Tivo to Tivo Transfer Speeds - Wired & Wireless - S2/S3/HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jkfishking, May 23, 2009.

  1. jkfishking

    jkfishking New Member

    Jul 17, 2006


    While working to setup a couple of new Tivo’s I was trying to determine Tivo-to-Tivo transfer speeds using both wireless (Tivo wireless G adapter) and wired (direct to router). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this online – all my searches only turned up old data or information on Tivo to PC transfer speeds that I didn’t need.

    The maximum hard-wired transfer speed for wired Ethernet is 100MB/s, wireless B is 11MB/s, and wireless G is 54MB/s. Tivo units seem to be processor bound and will never reach these maximum transfer speeds no matter what. Also, when you factor in wireless connection quality, network traffic, etc. it’s hard to know what to expect. So, I had to do my own testing and thought I would pass this along in case it’s helpful to someone else. My primary motivation in doing this was to determine if wireless G would work for transferring HD shows from room to room or if there would be a significant performance improvement by running Cat5 upstairs. For each test I transferred 3-5 shows (minimum) of various lengths/file sizes. Here are my results:

    Test: Tivo HD to Tivo HD. One Tivo connected via Ethernet, one connected via Tivo wireless G adapter. Wireless signal strength = 45% - 55%
    Result: 15-19MB/s

    Test: Tivo HD to Tivo HD. Both Tivo’s connected via Ethernet
    Result: 24-26MB/s for most tests, did reach 31MB/s on one test

    Test: Series 2 Tivo to Tivo HD and Tivo HD to Series 2 Tivo (same results for both). For this test the Series 2 is connected via wireless (100% signal, it’s five feet from the router). My test results were the same for both the wired and wireless HD Tivo’s
    Result: 4-5MB/s. The Series 2 seems to be seriously processor bound to these slower transfer speeds.

    In an effort to boost the signal strength upstairs to the wireless Tivo, I also tried using a Linksys WRE54G network expander. The idea for this unit is that it will extend a wireless network for further access from the router. Good in theory, pretty crappy in practice. This unit boosted my signal strength to the Tivo from 45%-55% to 85% and also cut my transfer speeds from 15-19MB/s to 12-14MB/s. Counter intuitive I know, you would think the higher signal strength = better transfers but this was not the case. Evidently the WRE54G throttles down the network speed while extending the signal – fine for web browsing, not so good for Tivo transfers. This is what I like to call and “undocumented feature” of the product!! In short, I get better transfers via wireless at 50% signal strength without the WRE54G than 85% signal with it.

    In conclusion, I decided not to run cat5 cable (at least for now) and will be using the wireless G adapter while hoping Tivo releases wireless N support sometime in the next six months. I was hoping to get at least 50MB/s via a wired connection but it just wasn’t meant to be. When I compare getting 15-19MB/s via wireless to the 24-26MB/s speed I averaged via wired the effort to run cat5 cable would only yield an incremental increase in speed.

    If anyone else has done similar testing, I’m sure it would be helpful to others to share here. Please no comments on Tivo to PC transfers, there are multiple threads on that topic.

    Happy Tivo’ing!
  2. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Details on MRV throughput are available in the stickied TivoHD FAQ. Different sections are linked in my signature.

    Wired MRV throughput is dependent on the currently tuned HD channels. If you are tuned to two SD channels, you'll see 25-30Mbps throughput. If you are tuned to two [typical] 12Mbps HD channels, you'll see 20-24Mbps. If you tuned to two 19Mbps HD channels, you may see closer to 15Mbps MRV throughput.

    Wireless MRV throughput can vary substantially depending on wireless conditions in your home. I've seen MRV throughput with the same program vary by as much as 50% depending on the placement in my home.
  3. Dssturbo1

    Dssturbo1 New Member

    Feb 22, 2005
    all units hardwired.
    S3 >> S3 i've gotten up to 54Mb/s
    Tvo HD >> S3 i've gotten up to 43Mb/s
    this is with optimum conditions, both units tuned to blank channels.
  4. expect-to-fly

    expect-to-fly New Member

    Aug 2, 2009
    I assume when you use MB you are meaning Megabit (sometimes shown as Mb). From Series 2 to series 2 wireless g with 50% signal strength I transfer a 700 MB(byte) (1 hr basic quality SD) in about 50 minutes. This is 700MB/50min/60(sec/min)*8(bits/byte) = 1.87 Mbps(Megabit/sec) transfer speed which is around the 4-5Mbps you quote. Transferring the same file wireless 'G" from PC to PC over the same network took 20minutes (ie was 2.5 times faster).
  5. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

    May 13, 2007
    Durham, NC


    Regarding the WRE54G network expander: The more wireless devices you have active on the same channel at once, the worse your throughput will be, especially for b/g 2.4GHz frequencies as b/g are essentially half-duplex. So, adding another device will just slow you down. 5Ghz a/n networks are less susceptible to this effect, but have a shorter range.

  6. phecksel

    phecksel Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    I didn't see which G router you were using. I'm finding my newer Linksys WRT54G2 router is far far below the performance of my WRT54GL router. I transfer a lot of data through the network, both wired and wireless the G2 would get bogged down until it forced itself to reboot.

    Could also try installing DD-WRT firmware on the router and boosting the transmission power and/or add an aftermarket antenna.
  7. RhoXS

    RhoXS New Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    I do not want to hijack this thread but this thread is the closest I found to addressing a problem I am having.

    My TIVO wireless G USB device died and I really do not want to buy another one from TIVO. As a alternate solution I loaded DD-WRT on a WRT54G router and tried using it as a bridge.

    The WRT54G with DD-WRT firmware worked perfectly with my laptop when I connected it to my laptop with an Ethernet cable. I had excellent internet access (of course with the laptop's wireless adapter disabled).

    However, when I plugged the WRT54G into my TIVO-HD, the TIVO-HD was unable to access the network and gave an error message that said something about not finding a DHP server.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am eventually going to run an Ethernet cable direct to my main router but it is diagonally across my house and that task is going to wait until winter (I am in South Florida and my attic temps still exceed 120 degrees mid day).

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