Multiple providers to one house

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by FiosUser, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Oct 6, 2019 #1 of 38
    FiosUser

    FiosUser Member

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    The reason for this question is because Fios canceled the Lakers channel so now I need to find a way to record the games — idea is to add Spectrum cable as an additional cable provider to my house and use another TiVo for it. But I want all the TiVos to communicate (I have a lot of them).

    Question 1:
    Can two TiVos be on same home network but use separate cable TV providers (Coaxial)?
    - I want a single Coaxial network in my walls. From the pole, I want two separate cable providers to merge in to the single coaxial network in my house.
    - In guided setup on each TiVo I would select the corresponding cable provider for the right cable card.
    - I want to still be able to transfer and pause and watch recordings across all TiVo’s and providers. All in lifetime is on all TiVo’s


    Question 2:
    I want a Mini to hook to the Spectrum box. But, the Moca network is managed by the Fios router. Will a Mini on Moca be able to connect to a TiVo that is using a cable card from a different provider?
    - since Fios is the router, will it matter that Spectrum is the cable card?


    Thanks for any thoughts. These questions seem to be too much for calls to Fios and Spectrum and also TiVo to help me with.

    I am thinking the only way to tell is for a Spectrum truck roll install and try it out but that is a couple days of pain points I’m hoping to avoid if I can rule anything out beforehand.
     
  2. Oct 6, 2019 #2 of 38
    rjrsouthwest

    rjrsouthwest Active Member

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    I would guess that you will not be able to have two providers on the same cable.

    On a side note I used to go to the Lakers games when I was a kid and they were still in Minneapolis and it cost $3.00 for a ticket back then.
     
  3. Oct 6, 2019 #3 of 38
    snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    You can't mix Fios and Spectrum on the same coax, the signals would overlap and interfere with each other. So, you will need to keep the Fios coax separate from the Spectrum coax. [Actually, it might be possible to mix UHF frequencies from one provider with VHF frequencies from another provider, but that is a big sidetrack...]

    I believe you can use multiple providers with different cable cards, since each TiVo can be configured independently for channel lineup from the corresponding provider. The mini borrows tuners from the host TiVo, but it doesn't know/care which providers CableCards are in the host TiVo. Conceptually, I don't think this is any different than mixing OTA TiVos with Cable TiVos on the same local network, which is done all the time (I'm doing it now).

    One solution would be to use Fios on most of the coax, and connect the Spectrum feed directly to a dedicated TiVo, and use an ethernet cable to connect to the local network.

    There are tricks that can allow you to mix the MoCA signals from the Fios cable onto the coax that carries the Spectrum feed, but it would only be worth the hassle if the Spectrum TiVo is in a room that has no convenient connection to ethernet.

    Access between Tivos and Minis would all take place over the local network, so I don't anticipate any issues there. The Minis can only borrow a tuner from the host TiVo, but you can change hosts to any TiVo that is on the local network. The problem here is that each Mini is configured for the channel list of a specific provider, so the guide on the Mini won't always be right if you change hosts. You could re-run guided setup to change hosts, but that's probably more effort than it is worth. So, you'd have to pick which provider is tied to each Mini. The good news is that any Mini can access recordings from any TiVo without hassles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  4. Oct 6, 2019 #4 of 38
    FiosUser

    FiosUser Member

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    Thanks for the replies. It makes sense, the coaxial wouldn’t get any switching or routing so the collision would happen.

    I guess I will:
    1. Determine if it is really worth it (how exactly I’ll determine is TBD. This whole situation could just re-happen the other way around or something)

    2. Figure out if the world is now truly making us be even more defensive in our technology strategies Or, maybe “who needs to watch TV anyway?”

    3. Get Spectrum on a dedicated coaxial directly to the “Lakers” TiVo

    4. Set up one of my Minis on Ethernet instead of Moca (I guess it ain’t that much more effort for me if I’m spending the effort on the dedicated coaxial)

    5. Undo all of this once one of these companies makes their next big “move”
     
  5. Oct 7, 2019 #5 of 38
    mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    No streaming option for the Lakers? I understand you may want a copy of the game at the ready; streaming may only allow you to watch the game live or replays. I love watching sports with a large buffer. Blow by the ads, timeouts and breaks. Sounds like a lot of trouble for one channel but if I was deprived of the YES Network, o might take drastic action. How about You Tube TV ? You can record the game...it's only $50 .
     
  6. Oct 7, 2019 #6 of 38
    TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    According to Wikipedia, spectrum SportsNet is not available on any streaming service.
     
  7. Oct 7, 2019 #7 of 38
    FiosUser

    FiosUser Member

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    Streaming would be the easiest way here:
    1) if the channel was actually streaming
    2) if it was recordable - AND with the great TiVo quick mode!

    Yeah, I let the games buffer too so that I can fast forward through the parts I don’t like (such as the game play) and focus in on the commercials.

    now I’m thinking to require the Spectrum installer to bring the new cable from the pole directly next to the Fios entry point so anytime in the future I can switch the connections right there to change my coaxial networks from whichever is “Main” at that time. Say for instance In the future the Lifetime network goes off of Fios, then I guess Spectrum becomes the main network.

    Now if Fios or Spectrum cancel coaxial cable support, I would still be stuck—I hope we are not nearing this point...who knows.
     
  8. Oct 7, 2019 #8 of 38
    DVR_Dave

    DVR_Dave Well-Known Member

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    Can't you get a Spectrum TV package to replace your FiOS TV package?

    Are we missing something? It seems like a lot of work and extra money for one channel.
     
    Bigg likes this.
  9. Oct 7, 2019 #9 of 38
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Not with modern digital cable, as digital providers have stuff all over the place. If you block any part of the 54-860mhz band on FiOS and the 5-860mhz or 5-1002mhz on Spectrum, the whole thing will go wonky and stuff will randomly disappear, since the channels are all over the place.

    Correct.

    That's a little bit tricky. The easier way is to have two separate MoCA networks that are bridged via Ethernet, so that they are one logical IP network (along with everything else in the OP's house). If necessary, have the two main TiVos with CableCards sitting next to each other and connected to the same Ethernet switch. The Spectrum one won't need to make a MoCA network, the FiOS one can, and Minis can choose which box they want to connect to. If they use the Spectrum TiVo as their master, then they will communicate through the FiOS TiVo and Ethernet switch, and the FiOS TiVo will just be a fancy MoCA bridge to it.

    It's not. But it's fun to nerd out about.

    Normally, I'd say cut the cord and don't overpay for TV. That being said, FiOS offers some really cheap packages, so I'd just get a cheap package on FiOS if offered. If not, there are so many options out there.

    No need. Run the MoCA network on the FiOS side, run coax from Spectrum directly to the Spectrum TiVo, and connect it to the FiOS router via Ethernet, which will give the Minis access to the Spectrum TiVo via Ethernet.

    Wait... WHAT?!?

    FiOS is going to get rid of TV at some point, but that's probably 3-5 years down the road at this point, and by then who knows what could happen to various channels or the pay TV ecosystem as a whole since things are moving so fast with cord cutting.
     
  10. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    If the OP wants that channel THAT much, then just switch the whole thing to a 2-year Spectrum bundle and see what happens in 2 years. Having two QAM providers is great, I had that for a while with two cable companies.
     
  11. FiosUser

    FiosUser Member

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    Good points.

    Switching all to Spectrum:
    I am nervous about interrupting my awesome Fios internet. I’ve been on it for years and there is no lag or slowdown ever. Also, wasn’t sure about the whole Moca situation I have going on, but now I think you all helped me figure that out to be Ethernet is possible. I guess the question remaining is if Spectrum internet is equal to Fios somehow. Spectrum makes you sign up for internet if you want decent channels (decent is relative of course)

    cord cutting:
    Bigger topic of course but I’m not one. I see it becoming more $$ because everything is becoming specific and we will need 20 providers at $15 each. Anyway that is why I was staying corded but I might need to rethink now if my corded companies are removing things.

    Yeah at this point it all may be just nerding here, but I’d love to try this.
     
  12. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    That is utter nonsense. Digital catv still divides the spectrum up to 1002MHz into 6MHz "channels" at specific frequencies. Some 6MHz channels carry a couple of HD "stations", while others carry several SD stations. DOCSIS 3.0 modems bond together several of these 6MHz channels, at frequencies chosen by the provider. Blocking a 6MHz channel in the VHF band will have absolutely no impact on any 6MHz channel in the UHF band, and vice-versa.

    As an example, when tuning into a specific station on your TiVo, information obtained from the CableCard is used to determine which 6MHz channel is used the carry the station, and the tuner selects that 6MHz channel while ignoring everything else in the 1002MHz catv spectrum. The digital signal includes data for multiple TV stations, which are decoded, decrypted and separated with assistance from the CableCard, so that the TiVo can send the appropriate signal to the TV.

    See Digital cable - Wikipedia for additional details.

    If you insist on repeating this ridiculous claim, as you have in the past, please provide independent references that document your claim that blocking any part the the catv spectrum will mess up everything. It just isn't true.
     
  13. DVR_Dave

    DVR_Dave Well-Known Member

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    You can keep standalone FiOS internet; $39.99 for 100/100 (200/200 in some markets). May have to cancel / resubscribe for new customer pricing.
     
  14. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Depends on how much you care about ping and upload speeds, right?

    That's complete nonsense. I've seen so many of these dishonest "comparisons" where they count Amazon and Netflix and other providers that have unique content and were stacked on top of the cord before, or basically cost nothing like Amazon Prime, and then they compare those to the cable bill. Apples and oranges. A fair comparison is YouTube TV versus cable TV.

    WRONG

    Of course they use 6mhz channels for DOCSIS 3.0 and QAM channels. They do not for DOCSIS 3.1, but that's a separate issue. The fact of the matter is that if you blocked a chunk of the cable spectrum in the analog days, you knew exactly what you were blocking, as each channel number corresponded to a physical channel frequency.

    That all went out the window with digital, at least it did after analog was gone. Digital stations were put in analog slots that didn't have analog channel on them, until there was no analog anymore. With no analog to "anchor" channels to certain locations, stuff is spread out all over the place. The locals are often in a totally different range from cable channels, there are blocks of DOCSIS scattered around, and it is all subject to change. If the cable company decides to move a block of channels to another location and not tell anyone, that's fine, because all boxes MUST be able to receive the entire frequency on the cable, typically 5-750mhz, 5-860mhz, or 5-1002mhz. In the case of FiOS, it's 54-860mhz, since there is no upstream, and the QAM video tops out at 860mhz and the MoCA WAN C-block uses the spectrum between roughly 860mhz and 1002mhz.

    You can block a chunk of the digital cable spectrum, and some channels may still appear. However, you're going to end up with seemingly random channels missing, and those channels could change without warning as the cable company moves stuff around to make space for other channels, accommodate channels that they no longer carry or went out of business, or move stuff to MPEG-4/SDV/whatever to make room for DOCSIS. SDV and QAM VOD could become totally unstable if some of the QAMs are blocked and some aren't. It's unlikely that any entire digital cable package would work with part of the spectrum blocked, and modern cable boxes may not work at all if their DOCSIS channels are blocked.

    The bottom line is that filtering and mixing anything with digital cable will not work and there is no reason to do it. Just because some seemingly random subset of channels would work doesn't mean that it actually works as a whole, or will continue to work the same way in the future. I'm not sure why you are making these asinine arguments.
     
  15. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Your original statement, emphasis added:

    This gives the impression that nothing will work if a tiny frequency band is blocked, and that is pure nonsense. Your modified statement is a bit more reasonable, but still quite deceptive:

    THE TRUTH: if any 6MHz channel is blocked, then the (few) stations that happen to be carried in that 6MHz channel will disappear, giving a "Signal Not Found" (or somesuch) error. Everything else will work normally. This is vastly different than "the whole thing will go wonky" or even "some channels may still appear."

    It is true that the missing stations could change as things are moved around by the provider, and that is certainly a consideration when trying to mix content from more than one provider. But it isn't as if the provider is constantly moving things around. There are costs associated with those changes, so they are made as needed and not "at random" as you imply.

    Agreed.

    Again, "will not work" is too strong a claim. There are certainly issues that come into play, and I never claimed it was an easy thing to do, nor did I claim that it was particularly practical. I merely claimed "it might be possible to mix UHF frequencies from one provider with VHF frequencies from another provider" in the context of placing those signals on the same coax. I stand by that claim. Doing so certainly has other issues, including some of the things you've pointed out, thus my statement "but that is a big sidetrack..." (emphasis added).

    As for "no reason to do it," the OP wanted to access multiple providers from the same coax. Access to multiple providers is something that TiVo used to officially support in the form of the original Series 3 and the 2-tuner Premiere, which allowed cable and OTA at the same time. I suspect there are plenty of TiVo users who would still like to do that, if only TiVo hadn't removed that option from newer boxes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    It is absolutely not pure nonsense, to say that is a lie. Yes, things go wonky. Blocking the entire UHF or VHF band is not a "tiny frequency band", and even if you used notch filters, which was not the original discussion, things would still go wonky because you'd basically randomly lose channels, and those random channels could change over time.

    That wasn't the discussion. The discussion was blocking the entire VHF or the entire UHF band. The VHF band is smaller, but it still could wipe out up to 120 HD channels, depending on what's down there and what compression type is used. It would be less on Spectrum, since they don't compress as heavily as Comcast, but it could still be a significant number.

    Of course they have a plan as to why they are moving things around, but it's still seemingly random to the end user.

    Glad you're being honest about something.

    I doubt you could ever get the entirety of any package with all of anything else. Even analog cable goes into the UHF range, and would conflict with OTA UHF. It will not work with any modern digital cable provider, and if they found out what you were doing, they should, and likely would, disconnect you. Sure, you could physically combine the signals, but what you'd be left with is a useless hodge-podge of partially functional services.

    Wouldn't work. You'd never get the right set of channels from each provider without overlaps, even if you could notch out channel by channel on both. You'd need two coax connections that are kept totally separate.
     
  17. FiosUser

    FiosUser Member

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    I forgot to add that another main reason I need to keep Fios is so I don’t have to change my user name here...

    This is actually my first cord vs cutting conversation so learning a lot. I’m looking at my recent experience where Netflix has The Office now, but only NBC may have it later. That means I add NBC service. Or, recent release movies don’t go to Netflix, but may be on one of HBO or Showtime, etc. Then, CBS has started only allowing their stuff on their own streaming service. That is 4 or 5 services already. But maybe YouTube TV records CBS for me. Anyway, I only guess this situation would increase. Maybe by then my cable company instead consolidates these services back into channels again with a better guide across it all and the apps always running.

    Canceling and re-upping Fios internet would be good. I pay $100 right now for 75/75 because I’m passed all the years of freebies. But Spectrum requires you to pay for their internet if you want their more premium channels (which includes this Lakers channel I’m dealing with)

    That might be the part I’m upset the most about—having to change internet just to see some hoops.
     
  18. BNBTivo

    BNBTivo Active Member

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    Am I missing something obvious? Why not just NBA league pass for the Lakers? You can access the games and watch them on any streaming device like Roku. For a fraction of the price of another TV subscription
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  19. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Oh here we go, I knew it wouldn't take long for you to resort to accusations rather than admit that any of your statements were flawed in any way.

    You couldn't. Obviously, if you're taking some frequencies from one provider, whatever is in that band from the other provider becomes unavailable. That wasn't the goal. The OP was upset about losing the Laker's channel, was looking for a way to get that back.

    I regret pointing out that "[Actually, it might be possible to mix UHF frequencies from one provider with VHF frequencies from another provider, but that is a big sidetrack...]". I almost didn't add that statement, precisely because I feared that you would step in with your nonsensical claims about what can and can't be done with signals on a coaxial cable.

    I'm done wasting time with you. I stand by my statements, in the context in which they were made.
     
  20. FiosUser

    FiosUser Member

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    Looking into NBA league pass...knowing it wasn’t as easy as that, but hopeful still. I found the blackout notice below. Since I’m a local, we get the shaft (Not the Shaq)

    They literally have a strangle hold on this.

    So now I’m @:

    1) Cheapest package possible with Spectrum (own coax, Ethernet to Fios switch)
    2) incrementally move from Fios to Spectrum services when I’m confident enough in it
    3) Cancel Fios for a day
    4) re-up Fios internet for way cheaper after canceling
    5) Hmmmmm, keep both internet connections wired, but flop flip between them every 2 years to keep getting new pricing. This is getting out of hand.

    Thanks for all input!

    Blackout Notice

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    Based on your current location, you are unable to view LIVE LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers games. You can listen to a live radio broadcast or watch an archive of these games 3 days after broadcast.
    Nationally Broadcast Games Not Included

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