Ultimate Wireless Network

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by vlxjim, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Dec 19, 2003 #1 of 606
    vlxjim

    vlxjim New Member

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    Nov 28, 2003

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    Just to let you folks know you can get real time transfers in best quality. I just setup two TiVo 2 80Hr with two of the Linksys USB200M USB 2.0 10/100 Network Adapters, each hooked to a Linksys WGA54G Wireless-G Game Adapter (works just like the WET54G Wireless-G Ethernet Bridge but cost less and in a different case for the gaming market). Routed by a Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Broadband Router. The high gain antenna on the WGA54G Wireless-G Game Adapter get a much better signal than the WUSB11. I get 100% on singal and link with this setup with both TiVo's 75+ feet from the router (one up stairs one down stairs). I now have a 54G network the TiVo's USB port is now the bottle neck. I can now watch in real time the transfer of best quality video. Watching a two hour movie in best quality is no problem. And the Med. quality transfers are three to four time as fast.

    I hope this helps some of you out.

    Jim :)
     
  2. Dec 19, 2003 #2 of 606
    Kindred

    Kindred New Member

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    Central...
    Curious about the antenna, can you describe it? Is it optional or directly connected to the 'box'? Don't both ends need the signal boost? Are they directional? If so, how do you handle the receiving ends being in different locations (I'm assuming that they are in different directions?)

    Just curious....

    Thanks

    Jack
     
  3. Dec 19, 2003 #3 of 606
    vlxjim

    vlxjim New Member

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    The antenna is on the unit and about 6-7 inchs long. The WGA54G is a transceiver so a higher gain antenna is going to improve the transmit as well as the receive. In other words it talks louder and hears better. You can see it on the linksys web site.
     
  4. Dec 19, 2003 #4 of 606
    Kindred

    Kindred New Member

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    Central...
    THanks for the reply. I will go over to thier site and check it out. Is it directional or omni-directional?

    Jack
     
  5. Dec 20, 2003 #5 of 606
    nodefect

    nodefect New Member

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    I just posted this question. Can you transfer video back to the PC from the Tivo box and burn it on the PC's DVD burner?


    The manager at Circuit City told me to go with the Microsoft B Router and adapter because he said the Linksys does not work very well with the Directv/Tivo box. Is that true? I noticed that the Mircrosoft G router is available, but the antena is not out yet. The manager told me that Tivo cannot benefit from the G speed, so why pay the extra money? he said.
     
  6. Dec 20, 2003 #6 of 606
    bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

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    Crystal...
    As far as I know, the USB ports on the DirecTivo boxes are disabled.
     
  7. Dec 20, 2003 #7 of 606
    Kindred

    Kindred New Member

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    Central...
    No you can't route the video back to the PC and the TiVo does not (at this time) support the g type router, so to speak. You can look back at some of the older inquiries and find that it will talk to some extent, but since you are talking on a USB 1.1 device, your speed is really constrained. If you want your greatest speed, hardwire the devices!

    Jack
     
  8. Dec 21, 2003 #8 of 606
    SafariKC

    SafariKC Weeeeeeeeeeee

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    Can anyone confirm this? I don't see how this could actually speed things up unless Tivo has activated the USB2.0 capiblity of the ports. vlxjim: what is the Software version on your Tivos? Have you noticed the same transfer speed if you just run a cable between the 2 Ethernet ports on the USB200M's w/o the wireless?
     
  9. Dec 21, 2003 #9 of 606
    vlxjim

    vlxjim New Member

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    The antennas, are omni-directional

    With this type of setup TiVo supports the wireless G. Using the USB200M Network Adapters TiVo thinks it is hard wired to a 100Mb network but the hard wire is really two WGA54G Wireless-G Ethernet Bridges that talk at 54Mbs not as fast as the 100Mb hard wire but faster than the TiVo's USB 1.1 port (12Mbs max). Wireless B is 11Mbs but for most 5-6 Mbs were wireless G is 54Mbs most will see 22-25 Mbs with transfer errors or interference you can see why having this type of wireless network is so good and if TiVo get a USB 2.0 Driver some day your all set, it will then tranfer 4-5x faster than real time in best.

    In the video transfer world network speed is the key. As long as you can transfer data faster than Tivo you won't get data drop outs. The TiVo USB 1.1 port is just enught to play best quality in real time. But the network has to keep up, and wirless B can't keep up nor can a 10Mbs hard wire network. You need wireless G or 100Mbs hard wire. At this time with USB1.1 (12Mbs) wireless G or 100Mbs hard wire work just the same but if USB 2.0 (400Mbs) drivers come out 100Mbs will be 46+Mbs faster than G.
     
  10. Dec 21, 2003 #10 of 606
    Kindred

    Kindred New Member

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    Central...
    Jim...

    Just what I was figuring out! Thanks for the reply to straighting it out for me concisely! Now it is clear...
    I looked at the description over at the ad and found it very useful. The ant is Omidirectional so it works in all directions witch is great for your situation, but not too good for mine! hang in there and keep up with the reports they help, they are of great help!!!!

    Thanks again!!!

    Jack
     
  11. Dec 24, 2003 #11 of 606
    ggfox

    ggfox New Member

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    Hmm....

    If the drivers on the TiVos are only USB 1.1, wouldn't that limit the transfer in/out of the TiVo unit's USB ports to the theoretical 12Mbps regardless of the 54Mbps link between the 2 WGA54G units using the bridge setup?

    Wouldn't 2.0 drivers be needed for this to work at the desired 54mbps speed all the way through?

    Just wondering how this all works..
    TIA,
    George
     
  12. Dec 24, 2003 #12 of 606
    bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

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    Crystal...
    802.11g would rarely reach the theoretical maximum of 54Mb/sec

    For one, if there's an access point involved and you're going wireless to wireless you lose half your throughput right off the bat.

    802.11g also slows down the farther away you are.

    The same issues also occur with 802.11b.

    The normal throughput of an 802.11b network ends up being between 2Mbs and 5.5Mbs for a wireless to wireless connection. With 802.11g I would imagine that the best you'll see in normal situations is somewhere around 20-25Mbs.

    This is still faster than USB 1.1's limit of 12Mbs but it's not as far off as you might think by just looking at the numbers.
     
  13. Dec 24, 2003 #13 of 606
    ggfox

    ggfox New Member

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    Hi,

    I understand theoretical -vs- actual speeds. That's was not the point of my post... What I am trying to get at is the fact that the bottleneck in the setup suggested by "vlxjim" (54mbps bridge) is the USB port/driver on the TiVo unit. Thus regardless of how fast your data flies over wireless, the TiVo I/O throughput on its USB ports is limited to what the port/drivers support: USB 1.1 (12mbps). I think his solution does not do much but improve performance just notch over regular 802.11b (11mbps). I don't think the TiVos communicate at speeds beyond what USB 1.1 supports: 12mbps.

    This is the way I am looking at it. You just have to follow the chain of devices and their "speeds" under this type of setup:

    1. TiVo phys. USB 2.0 port + TiVo USB 1.1 driver = USB 1.1 virutal port = 12mbps max speed (theoretical)

    2. Linksys USB200M 10/100 USB-Ethernet + virtual USB 1.1 port (above) = Linksys "fast speed mode" (not "high speed 54mbps mode" per documentation) = 12 mbps transfer rate (theoretical).

    3. Linksys WGA54G 54mbps bridge + Linksys USB200M in "fast speed mode" = 12 mbps transfer rate (lower denominator of both devices).

    4. Linksys WGA54G 54mbps bridge + Linksys WGA54G 54mbps bridge = 54mbps wireless transfer rate (theoretical)

    If I am correct on this, you can see that from point #1, the bottleneck is the USB 1.1 driver built-in to the TiVo. Regardless if your unit has an USB 2.0 port, as long as the driver is 1.1, you can only get 12mbps (theo).

    Thus, no matter how fast your data flies over the wireless link (point #4, the two Game bridges), it will only go through (in and out) the TiVo USB port at no more than the supported theoretical speed (12mbps) because of the USB 1.1 driver, and the fact that the Linksys USB200M adapter will only switch to 12mpbs (not 100mbps) when connected to a USB 1.1 port/driver (point #2). The lowest common denominator in this chain is the USB 1.1 driver, so the data will never pass through it faster than its capacity.

    However, I do think this setup does improve transfer a little over standard 802.11b adapters. Since the actual (not theoretical) speeds of the 802.11b setup will be definately much less than 11mbps, and the 54mpbs bridge setup should pipe data faster to the USB port, which may then process it closer or perhaps even faster than 11mbps but always less than the max 12mbps supported by the TiVo port (theo). ... but I don't know that this type of performance improvement is worth the extra $$.

    Perhaps someone with a hacked TiVo unit can actually run some benchmarks on these scenarios. .. ?

    I think until we get USB 2.0 drivers on the Tivo Series 2, this setup will not work at full capacity all the way through the chain of devices. On a side note, it should work on TiVo Series 1 with the TurboNET 100mbps ethernet card in place of the Linksys USB200M USB adapter. Since then you will not have the USB 1.1 port bottleneck, and your slowest device would be the 54mbps bridge (802.11g!)

    Regards,
    George
     
  14. Dec 25, 2003 #14 of 606
    pcar1947

    pcar1947 New Member

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    I am intrigued by your solution. I have a TIVO 80 Hour hooked to Linksys WUSB-12. I have just orderd a Pioneer PRDVR810H and would like to include this in my network. I run a Linksys Wireless -G network in the house hooked to 4 computers and one Tivo Device. Do you see any issues in implementing your solution, other than cost ? I believe I have to dump the WUSB-12 adapter?
    I believe I need to order these parts?

    2 Linksys USB200M USB 2.0 10/100 Network Adapters
    2 Linksys WGA54G Wireless-G Game Adapter

    My Router is located in an upstairs office and the Pioneer will be in the basement. Will this be an issue?

    In other words could you draw me a installation Map?

    Thanks in Advance for any reponse.;) :confused:
     
  15. Dec 25, 2003 #15 of 606
    pcar1947

    pcar1947 New Member

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    In your humble opinion is it worth it to implement "vlxjim solution"? Or do you see a better long tem soluton? Keep in mind I like his solution.
     
  16. Dec 25, 2003 #16 of 606
    ggfox

    ggfox New Member

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    Hi pcar1947,

    Well, assuming what I've read is correct in that while TiVo Series 2 have physical USB 2.0 ports, but only USB 1.1 drivers for them. Then the quick answer is no.

    If the driver's on the TiVo's are still v1.1, then the USB 2 port will only work at that spec, which supports up to 12mbps of throughput (theoretical). Being that the case, then the ports are the bottleneck in the chain of devices suggested by the solution proposed by vlxjim. So no matter how fast the 802.11g or Ethernet devices communicate (54mbps / 100mbps theo.), they can get or send data to the TiVos at the speed the TiVo ports support (12mbps theo.)

    While I do think vlxjim's solution will improve performance a little, I don't think its worth the extra $$$ bucks it will cost to get all four devices in question (two USB2 10/100 adapters, and the 802.11g game bridges).

    The speed difference between the supported (and cheaper) wireless solution of 802.11b at 11mbps -vs- the virtual USB 1.1 ports at 12mbps is not that big, even after accounting for the actual -vs- theoretical speeds. Although I believe other factors could make this speed difference better (greater) under certain circumstances, but that's for someone with the setups in place to benchmark.

    It all boils down to a simple analogy... Its like having a 54-lane highway full of cars all heading to the same exit which is only 12-lane wide. No matter how fast traffic was on the highway, you get a big slowdown at the exit due to congestion.

    I think until we get new USB 2.0 software driver updates for our TiVO units we will not be able to do high-speed (> 12mbps) through the USB ports on the units. Anybody got any info on when this might happen? :) .. or better yet, has this already happened and I am still in the dark :) ???

    Now, if you have a TiVo Series 1 with a TurboNet 100mbps card, then I think the solution proposed by vlxjim would work well. But unfortunately Home Media Option is not available for Series 1, and the only advantage of this solution for Series 1 would be connecting a hacked unit to a PC over high-speed wireless for transfering recordings, doing backups, etc.


    Regards,
    George
     
  17. Dec 26, 2003 #17 of 606
    vlxjim

    vlxjim New Member

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    The gain that you will get is not only in better transfer rates but in much better singal and link strength.The WGA54G Wireless-G Game Adapter get a much better signal and link strength than the WUSB11, I have used and tested both, and can tell you that I can pick up three other wireless B networks in my neighborhood with the WGA54G. Plus even if you only get 20Mbs do to transfer errors, interference or bad signal and link strength it is still faster than the wireless B network. This is important if you want to transfer and play in Best quality in real time. Or you don't want to slow down your wireless G network. Forget the USB 1.1 as long as you can transfer data faster than Tivo you won't get data drop outs and wirless B can't keep up were a wireless G network can.

    This is not over kill I can watch a little faster than real time the transfer of best quality video. I just select a movie from the now playing on the other tivo hit play now and start watching the movie there is no waiting and after about 10 or 15 min. I can start to pass through the commercials. This is like the performance of a hardwired network. I don't know of anyone that can do this with wireless B. Like I said before if TiVo get us USB 2.0 drivers I'll be setup I will then tranfer 4-5x faster than real time in best quality.

    And don't forget you need no drivers from TiVo for this wireless setup you can change firmware, routers or whatever you need and TiVo just thinks it's hook to a hardwired network.
     
  18. Dec 26, 2003 #18 of 606
    ggfox

    ggfox New Member

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    Hmm....

    I have 802.11b at home and never had a problem with signal strength. It always gets about 90% which is just as good as my PCs. I also pick up 4 other networks in the building I live. I guess it all depends on the equipment you are using, location/distance, and setup.

    But I agree with you.. if your current wireless equipment is not working well, then something should be done about it. But if my 802.11b setup was weak in signal and slower than average, then I would just buy a signal amplifier/booster (e.g, Linksys WSB24) rather than go with a more expensive all-around replacement which is not going to yield its full capacity due to current bottlenecks.

    And you do need two "built-in" drivers from TiVo (USB and adapter). Without them what you plug into your USB (e.g., USBM200) will not work, and most importantly the drivers also determine how adapters work on that bus (speedwise; USB 1.1 = 12mbps, USB 2.0 = 480mbps).

    Regards,
    George
     
  19. Dec 27, 2003 #19 of 606
    vlxjim

    vlxjim New Member

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    You not getting the point. With your wireless B network at 100% you still can't get real time transfers in best quality or high quality as far as that gos. Wireless B is just to slow and a signal amplifier/booster won't get you there either. Plus when TiVo gets us USB 2.0 drivers. The ones that build on a B network well be left in the dust.

    This post was for those that wanted a wireless G network But are still waiting on TiVo for drivers.

    When I say that you need no drivers from TiVo for this wireless setup I'm talking about the wireless side TiVo has the drivers for the USB200M they just need to update the chipset driver.
     
  20. Dec 29, 2003 #20 of 606
    morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    I have to agree with vlxjim. The best wireless speeds I've seen with my 802.11b network is around 4 mbps (and that's with one wire link and one wireless link). Even with the artificial 12 mbps USB1.1 cap, its still 3 times faster than using 802.11b.

    There is a cost/performance issue though. Is getting around 3 times the speed worth paying an extra
    2 x $90 + 2 x $27 - 2 x $$40 = $154 more than using a wireless B network. That's for 2 TiVo's. It would be more if you have more TiVos.

    If you could use the Linksys WUSB54G Wireless-G USB Adapter (which you can't) it would be less of an issue since it would only be $20 more.
     

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