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(and please bare with me, I realize this is a long post! ;))

I was wondering if someone could answer the following...

Today I escorted a FibreOp tech to do a brand new install in a relative's house (They could not get the time off work and I was off, so I offered to do it for them). In particular, the tech was from Amiria (Not sure of the spelling) and his company is contracted by Bell Aliant to do installs supposedly.

I already have FibreOp installed at my house, but presently only use Internet due to contractual obligations when I first had it installed. My contract has ended, so I decided to order FibreOp TV (We'll get back to this point a bit later on). Even though I don't have the TV service, I've done as much research as I can up to this point about how the installation itself is done...

When the tech did the installation of the STBs in my relative's house, I explained to him that this was quite an old house and the coax cabling was ~RG-59 and had horrific crimping jobs/terminations. He agreed that they would not be good enough to rely on, so suggested that new cable be run to the various rooms. At first, I figured if any cable was to be run at all that It would make most sense to run Cat5 throughout the house for the possibility of using it for other means in the future. After I suggested this, the tech was OBVIOUSLY very opposed to using Cat5 and overtly just didn't want to do the work. He explained that Cat5 had several limitations over Coax and that (and I quoting when I say this...) "we're a Coax company, it's basically all we use for installs".

He explained:

- It was (from a technical standpoint) impossible to have some STBs running on Coax and others running over cat5. They would not be able to coexist/talk between the different mediums.
- He also said that it would be "easier" to have all coax cables feed into a splitter and run off the coax port of the Actiontec router.
- If I did run all STBs over cat5, only the STBs could use that cat5. No computers or other devices could coexist over the same line to the switch even though it ends up connecting to one of the ethernet ports of the actiontec router.
- He also explained that running cat 5 cables would need to be fed into a switch, which "extremely complicates things" as he put it.

This blew my mind, as it sounded like a complete whining bulls*** but I didn't want to argue with him over the technicalities. I called the homeowners and asked them what they wanted to do, and they decided to just run the coax because they had no plans to have computers or anything running over cat5 in the rooms ever (and if they ever did they would just use WiFi). So I told him this and he went on his merry way and did the work. For the record, it's not that he did a bad installation (it was quite decent!) but it just seemed like he was pushing back hard on the notion of using cat5 - seemed strange.

So this brings me to the crux of my issue... my house is getting FibreOp TV installed tomorrow! In my case, I live in a ~8 year old house which has very good coax and even has cat5 going to some of the rooms. Unfortunately, my bedroom is not one of those rooms with cat5 :( To make matters worse, previous homeowners did... um... "changes" to the coax leading to our room via splicing and whatnot. When I had Satellite installed years back, the satellite technician told me that the lines going to that bedroom were complete garbage due to the work they did to them, likely for some sort of illegal satellite service which kinda screws me over now.

So, my options are either get the tech installing the STB in my bedroom to run a brand new coax line, or have them run cat5 to my bedroom. I really would prefer a cat5 run as, for example, I'd possibly like to put a game console in my room as well someday soon (amongst possibly other things?).

So to recap, here's basically my questions:

1) Is what the tech said about some STBs being fed via cat5 and others over coax wont be able to communicate true? (I thought the actiontec router can basically "bridged" the two mediums together?). I also hear that people have had this setup already - installed by Aliant techs - and it works flawlessly.
2) If I did opt for a single run of Cat5 to my bedroom, would I be able to put a switch in my bedroom and have both my STB and game console (i.e. PS3 or whathaveyou) connected over the same run, like you would expect over traditional ethernet?
3) (Kinda a spinoff of question 2...) The tech also said something about all STBs running cat5 must all come into the same switch, and then from that switch go to a single port on the Actiontec router. He then said that the port would be configured in some capacity such that the only traffic it would ever accept would be TV data. Is this true? I'm curious because I may need to run cables to other rooms in my house if I ever decide to get more STBs in the future, and would like the flexibility of being able to put computers in other rooms.

Any opinions / suggestions would be greatly appreciated - especially before I have the install done tomorrow. My gut tells me that I shouldn't listen to this tech's wisdom. I decided this decisively when I asked him when wiring the computer why he wasn't using all four pairs for gigabit connectivity. He gave me the most peculiar look and said "I never use the blue pair, it's only ever used for voice!". That's when I knew I needed a second opinion for sure :p
 

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1) Is what the tech said about some STBs being fed via cat5 and others over coax wont be able to communicate true? (I thought the actiontec router can basically "bridged" the two mediums together?). I also hear that people have had this setup already - installed by Aliant techs - and it works flawlessly.
I have one box in my hose fed by coax and the rest fed by cat5 so this is false.​

2) If I did opt for a single run of Cat5 to my bedroom, would I be able to put a switch in my bedroom and have both my STB and game console (i.e. PS3 or whathaveyou) connected over the same run, like you would expect over traditional ethernet?
From my understanding no, the STBs run on a different subnet than the computers you would need two feeds for cat5 to your bedroom in order to use a stb and a console​


3) (Kinda a spinoff of question 2...) The tech also said something about all STBs running cat5 must all come into the same switch, and then from that switch go to a single port on the Actiontec router. He then said that the port would be configured in some capacity such that the only traffic it would ever accept would be TV data. Is this true? I'm curious because I may need to run cables to other rooms in my house if I ever decide to get more STBs in the future, and would like the flexibility of being able to put computers in other rooms.
You can have both computer and STBs plugged into the actiontec router but i think if you plug a switch into the router all devices on that switch have to be ether all computers or all STBs I don't believe you can mix and match(this I have not tested)​


Hope this helps
 

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On the answers for 2 and 3 you *should* be able to use an unmanaged switch and have both STBs and computers on it. While the STBs are on a separate subnet they are still on the virtual network. (Disclaimer: Untested, just going on my knowledge of how this stuff works)

The only con of this is since it is an unmanaged switch if an STB is tuned into a channel then every device on that switch will receive the IPTV stream, which just means more traffic even for devices who don't care about the stream.

* An unmanaged switch is all the consumer grade and some of the enterprise grade switches, they provide no web interface or configuration ability and simply forward frames between ports as they should.
 

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The only con of this is since it is an unmanaged switch if an STB is tuned into a channel then every device on that switch will receive the IPTV stream, which just means more traffic even for devices who don't care about the stream.
I think you are thinking of a HUB, a HUB will rebroadcast any data coming in on one port to all other ports, where as a switch keeps a list of addresses connected to it, and learns as it goes, so that traffic for a particular device goes to that device.
 

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Not for multicast traffic (which is how the IPTV streams are delivered). Multicast traffic isn't destined for any specific device, so switches and routers have to be smarter and multicast aware in order to reduce traffic. They have to snoop on the multicast requests to know which ports have requested the multicast stream. Unmanaged switches don't do this. As a result unmanaged switches do what they can and forward the multicast traffic to every port.
 

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1) Telus uses the Actiontec V1000H as a modem/router and they have no trouble mixing coax and Cat5. If Aliant is using the same router, there shouldn't be a problem.

2) Using a switch to connect Mediaroom STBs and other Ethernet devices over Cat5 isn't a problem. Telus actually supplies the switches when necessary.

3) The Actiontec is a QoS (Quality of Service) router which prioritizes the Mediaroom traffic, so theoretically there could be a problem watching TV in your bedroom if the PC was flooding the network with traffic. In practice this isn't usually an issue.

The disclaimer to all of the above is that Aliant may have specific policies, so you may have to remove the switch for troubleshooting purposes if there is a problem.
 

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Not for multicast traffic (which is how the IPTV streams are delivered). Multicast traffic isn't destined for any specific device, so switches and routers have to be smarter and multicast aware in order to reduce traffic. They have to snoop on the multicast requests to know which ports have requested the multicast stream. Unmanaged switches don't do this. As a result unmanaged switches do what they can and forward the multicast traffic to every port.
oh yes thats right I forgot IPTV was multicast, sorry
 

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The last home we were in had a 3wire modem for fibre, and that was when fibre was first rolled out in the Fredericton area. About a year later we moved, and the new installation at this home they used an actiontec modem/router, it works much better than the 3wire did. With the 3wire, we were constantly rebooting STB's as they'd lock up. With the actiontec, I think we had to reboot one STB so far.
 

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I am new to this topic, but wondered how old coax can be and still handle the signal adequately. Ours is 22+ years old, maybe more (as we moved in then).

Should we ask for new coax of other cabling? And doesn't fibre optical immediately lose quality if it is not continued to the set-top box as with an optical cable? Thank you for your help.
 

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Hi. Make sure you tell your technician the age of the wire, I have a feeling they'll want to use new coax. The fibre doesn't go straight to the STB or even the modem for that matter. It goes to a box, a name I'm unsure of, and that turns it into cat5 that goes to your modem. They can then either run cat5 from the modem to your stb, or coax to the stb, it doesn't really matter which, the STB will work the same.
 

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You 22 year old coax cable is not the same as the newer coax cable, 22 years ago we were using RG-59 now we use RG-6, so i would guess you have RG-59 installed in your home and more than likely this will not support the required bandwidth for the fibreop IPTV. The technician should check the cable and will likely suggest installing new cable.
 

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I am new to this topic, but wondered how old coax can be and still handle the signal adequately. Ours is 22+ years old, maybe more (as we moved in then).

Should we ask for new coax of other cabling? And doesn't fibre optical immediately lose quality if it is not continued to the set-top box as with an optical cable? Thank you for your help.
I was in the same boat as you. I had old cabling to the second floor. We decided to run 2 new lines upstairs. One for the TV and another for internet. The internet run wasn't necessary, but what the heck might as well put the extra line in while he was there. Wireless worked well to the second floor, but wired is always best. Dan the installer did a terrific job hiding the cables and patching the hole.
 

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I just had the install done...for me it was an upgrade from the DSL IPTV.
Except I wanted to take advantage of the Whole Home PVR, so I also added another Set top box for the spare bedroom.

The technician Decided it was best to Place the Actiontech Router where my existing dsl router was. and ran the remining wiring from the basement to that.

Mind you I have an unfinished basment.

He used the existing Cat 6 run for the TV in the living room, and decided to run Cat 6 to the bedroom.

He didn't use any of the existing coax in the house.

He did however plug a Netgear switch into the Router and plugged both TV connections into that. (very clean install, actually put network jacks at each point)

I asked him if I could plug a laptop into that switch or should I use the remaining port on the router.

He hummed and hawed and said probably should not, in a months time it won't matter, but right now if we were to plug both Tv's into the Router it could cause pixalation.
 

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Additional STB?

We're looking at ordering a 3RD STB for our son's room, can anyone tell me does this require a tech visit or do they just ship the box out with instructions (a la satellite) also could this box also mean an early migration to Mediaroom?
 

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Well the installation from hell on Tuesday is finally over. The internet speeds started working properly on Thursday morning all by itself and they couldn't explain it. The my two TV's started freezing. After much troubleshooting, the "last resort" was to swap the modem out, and it cleared the problem completely. I had a technician here every day this week except Monday, and they finally got it right! :)
 

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Well the installation from hell on Tuesday is finally over. The internet speeds started working properly on Thursday morning all by itself and they couldn't explain it. The my two TV's started freezing. After much troubleshooting, the "last resort" was to swap the modem out, and it cleared the problem completely. I had a technician here every day this week except Monday, and they finally got it right! :)
NO-CRTC I know where you're coming from and seen the same frustration but I do have to say that the support BellAliant provides is far better than my past experiences with either Rogers or Bell. I had 2 issues after my fibreop install and took a day to resolve each but the 2nd day I won't forget watching the guy up the pole in the pouring rain, but he fixed the issue. With Rogers their solution was just to reboot my wireless router every 2nd day and they considered the case closed, with Bell I'd probably wait a whole week for someone to even come out and I know people in Ontario who have had outstanding issues with Bell for months.
I'm now happily enjoying my 30/30 and great customer service.
 

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I agree with you totally. Prompt and polite service. I even had one guy stop in one afternoon just to see how the internet connection was running, he was in the area so he thought he'd see if it was still running good. And the guy that worked on the tv problem, gave me his cell phone # and told me to call him direct if it acts up again and he'll come right over without having to call aliant again and put in another ticket. So they are A-1 for service.
Been there and done that with Rogers...they suck all around!!!
Cheers.
 
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