Still having trouble streaming with WiFi? Try some NIM100's - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-08-2007, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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In my old house, using multiple Buffalo wifi routers (using WDS) worked great. When we moved to our new (old) house, it never really worked very well.

I had frequent skips, lockups, and video/audio hiccups.

After messing with settings and antennas, I finally gave up.

I went to ebay, and picked up several Motorola NIM100 MoCA boxes.

These boxes transmit ethernet over your cable TV coax. It is able to go through multiple splitters, and the like. They auto configure.

You will need one NIM100 for each Replay, and unless your router does MoCA (i.e. if you have Verizon Fios) you will need one more to connect the coax to your router.

In my home, with a rat's nest of cable TV coax, I still get 70-80Mbs through the coax. <4ms ping time. I haven't noticed any network video artifacts since I changed to MoCA.

If you are diligent with your ebay monitoring, you can pick them up for $30-$50 a piece.

There is one guy who is selling brand new ones for $75 (+shipping).

I believe that Verizon is pulling these out of many of their older markets, so there seems to be an ample supply of them on ebay.

It is curious that such an easy, well performing product is not sold retail - but, ebay is the only spot to get them (unless you know a Verizon guy).
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-08-2007, 08:50 AM
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Very interesting. I've never even heard of these devices. Out of curiosity, why did your Buffalos stop working in the new (old) house? Is there a lot of stray RF interference?
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-08-2007, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gweempose View Post

Out of curiosity, why did your Buffalos stop working in the new (old) house? Is there a lot of stray RF interference?

Actually, I moved into a Wifi free zone... which is really weird. I can't see any (other) wifi unless I put on my big yagi.

It may have to do with the location of the TV's - they used to be "stacked up" on 3 floors - one under the other (roughly).

The new house is much bigger, and the TV's are more distributed (farther away from each other, more walls in the way).

Perhaps there is some other (non-wifi) thing pulsing some periodic interference. I don't know.
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-12-2007, 06:22 PM
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so do those NIM things piggy back onto video coax still being used for cable tv, or does it have to be unused coax?
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-12-2007, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collin View Post

so do those NIM things piggy back onto video coax still being used for cable tv, or does it have to be unused coax?

They piggy back. They also pass through RF signal (have an input RF and output RF) so you don't need to split the coax at each NIM which is very handy. Just bought a couple myself from Ebay to try to speed up MRV transfers between my Tivo S3s.

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post #6 of 19 Old 12-12-2007, 07:35 PM
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This is a damn good thread, I never knew about these. Could come in handy one day, thanks.
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-15-2007, 01:38 PM
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Got three on the way myself Can finally use my second MediaMVP in the bedroom and not deal with my wireless bridging problems...
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-20-2007, 10:18 PM
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Got em today. Plugged one into a network switch near my main TV, plugged another one in my bedroom where there's no network drop anywhere close, plugged my MediaMVP into the bedroom unit and viola, instant song streaming to my bedroom tv. No configuring or anything.

The MediaMVP is half duplex according to the one plugged into my network switch. I could stream music just fine, but ReplayTV recorded shows at High Quality downloaded to my PC via DVArchive played over the MediaMVP using the default software had mondo stuttering problems. Rough calculations of the size of the show I was trying to watch and the length of it seem to indicate I'd need about 6-7Mbps (it calcs out to 5.8 raw and I figured there's some overhead involved and extra speed for small dropouts, etc.) so I'm guessing I was getting about 5Mbps which seems really really low. My server connects up wirelessly at about 50Mbps and my hardwired MVP off the switch serving up the first NIM100 never has a problem playing the vids clean.

I guess I *could* dig my rats nest of splitters back out of the wall of my closet and see if I can optimize the connections a bit. I'm fairly certain the last time I did this I ran the first split straight to my main TV (the one near the switch) and all the other TV's are served by the second split (i.e. it comes in my house, splits 3 ways, one special one to my cable modem, one to my main TV, one to another splitter which then splits off to my other TV's...there *might* be another splitter in that mess since I have four other outlets to be served and I don't remember a four way in there but who knows.) Oh, and my main TV actually is a powered four way splitter since it has to serve up my Replay, my main TV, and now this gizmo. Wonder if there's any loss due to it going through that powered splitter.

I'll quit rambling now.
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-21-2007, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarler View Post

my main TV actually is a powered four way splitter since it has to serve up my Replay, my main TV, and now this gizmo. Wonder if there's any loss due to it going through that powered splitter.

I'd say if you were getting <5Mbps, then that would qualify as a "low signal", and the coax LED on the NIM100 should be blinking instead of solid. But, who knows... there just isn't a lot of information about these things.

I'm not an RF engineer - but I suspect that traveling backwards through active components (such as an amplifier) is pretty hard to do.

I would try taking the cable directly before the powered 4 way and feeding it into the NIM100, then take the output coax from the NIM100 and use it to feed the powered 4 way.

I have my NIM's going through up to 3 splitters, 2 two ways, and one 4 way. No problems here. I did watch the Fios guy change out all my splitters, so I suspect I had some cheap ones to start with.

Let us know how this turns out...
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-21-2007, 10:03 AM
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Yes that light is blinking on the front as you say. Stinks not having a manual to know that's what it meant I didn't feel like messing with it too much last night, but I *think* I have the hardware needed to plug the box into the wall first then pass through to the splitter.

The saga continues lol...

--
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-21-2007, 03:43 PM
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That was it...bypassed my amplifier and went straight to the NIM100 and the LED light is on constantly now and the videos stream smoothly to the bedroom. WOOT! What's a good way to measure performance?
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-23-2007, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarler View Post

What's a good way to measure performance?

I'm not sure what real network guys use - but I just set up a tftp server at one end, and then run a tftp client on another pc on the other end - then just transfer a big file.

Both sides give transfer stats - although, it is a UDP stream, I think for raw network transfer speed, it is a pretty good indicator.
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post #13 of 19 Old 12-23-2007, 08:28 PM
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FTP'ing a big file in binary mode to check transfer rate works well since you're mostly doing TCP on the net anyway.
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post #14 of 19 Old 12-27-2007, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

FTP'ing a big file in binary mode to check transfer rate works well since you're mostly doing TCP on the net anyway.

I have a wireless router that is providing cable broadband access to a desktop computer 2 floors down. The connection is not very great and this sound like a perfect solution, as my house is wired with cable. Will this work? If yes, how do I hook up the NIM100's. Do I have hook up one NIM100 to one of the ports on my wireless router and feed back into original coax connection via a splitter (ie. coax -> cablemodem -> wireless router -> nim100 -> coax)? Do I then install the other nim100 on the other floor (ie. coax -> nim100 -> computer?
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-27-2007, 06:00 PM
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Each NIM100 has a coax in, a coax out, and an ethernet port. Think of one NIM100 as a bridge between your ethernet and your cable lines. So you would have a NIM100 hooked into your router (assuming it has more than one port in it since you also want your cable modem plugged into the router as well) or some other place in your ethernet network (I plug mine into a switch nowhere near my cable modem.) That same NIM100 would also have a coax line running from a wall outlet to the NIM100. The coax out is there to pass through in case you want a TV hooked up to it, etc.

If you want the cable modem on the same wall outlet, and assuming your cable modem doesn't have a pass through coax out, you'll either have to split the wall outlet using a passive splitter and run one to the cable modem and one to the NIM100, or you'll have to use the coax out from the NIM100 and run it to the cable modem. The splitter will introduce a bit of signal noise or loss or whatever that measurement is, which can affect quality of internet service. I don't know what, if any, effect running the coax out from the NIM100 to the cable modem will have.

Once that NIM100 is in place, you would put a second on any cable outlet in your home (avoiding active splitters as I discovered), again running a line from wall outlet to coax in on the NIM100, and then you are free to plug any ethernet device you want into the second NIM100 such as a switch, or a computer, or a MediaMVP or whatever.

Of course, all of this discussion makes me wonder...how far outside of one's house does the information passed around actually travel? Could someone take a NIM100 and splice it into the coax line that runs from my house to some box outside and be on my network? Or worse, I know there's a box outside my house that essentially looks like a big splitter, where my cable line hooks up to some main trunk and my neighbor's does too. I assume it then runs to a larger junction box of some kind down the road where I saw them working one day when they needed to clean up the signal leading to my house to make my internet service work. Could my neighbor plug a NIM100 into their cable outlet and see my traffic?
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 11:37 PM
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Hate to revive an old thread but here it goes...I've been using 4 NIM-100's for about 2 months now. I have a 16TB media server in basement and 3 PC to which I stream ripped DVD and Blu Ray. I get average throughput of about 10.5 MBytes (roughly 80 Mbits) per second - and was in Blu Ray heaven using Daemon Tools and PDVD 8 Ultra.

Today I tried playing (for my kids) a newly ripped Blu Ray off the server as usual and it was unplayable/choppy. Quick reboot of all systems yielded no difference. Tried other Blu Ray ISO's...all choppy as well!

Tested speed to all three PC's and it's anywhere between 10.1 to 13.3 MBytes per second (Never goes below 10 MBytes per second).

I've fiddled around with all manner of NIC configuration (some actually yielded faster throughput) but choppyness is still there.

BTW, all three PC's are hooked up to different outlets.

I brought server upstairs and put it on the same switch as one of the PC's and it played smoot as silk so not server hardware issues.

Other than the following, what might the issue be? Again, it as been fine for months with no changes at all!

- Something happened to my DIR-655 router and it's no longer prioritizing QoS traffic even though it says it is
+ I can see the total bandwidth needed to play Blu Ray has never exceeded 50 Mbits(I monitor network) and I am substantially higher than that with no drop outs at all...

Thanks in advance...

/mkbnh
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-14-2008, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkbnh View Post

Hate to revive an old thread but here it goes...I've been using 4 NIM-100's for about 2 months now. I have a 16TB media server in basement and 3 PC to which I stream ripped DVD and Blu Ray. I get average throughput of about 10.5 MBytes (roughly 80 Mbits) per second - and was in Blu Ray heaven using Daemon Tools and PDVD 8 Ultra.

Today I tried playing (for my kids) a newly ripped Blu Ray off the server as usual and it was unplayable/choppy. Quick reboot of all systems yielded no difference. Tried other Blu Ray ISO's...all choppy as well!

Tested speed to all three PC's and it's anywhere between 10.1 to 13.3 MBytes per second (Never goes below 10 MBytes per second).

I've fiddled around with all manner of NIC configuration (some actually yielded faster throughput) but choppyness is still there.

BTW, all three PC's are hooked up to different outlets.

I brought server upstairs and put it on the same switch as one of the PC's and it played smoot as silk so not server hardware issues.

Other than the following, what might the issue be? Again, it as been fine for months with no changes at all!

- Something happened to my DIR-655 router and it's no longer prioritizing QoS traffic even though it says it is
+ I can see the total bandwidth needed to play Blu Ray has never exceeded 50 Mbits(I monitor network) and I am substantially higher than that with no drop outs at all...

Thanks in advance...

/mkbnh

It could be one of the NIMs in the path that are messing up. I would assume you already power cycled all of them right? If you have more than 1 PC/laptop with at least 10/100 Mbps ethernet in each in the house then I would suggest running some tests between each NIM bridge to isolate where the problem is. To do that I use netio.
One one side of the bridge connect PC/laptop A and run netio server side:
netio -t -s
(make note of it's IP address, I'll use 192.168.1.100 in this example)
(make sure to grant permission for netio to run if you are using a firewall)
On other side of the bridge connect PC/laptop B and run netio client side:
netio -t 192.168.1.100
This sends a bunch of TCP/IP packets of different block sizes from client to server and gives you a speed readout in KBytes/sec. For my NIMs I get in range of 9-11 KBytes/sec which works out to be ~ 70-90 Mbps, so if you get results in that range then all is good. If not you know there's an issue with 1 or more of the NIMs or perhaps the coax that makes up the bridge.

I would also perhaps 1st perform that test by putting both laptops/PCs on same switch just to confirm there is no issue with NICs on either one.

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post #18 of 19 Old 12-20-2008, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkbnh View Post

Hate to revive an old thread but here it goes...I've been using 4 NIM-100's for about 2 months now. I have a 16TB media server in basement and 3 PC to which I stream ripped DVD and Blu Ray. I get average throughput of about 10.5 MBytes (roughly 80 Mbits) per second - and was in Blu Ray heaven using Daemon Tools and PDVD 8 Ultra.

Today I tried playing (for my kids) a newly ripped Blu Ray off the server as usual and it was unplayable/choppy. Quick reboot of all systems yielded no difference. Tried other Blu Ray ISO's...all choppy as well!

Tested speed to all three PC's and it's anywhere between 10.1 to 13.3 MBytes per second (Never goes below 10 MBytes per second).

I've fiddled around with all manner of NIC configuration (some actually yielded faster throughput) but choppyness is still there.

BTW, all three PC's are hooked up to different outlets.

I brought server upstairs and put it on the same switch as one of the PC's and it played smoot as silk so not server hardware issues.

Other than the following, what might the issue be? Again, it as been fine for months with no changes at all!

- Something happened to my DIR-655 router and it's no longer prioritizing QoS traffic even though it says it is
+ I can see the total bandwidth needed to play Blu Ray has never exceeded 50 Mbits(I monitor network) and I am substantially higher than that with no drop outs at all...

Thanks in advance...

/mkbnh

mkbnh, did you ever end resolving this issue?
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post #19 of 19 Old 12-22-2008, 06:39 PM
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Sorry I've been away from the forum for a while. To answer your question, yes, but probably not to satisfaction (in context of the original question). For Blu Ray HD playback the NIM100's and/or the $1,000's of dollars of other stuff I tried simply was not 100% realiable to stream without hicccups, stutter, delays, etc. Some movies would be OK...unless I paused, etc., then they die...others would simply just start stuttering in one scene and never seemingly recover. I have 4 NIM's and I can say that only when I stream to a 22" or 24" monitor are they OK; when I stream to a 40" or 46" TV in my house problems start. I have nearly identical equipment on all so I doubt it's PC issues.

I resolved it by -- ghm, ghm -- running Cat 6 wire from my main HTPC (in entertainment room) to my basement where my media server resides. With Gigabit ethernet (discrete Intel PRO/1000's in each PC) and Gigabit switches I'm getting roughly 200 MBytes transfer speed from Server to HTPC. In fact I can move roughly a 30 GB Blu Ray ISO from one to another (when copying backed up Blu Ray ISO's to server) in about 2.5 to 3 minutes.

Needless to say I'm in Blu Ray streaming heaven now. I should have saved all the money I spent on Wireless devices (A, N, etc.) and NIM's and all other hokey stuff and just ran ether the first go around.

Others' experience might vary but my experience has proven that if you want 100% reliable, 100% consistent streaming of Blu Ray ISO that reside on a server or other box, you should just bite the bullet and run ether...you won't regret it

Thanks to everyone's help here...

Best,

/mkbnh
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