Mini ... which is preferred, MoCA or Ethernet

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by essential, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Feb 1, 2016 #1 of 19

    essential New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Western New...


    I searched the forums and Google prior to posting, sorry if this has been covered within other long threads.

    I've getting a Roamio Pro this week and plan on buying two Mini's. My home has a 1Gbps network setup with Ethernet and coax already going to each room (coax currently for TWC boxes that the Tivo's will be replacing).

    Does the Tivo Mini prefer or function better/faster/higher quality/less issues from a Ethernet cord or MoCA Coax connection?

    I was reading an article Google spit out from 2013 that said Mini's preferred MoCA but gave no real reasons behind the statement. There were also a couple reddit posts about how it's really user choice, but one point that seemed specific said there is less error correct in MoCA (not sure what that means).

  2. Feb 1, 2016 #2 of 19

    respibob New Member

    Jul 6, 2011
    I just got my Tivo Mini and set it up with a repeater bridge and it works great. Sounds like you could easily have a Moca though and that seems to be the consensus of the way to go if you can.
  3. Feb 1, 2016 #3 of 19

    sathead Member

    Jan 12, 2008
    I use Ethernet on both of our Mini's and with the current sw they're flawless.
    All things being equal- MoCA should have a filter installed to keep your signals off the neighbors coax- so that's a few extra $$ where there is no such requirement for Ethernet installs.
  4. Feb 1, 2016 #4 of 19

    essential New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Western New...
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm going to order a MoCA POE Filter just to have it in case I need it.

    I might try both ways but start with Ethernet.
  5. Feb 1, 2016 #5 of 19

    phughes200 Member

    Jul 24, 2014


    I found that hiding the flat Ethernet cable was a lot easier than coax cable. Haven't used it enough to discuss image quality but so far it has worked well.
  6. Feb 1, 2016 #6 of 19

    MikeekiM Palindromer

    Jun 25, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Without any data at all, I prefer ethernet...

    For me, MoCA is a convenience thing...If I don't have an ethernet connection at the television I am targeting, but I have a coax, I'll go MoCA... But if I have a choice, I'll go with ethernet everytime...
  7. Feb 1, 2016 #7 of 19

    jim1971 Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    Since you have two choices for wired, I would use whichever is easier to install. In most cases, an ethernet wire is the most simple. For most people, it works fine. I had problems with ethernet, and reports on the internet say I'm not alone, but it seems to work fine for most people. Since the pro supports moca internally, I wouldn't hesitate to use it for some of the devices if the connection was easier to make.
  8. Feb 2, 2016 #8 of 19

    snerd Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Since you seem inclined to experiment, I would encourage you to try both ways. I suspect that you'll find no significant difference in Mini performance.

    MoCA is wonderful in situations where a house is wired with RG6 coax but limited CAT6 wiring. A side benefit of MoCA, if the main TiVo and all Minis are MoCA connected, is that the streaming data from the TiVo to the Minis remains confined to the MoCA network so that the rest of the LAN has more available bandwidth.

    If you have any unused coax ports, they should be capped with 75-ohm terminations on the wall plate.
  9. Feb 3, 2016 #9 of 19

    DigitalDawn Active Member

    Apr 26, 2009
    Jupiter, FL
    I've been using ethernet for my clients and it's been pretty bulletproof. Like anything else, it helps to have very good networking gear.
  10. jmerr74

    jmerr74 Member

    Nov 3, 2015
    Why should they be capped? I have one uncapped and my MOCA is working great for me Roamio Basic and 3 Minis... does it make a difference? If so I will be at Home Depot tomorrow.
  11. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    A coaxial cable that is not properly terminated will act like a mirror that reflects the RF signals back up the cable. This creates standing waves in the coax, which causes the received signal to be weaker at some points on the coax while being stronger at other points. When proper termination is used, there are no reflections, thus no standing waves.

    MoCA adapts to changing conditions on the coax, so it will try to compensate for un-capped ports, thus MoCA signals are less susceptible to problems from standing waves. For video signals, un-capped ports could cause reception problems for some channels, and these problems could appear to "shift" to different channels at different locations in the house. This would be more likely to cause problems with OTA systems, since the signals tend to be weaker coming from an antenna rather than a CATV provider.

    If your system is working without any issues, then it may not be a big deal. I always recommend terminations on unused ports just to help ensure that all the signals on the coax are as clean as possible.
  12. jay_winter

    jay_winter P4+P4XL+Mini+FIOS

    Jan 13, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    The above may be a concern for analog video and OTA channels, but should not have much effect on digital cable service. I don't have any "uncapped" coax runs, but I use the same coax for both digital cable and internet (FIOS) and have had no issues with it whatsoever. For 10/100mb Internet, you would be hard-pressed to measure any difference in speed between MoCa and a straight cat5 Ethernet run to the router.
  13. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    It is not that the Mini prefers MoCA; it is that TiVo prefers you to use MoCA.

    This is because TiVo has no idea how robust your home network may be, and it if is not robust, you will have a negative experience. TiVo prefers WIRED networks, and MoCA is WIRED ONLY. Further, using MoCA means that all the TiVo traffic will not affect your home network if you use Ethernet cable or wireless because MoCA will be a separate network from the rest of your network usage.

    In my case I use Ethernet wired because I already have it wired through the house, but I use a robust Gigbit router that prioritizes video and use the least expensive D-Link Gigabit switches throughout. The result is TiVo traffic and all my other traffic handled with absolutely no problems.

    So, the choice is yours.
  14. JARON46

    JARON46 Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    When I first got Roamio I set it up with Moca. I had a lot of problems getting it to work. Splitter, filters. interfered with modem.

    The other day mini's stopped working so I ran ethernet cable, so much easier.

    It is also easier to troubleshoot if you have problems.

    For me I like ethernet much better than Moca.
  15. gespears

    gespears Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    For me it was the exact opposite experience. Like a lot of things on this forum.

    I can't get Cat 5e to my mini locations so I tried MoCA. I had a router/cable modem/MoCA server combo at first and all I had to do was put the Roamio and Mini's in place and they functioned perfectly, no setup, no muss, no fuss.

    But that combo unit had a ton of problems so I replaced it and had to get a MoCA adapter. Once I figured out which way to connect the cables, it just worked, no muss, no fuss.

    For me, MoCA could not have been easier. It has been solid for more than a year without any issues.

    And also as with many other things on this forum, YMMV.
  16. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    Yep. I'd have to do some major demo and construction work to get cat5 to my upstairs where all my Minis are. Moca was essentially plug and play with my existing coax. Far superior to pulling new cables, terminating them and drilling and cutting my walls open and patching and repainting. I much prefer plugging a few existing cables in.
  17. mjh

    mjh Re: Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    From a simplicity perspective, I much prefer ethernet. But there is one subtle hidden benefit of moca over ethernet: there are no blinking lights on the coax connection. The blinking lights on the ethernet connection are a bit irritating in the master bedroom.
  18. tooalto

    tooalto New Member

    Apr 19, 2008
    I'm not sure if I should have started a new thread but my question seems to fall under this one pretty well. We have a Roamio basic which is wonderful. We'd like to add a mini in the master bedroom. Right now, we are using the built in wifi with the tivo since it's on the floor above but almost directly over the television. We've been trying to decide how to best work the mini setup. MoCa sounded great until we found out we needed 2 bridge adapters which would more than double the cost. We then did a chat with tivo support and were told that we could hardwire the television then use one adapter for the mini. Now we're thinking, since we have 2 very electrically handy men in the family, that we may just hardwire the two devices. Or are we wrong? We have a DSL from our phone company and our wifi is excellent. We'd appreciate any advice any of you can offer. I apologize if I got too wordy but I want to community to have as much info as possible.
    I edited this to add that we also thought that we may replace our Roamio with a Bolt but, since it took us a year and a half to get a cable card from Comcast that actually worked, after they fried our original tivo, we hesitate to do anything that involves Comcast.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  19. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    That will work fine. If you'd rather not run any new wires, you can get a pair of DECA adapters for $13. Works the same as Moca, except not CATV signals can be on the line. Power line Ethernet is also an option.

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