I wanted to follow-up with my experience with Ubiquiti network equipment since finishing the upgrade.
Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite
Ubiquiti Toughswitch POE (2)
Ubiquiti UniFi AP-AC
The HTPC is a low power Intel NUC DC53427HYE i5 Dual-Core with 240GB Intel 525 Lincoln Crest SSD, 16GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHz CL9 and Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260. Obviously, recording storage does not exist, so I turned to iSCSI for recording duties. The upgraded NAS is the Synology DS1813+ with 4GB RAM, 8 x 1TB HGST 32MB Cache 7200RPM 2.5" drives, and 4 Intel Gigabit NIC capable of 802.3ad LACP Link Aggregation. The drive choice was based on MTBF, noise, heat, and energy consumption. Previously the network consisted of unmanaged Netgear and D-link switches and Apple Time Capsule 3TB. Comcast Xfinity has not worked well with the Apple Time Capsule as of late in my area. Many post confirm this problem with no solution. In addition, our new home has a complicated multi-story layout that would challenge most WiFi Access Points. After read many reviews and wanting greater control over my network, I select Ubiquiti network equipment. All patch panels were upgraded to Cat6 and all cables Cat6a Fully Shielded Twisted Pair 24AWG.
Installation & Setup:
Ubiquiti network equipment is really enterprise level equipment. Definitely not your typical consumer grade wireless router. I am not going through the entire configuration, but want to highlight several key settings required for network tuners such as the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime. First, the ERL does not allow routing of UPnP between its interfaces, so I had to create a bridge interface for many services I want to see on the WLAN. Fortunately, bridging is hardware accelerated in the latest firmware. This is required to see the network tuners on my VMware Fusion "appliance" we use to watch TV on the 27" iMac in the "office". Next I enabled Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) because I am using a bridged network, and it also helps the switches perform more efficiently. This caused issues with Echo extenders getting DHCP Static Mappings. The solution was to set each port on the Toughswitch(s) that connects to a host to Edge Port. I also set this for the network tuners, so I'm not sure if not doing so would have a negative effect. Lastly, I used Link Aggregation on the DS1813+ because it stores, documents, media, backup, and is recording storage. I wanted to ensure the HTPC was able to utilize the iSCSI target to the full potential, which was tested at 110MB/s transferring 1080p movies. Synology documentation is sparse, but there are two choices for Link Aggregation: LACP 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation and non-802.3ad Failover. This has simplified over the DSM releases and it appears that Failover utilizes Adaptive Load Balancing so the link is actually active and traffic is somewhat split.
Router bridges, Enterprise Access Points, Managed Switches, iSCSI Targets, and NAS can all play nice for an HTPC with network tuners. You just have to pay attention to configuration and settings. I am still able to watch Live TV over wireless in a VMware Fusion Virtual Machine, and I imagine a proper wireless-AC card in that system would improve performance even more. Sunday and Monday night had fairly heavy recording schedules that recorded without an issue. The general network has also received a boost in performance. Only time will tell if the entire system is as reliable or better than previous builds.