WHPVR/MoCA network problems
I hope this post is done correctly, I tried searching the forum before posting, but quite easily could have missed something.
About a 6 weeks ago all the signal from Rogers in the whole house where I rent out the basement got really bad for both TV and Internet, my buddy (landlord's son) told me it's always been bad in this house though.
So after speaking with Rogers tech support they determined a tech needed to come out. Basically, there was pixelization, artifacts, freezing, boxes would need to be rebooted, modem would need reboots.
There are 4 Nextbox 3 PVRs, 2 Nextbox 2 PVRs, 1 1st gen HDPVR, and 1 SD box, 8 boxes total in the house, though only 4 I think were provisioned for WHPVR. At one point my buddy ran new coax cabling and most of the home runs go to the furnace room instead of the demarc. Rogers had installed a MoCA PoE outside (which I've been told is normal) and I believe an 8 port Unity Gain MoCA amp with a passive port for VoIP which I belive is used for the modem (which is in the furnace room where the ethernet home runs are), a few coax jacks in the house go to this amp by the demarc, with 3 boxes connected to it, and the others connected in the furnace room.
When the Rogers techs (there were 2 of them) came in, they replaced the PoE filter on the outside of the house, installed a 2nd PoE filter on the input to the first amp, and then in the furnace room replaced 3 2 port splitters and 1 amp with a 2nd 8 port Unity Gain MoCA amp. This seems to have solved the signal issues for the internet and the TV service, but it's split the WHPVR into two separate networks as it appears that the amps have built in PoE filters, so there's basically 3 filters in series at the demarc, and then a 4th on the 2nd unity gain amp.
The Rogers techs determined only 5 boxes of any type could be provisioned for WHPVR and that tech support would need to make the changes. After speaking to tech support, turns out a max of 8 boxes can be provisioned on one account, so we had the 4 NB3PVRs and 2 NB2PVRs provisioned for WHPVR, but it took about 48hrs for the boxes not previously provisioned to start working.
Additionally after the techs left, one of the main NB3PVRs was having major issues, after several troubleshooting steps, tech support and I (an IT Consultant with an electronics backgroup) agreed that the issue was likely a dying hard drive. So I replaced the HDD with a 2TB Western Digital NVR HDD as the landlord wanted an upgrade. I cloned the drive, it booted fine, but same behaviour. Basically the box would play live TV (I think On-demand worked, never tested it), but it would not pause/rewind/fast-forward/record live TV and wouldn't play any recorded content (initially attributed to the signal issues), and multiple recordings were missing from the recordings list.
Since then I have factory restored 3 of the NB3PVRs (the ones on the same MoCA network that is in the rooms the landlord needs, the 4th is one I use and on the other MoCA network), and forced a reformat of the new HDD, moved the boxes to other rooms. It seems that the MoCA network(s) is/are not stable. While I resolved the recording/pause/ff/rw live TV and listing recordings, and the boxes all talk to eachother and can playback content recorded on the other boxes (the Navigatr software doesn't tell you which box has the recording but I think the old software did tell you which box the recordings were on, which would be nice), they keep dropping connections to one or more boxes, and not always the same ones, they freeze, and miss scheduled recordings.
Unfortunately, as I run my own business, I don't work 9-5 days and don't always have time for this, and I've worn my landlord's patience thin as this is a feature he and his wife heavily rely on for reason's I can't go into. So I'm not sure what to do from here. I need to get this resolved ASAP.
We had planned to have my cabling technician (he's not familiar with the signals carried by the cables, just the physical cabling and termination) come in and trace all the coax cables and put them into a patch panel along with the ethernet, but that's been delayed and I had not found a proper 16 port MoCA compatible splitter/amp or a MoCA amp/splitter without a built in PoE filter, so getting more than 8 connections on the same MoCA network doesn't seem like an easy task, despite the MoCA spec supporting up to 16 nodes.
Is this a futile task to get this resolved? Should I have the landlord switch to Ignite TV (ethernet is accessible at all the TVs, so no need to rely on "unreliable" wifi thankfully)?
If this is a relatively easy issue to resolve, what can I do, short of replacing the PVRs? How do I properly connect 16 MoCA nodes with the right signal strenght and such? What are the signal levels I need to test for?
Any help is greatly appreciated. and thank you in advance!
Hopefully this all made sense and wasn't too much off topic/background info.