Romio OTA MoCa settup with router and romio in same room

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by Ntbrown, May 14, 2018.

  1. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Could you provide a link to one of these claims? I've seen reviews for a few people using a 4-port CM-3414, but I haven't seen any that are verified purchasers of the 8-port model.
     
  2. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    It's not. Per Channel Master's web site specs, (Distribution Amp units by Channel Master provide amplification and distribution allowing you to route your digital and hd signals to multiple locations while amplifying. 8 Port TV amplifier CM 3418 it's a forward frequency range of 54-1002 MHz. It may work on MoCA "E" and "F" bands, typically used in satellite configurations (where Satellite data is > 1000 MHz) but likely won't pass MoCA traffic on the more commonly used "D" or ExtD bands. The 4 port 3414 has the same frequency range.

    The beauty of MoCA networks is that they can handle long cable runs (150'), and will still operate with insertion losses from long runs, splitters, etc of between 50 and 60 dB. An 8 port distribution amp is great for cable TV, but unless you've got 8 receivers hanging off a single antenna, it's not the best choice. If you need an amplifier, look at a "pre-amplifier", not a distribution amp, which should work better to boost the signal at the antenna, rather than boosting both the signal and noise introduced by devices on the cable.

    Sorry to barge in here...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  3. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    They were on Amazon. I don't know if they were verified or not.

    That's what I was thinking too until I read some of the reviews. It's definitely something for the OP to check out though.
     
  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    The issue you face is that the CM-3418 amplifier (it's not just a splitter) used to distribute the antenna signal seems to not be MoCA-friendly. So you have a couple options:
    1. either eliminate the amplifier from the setup, or
    2. find an amplifier configuration that works for MoCA.

    1) Direct-connect antenna? ::
    As to the former, a direct antenna-to-DVR connection, your technician provided you with an antenna setup that distributes the antenna signal to each room connected to the CM-3418 amp, though you only need the raw antenna signal in the Living Room. What both @Bigg and I are wondering is what kind of reception you'd see at the Roamio OTA were you to (temporarily) bypass the amplifier in the Attic (using a barrel connector like this at the amp, to join the antenna coax to the coax run to the Living Room) and route the antenna directly to the Roamio OTA -- even removing the MoCA adapter and associated splitter for the sake of the test.

    If you find the Roamio OTA has good signal strength for all your channels with the antenna direct-connected to the DVR in this way, it indicates that you don't need amplification to get the antenna signal to just the one location, and a modified amp-free configuration could be implemented in the attic -- something similar to Option 3 in the following graphic:

    antenna routing options x4.jpg

    But, sadly, it'd require a few trips to the attic to rewire the coax for testing, and then to finalize the setup.

    See here for parts.


    2) Alternate amp configuration? :: The critical issue with the CM-3418 amp is that it lacks a built-in "PoE" MoCA filter as found in all "designed for MoCA" amps, where the built-in filter would reflect the MoCA signals prior to their reaching the amplifier circuitry. The following diagram illustrates the difference between the current situation and a more MoCA-friendly amp setup:

    amp MoCA concerns.jpg

    So ONE alternate amp solution (2a) would be to swap the CM-3418 8-port amp for a CM-3410, an in-line single-output amp, combined with a "PoE" MoCA filter and 8-port MoCA-compatible splitter, the "GOOD" option in the diagram above, to achieve the same antenna amplification you currently have, but efficiently reflecting the MoCA signals back onto the coax plant, and keeping them away from the amp.

    Ntbrown_plan_2a_CM3410_POE_8x.png

    Another alternate amp solution (2b) would be to use a "designed for MoCA" amp that includes a built-in MoCA filter, in place of the CM-3418; such as one of the following:

    PCT-VCF-18AUPIN (+7 dB boost per output)
    PCT-VC-F19P or PCT-VC-F19A (+0 dB, same output strength as input; I think one of these +0 dB "unity gain" models would suffice)​

    Ntbrown_plan_2b_MoCA_Amp.png

    As pictured, the separate "PoE" MoCA filter wouldn't be needed if an amp with built-in filter is used.

    A final amp variation (2c) would be a combination of the in-line amp and the above direct-connect amp-less solution, choosing an in-line/pre-amp with only as much boost as is needed to provide a good quality signal to the Living Room location, and then using the "Option 3" diplexer bypass to effectively route the antenna signal directly to the DVR location. For example:

    Ntbrown_plans_1_2c.png

    Applicable to all solutions above, be sure to cap any unused ports with a 75-ohm terminator. (e.g.)


    edit: p.s. Your technician should have done any one of these options, as opposed to using the CM-3418, if they were made aware that the antenna coax lines would also need to carry the MoCA signal.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    MoCA isn't typically expected to pass between the input and outputs of any amplifier, so the forward path frequency in-scope for amplification isn't determinant for MoCA compatibility, at least as a drop amp; "designed for MoCA" amps would have the same spec for the amplified frequency range.

    What's different with "designed for MoCA" amps is that they merely ensure that MoCA can pass between the output ports, and also to/from the passive modem port in the case of so-called "MoCA bypass" amps.

    As for the CM-3418 Amazon reviews, here's the "moca" search, and a screenshot of the results showing just two entries (out of 1523 total reviews), both verified 4-port CM-3414 purchases. So that's zero reviews confirming MoCA compatibility for the 8-port model.

    CM-3414 MoCA revews.png
     
  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    @Ntbrown, totally optional advice follows (and so a more leisurely post), but it may save you a bit of money and offer potential improved bandwidth down-the-road ... say, if you'd want to extend wired networking to any Office computers.

    If this is the TiVo Bridge, you paid retail for it ($80), and are still within the return window, I'd recommend the following MoCA adapter as a replacement:

    $60 Motorola MM1000 (bonded/extended MoCA 2.0)​
    • The MM1000 offers improved throughput (up to 800 Mbps) when paired with another like adapter, perhaps in your Office.
    • The MM1000 offers a RF/STB Out pass-through port, allowing connection to the Roamio OTA, and eliminating the need for an additional splitter. Further, since the MM1000 uses a diplexer internally, the resulting pass-through signal will be slightly stronger than if a splitter were used.
    • It costs $20 less.
    Devil's Advocate:
    • The MM1000 will offer no speed improvement for Mini MoCA connections. v1 & v2 Minis will be limited to MoCA 1.1 (170 Mbps); and a Mini VOX would be limited to standard MoCA 2.0 (400 Mbps).
    • The signal strength savings of the MM1000's internal diplexer can also be achieved by using a standalone diplexer in place of a 2-way splitter.
    • $20 may not be worth the hassle; bird in the hand, and all.

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming...
     
  7. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Ah, I didn't catch that those reviews were for the 4-port version. I would think that the 8-port version would be OK with MoCA, but maybe not. I would think internally that it is a 15dB amp with an 8-way splitter after that. The cable ones get way more complicated with MoCA bypass for the router/gateway contraptions to be on a passive port in the case of power failure.

    I would think that running straight through should work fine for the OP, as the 8-port amp is putting out +4dB, then the 2-way splitter is -3.5dB, which nets out almost to unity, and the cabling would remain the same. Personally, I'm not a fan of splitting or goofing around with OTA too much, as in my experience amps make things worse not better, even in weak reception areas, but many people have used amps with OTA successfully.

    If the OP wants to use the same network for OTA and MoCA, I would recommend trying the two two-way splitter method with no amp first, get MoCA working, and then if the signal strength is too weak, put an amp before the MoCA filter and the first splitter. However, personally, I wouldn't mix MoCA and OTA just for the reasons we're discussing- all those amps and splitters are just more places for OTA signal issues to crop up.
     
  8. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Does the RF pass-through actually work on those? I've heard so many stories of them not working right on either MoCA adapters or TAs. The Cox TA/MoCA adapter wiring diagram for the Premiere got to a kind of absurd point, as nothing could pass through, and the TA was improperly designed, so there was a 3-way splitter and a MoCA filter on the TA.
     
  9. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Agreed. I just hope they haven't gotten discouraged and skip this test, since it could solve their problem.


    This thread would be a data point for the "not" camp.


    I've heard of no issues with MoCA adapter pass-through ports; TAs are a different matter.
     
  10. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Yes, same.

    It quite possibly could be, unless something else is going on. The real test would be to use a passive 8-way, which may break OTA, but see if MoCA works on that, and then just swap the amp in, which would prove definitively.

    I believe they had to use a 3-way splitter, as neither the MoCA adapter nor the TA could pass the RF through. It was a big mess.
     
  11. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    I'd need to see the post/issue. TAs apparently have an issue with maintaining the pass-through signal if/when their power is cycled; and both devices would not pass MoCA signals through the RF pass-through port.

    I've heard of no issues in regards to MoCA adapter pass-through, so would be interested to hear/learn otherwise.
     
  12. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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  13. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    By the way, don't forget testing one or more Minis using a direct-connection to the TiVo Bridge, per this earlier post.
     
  14. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    Thanks for the education. I apologize to all for adding more noise to the discussion.
     
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  15. Ntbrown

    Ntbrown New Member

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    But if there is only one output from antenna and I run that one line to TiVo how do I get ota from antenna to other rooms without a splitter? It was to be for moca network but I’m going to have to settle for just antenna to rooms.
     
  16. fredi

    fredi Member

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    Only the TiVo needs the output from the Antenna. The Mini's just need a network signal either Cat-5 and/or Moca enabled coax.
     
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  17. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    You never were trying to get OTA to the other rooms, they would just have an OTA signal that goes nowhere as a byproduct of the MoCA network. You were trying to get MoCA to the other rooms for the TiVo Minis.

    This is a solvable problem, krkaufman did a great job with the diagrams. You've got a few different options here, but regardless, you need to troubleshoot one step at a time to find out what the problem is (likely the amp), and then you can get the TiVos working on a MoCA network.

    I would do this:

    1. Verify that the Minis can actually connect to the MoCA Bridge. Either using a passive splitter in the attic, or a temporary passive splitter in the living room, connect the Mini to the Roamio OTA through the bridge, and ensure that it actually connects, can watch a show from the Roamio etc. This establishes a baseline that the hardware is working, before adding more variables.

    2. Decide what type of wiring setup you want to do. krkaufman has presented a bunch of options very clearly, with diagrams.

    3. Implement that wiring setup and everything should work fine.

    One other issue: Where is the power for the amp coming from? How is it passing through to the amp? That could affect what types of solutions to use as well.
     
  18. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    You won't be settling for nothing! ;) We just need to figure out which approach works for your setup.

    To that end, we're trying to get you to make a (temporary, test) direct connection all the way from your antenna to the Roamio OTA to determine whether an amplifier is even needed for your setup. (Basically, we're having to do some rework of your technician's efforts.)
    This direct-connect for the antenna would certainly preclude the desired coax/MoCA connectivity to the other rooms, but it is strictly a temporary test to evaluate the unamplified antenna signal strength received by the Roamio OTA. The goal remains to extend coax/MoCA network connectivity through the home, but the first task is determining whether an amplifier is required.

    Splittter, schmitter ... just direct-connect each Mini via a coax cable to the TiVo Bridge to test their basic MoCA functionality, per this previous post on the subject. But, yeah, this would be a good test to run, especially if tired of diving into the attic.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  19. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Via a power cord...
    ... so, yeah, I'm assuming the power cord could be used for any replacement amplifier, if needed.
     
  20. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Even better idea! As simple as possible to verify that all the hardware and software can communicate between the two boxes, and then start to introduce more wiring... and when it breaks the OP will know what she added, and thus know what broke it, and what needs attention.

    Alright, I missed that. I thought it was getting power through one of the splitters with an injector, but that makes life easier.
     
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