Did the 'spearymint I promised:
Phase One: Give the Cablemodem's gigabit router the role of my old Linksys WRT54G
Verfied that the gigabit router built into the Comcast cablemodem could do the port-forwarding I need for remote access to my various computers, and MAC filtering to buttress the WPA2 security.
Transcribed all my settings in the Linksys, and reconfigured the Comcast to match.
Took my old Linksys 10/100 mbps Wifi G router out of the center chair ("Comcast, you have the conn.")
I now have twice the speed: 80mbps to my main machine, as measured by TestMy.Net (Ookla thinks it's half again that much: 120Mbps).
Phase Two: Test whether this will, in fact get me what I want
Borrowed a 21.5" HDMI 1080p monitor so I could plug my Fire TV directly into the Comcast box.
And I finally saw the holy grail of the HD 1080p
flag on the screen - with the Audio still set to Dolby Digital over Optical
, thoroughly disproving my speculation that my audio configuration was defeating 1080p. Surround sound with 1080 is
possible with my old pre-HDMI Yamaha AVR.
This was with a short ethernet cable, but to do this could mean dropping an ethernet cable about 100 feet long from the second floor down to my basement, so I found a long (though not that long) cable to connect the Fire to the Comcast box, to see what that would do.
I still got 1080p, but saw some digital haze artifacts - and this was on a 21.5" screen - my projector throws a 131" diagonal 16:9 image!
The easy way to be happy with this would be to move my cablemodem down to the theater
, reversing the signal flow over my MOCA link, using it to instead send internet connectivity upstairs
to my main computer.
"There's still some power left in the LEM's batteries, maybe we can use a sneak back current to help power up the Command Module." - Ken Mattingly, Apollo 13.
I could live with that, since it would merely put my PC back to the speeds I've been comfortable with for years. The only downsides would be having to go down to the basement to deal with loss of connectivity - a very rare occurrence - and losing my VOIP emergency landline - since the phone plugs into the cablemodem - which isn't a big deal - the only calls I get on that number are junk calls, and it still relies on a battery built into the cablemodem, unlike a real landline.
Running a second cablemodem just for the Fire would be expensive, and dropping ethernet down two floors outside my house a hassle that might still only give me noisy 1080p.
By comparison, moving the cablemodem down to the theater will be a trivial reconfiguration: just cable it to the theater's MOCA box instead of the one on the second floor, and plug my Fire, Oppo, and laptop directly into the Comcast box.
I could even flash the Linksys back to defaults, turn off its DCHP server, and use it in a bridge configuration in its old location as a switch to connect my PC and networked printers!