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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-01, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Post MTS TV/Internet Hardware & Setup

Hello all,

I am going to be getting hooked up with MTS HD soon and since I am a technophile, would like to get a discussion going regarding the current state of MTS and the hardware they are using.

Since I haven't been setup just yet, I am not sure of exactly what is going to be installed in the house, but my house is wired and ready for it.

I have read on previous posts that the Motorola VIP1216 and/or the Motorola VIP1200 is going to be used.

I should be getting house-wide PVR for 5 TV's and HD on 2. Will this mean I will be getting 1 VIP1216 and 4 VIP1200's? I think this is how it will go.

What are user experiences with this equipment? How is the universal remote? Should I look and investing in a Logitech Harmony device?

I believe the PVR service IP based, but is it local to the VIP1216 and get distributed to the other TV's, or is it central service based and located at and MTS headend to be accessed via the set-top boxes?

Links:

Motorola VIP1216:
http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-.../VIP1216_US-EN

Motorola VIP1200:
http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-.../VIP1200_US-EN
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-01, 07:40 PM
 
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Yes, only one 1216 is ever installed in a home. You can have up to 5 of the 1200's. You can get HD on any of them, but only 2 simultaneously. There are 3 streams coming into a home, which you can watch 2 HD and 1 SD at the same time. I don't remember exactly, but in your case if you turn on TV #4 and TV #5 to try and watch TV, you'll get a message on the screen saying "All TV services are in use." and will give you the option to interrupt a TV, watch recorded TV, or stay on the same channel, which I don't remember if it's always CBC or if it's what one of the other TV's are watching.

Many people find the 3 stream thing a major drawback, but that's just the way it's designed at this point.

I only have experience using it while I'm installing it, not continuous watching. The PVR function is controlled at their end, but the 1216 has a 160 gig HDD which is where your shows are stored. So if you're not paying for the PVR function (normally $5/mo unless you're on a promo) it doesn't work.

The remotes are decent. They just replaced the silver motorola with a black one that has learning capability. Both are universal, but it's not up to the installer to program your other devices except TV. It's not too hard, though.

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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-03, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Good info, thanx Macman. It's unfortunate about the 3 streams issue as I have 4 adults in the house and 4 people wanting to watch TV at the same time is almost certain. Is there something that I can work out with MTS regarding this? The service that you have mentioned is not really what I signed up for (or at least this wasn't explained to me)...

I am on promo getting the PVR serice for a year. The information about the VIP1216 mentions DVR, not PVR though it does have a 160GB HDD. I am familiar with DVR being the ability to record TV on to DVD, and PVR being recorded on the hard drive. Is the DVR mentioned referring to something else, since obviously MTS has a PVR service?

Is this the new remote?
http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-...ies/MXv3_US-EN
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-03, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dice1111
I am familiar with DVR being the ability to record TV on to DVD, and PVR being recorded on the hard drive.
That's creative but wrong!!

DVR=PVR="Digital Video Recorder"="Personal Video Recorder"

Same thing.

CAVU
92-inch Infocus Theatre
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-03, 09:13 AM
 
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I find the new remote to be decent once you figure out how to have it "learn" if you need to.

Make sure you get a copy of the remote instructions from your installer. I saw them and grabbed one to keep as I was not sure they would be left behind.

When learning the instructions saw to place top of the old remote near the bottom of the new MTS supplied remote. If you look at the bottom of the MTS remote there is a shape like a black circle, that is what you are aiming for with the signal.

The instructions tell you to hold down the button on your old remote, I found that tapping the button worked out better as I had the volume up/down buttons learn as several buttons presses when holding.

I would also recommend setting the remote so the volume buttons control once device, that way when you are on the set top box for changing channels you can still adjust the volume on your tv.

Hope your install goes smoothly.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-03, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dice1111 View Post
It's unfortunate about the 3 streams issue as I have 4 adults in the house and 4 people wanting to watch TV at the same time is almost certain.
The 3 streams limit is not necessarily a problem. Once you have a PVR, you'll find that you will watch a lot less live TV.

A typical scenario would be recording 3 different channels and simultaneously watching 5 other pre-recorded programs. You can also watch "live" programming like sports by recording the program, start watching a 3rd of the way into the game and by skipping commercials ending about the same time as the live game.

In case it's not clear, 2 people watching the same live program on different TVs only count as 1 stream.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-04, 02:41 AM
 
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Well said Dr.Dave! I'm sure that would work out fine for a lot of people, and now that gives me some ammo during my installs I guess the one drawback is that HD recordings eat up a lot more memory. For those who don't know, the 160 GB HDD is rated to hold 120 hours of Standard Def Tv, or 25 hours of HD.

CoryB, it's funny that you mention about setting the remote to always control the TV. The installer should be doing this, but these black remotes were just rolled out, so I bet a lot of them aren't doing it.

The old silver Motorola (not exactly old, but the model before the black one) was way easier to program, and did this volume lock automatically after you entered a TV code or performed a code search. That's what I don't like about the new black ones. I've picked it up pretty quick, but it's still a hassle to have to do it on EVERY remote. And they changed all the code numbers too!?! Just when I was starting to remember the popular ones...

Dice1111, that is the new remote. You may still end up with the last of the silver ones that look identical to this one, but it doesn't have a learn feature and the record button is recessed.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-04, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well, here's to hoping I get the new remote. Is this something i can call in advance to arrange or will it be luck of the draw? I'm just a fan of the latest and greatest. I am not worried about the setup complexity. I'm an EE by trade; this stuff is my bread and butter.

Currently I am quite satisfied with my internet connection (regular high-speed, not sure of my bandwidth cap). I believe it is because I am located close to a head-end, but I don't know for sure. I live off Ness just below the airport.

I have read previously that people to sign up for the new HD service tend to get higher internet connection speeds after the install. I suspect it is because of the higher bandwidth allocated to the residence. Is there truth to this?

Edit: I understand i will be receiving a "2Wire RG" which will act as a front end for the service (not sure if MTS is using PPPoe anymore) and become a router for the home network. I have a large and sophisticated network and need certain features from my router (VoIP, VPN). Does anyone have any technical information on this device? Is it 1000baseT?

Also would MTS be giving me the logon information for this device so that I can configure it on my own?

Can I set my existing router to DHCP and use that as a gateway to the "2Wire RG"? This way I wouldn't have to do any network modifications. Unfortunately it would mean one more hop to the cloud and more latency.

Last edited by dice1111; 2009-12-04 at 03:31 PM.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-04, 02:28 PM
 
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If you really want the newer black remotes pay attention to what your installer brings if. If they initially have the grey/silver ones try asking if they have black ones in the truck and saw you heard they are learning remotes and would prefer them.

If you end up with one of the black remotes and need some help setting it up let me know as I may be able to help guide you through it having done it recently myself.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-05, 09:30 PM
 
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Quote:
I have read previously that people to sign up for the new HD service tend to get higher internet connection speeds after the install. I suspect it is because of the higher bandwidth allocated to the residence. Is there truth to this?
Only if your MTS Classic RG was at 17 or 20 Mbps sync. People who are at 26 Mbps on Classic won't see a difference. I think they're just throttling this new system down to 7 Mbps (for MTS Lightning) whereas with Classic I think that's all it's capable of (AFAIK)

Quote:
Edit: I understand i will be receiving a "2Wire RG" which will act as a front end for the service (not sure if MTS is using PPPoe anymore) and become a router for the home network. I have a large and sophisticated network and need certain features from my router (VoIP, VPN). Does anyone have any technical information on this device? Is it 1000baseT?
Ultimate doesn't use PPPoE like Classic. The 2wire is a router, so you'd have to change a few things if you run your router downstream from it. Change its IP from 192.168.0.1 (or whatever yours is), turn off DHCP server, and move the wire in the WAN port over to a LAN port (basically turning it into a switch). This is a drawback if your LAN ports are full. I thought I read that some routers can turn the WAN port into a LAN port (?)

Quote:
Also would MTS be giving me the logon information for this device so that I can configure it on my own?
If they don't tell you, it's 192.168.100.254 **There's no login screen. Be careful what you do, as the 2wire runs everything so you could possibly do something like knock out your main broadband connection to the DSLAM, etc.
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-07, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Macman, you’re a wealth of information. Thank you.

Would you be able to tell me the model of the 2wire device that will be installed?

The 2wire doesn't seem to have a lot of security built in (if any). No user/password to log in? That is very odd. I have security doubts.

I currently have my 1000baseT/wireless N router and an 8 port 1000baseT switch on my network. I'm pretty sure (unless the 2wire is special) I could still use my router as a front end and treat the MTS 2wire device as a DHCP enabled internet access point. Essentially acquiring an IP address from the 2wire via DHCP, and keep my firewalled router the access point for my devices on the network. I doubt the security and routing services (PVN, VoIP) on my router would continue to work properly if it was setup as just a switch. Thoughts?

I'm sure I won't have trouble knocking off my service poking around the 2wire options. I'm not one to go around randomly enabling/disabling options, but thank you for the advice. It will be interesting to snoop around though.

On an installation note, if I were to build a shelf close to my router in the basement, can I request that the 2wire device get installed there? I would prefer it rather then have it behind my TV. I’m wanting a very visibly minimalistic home theater setup (less is more, and there is no more room where the games system is hidden). The main TV (future location of the VIP1216) is directly above the location of the router and file serving equipment.
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-07, 12:21 PM
 
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It is defintely possible to have the 2wire gateway installed in a different location than your VIP1216, this is how my setup is done, although the wiring is a little different than described by others hear.

Your plan to use your existing network should work fine. I had a whole setup of mixed wifi and wired connections going. I had some initial problems as the 2wire firewall was blocking certain ports however I changed the wired connection between the 2wire and my existing network to be in the DMZ and that issue went away. The only issue I am having now is that the Internet connection seems to drop for about 2-5 seconds every half hour. I am planning to talk to tech support to see if they can help locate the cause as this is a new issue for me.

One final piece of advice to keep in mind if you are going for a minimalistic setup, the VIP1216 has an internal green led that flashes pretty much constantly, I think it is a network activity indicator. You can see it through the ventelation holes in the top of the case. It is actually very noticable in a dark room, especially if your tv is off. You may want to take that into account when planning your equipment location.
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-07, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Very good CoryB.

Good news about the installation location and good info about the VIP1216 and the green light. I will have to put some thought into it. I don't think covering ventilations holes is a solution. That is just bad practice. I've been wanting to put together a new cabinet with tinted glass doors, but it would need to be custom so I have avoided it. Maybe it's time ot revisit the idea...

Would you be able to post the model number of the 2wire device? I have found their site, but would like to know specifically what device I am getting so I can do more research.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-07, 03:48 PM
 
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MTS Internet DNS problem

3 weeks ago our internet died, and can't resolve urls... I called MTS, and at the end, I realized the the DNS isn't working, so I was given DNS server address to hardcode into the 2Wire router... 2 weeks later, I tried removing the hardcode and let it automatically resolve but it still won't work... anyone here have the same problem?
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-12-07, 03:50 PM
 
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It's the 3800hgv series from 2Wire.

A note about the green LED, there's 2 inside the case, only one is ever active. If the set top is connected with Cat5, the left light will be on solid. If the set top is connected with a coax cable back to the 2Wire, the right LED will be on and flashing pretty much 24/7. Best solution is having it in something like an entertainment cabinet.
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