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Posted May 13, 2012
9:40:15 AM
Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and LAN

 

Posted this inside another thread but I only received one reply so I'm starting my own with it....

 

 

 

I'm also interested in what is the "Optimal" cabling structure to get the best speed and quality for not only the TV service, but also the computer network side of things.  I came from Comcast and had 5 STB and 1 cable card on the TV side and a Gigabit wired/Wireless N network on the computer side.  Everything worked flawlessly before the U-Verse install. 

 

U-Verse newbie here and I'm having some services issues/problems with losing the internet service, wireless STB connectivity and other STB connectivity to the DVR....like picture freezing during playback or just dropping the ON Demand channel and going back to the menu.   The problems come and go and I'm trying to decide if the entire system was marginally installed.  When the tech came out to do the install we had to make some concessions as to how the equipment was laid out based on my existing wiring or lack thereof. 

 

Backgroud:

U-Verse layout as it is now.  Copper lines from the street to COAX (RG6 not Quad Shielf) at the NID (I guess that's what it is called) on the outside of the house.  The COAX runs to the RG on the second story of the home...the RG feeds the STB/DVR over Ethernet with HDMI output to the TV in that room.  There is also a U-Verse Wireless Access Point pluged into the RG Ethernet that supplies two wireless STB in adjacent rooms also on the second story.  The install tech run a new  AT&T supplied RG6 from the NID 100 feet to an AT&T splitter that feeds 3 more STBs (1st floor) over my existing coax.  I'm assuming he also installed the "Diplexor" in the NID to feed the new run of COAX to the 3 downstairs STBs.

 

Since it was installed this way, how does that compare to an optimal solution? I'm willing to do some new RG6 Quad wiring to all areas that the STBs reside in to a "Home" run location to put the RG and DVR/STB.  Would this be better?  I'm guess I'm trying to get all the STBs serviced over the RG6 network to free up traffic on the Ethernet side...I guess this is basically the same way as my Comcast install.  Right now any of the STBs accessing the DVR are tying up Ethernet traffic on the non-Gigabit switch in the RG.  That hardly seems optimal. From reading the above posts, it seems as though running all the STBs off of Ethernet is the way to go. 

 

Right now for the internet side of things, I have turned off the wireless in the RG and connected my DIR655 Gigabit Router (DHCP off) LAN to LAN on the RG  and letting the RG do the DHCP and routing.  All my wired Ethernet (pre-existing) is wired to the DIR655 and getting IP addresses through the RG. 

 

With the setup I have now, both TV and computer network, I'm having these issues come and go.  Soliciting all opinions here on which way to go.  If things are already optimal then I guess the alternative is to just go back to Comcast.

 

Thanks ahead for your input and replies.

 

Jeff

Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and LAN

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May 18, 2012 7:25:38 AM
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Was really hoping that an "Expert" U-verse would provide some comments.  I have quickly put together a diagram of how the install is now and a possible rewiring based on a comment in the thread below.

 

http://forums.att.com/t5/Residential-Gateway/Best-home-wiring-solution-coax-vs-cat5/td-p/3187789

 

My Current Setup....

 

 

Proposed Setup....

 

 

 

Comments?

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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May 18, 2012 4:44:19 PM
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Your proposed solution will separate IPTV and Internet traffic, which could help your computers.

However, there is another option instead of running RG6 from the NID to the RG -- you can also run Cat5e instead. This may have lower errors than coax for this run. However, you will need a different balun in the NID, AT&T will have to come provide that for you.

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May 18, 2012 6:54:24 PM
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Thanks for the reply SomeJoe7777.  I have been following your posts in the other thread on how to use other routers with Uverse and I was about to pick your brain on the networking area. I think I will go ahead with the proposed solution and also look into running a Cat5e cable from the NID to the RG as well so it will be in place if needed.

 

On a separate note, should/do the two different networks be on their own subnet?  I'm not a networking guru so could you provide an example of such.  I have my DLink 655 configured as an AP with the DHCP turned off and assigned a static IP right now of 192.168.1.1 and the RG is 192.168.1.254 doing the DHCP and handing out addresses from 192.168.1.64-253.

 

Thanks in advance.

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May 20, 2012 1:17:47 PM
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No, they don't have to be on different subnets. They just need to have the RG separating them, so that the multicast traffic on the IPTV side won't interfere with the computer side. Having all the TV receivers on one of the Ethernet feeds from the RG and all the computers on another accomplishes this.

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May 21, 2012 6:12:18 PM
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Thanks for weighing in SomeJoe777, your thoughts are very appreciated.

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 21, 2013 5:05:57 PM
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SomeJoe7777, you seem to be one of the "go-to" guys around this forum, so I figured I would reach out to you directly.

 

We have U-verse for TV and for internet.  We have the 3801HGV.  We have 4 HD set top boxes.  One is a DVR and the other 3 are regular (clients?).  I may be adding a couple more TV boxes (if possible) to the mix in the near future as well.  I would like for all TV boxes (now and future) to be hard-wired.  Our home was pre-wired with a minimum of (5) CAT 6 at each TV location, and everything is a homerun.

 

On the computer side we have several devices that will be hardwired Ethernet connections.  Some require it and the others I would like to hardwire for reliability..... i.e. TV's (for “smart” TV functionality), an A/V receiver, multiple desktop PC's, a Blu-ray player, multiple media players (4), a NAS drive, etc....

 

Also, I would like to have wireless N, which (as you know) does not come on the 3801HGV.  We have a couple of laptops and several tablets scattered around the house that will require this wireless.  Also we have a couple of wireless internet radios.

 

So….. what do we need as far as equipment goes and how the heck do we connect it all?  Imagine that you are creating a network from scratch. Our priorities are  reliability, flexibility for future add-ons, speed and a network where conflicts between devices are eliminated or at least minimized.

Do we separate all the TV from the “other” stuff?  Multiple switches?

I immensely appreciate any and all input given on this!

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 21, 2013 5:30:18 PM
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ACE - Master
murfsky - Half is simple half is complicated, The wired is simple - Keep the TVs & computers separate. One path back to the RG for each. Use a switch such as this on the TV path & one on the computer path. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006RVPW/ref=asc_df_B00006RVPW1644937?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B00006RVPW

Setting up the N wireless is beyond me. Somejoe can explain. But, why not try the base wi-fi first. N is almost the latest & greatest ( or go for AC). B or G should be adequate which you can extend easily with this http://www.att.com/equipment/accessory-details/?q_categoryid=cat2990041&q_sku=sku6610387&q_manufacturer=&q_model

Maybe you could use it to broadcast N. Somejoe, what do you think?
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 21, 2013 6:35:30 PM
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Hi murfsky,

1. How many total Cat6 cables are coming to the central location? (Whether they're going to be used or not)
2. How many of these Cat6 cables will be connected to an active device (either IPTV or computer)?
3. How many are IPTV, and how many are computer or other Internet device?

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Oct 21, 2013 6:55:06 PM
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1. probably..... 5 from each TV location..... maybe a total of 20
2. I am guessing probably 3 will be used at each location
3. 1 will be for Uverse set-top TV box , 1 for a media player (maybe a mini PC or a Raspberry Pi), 1 for TV (ethernet jack on back of TV) and possibly one for an HDMI balun

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Oct 21, 2013 6:55:47 PM
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Also.... Thanks so much for the speedy responses!!

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Oct 22, 2013 10:06:26 AM
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Why do you ask SomeJoe? You have me very curious....

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Oct 22, 2013 1:53:11 PM
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murfsky - For the same reason you asked him in your OP, because when it comes to networking he is the man. Also, because I kind of jumped in & tried to smooth it over. I picked up the first part from various posts. Also, the repeater.

The repeater is really easy to set up. Whereas, I see people going crazy trying to set up wired routers to work with u-verse and somejoe is the expert in helping them. I believe I saw a suggestion that the repeater should be on a different channel than the 3801 base wi-fi. So, why not on a different band.

If a b/g 3801 is working with a b/g/n Netgear WN3000RP, will the Netgear communicate with a device set to N? I thought somejoe might find that an intriguing question.

I may see if I can set it up.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 22, 2013 5:05:22 PM
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murfsky wrote:
Our priorities are  reliability, flexibility for future add-ons, speed and a network where conflicts between devices are eliminated or at least minimized.

 

With 20 network cables and a variety of devices, I believe that the central unit that will best meet these goals while remaining cost effective is a small business 24-port managed Gigabit Ethernet switch that can make use of VLANs.

 

My recommended choices would be:

 

1. Dell PowerConnect 2824, $289.00

2. Cisco SG200-26, $279.99

3. NetGear GS724T-300, $192.99

 

The NetGear is probably not as well-tested as the two big names, i.e. you get what you pay for. :smileywink:

 

 

I would configure this switch to have two VLANs, make them VLAN ID 1 (computers and Internet devices) and VLAN ID 2 (IPTV).  Configure the ports as required, and uplink the switch to the 3801HGV twice, once from each VLAN.  This will separate IPTV and computer traffic.

 

Disable wireless on the 3801HGV, install your own 802.11n wireless access point (or points) wherever you'd like, uplink it (them) to the switch on VLAN 1.

 

If now or in the future you want to use your own router for the computer/Internet devices, you can insert it into this setup in between the 3801HGV and the switch on the VLAN 1 uplink.

 

This setup will give you complete separation of computer and IPTV traffic, maximum flexibility to connect any Ethernet cable to any VLAN, enough ports for all cables, Gigabit speeds between all computers, 300 Mbps speeds between computers and wireless devices, flexibility to add a router, and the ability to run tagged frames to downstream switches if a circumstance arises where you don't have enough Ethernet cables to a particular location.  (This would allow a downstream switch to run both VLANs on the same cable and therefore extend the dual-VLAN setup of the central switch to any remote location).

 

 

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 24, 2013 7:36:36 PM
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Please don't interpret my silence as disrespect or as a lack of appreciation.... 

I am trying to wrap my head around alot of what you have said....   Even though I have been desperately researching terms since your last post, I am not entirely confident in my knowledge of certain key points.  I am not familiar with VLANs... Also, I am not really sure what you mean by "uplink."

 

Would there be any way for you or someone to create some kind of visual flow chart to demonstrate these concepts and ideas?  I fear that I am just too new to this arena.  I appreciate your trying to put things into laymen terms but it is still a bit over my head.

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Oct 25, 2013 8:18:31 AM
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ACE - Master

To define terms:

 

Uplink - To connect the device for input.

 

What SJ meant was to connect two cables from the switch to the RG, connecting to separate ports.  I'll explain a bit more in a bit.

 

VLAN - Virtual LAN (Local Area Network).

 

What this means is that you logically separate traffic that flows over the same wires as if it were on two physical networks.

 

Here is a diagram of how to wire up what he's saying (oops, the box on the left is the RG, forgot to label it):

 

VLANPhys.PNG

 

Then you configure the two switches to treat the connection between Port 1 on switch A and Port 1 on Switch B as a VLAN, calling it VLAN 1.  What that means it that the switches will tag the packets with the VLAN number and keep the traffic private between those ports.  Repeat that for Port 2 on each switch, call that VLAN 2.  (You can actually add more ports to a VLAN if you need to, on either side).

 

Now, the RG will see requests from Port 1 of Switch B on it's port 1.  It'll see requests from Port 2 of Switch B on it's port 2.  It will then direct the appropriate traffic to that port.  (again, you can make other ports part of either VLAN as needed).  So, you only need one cable to connect the switches, but it'll be like you had two:  Logically it looks like this:

 

VLANLogical.PNG

 

I hope that helps.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Oct 25, 2013 10:47:27 AM
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It does and yet it creates a little more confusion for me, Jeffer.... Somejoe was (I think) suggesting that I use one switch...and you are suggesting two, right?
Are the two switches you are suggesting managed switches? I have two GS108NA's.... would these do the trick in our situation?

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Oct 25, 2013 1:46:55 PM
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ACE - Master

Oh... I read SJ's suggestion too quickly (I do that far too often).

 

For your situation, you don't necessarily need two switches. His configuration is somewhat simpler.  His idea was to configure everything on a single switch, and use VLANs to segregate the traffic.  This configuration makes it simple to insert the new router (if you decide to get one) in between the RG and the port on the VLAN for your computing devices you want behind the router AND provides the capability "if a circumstance arises where you don't have enough Ethernet cables to a particular location" using the second switch as I drew.

 

Since you have two switches you could actually use them to physically segregate the traffic, and insert the (hypothetical) router in front of the appropriate switch.  However, this doesn't allow for you to push the separated traffic to a remote location.

 

Yes, VLANs are a managed switch feature, because you need a management interface to set up the VLAN's.  Your GS108NA's are not capable of doing a VLAN; for that you'd need the GS108T (to stay with a somewhat similar NETGEAR line).

 

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 25, 2013 4:57:04 PM
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Edited by SomeJoe7777 on Oct 25, 2013 at 4:58:33 PM

Jeffer has it correct ... VLANs are used to separate the traffic here.

Because you have sufficient Ethernet cables to go to each device, you only need one switch. However, it must be a managed switch to set up the VLANs, and must have enough ports for all of your devices plus enough for future expansion.

And yes, if in the future you need to use both VLANs in a location, but don't have enough Ethernet cables for all of the devices there, then a 2nd VLAN-capable switch allows you to do exactly what Jeffer showed in the diagram.

You can think of VLANs as if there were two separate physical switches present. Imagine the following:

You have two NetGear GS108 switches, call them A and B. A is plugged into the RG on port 1, and B is plugged into the RG on port 2. Now, you plug all IPTV devices into switch B, and plug all computer devices into switch A. The RG can keep IPTV traffic and computer traffic away from each other on it's own ports, but your switches can't. However, if all IPTV devices are on switch B and all computer devices on switch A, then all the traffic is separated and won't interfere with each other.

With the method I suggested in the previous post, the VLANs take the place of separate physical switches. Essentially, the single 24-port switch is being broken up into two separate switches, VLAN 1 and VLAN 2. This performs the same separation function as having two separate physical switches.

But the advantage is that each port on the switch is assignable to one VLAN or the other. Thus, as your network grows and changes, each port can be assigned at-will to the proper VLAN and keep the traffic separate. Contrast this with the situation with two separate physical switches, where you might run out of ports on switch A, and can't make use of free ports on switch B without then mixing the traffic.

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 26, 2013 11:04:13 AM
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Now I got it!  Whew.... It took some time for me to grasp these concepts but now I finally understand what you guys are saying.  So my current equipment line up (2 unmanaged 8 port switches) works for what we are doing but only to a point or temporarily I should say.  Two unmanaged switches connected to the RG acts like a single managed switch with 2 vlans setup BUT there isn't the flexibility or expandability. Right?

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Oct 26, 2013 12:44:53 PM
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ACE - Master
murfsky - Why not expand a switch with another switch in the last spare port providing eight new ports?
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Looking for expert u-verse opinions on wiring and setup for optimal use of both TV network and L

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Oct 26, 2013 5:19:35 PM
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murfsky wrote:

 

Two unmanaged switches connected to the RG acts like a single managed switch with 2 vlans setup BUT there isn't the flexibility or expandability. Right?


 

That is correct.

 

aviewer is correct in that if you did run out of ports, you can always add another switch by using the last port of the existing switch to feed another one, and then make use of the new additional ports.  However, what you would not get in that situation is the ability to extend the VLANs should you not have enough cables to a particular location.  Running tagged frames on a single cable like Jeffer showed above requires two managed switches.

 

Since you only have 2x 8-port switches (and 2 ports of those would be used for the uplinks to the RG) you only have 14 ports usable, and only 7 for IPTV and 7 for computer/Internet devices.  I believe you might already need more ports than this for your computer/Internet devices, so I think you're already in the market for an additional switch.  Rather than start the network with 3 separate switches, I thought that a 24-port managed switch makes for a much cleaner, flexible, and future-proof installation.

 

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Feb 4, 2014 7:29:28 AM
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Sorry can't help. But everyone is complaing about ATT and their billing. My TV freezes and scrambles screen, recording disappears, and other problems that seem to never get resolved.  I, like many others feel comast was better even though ATT has more options. More options equals more problems. And the Techs all have different answers, they need more training, and they are always changing something that causes more problems.

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