What networking solution is my best bet?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by dinojuiceextractor, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Dec 3, 2016 #1 of 15
    dinojuiceextractor

    dinojuiceextractor New Member

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    Howdy,

    I'm new to Tivo and new to MoCA but couldn't resist the cyber Monday sale and the opportunity to not pay $45/month to rent sub-par equipment from Time Warner/Spectrum.

    I live in an apartment and purchased a Bolt for the living room and a Tivo Mini for the bedroom (upstairs). I also bought a POE filter and a Tivo bridge (aka Actiontec ECB6000) because my modem and router are not in the living room.

    I got the bolt up and running on wifi and have my cablecard installed. When I tried setting up the MoCA network, I couldn't get any connection between the Bolt and the Bridge. Because I live in an apartment, I have limited knowledge of how the coax is wired, but I did have whole home DVR service from TWC so I assume that a MoCA network is possible with my wiring.

    Currently in the office I have a coax line to the input of the Tivo-provided MOCA 2.0 splitter, with one branch going to my modem and the other going to my Bridge (MoCA adapter). I then have a CAT5e cable connecting the ethernet port on the bridge to my router. Both lights on the ethernet port are on.

    In the living room I simply have the Bolt hooked up to coax that goes into the wall.

    I am only getting the Power light on the MoCA adapter, no Coax light. When I try to switch to the MoCA network through the TiVO menus I get error C33 (TiVo Customer Support) which makes me think the splitter between the office drop and the living room drop may not be MoCA compatible (I am unable to access it to check). What is the best procedure to troubleshoot each component to determine the culprit?

    Additionally, I have a spare ASUS RT-N66U router I could set up as a wireless bridge, but I'm not sure what the best solution would be to incorporate that. I was considering using the Bolt as the MoCA adapter via bridging ethernet with the router and then using the coax to the bedroom, but I'm not sure if wireless-N speeds are really that useful for this application.

    Any help or guidance?
     
  2. Dec 3, 2016 #2 of 15
    fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    Questions, where is the POE filter installed? Do you have a tuning adapter? The correct setting on the Bolt should be "connect to a MoCA network" not "create a MoCA network", is that what you have tried? Normally, MoCA is considered to be a superior method over wireless, concentrate on trouble shooting that first.
    EDIT: How about the mini? Use the same "connect to a MoCA network" setting for that.
     
  3. Dec 3, 2016 #3 of 15
    UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Just to emphasize the question about the tuning adapter, it needs to be set up correctly, splitter with one coax to TA, one to TiVo. Otherwise, at least on my Cisco, MOCA won't work.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2016 #4 of 15
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    One gotcha to be wary of is assuming any splitter that TiVo sent you is MoCA-compatible. It may well be, but don't automatically assume that it can't be all or part of the problem.

    A quick test you could do to verify that your MoCA adapter is functional would be to install your Mini in the office (hopefully you have a portable HDMI-capable monitor? an audio connection for the Mini isn't needed) and direct-connect between the Mini's coax port and the coax port on the ECB6000. This is the simplest of coax segments and is only dependent on the quality of the coax cable you use to connect the Mini and the adapter, and you should see the MoCA connection LED on the adapter lit.

    With the ECB6000 also connected via Ethernet to your router, the Mini should be able to establish an Internet connection and connect to the TiVo service -- though it will only get so far in its setup process if it cannot communicate with the BOLT, or if the BOLT hasn't made a few TiVo service connections since the Mini was activated.. (The BOLT could temporarily be configured for a wireless connection, if only to get the Mini through its setup process.)

    This last bit is less important, since the point of the above test was really just to prove the MoCA adapter is capable of creating the MoCA network.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2016 #5 of 15
    dinojuiceextractor

    dinojuiceextractor New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. There are at least 6 coax drops in my apartment and I suspected the splitters might have something to do with my issues. I managed to find one blank wall panel in the master closet that hid a 1x3 coax splitter that was listed as 5-1000 mHz compatible, so I switched it out with a 5-2GHz splitter but still had issues. I got kinda frustrated and instead just went to Microcenter and purchased a $60 tplink AC1200 router that is bridge capable and am going to go that route instead. I'm pretty sure MoCA is possible in my apartment, but without access to the apartment's mechanical room where the Coax main line comes from, I wouldn't be able to ensure I had the POE filter in the correct place anyway, so I'm just going to have to live with this setup.

    Hopefully I don't face too much downtime relying on a wireless bridge, my two routers both have good reviews so fingers crossed.
     
  6. Dec 3, 2016 #6 of 15
    dinojuiceextractor

    dinojuiceextractor New Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    I did not have the POE filter installed yet because I couldn't locate the point of entry. I do not have a tuning adapter (yet), I have to go get one from TWC to enable the rest of my channels.

    On the Bolt, the menu options for MoCA are On/Off and then set up as Bridge or set up as Client. I was selecting set up as client.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2016 #7 of 15
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    New or not, you've ordered exactly the correct equipment for your situation (though the PoE MoCA filter may or may not be needed, depending on whether TWC already has one in place). The ECB6000 adapter (same as TiVo Bridge) is perfect for networking with the BOLT, as it matches the BOLT's standard MoCA 2.0 spec.

    And you were right to be concerned regarding apartment wiring, as that's been a stumbling block for some until they helped educate their local cable techs on how a "multi-dwelling building" needs to be wired to properly support whole home/MoCA networking. This excerpt from an older post may help illustrate the issue:

    Once you've proven the MoCA adapter works per the previous Mini-only test, I would think you could temporarily snuff your Internet connection to similarly test basic MoCA connectivity between your rooms:
    1. direct-connect the MoCA adapter coax port to the wall outlet in your current cable modem room.
    2. move your Mini to each room and direct-connect the Mini to each wall outlet (portable HDMI monitor in tow!), to verify each room's connectivity to the MoCA adapter -- and checking/documenting the MoCA stats at each location to verify connection quality *and* to ensure the Mini is actually connecting to *your* MoCA adapter.
    The Mini should be able to at least connect to the LAN in each case, triggering the coax connection LED on the adapter and letting you check the MoCA stats on the Mini. (To be honest, though, I'm not 100% sure what checks the Mini goes through on boot-up, and how it will react if/when it finds the Internet connection is dead, even if it *can* connect via MoCA.)
     
  8. Dec 3, 2016 #8 of 15
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Interesting, if accurate, as those choices are different from what I've seen in the past.

    Moot, of course, given the chosen path. Good luck...
     
  9. Dec 3, 2016 #9 of 15
    dinojuiceextractor

    dinojuiceextractor New Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Many thanks. I did a dry run by connecting the Mini to the living room TV with the Ethernet drop I'm planning to eventually use connected to the Mini and the bridge router rather than to the Bolt and the main router and was able to reach the internet and download a software update for the Mini, so I'm feeling good about connectivity. Only issue that I can think of is possible bandwidth issues relying on a wireless bridge, but I think AC 1200 on a 5 GHz band is (hopefully) enough to keep things running smoothly.
     
  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Sleep well. A Mini works well with a wireless bridge, including the one sold by TiVo. One wireless I have found unable to work with a Mini is the internal wireless of a Roamio.
     
  11. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yeah, the traffic when you start doing TiVo MRS (Multi-Room Streaming) between the BOLT and Mini will be the real test. MRS can require 20+Mbps for recorded HD content. Internet streaming HD content will typically be 8 Mbps or less, and service connections can get by with even less.
     
  12. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    That's true. I like to allocate 20Mbps per user or connection. But I feel that's a router issue. You know MoCA, I don't. What is the MoCA processing bottleneck? With Ethernet the router is the crunch point. It's more important than any bridge, AP, or range extender.
     
  13. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    It sounds like they're going with wireless, so their wireless connection between the Mini and BOLT will be their bottleneck. Hopefully the acquired gear with have the bandwidth and latency to support the connection. Fingers crossed.

    - - - - -

    To be honest, I use the same 20 Mbps per session rule of thumb and assume a MoCA 1.1 DVR can only support 120+Mbps of consistent throughput. This echoes TiVo's Custom Installers Tips & Tricks doc recommendation of limiting MoCA nodes to 5...

    For best results when using MoCA, limit the number of TiVo devices on the network to five. If more TiVo devices are needed, please use an Ethernet connection instead.
    ... though I've interpreted that as a limit of active Mini sessions rather than a hard limit for installed devices. In my view, the custom installers doc could use an update to address MoCA 2.0 and hybrid Ethernet/MoCA installations; I'd think they'd have also included a caveat re: Ethernet installations, since earlier DVR models were restricted to Fast Ethernet interfaces, as are the typical MoCA 1.1 adapters.

    As for MoCA, it's peer-to-peer, so 2 nodes will communicate at the highest spec supported by both nodes. So 2 standard MoCA 2.0 BOLTs could transfer shows at 400+Mbps between each other even if the user is using an older MoCA 1.1 adapter as their bridge (i.e. MoCA access point). I unfortunately haven't gotten around to testing the breaking point for MoCA-connected Minis, nor, lacking the equipment, how MoCA 2.0 throughput is affected by a bunch of MoCA 1.1 devices hogging the MoCA bridge's attention. (i.e. Could a MoCA 2.0 BOLT support more Minis over MoCA than a MoCA 1.1 Roamio Pro? Or how would MoCA 2.0 throughput be affected by an increasing number of Minis sessions?)
     
  14. dinojuiceextractor

    dinojuiceextractor New Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Luckily, we're only a 2 TV household for now, and usually only one device on at a time. Especially if we're watching recorded content in the bedroom, the likelihood of also using a lot of bandwidth in the office or living room isn't that high. I'm running an ASUS RT-AC1900 as the home base router and a TP Link AC1200 router (Archer C5 V2.0) as the bridge in the bedroom in 5 GHz mode. It has a max throughput of 867 Mbps so I think I have enough headroom to be OK, but maybe I'm misunderstanding y'alls conversation?
     
  15. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    No, I think you've tracked it properly. Joe's experience indicates a good wireless router & adapter pairing will get the job done for a Mini connection, especially, as you say, if you're only looking at a single Mini MRS session.

    The MoCA drift was off-topic since you're going the wireless route.
     

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