Moca setup recommendations for bolt and minis

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by adessmith, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. adessmith

    adessmith Active Member

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    Oct 4, 2007

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    I currently have a Tivo Bolt and a couple of minis and looking to purchase a new home which we went and looked at yesterday. I am not a cable or satellite subscriber but the new property has two satellite dishes mounted to the roof. My previous home was wired for ethernet but this one is not, and it doesn't appear I can use the phone lines for this (I believe all the phone wiring terminates outside, and I'm not sure if it's cat5 or not). My plan is to remove a satellite dish and re-use it's mast on the roof to mount an antenna (which should have a good line of sight to the OTA transmitters in my area). I will be getting internet via cable, but I should be able to utilize the remainder of the RG6 throughout the house as a moca network so I can get my mini's online. I'm assuming most of the RG6 in the house is connected to the satellite and there is one run somewhere that is connected to the cable network (most likely the previous owner also had cable internet).
    What option would you recommend to hook this up?
    A) Use one run of coax from antenna to bolt and one coax running from internet provider to modem/router. Then connect all the other coax connections to a passive splitter to have an independent moca network. (I believe this method would require a separate moca bridge).
    B) Connect all the RG6 lines in the house to the antenna network except the one for the modem. The up side to this is it will allow me to use the tivo as a moca bridge. The down side is I will end up having a lot more coax on my antenna network and I feel like that will impact the strength of the signal to the tivo (in an area where signal strength is going to be a stretch anyway). I'm also not sure, if I used an amplified splitter for the antenna, how that will impact the moca network.
    C) Some other solution I have not thought of yet.
    Thoughts?
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yeah, considerations, off the top of my head, would seem to be:
    • antenna to DVR signal strength -- This will probably be your biggest hurdle. As you note, you'll want the best possible signal getting from the antenna to the DVR, so you'll probably want to start with a direct coax run from the antenna to the DVR to evaluate reception, then adjust accordingly, adding an amplifier (pre-amp) as needed.

      Just throwing the antenna signal into a big splitter feeding all your coax runs won't be uber healthy for signal strength; however, you could use an antenna/satellite diplexer at the splitter location to piggyback the antenna signal onto just the coax run heading to the BOLT location. (more info here)

      diplexer splitter bypass.png

    • ISP to cable modem signal strength -- similar to the antenna, you'll want to ensure a solid signal reaches the modem, either by using a top-level 2-way splitter to divert the ISP signal to the modem or using a dedicated line, the latter being preferred but possibly precluded by MoCA requirements.

    • DOCSIS 3.1 and MoCA overlap -- The advent of DOCSIS 3.1, with its overlapping into MoCA frequencies, introduces a few new wrinkles in a MoCA setup: some modems/gateways that are sensitive to MoCA signals; providers beginning to actually use DOCSIS 3.1 frequencies above 1002 MHz, stepping into the MoCA frequency range.

      Where possible, a dedicated coax run for the modem isolated from the rest of the coax plant (where MoCA signals are present) is ideal, but, of course, isn't always possible. Just keep in mind that any available Ethernet connectivity from the router location to another location with available coax is just as good as two separate coax runs to the modem/router location; the main bridging MoCA adapter just needs to be connected to the router LAN and to the shared coax plant; it's not required that the main bridging MoCA adapter be installed *at* the modem/router location.

      If a dedicated coax run for the modem isn't possible, but DOCSIS 3.1 overlap remains a concern, workarounds include installing a MoCA filter on the modem/gateway to protect it from MoCA signals, or manually setting the MoCA network's operational frequency above the DOCSIS 3.1 frequency range. (more info here)

    • expectations/requirements for MoCA network -- If you're looking for MoCA to substitute for absent Ethernet throughout the house, you may want to consider relegating your TiVo boxes to Ethernet clients, and allowing MoCA 2.5 adapters to have full access to the MoCA Extended Band D. Alternatively, you could configure two separate MoCA networks, allowing parallel operation, at the expense of overall throughput for the MoCA 2.0/2.5 network operating in the upper frequency range. Or just let all the devices interoperate as a single MoCA network, negotiating whatever peer links are needed.

    • available coax runs and connectivity -- Absent new coax runs, you'll have to work with what you have, so knowing what's available would drive/limit the planning. The possibilities are *many*, including but not remotely limited to the following:

      isolated MoCA network w OTA.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  3. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Of course, another concern that I skipped right over is OTA and cable signal conflict, that OTA and cable signals can't mix on a given coax segment. (Though I'm sure you're aware of this.) This becomes more critical if you can only have a single coax run to each of the cable modem/router and DVR locations, and have no additional Ethernet connectivity. Should this be the case, the antenna/satellite diplexer workaround for signal strength mentioned in the previous post can be used to effectively supplant the cable signals with OTA signals on the run going to the DVR.

    Also, re: your antenna amplifier point ...
    ... the MoCA network shouldn't be affected provided the amplifier and its power inserter, if needed, are installed upstream from the antenna coax line's "PoE" MoCA filter, putting it outside the scope of the MoCA coax segment. For example:

    preamp.png


    p.s. So throwing some of the above onto paper could wind up w/ configs similar to the following, though YMMV(!)/flavor to taste, etc. ...

    isolated modem w diplexer and preamp.png cable MoCA w OTA-diplexer and preamp.png
     
  4. adessmith

    adessmith Active Member

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    Oct 4, 2007
    Thanks! I'll have to take a bit more time to look over these diagrams and "unpack" what I am looking at. That gives me a lot to think about...
     
    krkaufman likes this.

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