Need help updating home network from 2002! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-15-2013, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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When I purchased my condo (built in 1971) in 2003 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. At the time I owned and set up my home with the follow:

1. Sharp Aquos 32” LED/LCD HDTV 1080i
2. Dell Studio XPS 210 with N-Link wireless adapter
3. Linksys by Cisco duel simultaneous wireless modem
4. Comcast Digital HDTV/DVR Cable Box

l have, and use, all of those. However, in 2011 I added to the list, I have a home office, and a wife and now have the following:

1. Sharp Aquos 32” LED/LCD HDTV 1080i (now in bedroom)
2. Dell Studio XPS 210 with N-Link wireless adapter
3. Linksys by Cisco duel simultaneous wireless modem.
4. Comcast Digital HDTV/DVR Cable Box replaced with
a. 2 – Xfinity RNG200N HDTV/DVR Cable Boxes
5. Sharp Aquos 60” 3D HDTV (soon to be upgraded to Ultra HD 4K when price goes down)
6. Arris Touchstone TG862 Telephone Gateway Modem and home Phone
7. 3 – iPhones
8. New Dell Studio XPS 9100 Tower
9. 2 – MacBook Pro
10. 1 – iPad
11. Wireless Epson Printer
12. Xbox 360 (soon to be upgraded to Xbox One)
13. Playstation 3 (soon to be upgraded to PS4)

There’s a lot of new “toys” but nothing streams smoothly and I can’t even watch programs in HD without them skipping or pixilating. Also, though, I am using 2 wireless networks for the original modem and one wireless from the new modem, I am getting a slow and dropped connection, often. Comcast never upgraded the wiring in the condo. They only split used a splitter on the original wireing. And we went from 1 coaxial cable split between the old cable box and the old Linksys modem. Currently, it is split 3 ways using an Antronix CMC2003H 1Ghz Digital Splitter. All cables coaxial cables have the following written on them “Coax Cable KT5584272 (2005) 2000896 CM c(ETL)us OR CATV (ETL)us 18AWG”. The two going from the splitter to the cable boxes come from each of the two -7dB outputs, and the new ARRIS Touchstone TG862 modem/telephone comes from the -3dB output.
What can I do to boost the power so that my television picture is in actual HD and not pixilated SD and I have a faster internet connection. I’m not opposed to taking the TV and cable box down from the bedroom if necessary. Can I switch out the cables to match the newer technologies? Please help. Thanks for reading!
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-15-2013, 04:22 AM
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This might be more suited for the PC sub-forum for the networking issues.
As far as the coaxial cable part, the fittings might have to be replaced depending on how old they are. First place to start after signal losses are documented.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-15-2013, 07:32 AM
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Nothing streams smoothly because you have a lot of toys choking your wireless router. Get to that in a minute.

Check the coax type. If that place was built in 1971 and wired at the same time, you could be saddled with RG-59 where today's cable spectrum is best fed down RG-6. As mentioned above, replace connectors if you're having signal issues with programs viewed on cable TV. I can't tell from your post if your skipping and pixelating is while streaming or watching, say, ESPN via your cable box. Might clarify that.

You may wind up taking it upon yourself, depending on the design of your condo, to replace all the cabling with RG-6 and newer splitters. I'm sure Comcast will do that FOR you ...for a fee.. if the construction of the condo allows for that. I've completely re-wired apartments and duplexes I've lived in (let 'em yell.. I pay my rent). This house had a mix of RG-59 and 58 (probably for the LAN of the time).

As for streaming issues, make sure you have the fastest internet Comcast sells. In my experience, actual speeds are well below advertised speeds and heavily dependent on what everyone else in your neighborhood is doing. Might as well get the top end so you have some breathing room.

Get off of wireless. Get a new gigabit router and run your most-often-used-for-streaming devices to it via Cat 5 cabling. Hardwire as many devices as you can. Turn off as much automatic updating as you can or set it to run when you're asleep. Can't tell you how many times I've had streaming programs suddenly start stuttering because some other device in the house decides it's time to download and install an update. More of an issue with wireless than wired, but still an issue.

Now, I'll leave this here until we determine if your issue is more suited to the techies over in the HTPC areas (probably).

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post #4 of 9 Old 06-15-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Check the coax type. If that place was built in 1971 and wired at the same time, you could be saddled with RG-59 where today's cable spectrum is best fed down RG-6. As mentioned above, replace connectors if you're having signal issues with programs viewed on cable TV.

Now, I'll leave this here until we determine if your issue is more suited to the techies over in the HTPC areas (probably).
It isn't so much a 6 vs. 59 issue - it's an age issue. Series 59 cable made today has the same bandwidth as does Series 6 cable. The attenuation is a little higher, of course, but it has the same bandwidth.

In 1971, superband (CATV channels 23-36 (216-300MHz)) didn't even exist, let alone hyper and ultrabands. Coaxial cable was manufactured with a bandwidth of only 300MHz or so. Now, we need no less than 860MHz.

That 40+ yr old cable needs to be replaced. Then, it's time to deal with the other issues.

CIAO!

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post #5 of 9 Old 06-15-2013, 01:40 PM
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All RF Splitters should be upgraded to 1000 MHz = 1 GHz (or higher) bandwidth type (and old 1 GHz devices may no longer meet that spec). There is NOTHING inherently wrong with 40-yo RG-59....mine continues to work just fine for CATV....as verified by bringing up Diagnostics Menu in TWC DVR and looking at signal levels for each channel....all well within Max/Min specs after going through 4-Way RF Splitters in both front and back room. What you MIGHT need is a Bi-Directional "CATV Drop Amp" to boost the signal levels at the cable entry point, but don't add it until you know you NEED it, otherwise you'll get Overload and lose a bunch of channels. The only way to know whether you need a Drop Amp or a complete house rewire job ($$$$$$) is to actually have someone MEASURE the signals levels. Suggest you research how to bring up Diagnostics Menu in Comcast STB/DVRs or call in for a Cable Tech service visit. And as always: IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T TRY TO "FIX" IT.

Cable Modem signal levels can be checked via a Diagnostics Program downloaded from the manu's website or use fol. Universal Diagnostic:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robin.d.h.walker/docsdiag/
Note the link to the acceptable range of signals levels...but the IMPORTANT number is Min. SNR = 33 dB and preferably HIGHER:
CATV QAM-256 Channels: -12 dBmV to +15 dBmV
Cable Modems (also CATV FDC Carrier): -15 dBmV to +15 dBmV [Also applies to new DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modems]
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-15-2013, 03:56 PM
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Or, rather than download software to read it, just type http://192.168.100.1 in your browser's address bar. Go to the status or signal page to see your signal levels. Then, do the math. If your cable modem is connected to a splitter, add the loss of the splitter to what you read to get the level coming into your townhouse. DOCSIS calls for an input level of -15 to +15dBmV at the device. It also specifies no more than +55dBmV on the upstream (or transmit). Too close to any of those edges could cause grief.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-16-2013, 01:29 PM
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Although I know that web address works with my Motorola Cable Modem, I wasn't sure whether it works with ALL Cable Modems.....can anyone confirm????
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-16-2013, 09:00 PM
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I haven't heard of a cable modem yet that doesn't have that as its gateway, and Motorola isn't the only I have been inside myself. Now, those that have an integrated router may be a different story...

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-17-2013, 07:31 AM
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It sounds like you have 2 cable modems and 3 wireless networks. On your macs when you click on the wireless "fan" in the menu bar up top do you see 3 networks that are yours?

You say you drop connection. Does that mean your wireless drops, meaning the wireless fan goes gray. If so does it reconnect automatically or do you have to manually select a network? Or do you mean web pages stop loading or time out?

I would do a speed test on each of the wireless networks http://speedtest.comcast.net and make sure you're getting what you're paying for.

If you're having issues while watching cable tv and are getting timeouts when loading web pages etc on all 3 networks then I would call comcast to check the signal levels. It should be on them to make sure you're getting the proper levels.
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