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Moca 2 and Bluesky

Hello.

I just moved over from Telus to the Bluesky system. Telus provided me with 25mbps Internet which worked fine with my powerline adapters. Now that I have internet 150, I find that the powerline adapters are no longer adequate because they max out at 60mbps. I guess for most purposes 60mbps is adequate for most needs, but me being me, that's not good enough anymore.

Since my house is not wired with cat5e, I only have 3 options: 1. wifi mesh 2. powerline 3. moca (the hitron wifi cannot reach everywhere in the house).

From what I've read, wifi mesh and powerline are pretty much the same in terms of speed. Moca 2.0 however, can go up to 300mbps real world speed. So I'm thinking of getting Moca 2.0 adapters and run them over the same coaxial as the bluesky boxes.

Has anybody done this?
 

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@ckl I moved your post to this thread. Post 1 says that the BlueSky STBs use MoCA to communicate with each other, so you would have to determine if your MoCA adapters could conflict with the built-in MoCA in the STBs.
 

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I only have 3 options: 1. wifi mesh 2. powerline 3. moca
1. I see this as the best solution. It can and will be expensive for a good mesh system. Mesh offers seamless roaming and good scalability by adding extra units. Rated speeds are up to or over 1Gbps but real world speeds will be lower. Well placed adapters will provide speeds well over the current 60Mbps. Plan on getting a tri-band system since it will offer the best throughput. Also plan on spending over CDN$500.

2. Don't know what is currently installed but I strongly suspect that it is a bit dated. It may be limited by having a 100Mbps ethernet port. Newer "1200" Mbps powerline adapters can offer real world speeds of 300+ Mbps and soon to be announced "2000" Mbps adapters will likely be faster. The cost for a top rated adapter like the Netgear Powerline 1200 is about $100 so it won't break the bank.

3. Moca is niche for home networking at best. It's mostly used by cable companies. It will need a dedicated CAT6 connection isolated from the cable system. Mocha adapters cannot share a coax with Bluesky boxes.

There are other options.
4. Install some CAT6. Depending on the house, this may not be easy but it can be done. Just enough CAT6 to reach a more central location with a high quality access point may be good enough.

5. Use a pair of simultaneous connection tri-band routers with one configured as an access point and the other as a repeater. (Same make and model for both is best.) This can provide a significant upgrade to the Hitron wifi. Speeds will be similar to mesh for similar rated devices. I've achieved actual speeds of 150Mbps with dual band N routers so a tri-band AC router will be significantly better. This would also cost CDN$500+. It won't provide seamless roaming like a mesh system.

In any event, I would turn off the Hitron wifi and use a wired, high quality router in a better location configured as an access point.
 

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What equipment are they using? Shaw uses the Arris XG1v3 which is a hybrid IP/QAM DVR, and from what I can tell, the only IP-only box Comcast has is the Xi3 (which might be similar to the "portal" Shaw uses.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Hi ExDilbert.

Thanks for your reply.

I finally got 3 of the ActionTec ECB6200's which are bonded Moca 2.0 adapters rated at 1Gbps. After a lot of research on the Comcast forums attempting the same thing, I actually got it working in less than 30 minutes. I was able to achieve the maximum 150Mbps speed using speedtest on the furthest adapter from the cable modem (I have 150mbps internet service). Average speed was about 130Mbps which is pretty good considering I had one portal playing a recorded show, another portal playing a netflix movie, and the PVR on channel 104. This is all using the same coax cables that bluesky uses.

Although the actiontec website says that ecb6200's are plug-and-play and there is no configuration available, there is actually a web gui that one can log into and change the parameters of them. This is key to getting it working with Bluesky. If you just plugged it into the same coax as Bluesky with no configuration, they will not work.

Before you hook it up, they need to be configured as follows:
password = 12-17 digits (required) (default none)
privacy = on (required) (default off)
rf frequency = 1550Mhz (default 1150)
rf band = Band D High (default band d Extended)

Bluesky uses Band D Low at 1150Mhz.

According to the Moca 2 spec, setting the password and privacy on will create a separate moca network on the existing coax cable. Then you test the adapters by hooking them up together via a coax cable to ensure they can communicate (coax light comes on).

After verifying the settings and making sure the adapters communicate, you can add it to you existing home coax. For myself, the network looks like this:

wall coax
=> 2 way splitter
===> 1. ECB6200 >-- ethernet out --|
===> 2. Hitron <-----gigabit port ---|

Basically, one split goes directly to the Hitron, the other split goes into the ECB, then the Ethernet out goes to one of the gigabit ports of the hitron.

The other adapters can go into any other room with a wall coax. Like this:
wall caox
=> 2 way splitter
===> 1. PVR
===> 2. ECB6200 ---ethernet cable >--- Access Point or computer

All of the 2 way splitters used were from Shaw (they are the BGI series rated at 5-1000Mhz 3.5db each split). I could get moca 2 rated splitters rated at 5-1650Mhz but not sure if it would make much difference.

The house was built in 2002, so I'm not sure what kind of coax was used in the house (RG59, RG56, or RG6).

I have tried other configurations such as eliminating the splitters and using the TV out of the ECB6200's, like this:
wall coax
=> ECB6200
===> coax out => hitron<--|
----> ethernet out --------|

But I got some inconsistencies in transfer rates. Plus, I realized that if you ever need to take out the ECB6200, you basically take down everything attached to it (ie. the PVR attached to the TV out). Having a splitter before the ECB allows you to move adapters around without disrupting the bluesky network or the Internet if the Hitron was attached.

So, in conclusion, over the same coax, I was able to get both a Moca 1.1 (Bluesky) and a Moca 2 network running separately from each other.

Over the next week, I'll be doing some more tests. One is trying to load both 1.1 and 2.0 networks to see what kind of limitations there are. For example, transfer a large 10GB test file over moca 2 while simultaneously watch 2 netflix shows and watch a recorded show (I have a PVR with 2 portals).
 

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Happy to see it is working. It's interesting that the band can be changed with Mocha.

I could get moca 2 rated splitters rated at 5-1650Mhz but not sure if it would make much difference.
There could be some excess loss over 1000MHz with cable splitters. Satellite splitters should also work better than cable splitters. They are rated 5-2400MHz and might be a bit easier to find or be cheaper than Mocha splitters. I've seen them for $5-10 on some sites. Another option that should work even better are diplexers. They split the signals above and below 1000MHz into two bands to help prevent interference. They also have lower signal loss than splitters. I've used these to run cable or OTA (5-1000MHz) and satellite (1000-2400MHz) over the same coax.
 

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Has anyone been brave enough to open up their XG1v3 "RDK" gateway box? Reading through Shaw Champ's post (first post of this thread), the USB, RJ45 and eSATA ports have been disabled at the factory. I'm curious to know if those ports were disabled in the "BIOS" or by some "jumpers" in this device. From what I can tell from past posts here, the ports have power but no data exchange. Why I'm asking is because I thought I could expand the disk storage space in the HDPVR (who here haven't tried? LOL). I have been able to confirm that the activity LED of the external eSATA drive blinked for a second or two, but no joy in the end. The RJ45 port power LED is lit but no activity LED when connected to a stand-alone router with DHCP enabled. I've rebooted both the Gateway and whatever device (router & ext. HDD) I plugged into, but again no joy.

In case if anyone wants to know, I have the Vantec NexStar 6G external enclosure (I believe the CX series is no longer available) and I'm using an old 80G HDD just to test it out (no point in getting the WD NAS HDD if there is no way to enable the eSATA port). I will say it's not a complete waste of money in getting the external HDD because I have other uses for it.
 

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I don't think you will see remote scheduling on BlueSky anytime soon. Shaw is totally dependant on Comcast for BlueSky technology and Comcast lost a patent lawsuit with TiVo regarding remote scheduling. Comcast appealed the U.S. ITC decision in federal appeals court in January, but no court date has been set.

Comcast has won some other patent lawsuits against TiVo, so it's possible that once the remainder of the 45 disputed patents are decided, Comcast may choose to license the valid patents.
 

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Hello I’m hoping one of you can help me. I just got Shaw BlueSky TV with one of the new 4K wireless boxes (see the link below for model info). The make/model is an Arris Xi6.

https://support.shaw.ca/t5/tv-articles/hardware-information-bluesky-tv-4k-wireless-box/ta-p/6588

Unfortunately the audio output level via HDMI to my receiver is too low for my liking (about 6-10 DB lower than my other inputs: Xbox One, Sony Blu Ray player etc.). When you use Netflix or YouTube apps on the cable box the volume output is consistent with those services on Xbox or my Sony BluRay player for example. There is no setting that allows me to increase the TV audio volume (only options are 2.0 PCM, Auto DD+ or Expert which just outputs DD+). I contacted Shaw who said there was no volume adjustment on these new 4K wireless boxes.

I know from watching the installer that there is a secret setup menu (for example on my old Motorola 3400 I believe you powered it off and hit menu to bring up this secret settings menu). Does anyone know how to access this installers menu on this new box? I’m hoping there is a hidden volume setting in there.

Or have any idea how to increase the volume output of the 4K Wireless Blue Sky box? I know I can artificially do this via my receiver, but then the YouTube and Netflix volumes is way too loud when watching through the apps on this new BlueSky box.
 
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