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

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

Message 1 of 23 (3,192 Views)
Highlighted
ACE - Expert

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

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):

 

 

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:

 

 

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.
Message 16 of 23 (1,856 Views)
Tutor

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

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?
Message 17 of 23 (1,845 Views)
ACE - Expert

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

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.
Message 18 of 23 (1,836 Views)
Expert

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

[ Edited ]

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.

Message 19 of 23 (1,823 Views)
Tutor

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

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?

Message 20 of 23 (1,803 Views)
ACE - Expert

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

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.
Message 21 of 23 (1,796 Views)
Expert

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


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.

 

Message 22 of 23 (1,787 Views)
Contributor

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

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.

Message 23 of 23 (1,455 Views)
Share this topic
Announcements

Welcome to the AT&T Community Forums!!! Stop by the Community How-To section for tips on how to get started.