement:
    1. This cable goes directly to the ONT, mounted on a joist ~3ft away.
      AFAIK, this provides my V0IP telephone service.
      My old POTS service Bakelite lightning arrestor blocks (had 2 lines: Voice and Modem) are right there so the FiOS Tech just tied in to my-in-house POTS network (4-wires / 2 twisted pairs) going 'all over the house'.
      I let him do the minimum that I could convince him was needed - after he left, I 'fixed' it to the way I wanted it. :cool:
    1. This cable runs ~30ft to another 2-Port splitter (The RED '1' at the beginning of this line s/b a BLACK '2' - Ask the forum owners why it isn't! :confounded: )
      1. This cable goes directly to my FiOS Modem / Router.
        OT: The FiOS Modem / Router is setup in 'Bridge Mode' and passes its information to my, currently, Buffalo WHR-G54S running DD-WRT (a *VERY* powerful router firmware upgrade :thumbsup: )
        The WHR-G54S has *ONE* LAN port connected, to a TRENDnet 8-Port Gigabit Switch, which then feeds other Gigabit switches throughout the house.
        That's the 'Ethernet' side of things, fyi...
      2. This cable goes to my old 'OTA Command Central' (although we didn't call it 'OTA' 40 years ago. ;) )
        Here, the 2-Port splitter and 2 Archer 4-Port amps have been replaced by three 2-Port splitters (could have been one 4-Port splitter but this it what I had on-hand).
        Since my son is now off and married, and I no longer spend *HOURS* at my workbench, the number of TVs has been reduced (I had a GE ~10" PortaColor on my workbench - anyone remember those days?). That has no influence on this discussion.
        1. Living Room
        2. Bedroom
        3. Den
        4. Rec Room
    I thought that, although @jacksails54 had good intentions, I wouldn't want you to unnecessarily spend money on TiVo Minis.

    For my setup, I plan to BREAK the existing connection at the point highlighted in
    GREEN above.
    • A simple coax coupler will connect the 'Outside' FiOS to the 'Inside' FiOS Modem / Router.
    • Line 2 can be disconnected here and the opposite end can be connected to my new attic OTA antenna, which will then feed my existing ~40+ yo coax 'Network'.
    Looking forward to read how *YOUR* idea works out.
    :)

    P.S. This forum software *STINKS* to high heavens! It's so buggy when using multiple TAGs. And, while on the subject of TAGs, it *SUCKS* that they are 'invisible' - I'd rather type the TAGs in 'NotePad-style' than have to deal with these 'Should-Have-Never-Reached-Production' *BUGs*. Goes back to the good ole '80/20 Rule' and $$$. :handpointup:(Ths 'looks' like the correct image...)

    P.P.S. It's been my observation that *MANY* forum posters (not just here but everywhere I frequent) are '
    Snipers', a term that I've stolen from eBay 'last-second' bidders. Whether they're on smartphones, tablets, or (heaven-forbid) actual computers, they appear, to me at least, to jump in with a minute or two of their 'wisdom' and then leave - content in the fact that "They've saved the world!". Silly as it may seem, I've just spent over TWO HOURS composing and proofreading this post. And I enjoyed every minute of it. I hope someone benefits from it...
     
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