Mini on ethernet and develop a stuttering problem? Try this

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by cpgar11, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. cpgar11

    cpgar11 New Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Using ethernet and having video and audio stuttering issues with your mini? Try replacing ethernet cables that link your roamio to your mini.

    I recently ran into an issue where a mini in one of my bedrooms developed what I would call a stuttering problem. Selecting live TV or watching recorded video would take a long time to acquire. Then when it did, the audio would constantly cut-off and the video playback would appear choppy.

    I first tried rebooting the mini. Then I tried reestablishing the connection to the Roamio in the settings screen of the mini. Next I replaced both the HDMI cable and the ethernet cable that connected the mini to the RJ45 jack on the wall in the bedroom. All these changes did nothing to resolve the issue.

    Since I have 5 minis in the house, I then went to another bedroom with a mini and tried that one. Surprisingly it was also displaying the stuttering problem. I checked a third mini in the house and again displayed the same stuttering problem. What all my minis had in common was that they were all connected to the same network switch, so I proceeded to inspect my network equipment.

    My network setup is fairly basic and consists of a high-speed cable modem, a wireless router which also has 4 network ports on the back for wired ethernet and a 16-port wired switch. My Roamio is connected directly to one of the wired ethernet ports on the back of the router. I then have another ethernet cable connected between the back of the router and directly to the 16-port switch, which all my minis and computers are connected to.

    The ethernet cable that feeds network connectivity between the router and the switch was the culprit for me. Replacing this patch cable restored all streaming video to all the minis in my home back to normal.

    Interestingly, I also have several computers in the house that are wired directly to the switch. While the minis were suffering from their stuttering problems, the computers functioned properly and able to access the internet and network. I'm no network expert by any means, but I suspect the computers worked because they were probably not using as much bandwith compared to the minis. So if you decide to test an ethernet cable that you're using with a mini by plugging it into a computer instead, it may not show you accurate results. Better to replace the ethernet cable.

    So again this is just my experience and posting here in case it may help someone else. So if you run into stuttering issues with your mini and using ethernet, try replacing all the ethernet cables in the link between your roamio and the mini, as one of them may be the issue.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
    krkaufman likes this.
  2. mjh

    mjh Re: Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    I had the same problem and fixed it the same way.
  3. Time_Lord

    Time_Lord Member

    Jun 4, 2012
    I keep saying that all of these stuttering or pausing issues between the Minis and the host TiVos are network related issues such as a bad cable and or switch. Plus many network issues do not show up until you put a load on the network and the minis put a load of almost 20mb/s on the network (simple browsing puts almost no load on a network).

    Although I've had good results with them a lot of the low cost cables I suspect barely meet their rated spec if at all, granted 1Gb/s only requires Cat 5e (100 only requires Cat 5). Plus the real cheap wire is called "CCA" or Copper Clad Aluminum, regardless of what the seller claims this stuff DOES NOT meet Cat 5 or higher spec, I don't even think it meets CAT 3! (plus forget about the UL ratings for low voltage cabling altogether).

    Even when the cabling meets spec and the termination (RJ-45 connectors or whatever for the cable type used) is properly installed the cable has to be properly installed, that means that the cables aren't knotted, twisted, or kinked and the minimum bend radius is not exceeded which is typically 4x the cable diameter (roughly 1 inch for ethernet and 1 1/2 inches for CoAX).

    regarding MoCA which I'm not as familiar with but you run into some of the same issues, cabling quality, RG-6 vs RG-59, RG-6 is the better choice by far, plus I'm not sure MoCa will reliably run on RG-59 (its a thinner core wire, not as effective shielding as RG-6 and RF losses are higher too). With CoAX you do not want to leave any unconnected CoAX ports, eg unconnected ports on splitters, or unconnected CoAX someplace as it'll act like an antenna introducing noise (plus each splitter reduces your signal strength). CoAX amps not only amplify the signal but the noise too so you need to be careful with their use too.

    Just my $.02, I'm sure somebody will disagree with me, however I have successfully used both media types I've mentioned above following my guidelines above and have never had an issue with either media, YMMV.

    Oh and don't get me started on daisy chaining a bunch of switches together.

    krkaufman likes this.
  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    Nov 25, 2003
    And I expect that load spikes a bit higher when skip-advancing. On our setup, someone streaming video to an Xbox1 running XBMC would briefly start buffering whenever someone using a Mini used the Advance button to skip forward.

    When I finally got around to troubleshooting, the problem turned-out to be a bad cable.
  5. merccat

    merccat New Member

    Sep 5, 2015
    When I setup my minis i opted to setup a moca network in my mouse and connect them through the moca network. I did this for 3 reasons:

    - I did not already have ethernet at all my TV's... Yeah i could of run it but...
    - I wanted to seperate the load of tv / video streaming from my roamio from my ethernet network.
    - According to the moca people, its a technology optimized for video delivery... Not sure about that one, data throughput is data throughput... But hey, why not.
    - moca was the recommended "best" way to connect the minis according to Tivo

    So far i have not experienced any issues or seen any signs that they are struggling in any way with any of my minis and I primarily watch tv through them.
  6. mtucker

    mtucker New Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Escondido, CA.
    Three years later, but this thread was a big help. I recently started seeing choppy video/audio on my Tivo mini (very often audio and sometimes video). Everything on my network is connected with CAT5e. I tried rebooting the Roamio and the Tivo mini. I thought it couldn't be my network as I stream Bluray UHD movies over my network although not to the location where the mini is (GB ethernet backbone). Found this thread and replaced the short ethernet cabes connected to the Roamio and Mini. No change. I fortunately had run two ethernet cables to the bedroom from the main network switch. I switched over to the other cable and Bam! I could tell right away that fixed it because the delay I had when starting playback of a recorded show was gone. The other cable works just fine for my slow internet, but the Mini didn't like it for high-ish bandwidth video. Glad I found this post.
    krkaufman likes this.

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